Marissa Meyer
Credit: Connie Riggio; Macmillan

Iconic YA author Marissa Meyer's highly-anticipated new novel, Instant Karma — which follows a protagonist who wakes up with the sudden ability to enact karma on her friends and family instantly — is finally on stands, and to celebrate she answered EW's burning book questions. Read on to learn about her earliest pieces of writing and the thing that's still bugging her about Instant Karma.


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is the first thing — ever — that you remember writing?

MARISSA MEYER: When I was three or four years old I wrote a story called “Rosie and the Rosebush” — or I should say, I told the story to my mom and asked her to type it up for me and print it out so that I could draw the pictures. The story was about a little girl named Rosie who fell into a magical rosebush and got to run around playing with all the magical rose creatures. I don’t think I ever finished making the pictures, though, because I got so tired of drawing roses. 

What is the last book that made you cry?

The Assignment by Liza Wiemer.

Which book is at the top of your current To-Read list?

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong.

Where do you write?

Sometimes in my office/writing studio, sometimes in bed, sometimes in the family room by the fireplace… in pre-pandemic times I spent a lot of time writing at favorite restaurants and cafes. I long for those days!

Which book made you a forever reader?

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

If you could change one thing about any of your books what would it be?

I wish I’d given Prince Kai a real surname in The Lunar Chronicles. The question comes up again and again from readers and I hate not having a solid answer.

What is your favorite part of Instant Karma? 

I absolutely loved writing the romance between Prudence and Quint. I’ve had a soft-spot for hate-to-love stories since I was a kid falling in love with Han Solo and Princess Leia, and it was so much fun for me to write a book with all the banter and early animosity, followed by that slow burn of newly discovered feelings.

Han Solo and Princess Leia
Credit: Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

What was the hardest plot point or character to write?

It’s not so much a specific plot point, but after a while it got to be really difficult coming up with punishable offenses for Prudence to exert her karmic powers on. I wanted to keep the book light (so I knew I wouldn’t have her punishing someone for murder or anything like that), but there are only so many minor annoyances that one might deem worthy of retribution. I spent a baffling amount of time staring out the window, trying to come up with more rude or inconsiderate actions that Prudence could dole out punishments for.

Write a movie poster tag line for Instant Karma:

Move over, Universe. There’s a new judge in town.

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