Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"When I'm not writing" by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer This week, we are delighted to have the talented Marissa Meyer joining us for "When I'm not writing". She's the author of the young adult sci-fi-spin-on-fairy-tales Lunar Chronicles quartet, which kicked off with the amazing CINDER and its sequel SCARLET. Stéph has reviewed both books and she really enjoyed both books. She says that the "merging of a fairy tale within a science fiction realm is original and refreshing". Needless to say, we're quite excited to have Marissa joining us today!

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I like food.

I mean, I really like food, with an obsession I suspect borders on unhealthy. (Luckily, I like both healthy and unhealthy foods, so I can attempt to bring some balance into said food obsession.)

I like the how some flavors combine to be greater than the sum of their parts, and I like that anticipation when you enter a very fine restaurant or a fancy chocolatier, and I like the unexpected craving when you pass a street-food vendor and encounter the smell of simmering onions and roasted meat wafting toward you. I like how a great meal is a delight to all the senses—taste, of course, but also sight and smell, and even touch, such as how an element of crunch might meld with a silken creaminess to form one perfect sensation in the mouth.

I even love reading about food. As a writer and reader, food descriptions have long been one of my guilty pleasures. I think it’s the adjectives. Buttery, tangy, crisp, succulent, smooth, aromatic, doughy, melted creamy gooiness…

The subject of the sentence is unnecessary. My mouth is already watering.

For the past five or six years, this love of all things delicious has begun to translate into a love of cooking. It isn’t a great passion—for me, that honor seems to be strictly reserved for writing—but it is a fairly regular delight. I suspect it started when I moved in with my boyfriend-now-husband, who’s a contractor and built his house with a big, gorgeous kitchen. A dream come true! Suddenly having acres of counter space and an honest-to-goodness pantry, I started to experiment with cooking in a way I never had before.

I’ve since found that I enjoy every step of the process. From tearing out recipes from magazines or hunting them down on Pinterest (seriously, what did we do before Pinterest?), to planning the meals and going grocery shopping, to the actual chopping, seasoning, and execution of the meal. Well, except when it comes to chopping onions. Ugh, how I loathe chopping onions.

I also love experimenting with new ingredients. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t add something to the shopping cart that I’ve never purchased before, and over the years I’ve experimented with everything from caviar to squash blossoms to carrot greens, which it turns out taste kind of like parsley. (This week, the experimental ingredient is pearled barley, which will make its way into a barley-mushroom-dill salad tomorrow afternoon. We’ll see!)

So when I’m not writing or reading (my top two activities of choice), I’m probably eating. Or thinking about eating. Or cooking and then eating and then thinking about what I’ll eat next, or some combination thereof. It might be a bit obsessive, but at least it’s an obsession that comes with a bit of nourishment and its own brand of creativity.

Now if only I could get half so excited about my next trip to the gym…

Jenn's note: Check out this video from Marissa's CINDER tour:

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Thanks so much for stopping by, Marissa!

For more information about Marissa and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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Here's the scoop on SCARLET:

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2)Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Stéphanie's thoughts

Read an excerpt (scroll down)

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Here's the scoop on CINDER, where it all began:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #1)Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Stéphanie's thoughts

Read an excerpt (scroll down)

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

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