Melissa Marr

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Made For You UK/Aus cover

In case you missed my io9 chat today (archive here) where I shared answers AND my UK/Aus cover of MADE FOR YOU, I thought I’d post it here.

MADE FOR YOU releases in Australia/NZ (as well as US/Canada where it comes out with the cicada cover) in Fall 2014.  September here in the US & Canada.  It releases in the UK & Ireland in Spring 2015.

I absolutely love that they kept the tagline (which I wrote), as well as using scarlet lilies (a symbol of desire in the language of flowers which the killer uses in the book) & of course, a drowning girl (directly from the plot).  VERY VERY happy with the cover .  . .  I think it highlight aspects that the US cover (which I also love a lot!) does not. 

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My most books owned by list (Faulkner, @neilhimself, @hollyblack, et al)

I don’t usually do these, but I thought this was fun.  If you RT, please add YOUR list (so I can follow links & check them out). 

I Own The Most Books  by … 

  1. William Faulkner. Collection: All but 1 book (intentionally omitted), as well as multiple editions, critical essays, & bio
  2. Neil Gaiman  Collection: Like Faulkner, he has his own set of shelves. (Also several prints of his poems that he gifted me & now hang on the walls.) Spouse and children also some have copies of their own.  Spouse has various of the Sandman collector editions, single issue, & all 3 kids have one autographed Gaiman book. Also, there are audio books (hardcopy), a manuscript of his I did notes on (as did both kids), and … multiple copies of a few things.
  3. Hemingway. Collection: A “complete” novels set, as well as misc alt copies added to my library by spouse & daughter (NOTE: I have never purchased a single Hemingway book for myself. Not a huge fan actually.)
  4. Shakespeare. Collection: Various practical & bound editions of collections, stand-alone volumes, critical volumes, etc.
  5. Charlaine Harris. Collection: All Lily Bard books, All but one of the Sookie Books, anthologies, assorted others, & a few SFBC editions.
  6. Kelley Armstrong. (Initially began as I am a fan, expanded madly bc we are now friends, co-authors, & sometimes project collaborators). Collection: Almost every novel of hers (no rare editions!). 
  7. Jeaniene Frost.  (Crit Partner since 2007) Collection: All books.
  8. Julia Quinn. Collection: As many as I can find, actually. I love her books.
  9. Holly Black. Collection: Almost everything (I think). Holly is on my auto-read. She can do no wrong when she tells a story.  I think all I’m missing are anthologies with her stories. 
  10. Andrew Lang: The “Fairy Book” collection, comprising 400+ tales, in a beautiful collector’s reprint edition from my spouse & kids one year.
  • The Blue Fairy Book
  • The Red Fairy Book
  • The Green Fairy Book
  • The Yellow Fairy Book
  • The Pink Fairy Book
  • The Grey Fairy Book
  • The Violet Fairy Book
  • The Crimson Fairy Book
  • The Brown Fairy Book
  • The Orange Fairy Book
  • The Olive Fairy Book
  • The Lilac Fairy Book

Hmm, my list is a little eclectic… The one commonality I see is (obviously) they are all by talented authors (even though I’m not naturally a Hemingway reader).

31 notes

Sometimes an image anchors everything …

Sometimes stories start from a simple image. Many of my stories are like this.  I “see” a scene, & I write from it—both forward & backwards.  It’s a case of asking the two questions:

1. How did we get here?

2. Where are we going next?

Some people outline (which is perfectly awesome!), but most of my books are written in non-linear ways as I sketch these “anchor scenes” & then answer the two questions, which then lead to those same two questions, which I answer, which … repeat.

When I saw the script of WICKED LOVELY, it was interesting to see that my anchor scenes that propelled me were also the keys that screenwriter selected to highlight. 

Here is my anchor in the book I’m writing right now:

"Hair so dark it appeared to be scattered with stars flowed behind her like a cloak.  Eyes so cold they made him want to run in terror stared at him.  Her tiny feet were bare, and she wore armor the color of blood when it’s near hardened, neither red nor black but a hue that hovered between them. Zephyr had the fleeting thought that the material was dyed in blood. Stories of her cruelty had been whispered often enough that some people would say it was truth, but he believed in her. She’d be the one to save them one, and he was finally meeting her.

