Writer Spotlight: Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer is the New York Times best-selling author of the Renegades and The Lunar Chronicles series, as well as the graphic novels Wires and Nerve: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2: Gone Rogue. Her first standalone novel, Heartless, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.
What was your thought process like when coming up with the powers for the Renegades and Anarchists?
I wanted to give them powers that would make for fun action scenes. I wanted the books to have a cinematic vibe to them so that readers would feel like they were watching the story play out on the big screen. Beyond that, I tried my best to come up with powers that hadn’t been done to death by Marvel and DC, and, when paying homage to an existing superhero, to give my own spin on how that power would be used in Gatlon, or what its limitations might be.
How much of the trilogy did you have mapped out before beginning the series?
Almost none! Unlike The Lunar Chronicles, which I’d outlined extensively before starting to write, this series developed much more organically. Initially, I had thought that Renegades would be a stand-alone novel, and I’d outlined it as such. But the more I wrote and learned about the characters and uncovered secrets about the world, the longer and more complicated the story became. In the end, there turned out to be a lot of surprises that I couldn’t have predicted when I first started writing it.
Do you see yourself in the characters you have written?
I feel like I put a little bit of myself in all the characters. I try to find ways to connect with every character on some level, as that helps me understand them and write them more authentically—even the villains! That said, there are definitely some characters that have more of me in them than others. In Renegades, I connect most with Ruby, who is a Renegade who tries to be tough and self-sufficient, but really, she’s a pretty bubbly person who cares deeply for her friends and family.
Would you ever revisit The Lunar Chronicles?
Haha, who knows! Although I don’t currently have anything in the works, I do occasionally get a new idea flitting around in my thoughts, crying for attention. And I know the readers really, really want to see a particular couple get married. We’ll see.
In scenes between Adrian and Nova in Renegades, was it fun or difficult to keep them from revealing their identities to each other?
Oh, definitely fun! I had a pretty good idea about how I wanted their identities to be revealed from early on, so I knew I had to find ways to keep the secrets until then. That said, they definitely toe the line—especially Nova. Going into the start of Supernova, she has a lot of evidence stacked against her, and it becomes less about whether Adrian will realize, and more about when and how that will happen. That, too, created some fun challenges for me to tackle!
Do you ever get writer’s block, and if so, how do you get over it?
Not really. I know that even on my worst days, I’m always capable of writing something—even if it’s just a paragraph, and even if that paragraph turns out to be terrible. Still, it’s progress! That said, I try to be kind to myself and recognize when I’m tired, distracted, stressed, etc. If I need to take a day off for some mental recuperation, then I do! On the other hand, if I’m struggling to figure out a particular scene or where the story is heading next, then I’ll step away from my computer and find a cozy spot to daydream and brainstorm for a while. Sometimes even just an hour or two with a pen and paper can unlock all sorts of new ideas.
Do you have a different approach to working on graphic novels as opposed to writing traditional novels?
The initial steps of my process are the same—brainstorming, coming up with characters and ideas, writing an outline, etc. But once I start writing, the process is very different. For novels, I tend to write fast, messy first drafts, and then spend a lot of time on revisions. It’s the opposite with graphic novels, where I’m a lot slower with the first draft because I have to pause to consider what every single panel and page will look like, and how the illustrations are working with the text to move the story forward. It involves a lot more stopping and staring into space, rather than nonstop clicking at the keyboard.
Are there any more graphic novels in the works?
Yes! I’ve been working on an idea as a side project for a while now, and I’m really excited about it. I don’t know when (or even if) it will get published, but I’m having so much fun with it, I hope to be able to share it with readers one of these days!
What’s next after Supernova?
My next novel, Instant Karma, is my first foray into YA contemporary romance and will be out in the fall of 2020. It’s about a girl named Prudence who suddenly develops the power to exact instant karma on those around her. But whenever she tries to use this new gift to punish her obnoxious and lazy (and okay, pretty cute) lab partner, it always seems to backfire. I’m having so much fun writing this one and look forward to telling readers more about it!
Thanks, Marissa! We’re all super excited for the epic conclusion of the Renegades series. Check out the #marissa meyer tag to keep updated on all the news, and get your hands on a copy of Supernova, out tomorrow!