*Spoiler alert for Cress. Skip asterisked sentence if you have not finished and plan to read!*
I walked into The Heartless Ball with my daughter and her best friend, ready to celebrate the launch of Marissa Meyer’s latest book, Heartless. All around us were characters straight out of Marissa’s books and other fairy tales. Cress floated by in a dress with the yellow and orange wings of a monarch butterfly, her costume for The Lunar Ball (in the book bearing her name.) Alice, of Wonderland fame, and Little Red Riding Hood were in attendance. *spoiler alert* The girls I was with wore the formal, red gowns of Lavana’s ill-fated wedding to Prince Kai in Winter. And, of course, there were several Queens of Hearts in attendance to celebrate the launch of her very own story.
Heartless is the prequel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s story of Catherine Pinkerton, a girl who dreams of opening her own bakery but who is pushed towards a royal match by her ambitious parents and becomes the Queen of Hearts.
Marissa told the audience of her start in writing as an author of fan fiction. She transitioned to creating stories of her own when she entered a writing contest which required including any two of ten prompts in a story. She chose the prompts: set the story in the future and include a fairy tale character. From there came the idea of making Cinderella a cyborg, and Cinder, the first book in The Lunar Chronicles was born. It became a six-book, New York Times best-selling series.
Marissa entertained the audience by inviting fans to the stage to show off their talents, composing an impromptu love poem to the cute hat in one of the costumes in the front row, conducting the audience in singing Happy Birthday to one lucky audience member, and reciting a nursery rhyme while balancing a copy of Heartless on head to ensure perfect posture.