Marissa Meyer Toronto 2014 Signing Recap!

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On February 24, 2014, Marissa Meyer, best-selling author of the Lunar Chronicle series, graces us her presence at Indigo, Yorkdale (Toronto) for the second time around and for those of you who had missed it, don’t worry, I’ll pretty much recap the event for you:

[note: I’m recapping the event based on what I remember so forgive me if I get something wrong! My camera died before I could record anything]

Around 6 PM we were told to grab our seats for the signing. As we wait for 7 PM to start, the Vice President of Indigo Events (@indigogreenroom) hosts a few contest giving away three $10! The first was “what’s in my purse/satchel” and he asks if someone had a screwdriver.  Yes, a screwdriver– But the best part is that, that’s not the most shocking thing, it’s that someone actually had one in their purse (well, it’s more of like a keychain screwdriver BUT STILL). Then the second contest was a volunteer of three people and they had to do a dance-off and one of my good friends, Becca from OMFGBooks, went up the stage against a twelve-year old and a sudden unwilling contestant (I don’t blame her, I would be mortified to dance-off too). In the end, it was a close call between Becca — due to her newly invented moves that even the VP won’t recognize from his time — and the twelve-year old who owned the staged with her robotic dance moves, however, robotic dance moves wins this one. And lastly, anyone that had the name “Marissa” or initials “M.M” were the ones to possibly win the last $10 gift card. At first, no one had said their name is Marissa so me being a “M.M.” excitedly raced her hand, only to realize one of my good friends, Melanie “Mel”, who I met from TMI set scout days, had the same initials as I had! VP was torn so Becca yells, “dance off!” to which I hurriedly point at Mel and say “god, no, all hers!” (while mentally thinking of strangling Becca due to the absurd idea). Both stroke of misfortune and luck, someone had come forward and said their name is Marissa.

There had been half an hour left and Natalie Garside (@NatalieGarside) who cosplayed as Cress comes to the stage and the fans fall in line to have a picture with her! How sweet!

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Turns out we even had a Scarlet in the crowd as well!

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This is “Cress” with her hairstylist/ sister(?) that helped her out with her amazing Cress-hair.

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Then it was finally 7 o’clock and Marissa comes forward to the stage and first introduces herself, then immediately tells everyone her answer to “have you always wanted to be a writer?” (her top question) to which the answer was: “yes, though it wasn’t until I was fourteen years old did I actually focus on being one.” Then she tells us how much she loved fairy tales and mostly the non-Disney ones, which ultimately led to her Lunar Chronicle series– along with her endless love for Sailor Moon. She entered many writing contests, one of which being NaNoWriMo and the other this contest that only she and another person had participated in (and she sadly came second), however, got her going with her outlining for the series and lastly the contest that, if you win, you will appear (?) at an episode in the renewed Star Trek series. The contest (Star Trek one) required 50,000 to enter (just like NaNoWriMo) and it was around August when she had learned of this contest, so she had a few months of major outlining, character profiles and research to do beforehand. When the contest began, she had vowed to write not 50,000 words but 150,000!  [she didn’t end up winning that Trek contest since they never actually made the show but she was still happy cause she had now the first drafts of Cinder, Scarlet and one-third of Cress]

“I just passed out for an entire week. I was a zombie!” She says after that Trek contest. Oh, I could just imagine! When she had regained her strength, she returned to the first drafts of what was baby-stages of Cinder, Scarlet and Cress, thinking that these books are absolutely genius.

Turns out, the first drafts were a disaster: “one character vanished out of thin air”, “too many subplots” etc. However, being the determined soul that she is, she had edited through these first drafts and eventually got to a point where she thought it was polished enough to be shown to possible publishers, she searched for a literary agent (as should every writer who wishes to be published). Marissa said, “my literary agent, who was actually the first I queried, had worked together in two weeks to create the bundle to sell to possible publishers.” They had sent out these queries Friday and in the following Monday she had gotten feedback of interest towards publishing her novel. “So it had gone fast pretty much after that,” Marissa added.

Marissa then shares to the crowd that her first ever movie seen in the theatres which is Little Mermaid and said she loved the movie that her Grandma bought her the Little Mermaid book… except it’s not the Disney version. It’s the real one, the one with [spoilers] the Prince ending up with another girl and the mermaid dying.

Then she tells us the real story of Rapunzel, and that’s because she thought the real story to Red Riding Hood might be a bit too gory for the kids in the crowd. It was a fun tale of oohs and aahs, especially with the kids who just saw Tangled and thought, “aha! that’s Rapunzel’s story!” 

Right after that, we did a little Q&A (here are some I remember):

1. What’s so wrong about the real story of Red Riding Hood that you can’t tell the crowd?

Well, it involves cannibalism and a strip tease– not appropriate for the little kids! (laughs)

2. Are we to see a Cinder movie sometime soon? 

A Hollywood studio has bought the rights to Cinder, yes, and I’ve been told that the script does exist and that now they’re just looking for a director. 

3. Are there any actors/actresses you have in mind?

No… not really. I’m happy with almost anything but… Kirsten Stewart (laughs) LOL!

*there had been a bit more questions asked but I had already forgotten — I’ll update the post in case I remember anything! (Sorry!)

Signing began right after the Q&A and I had been lucky to be #6. When it was my turn, I was dumbstruck so I just went in for a hug (I’m sorry to creep you out, Marissa!) to which she did a little gasp. Then she saw my Cinder copy  she asked about the markings and I said they were some of my favourite lines and scenes. Then I asked her if she liked her visits so far here in Toronto. “I love it! Well, I’ve only been here like two times but I’ve got friends here so it’s nice each time I visit”

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That was such a fun event! So glad I made it the second time around — I look forward to another visit from Marissa here in Toronto and for her many more books to come through the years!

Thank you Marissa Meyer for coming to Toronto for the second time and we surely can’t wait for your third, fourth, fifth…

Happy Reading!

-Michelle

I would like to thank Raincoast Books for sending me this lovely package of chocolates, glow-in-the-dark stars and pins! You guys are the best ❤

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