No one was with her. No buildings were in sight.  It was only her, standing alone on the vast expanse of black rock.” (Work In Progress) 

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meep-im-lovely asked: Hi, I'm from North Carolina and I just finished reading "Wicked Lovely" and I absolutely loved it. I was wondering, if you could tell me what club in North Carolina that you said was based off in the book??? I have been so curious as to which one since I live here. I would loe to see where your inspiration came from. Thanks so much! :)

When I lived in the RDU area, there were a LOT of bars in my life. I bartended at a variety of places, ranging from a biker bar that burmed down back in the 90s to a beach bar called Red’s (I didn’t last there long) and a hotel bar and a neighborhood tavern (whose name escaped me).  The biker bar is the one that most influenced my WL world :) 

The bar I worked at that burned was called Scramble Dog.  It’s long gone. (It burned when I still lived there.)

At the time it had a bad rep because a patron (Rob) got his nose bit off in a fight there.  The guy who did it was banned, and Rob was still a regular (you got used to the sight of his nose being half-gone after a while—he couldn’t afford to get it fixed, so it just stayed like that), but people still were leery of the bar.  Downstairs was a bike shop (owned & operated by a biker called Taz, who was a lovely man & often bouncer for us).  For a while, there was a blues guitarist who crashed in the apartment downstairs too, but usually it was the barmaids if we had a long shift & needed to crash or for out of town bands. It was a good place, and I miss it still.  We had pool tables, darts, bands, and a patio. There were swap meets, a “wall of fame & shame,” bikers, construction workers, and … some of my best memories in those years were either because of the people there or actually at the bar itself.  Across the street was a tattoo shop, so I often had the pleasure of seeing fresh ink on my patrons… and those patrons took great care of me and the rest of the girls.  Good people. Great bar. Somewhat deserved bad reputation, but not to the normals that wandered into the bar. If there was trouble, it wasn’t random.  it was a dispute or because someone needed to be taught some manners (& our patrons or bouncers did so).

I don’t know about current bars, but here are a few I liked back then that may or may not be around still.

I also used to like another biker bar/ roadhouse called The Little Bar in Apex (which IIRC is still there).  Last I heard, several years ago, there was a bad rep associated with it bc of an accidental stabbing. Again though the guys I used to know there were awesome, and I’d still go there if I were in the area. 

There was an Iron Horse bar (also biker clientele), and one called Daddy Rabbit’s (yes, Rabbit in the series takes his name from there).  There was a place called Shooters where my ex and I both got barred (but that was our own fault; we’d had a particularly bad mannered fight that involved breaking things). 

There were other bars I liked to visit with my not-biker-bar friends—George’s Garage in Durham was fun, and so was Green-something in downtown Raleigh, and the bar underneath Goodnight Charlie’s (I was politely escorted out of there for table dancing with friends, but overall a lovely place), Players Retreat near NCSU was a nice weekday/relaxed spot, Fat Daddy’s had good pool tables (& strippers on Sunday so my friends liked to go there—also they had great burgers upstairs) …oh, & there was also a kinda dive downtown that had bands that I visited when friends were playing. Whiskeytown played there (two of the band members were in the ENG dept at the grad school there with me at the time).

Umm, I was out 5 out of 6 nights a week usually, either to work or to play, so I’m sure there were others, but those are the ones that linger in my memories the clearest.  IDK if any are still around these days though. I rarely get to Raleigh any more, and it’s been 15 years since I’ve been to Apex, Durham, or Cary. 

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Quiet casting note

Dear Readers emailing or messaging through other routes in re: casting: 

I have exactly ZERO control of the casting in the WL movie. I appreciate your enthusiasm, and REALLY appreciate the years of support for the Wicked Lovely series (& my other books!).  Trust me, though, when I tell you that I have NO skills at casting, so even if I did get a vote—and thus far, I don’t think I will—it wouldn’t be any use to you.   We all have skills. Mine are writing & being a mom.  I have total faith that the film is far better served by having the pros makes those decisions than me attempting to do so! 

I HAVE read & reread the screenplay and provided notes for the screenplay …because …well, it’s WORDS. I’m good at those.  Actors? Setting? Costumes? Etc?  So very very outside my skill set. I’ve trusted Wild West Picture Shows for six years already.  They optioned & renewed & re-optioned the series. Not once has it been out of option since 2008. They had two directors I liked a lot, as well as one I didn’t (but who was never even announced), a screenwriter I adore (both in her skills & when I met her several times), some great effects (I have digital & print files), & now NOW, they brought in WETA (!!?).  I shall continue to trust them bc really, we’ve only disagreed once in SIX YEARS, and that’s pretty awesome. 

