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Best of Tacoma 2014 Readers' Poll - Best Author: Marissa Meyer

Her "Lunar Chronicles" series made the New York Times bestseller list

BEST TACOMA AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer is a favorite read. Photo credit: Jason Ganwich

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As a self-professed "bookish type," it's exciting for me to have the opportunity to sit down and interview Marissa Meyer, the local scribe voted Tacoma's "Best Author" by our readers. Tacoma has a rich, literary community abuzz with both novice and established talents. However, Meyer is a Tacoma author who has risen to the highly sought after level of New York Times bestseller not just once, but for an entire series (save for the final installment, which is yet to be released), with her Lunar Chronicles.

Meyer is a Tacoma native through and through. She attended Wilson and Curtis high schools, began Running Start at Tacoma Community College, then transferred to Pacific Lutheran University. Her Tacoma-based academic history isn't the start of her literary roots, though, because she has been writing since she was a child.

"I've always had a huge imagination," she said. "I remember when I was a kid and we had a computer, one of those with a black screen and the green text. I would tell my mom stories and she would type it up and print them out so I could illustrate the pages."

Though Meyer has been writing since childhood, her Lunar Chronicles was not an overnight word journey. Well, not quite, anyway. While her early literary endeavors included Sailor Moon fan fiction, Cinder was her 10th attempt at a novel.

"I tried to write my first novel at 16 and didn't finish that one, and didn't finish the next one, and the next one," she said. "Cinder was a NaNoWriMo project." Lo and behold, it became a finished product at long last because as Meyer put it, "everyone works better with a deadline that is not self imposed."

For those not in the know, the Lunar Chronicles is a four-part series intertwining the journey of familiar fairy tale characters with sci-fi flair. Though the series is technically considered in the Young Adult (YA) genre, it has bridged a gap among its readership through generations and genders by capturing the imagination through exquisite storytelling.

"With the amount of success it has received, it gets to a point where it's always weird when people are talking how popular or big (the books) are," Meyer said. "It's hard to connect that to the fact that they're my books."

Meyer has several new literary releases on the horizon. Next January, Fairest, the tale of the evil Queen Levana and a prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, will hit bookshelves accompanied by a big release party hosted by the Tacoma Public Library and King's Books. In November, the Lunar Chronicles conclusion, Winter, will be released. And in early 2016, fans can expect a taste of Meyer's first non-Lunar Chronicles literary work, Heartless, a story based on the Queen of Hearts from the classic book Alice in Wonderland.

I had to ask, what does a New York Times bestselling author READ when she's not writing? "Right now I'm reading I am Malala, and before that, Ruin and Rising - one of my favorite series of all time. It's brilliant if you like fantasy. I set a goal every year to read one hundred books. It's never happened; the closest I've gotten is eighty-nine. It's July, and so far I've read fifty-one, so I'm on track. I get really cranky when I don't read."

Meyer's reaction to the news that she won "Best Tacoma Author?"

"My New Year's resolution was to be more involved with the community, so when I got your email I was like, it's working! Success! It's awesome!  It's one of those things, like getting awards is always cool, but the really special awards are the readers' choice awards, and this is especially cool because its home town love. Thank you." 

Other 2014 Best of Tacoma readers' poll winners and Weekly Volcano staff picks

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