Fierce Reads Tour Interview Recap and Giveaway with Marissa Meyer, Jessica Brody, Nikki Kelly, and Gennifer Albin!

Macmillan’s Fierce Reads Tour is in full swing, and on the 8th, I was lucky enough to interview the touring quartet before their event at the Irving Public Library. The interview was done in a conference room and I recorded it, but a transcriptionist I am not, so I’ll paraphrase the answers. Please note there was much giggling and hijinks during the interview. And no, alcohol wasn’t the cause, these ladies are just fun, and sweet, and were very candid. It was a lot of fun, and I’m so glad I was asked to cover the event.

**Also, I’ve got all 4 books featured in the event to give away, courtesy of the nice folks at Macmillan, so be sure to check out the details at the bottom of the post.

Marissa Meyer is the author of the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress-with Fairest coming up in January). Gennifer Albin is promoting the newest book in her Crewel World series, Unraveled. Unforgotten is the newest book in Jessica Brody’s Unremembered Trilogy, and Nikki Kelly is promoting her first novel (ever!), Lailah, the first book in the Styclar Saga.

Gennifer Albin and Marissa Meyer were hard at work signing books when I arrived along with Jessica Brody, Nikki Kelly, and Macmillan Children’s Publishing’s awesome Directory of Publicity, Allison Verost, and after everyone grabbed some goodies (okay, mainly me and Nikki), we got down to business.

The first question I asked was what the ladies loved most about writing and the answers went something like this:
Gennifer Albin was afraid of sounding like a cliché, but she loves telling stories, and a fun diversion for her is making up backstories for strangers. Now THAT is a fun version of people watching. Marissa likes working in her PJs (good enough for me!) Nikki told me (in her adorable British accent) that she feels like she’s giving back to society by creating awesome book boyfriends (which I find very, very honorable and worthy). She thinks we should all share and share alike. Er, in regards to books. Jessica Brody wasn’t a reader growing up and she feels like today the YA genre has expanded so much that there’s a book for everyone. When she gets a reader that says “I wasn’t a reader until I read your book,” it’s one of the most rewarding parts of writing for her. Bridget Jones’s Diary was the first book that Jessica felt was written just for her and it was what opened her up to reading.


From left to right: Marissa Meyer, Nikki Kelly, Jessica Brody, and Gennifer Albin

Next up I asked the ladies which characters were their favorites to write. Gennifer’s fave is Cormac Patton. Marissa’s favorite is Iko, and Thorne comes in a close second. Jonah is Nikki’s fave (she finds him very swoonworthy), and Jessica loves Cody, and feels quite vindicated that he wasn’t cut from her manuscript as first suggested.

Since world building is an important thing in these authors’ novels, I asked them what one of their favorite literary worlds is. Gennifer and Marissa agreed that Hogwarts was their fave, and although Jessica likes Hogwarts, she’s especially partial to Arendelle from Disney’s Frozen (I can relate to this.) Nikki, however, cited Mordor as one of her favorites, and related the story of how Tolkien wrote many of his books in a little café In Birmingham, England, using the Birmingham University Tower as an influence.

I then asked the ladies what book they’d like to experience again for the first time and this is what they said:

Jessica: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
Nikki: The Grisha Trilogy by Leah Bardugo.
Marissa: Pride & Prejudice
Gennifer: Harry Potter is her jam, not just because she loved it, but it offered her escape from all of her required reading in college, and it reminded her of why she loves books. Anne of Green Gables is her other go to title.
As for their writing proecesses, Marissa can write anywhere, and this comes from when she had a day job and she had to write where she could. Nikki is the opposite. Nikki needs her tea, her music, and there must be kitchen twerking before she commences. Yeah, you read that right. She twerks in the kitchen like no one is watching. Jessica doesn’t need, but she prefers, coffee (only when she writes) and she listens to a white noise track that helps her concentrate-and she can do this anywhere.

I thought I’d close out the interview by asking how they all celebrated when they got their first book deal. Marissa was listening to Pandora and Dire Straits’s Skateaway was playing when she got the call from her agent. Dancing commenced, then she dissolved into tears as soon as her husband walked in the door. Jessica danced around the room to the A-Teens and drank champagne. By the way, Nikki knows her A-Teens. You don’t want to get into A-Teen trivia with Nikki-she’ll smack you down. Gennifer stopped her car amongst the fields and the cows of Kansas to get the news from her agent that she got an offer on her book, and she refused to wait until she got home to get the news. Nikki’s story is very London, as she was on The Tube coming home from work, saw the email from Macmillan, and at first thought it was going to be a rejection. So, when she got off at her stop, she read the email on the bench in the Tube station, to find that it was a War and Peace length email offering her a book deal. She then burst into tears in the middle of London. As anyone would, seriously.
At this point, we wrapped it up and the authors made their way downstairs where they did an hour-long Q&A and then the audience asked questions for a bit before the signing wrapped up the evening. I was not at all surprised to see they had that audience wrapped around each of their little fingers. Thanks again to the lovely folks a Macmillan for inviting me to interview the authors. It was great fun, and I was thrilled to meet each of them!

*Note (10/13/14)Due to widget issues, had to end the giveaway early, so I’ll notify the winner soon!

Now, how ’bout a giveaway? I’ve got copies of Lailah, Cress, Unraveled, and Unforgotten to send to one lucky winner. It’s US only, and I’ll pick a winner on or around 10/20. There are a ton of extra entries to be had here, so have fun, and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. sounds like you had a blast, and great photos!

  2. Pingback: True Confessions of a First-Time Touring Author | Bookish

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