… especially bc I can’t say the same about most people in my professional or personal life. I’m guessing a lot of you are the same there—6 years without more than ONE disagreement is a great record.

Thus far, the film team has asked for my opinion repeatedly & considered it every time. So, what I’ll ask you to do is join me in trusting that they know what they’re doing far more than you or I would :) 

xoxo,

M. 

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Anonymous asked: For my sixteenth birthday a few months ago a friend of mine got me a book in which various celebrities wrote letters to their sixteen year old self, and I was just curious as to what you would tell yourself aged sixteen??

Not a thing really.  I subscribe to the theory that who we are NOW is a result of the things we did thus far.  I love my life.  I have an amazing spouse, 3 kids who (in my eyes) are perfect, and a job I enjoy.  I wouldn’t say a word to my then-self at any age for any reason. 

I DO understand the temptation, but I’m not a fan of looking backwards. It’s not that my 16 year old self had an easy few years ahead.  From about 14 to 24, there were a lot of challenges in my path, but how I handled them eventually led me to NOW. I like now.

At 16, I hadn’t yet started the period of surgeries that stretched from 19 to 24. In that window, the longest I went without being in surgery was about 15 months.  I hadn’t yet dated a man who would hit me. I hadn’t had a gun shoved in my mouth or a knife on my skin by that age. I hadn’t yet had a stalker (a stranger who to this day I don’t know). I hadn’t worked at a series of bars that were sometimes demeaning but often paid well enough to allow me to rent an apartment in a slightly nicer neighborhood (my grad school assistantship wasn’t enough to do that).  I hadn’t been engaged at all (by 24, I would have been engaged 3 times). I hadn’t tried coke… although I’d already been messed up repeatedly on various pills, booze, & acid by 16. I had been raped already at that age, but if you told me I could undo any of it or tell Then-Me a single word even back when that happened, I wouldn’t.

… and even now, even as I list those less-than-fun things, I wouldn’t say a word to 16-year-old-me.  I think I muddled through.  Sometimes it sucked. Sometimes I’m not sure if it did bc I had blackouts. But at the end of it all, I became a stronger person. I learned to make dozens of small choices that added up.  I earned a BA (with highest honours) and received an assistantship for grad school that led to another degree …and 12 years teaching & then a career as a writer.  I fell in love with a few people, including the man who has given me three children. I made great friends and had experiences that were both awesome and terrifying at points. 

So I wouldn’t say a word to any version of me OR change one millisecond of it. 

What I’d tell my 16 year old daughter is a bit different. I told her the things I just wrote here (and a lot of other things). I’m already telling these things to my 15 year old son.  They still have years in which they can avoid some of my mistakes (and I”m proud to say that my now-20-yr-old daughter HAS avoided them).  I’m very open with my kids & with readers (obviously, since this is a public blog) bc I don’t believe in regret. I believe in acknowledging that we are tempered by the lives we lead and second-guessing or regretting any of it leads to unhappiness.  I believe that the reason I am very very happy with my life is bc I don’t regret or live in the THEN but in the NOW and the WHAT NEXT.

… all of which may be more philosophical that you wanted, but this is a topic that I feel strongly about :) 

XO for asking. 

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I’m doing a couple of blog tours this year as part of my ongoing attempt to stay home with the kids more.  
Expresso Book Tours is one of the three spots.  Sign-up info on this tour is here.  (That’s their banner posted here.)
AND
There will ALSO be a blog tour  (& excerpts, IIRC) via Rock Star Booktours. I don’t think they have info up yet though. 
AND
Either I or my book (or both) will also be at these places (via TLC book tours) :
Tuesday, September 16th: The Best Books Ever
Wednesday, September 17th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 18th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Friday, September 19th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, September 22nd: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, September 23rd: About to Read
Wednesday, September 24th: Lost in a Great Book
Thursday, September 25th: Supernatural Snark
Monday, September 29th: Paperback Princess
Tuesday, September 30th: Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, October 1st: Reader Girls Blog
Thursday, October 2nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, October 6th: In the Next Room
Tuesday, October 7th: Books à la Mode
Wednesday, October 8th: Sweet Southern Home
Thursday, October 9th: booknerd
Friday, October 10th: Book Marks the Spot
I’m hoping to pop by as many of these as possible to answer questions, too. 
IIRC, there will be give aways somewhere in there too.  :)

I’m doing a couple of blog tours this year as part of my ongoing attempt to stay home with the kids more.  

