The day before Comic-Con last month, Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer, Ann Aguirre, and Anna Banks went to the Barnes and Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles for a panel, and I got to interview them (in the employee break room) before the panel started. It had been a crazy week for me–I had a lot of work to get done for a project I’ve been working on for over a year, I was leaving the following morning for the convention, I had a bronchial infection (I wasn’t contagious, but I was taking antibiotics, steroids, and that awesome cough syrup with codeine in it)… and Obama was in town.
If you don’t live somewhere where presidents visit for fund raising, it’s hard to understand how badly having them in town can completely destroy the traffic system, but it’s really something. Major streets along his route are completely shut down, and it affects traffic in all the surrounding cities because people take crazy circuitous routes to avoid the worst areas. It is awful. I’m sad for the ladies who were here visiting, because this is not the best light to see our lovely city in.
I got to The Grove an hour and a half early and wandered around. When it was time for the interview, I made my way to the book store, and of course a few people were running late (I can’t say enough about how truly terrible the traffic was in the immediate vicinity of The Grove), and by the time the kind woman who works at Barnes and Noble had taken everyone’s coffee orders and we’d gotten settled in, our thirty-minute interview was cut down to ten. I got to most of the questions you guys sent me on Twitter, though.
A quick note: One of the questions you guys asked on Twitter was Shag/Marry/Kill with Harry, Ron, and Neville, and the ladies very responsibly asked me to specify ages and things, so for the record: The boys are all at least eighteen years old, and the ladies were allowed to take this
into account when making their decisions.
Leigh and Marissa sat huddled together on one side of the table, giggling at each other’s jokes and playing with the craft supplies laid out on the table for the store’s Batman Day celebration. By the end of it, each of the four ladies had a little foam star sticker on her face.
Leigh does a lot of her writing at home with her Schnoodle Bertie, but she really prefers writers’ retreats, where she can hang out with like-minded people and be forced to sit and write in a room with all of them all day, and then hang out and be social at night.
Out of all the characters she’s written, she most admires Sturmhond for his confidence, which allows him to accomplish a great deal that should be impossible.
When I asked the ladies the Screw/Marry Kill question, Leigh immediately asked if she was allowed to take Matthew Thewlis’s extreme real-life hotness into account, and when I said yes, she just as quickly said she’d shag Harry, marry Neville, and kill Ron. Which, I’ll be honest, was what I expected everyone to say.
Marissa has three cats named Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III. Her husband had traveled with her, and he is as good-looking as he is sweet. And he is an extremely sweet man.
She, like Leigh, really enjoys going on writing retreats with other authors, but she also writes in public spaces like cafes. Her husband (he’s pretty great, guys) is building her a studio outside her house so she can get out of the house to write without having to actually leave home.
Marissa really admires (and is envious of) Thorne’s luckiness. Shit just seems to work out for him.
If absolutely forced to choose, she would shag Ron, marry Neville, and kill Harry.
Ann’s family is really important to her. She co-writes the Apparatus Infernum adult steampunk series with her husband, and she has three cats (Dominic Dredd, Darius Crooktail, and Dr. Christmas Jones Fluffypants III) and two dogs (Daisey and Dixie). She’s gotten several offers from people who want to adapt her YA series for tv/movies, but she didn’t trust the vision of the producers, and now that her seventeen-year-old daughter is all grown up and planning to attend film school, Ann wants to wait and let her daughter handle the film adaptation.
Ann has a great home office, but when she first moved into it, it was extremely infested with bees. She had to hire people to go in and remove the huge honeycombs from inside the ceiling, and by the end the floor was covered in tiny bee corpses. Isn’t that sad and also terrifying?
She really admires Deuce’s perseverance and refusal to give up, no matter how stacked against her the odds seem to be.
Ann, like Marissa, would shag Ron, marry Neville, and kill Harry.
Anna writes in her home in the Florida Panhandle. She has a weiner dog named Puckledoo, and she spends so much time in her home office, she owns more pajamas than she does normal clothes.
The characteristic she most admires in a character she has written is Galen’s moral compass and sense of duty.
And this is where… You guys. I have a hard truth to lay down for you here. Anna Banks, when I gave her the Shag/Marry/Kill question about Harry, Ron, and Neville, replied, “I don’t understand the question.” So I thought she didn’t know what F/M/K was as a cultural phenomenon, and my brain went blank and needed to reboot because HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT. But then she added, “Is that a Harry Potter thing?”
Because Anna Banks has never read or seen Harry Potter. Anna Banks. Has never read. Harry Potter.
(Leigh and Marissa suggested that she listen to the wonderful audio books, btw, and I’d second that suggestion)
One more tidbit, for fans of Of Poseidon: When I met with her, Anna had just gotten some VERY good news from Mad Hatter Productions (they do the How to Train Your Dragon movies, among other genre stuff), who have the rights to the movie version of her Syrena Legacy, but she couldn’t announce anything yet. So keep your eyes open for future announcements from Anna on that front.
Win a Fierce Reads tote full of books!
Thanks to our wonderful friends at Macmillan, we have a Fierce Reads tote bag with Ruin and Rising
by Leigh Bardugo, Scarlet
by Marissa Meyer, Of Neptune
by Anna Banks, and Mortal Danger
by Ann Aguirre to give away to our readers. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form
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telling us why you’re excited for the books OR your answer to the Shag/Marry/Kill question. Open to U.S. and Canadian residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. Please see entry form for complete details. Good luck!
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Our thanks to Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer, Anna Banks, and Ann Aguirre for graciously meeting with us for this interview, and to Macmillan for providing the giveaway copies.