Expresso Book Tours is one of the three spots.  Sign-up info on this tour is here.  (That’s their banner posted here.)

AND

There will ALSO be a blog tour  (& excerpts, IIRC) via Rock Star Booktours. I don’t think they have info up yet though. 

AND

Either I or my book (or both) will also be at these places (via TLC book tours) :

I’m hoping to pop by as many of these as possible to answer questions, too. 

IIRC, there will be give aways somewhere in there too.  :)

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thecoloursfalllikesnow asked: oh my gosh as a person who lives in new zealand i am freaking out SO MUCH about this wicked lovely movie news (even if it wasn't nz related i still would be) but omg. weta workshop. i might end up working there one day and ahh this is so exciting

I’m freaking out too :)  When I got the call, my first thought was “Oh! Maybe I can finally make it to see NZ!!!” and then of course, I also thought about all of the lovely films Weta did. I’m pretty excited. 

The book has never once been out of option, but this is the most excited I’ve been in years… and I think it bodes well that they ANNOUNCED it. There have been things (a director, a financier) that were never even announced, but this was.  It seems to say to me that the folks at Wild West are excited too :)

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Bisexuality EXISTS!

bisexual-books:

There’s a new new list of bisexual books over on Goodreads. They’re looking for new books, so feel free to add your suggestions, or pick up some suggestions for your own next book!

So happy to see this list AND to see INK included on it.  :) 

(via faery-tales-and-nightmares)

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npcjillian asked: I was wondering if you could speak a little on your creative process regarding revisions and drafts during the initial phases of writing. Do you bother to save older versions of writing that you may have edited heavily or deleted entirely? Or do you just scrap those bits and throw caution to the wind? Thanks in advance, I love your work! :)

This is a great question! Unfortunately, I think my answer changes, but this is my current one.

Right now, my theory is that I re-save with a new designation at each significant change. For example—

  1. Sleeping Girl— Wicked Lovely as a short story
  2. Ash—Version 1.0 of the Wicked Lovely story in a novel. Tried to do 1st person. Hated it. 
  3. Faery Bound— Full novel, 3 pov (Don/Ash/K), never read
  4. Finding the Summer Queen— revised, tightened, submitted to agents
  5. FSQ_postAH— sold, revised as per editor’s notes
  6. FSQ_final—revised twice more per US & UK notes
  7. LovelyWicked_CE—the copyedited file
  8. WickedLovely—the version that went to print

Somewhere in there I have versions that are

  1. Summer Sought
  2. Surviving Faery
  3. Alt_1st_POV
  4. Alt_Prologue3 
  5. WL_alt_end

I also have

  1. WL_prologues
  2. Don_cut_scenes
  3. Beira pov extracted

There are others, but there are also bunches I deleted

Now, the 2nd/3rd book in that series was different because I excised 20,000 words from it that ended up being book 3.  Initially, INK EXCHANGE & FRAGILE ETERNITY were one big book. Leslie’s story, Donia’s story taking over the Winter role, and Ash’s story becoming fey were all intwined.  The plan was for book 4 & 5 to be one book too. It was a 3 book trajectory… then a 6 book one … & then I reduced to 5.  The various version of INK/FRAGILE were re-filed as narrators changed.

Eventually, I get in a mood & delete a lot of the earlier versions… or not.  I still have the first 600-800 words that I wrote years ago that eventually became CARNIVAL. I didn’t know the rest, but I knew that scene. It was a few years later when I knew what lead to it & came from it. That scene is still in the files though.

… and of course, this is all excluding notebooks or envelopes where I scratched out a sequence or images.  I keep more than I’d like, but eventually I’ll get in moods & scrap everything I decide is “unnecessary.” Part of that, however, is my almost manic glee in deletion. I happily consign my drafts w editors’ notes to the fireplace … & poems I write almost all go directly to the flames. It feels freeing to part with words. Cathartic. 

(Admittedly, I also raid my home library & closets every year for donations & donate almost all of my author copies.  I LIKE parting with things.)

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Signal Boost for Leah Clifford

Please pass the word for this author so she can offset her costs from her unexpected medical situation. 

leahclifford:

Most of you guys heard through twitter and fb, but yesterday my left eye basically stopped blinking. When I smiled, only the right side of my mouth moved. Needless to say, it was pretty terrifying. When I got to the Emergency Room, they diagnosed Bell’s Palsy, but had to rule…

(via jenniferrush)