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Marissa Meyer is the author of The Lunar Chronicles, a young adult sci-fi quartet beginning with Cinder and continuing with Scarlet, which will hit bookstores in February. Marissa lives in Washington with her husband and three cats, and enjoys Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and wearing awesome costumes.

Could you tell us five random facts about yourself?

1. The first book I can remember having read to me was Black Beauty.

2. I won a state speaking competition in fifth grade; my speech was on illiteracy.

3. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer, a Broadway actress, and a fashion designer.

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Marissa Meyer is the author of The Lunar Chronicles, a young adult sci-fi quartet beginning with Cinder and continuing with Scarlet, which will hit bookstores in February. Marissa lives in Washington with her husband and three cats, and enjoys Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and wearing awesome costumes.

Could you tell us five random facts about yourself?

1. The first book I can remember having read to me was Black Beauty.

2. I won a state speaking competition in fifth grade; my speech was on illiteracy.

3. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer, a Broadway actress, and a fashion designer.

4. I come from a family of costumers. When I was growing up, I remember my dad winning multiple costume competitions as Marvin the Martian.

5. The first movie I remember seeing in the theater was The Little Mermaid. And the obsession with fairy tales began. :)

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer.

I began writing “seriously” when I was introduced to fanfiction when I was fourteen years old. I wrote close to 50 fanfics for an anime called Sailor Moon all through high school and college — it not only helped me develop my voice and learn about the craft of writing, but the online community was so supportive and encouraging that it gave me the confidence to pursue publication. Cinder was the first original novel I ever finished (though I have multiple unfinished novels lying around). It took me about two years to write, from conception through seven or eight drafts and polishing rounds.

Once I thought the book was ready to be sent into the world, though, the journey started moving along much faster! I was on the agent hunt for two months and signed with the first agent I’d queried. Two weeks later she took Cinder and The Lunar Chronicles on submission. That was a Friday, we had our first offer the following Monday. After feeling like the writing process took forever, that all happened dizzyingly fast!

What has surprised you about writing and publishing?

I’d worked in a small publishing house for five years, and I also have a Master’s degree in publishing, so I haven’t been surprised by too much in the publishing business. What has surprised me, though, is how often I find out things through Twitter or Facebook — say, that my book’s on a best of the year list, or that it’s available for pre-order, or whatever. I always thought these things would come lickety-split from my publisher, but the Internet is so on top of things it seems they’re always the first to let me know!

Why do you feel drawn to the stories you write?

I’ve always loved fairy tales and the idea of “happily ever afters,” but I get bored with stories about simpering princesses who are waiting to be rescued. That’s part of what I loved so much about Sailor Moon — the main characters are teenage girls, and they’re also superheroes. What teen girl wouldn’t love that? So that’s inspired me a lot — I’m drawn to protagonists (both the girls and the boys) who are strong and courageous and capable, but still flawed.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

For a long time I was a café writer, but just in the past month we’ve bought all new living room furniture, including a super comfy chair and ottoman. I’ve been spending a lot of time there recently!

What is one thing you wish you’d known when you sat down to write your novel?

That it would get published and there would be readers who love it. It’s so tough when you’re writing something and you don’t know if anyone will ever read it, or if you’re just wasting your time. I had my share of doubts and fears. Of course, I guess that’s the testament to writing the story that you love — you write it whether you know it will succeed or not.

How do you approach writing villains or antagonists?

These are my problem characters, for sure. It’s so tempting for me to make a villain that is 100% evil — but that’s very unrealistic. Most people who do horrible, cruel things have reasons for doing them. They may not be good reasons, but they’re there. So I have to spend a lot of time considering my villain’s backgrounds, desires, and motivations in order to figure out how they became this horrible person, and then try to make sure that comes out in the subtext of the story, even if it’s never fully explained.

Which is easier to write: The first line or the last line?

The first line, for sure! Although my first sentences and paragraphs do often change during revisions, it’s usually because I have lots of options for what I think would make a good opener. On the other hand, I’ve been known to stare at that last page for hours and hours trying to think up a suitable last line. It’s painful. People think the first page is the most important, but I’m not sure. The last page brings it all together. The last page should have that resonance that feels inevitable and solid and perfect. That’s not an easy thing to pull off.

What is your favorite chapter or scene you’ve written recently?

I spent November and December working on a new project that I can’t offer too much information about right now, but my favorite chapter from it includes a rose tree, a ball gown, and a raven.

Do you have things you need in order to write (i.e. coffee, cupcakes, music)?

Socks. Only socks. There are things I like to have — a latte, a scented candle, chocolate, the scene already playing out in my head. But the only necessary thing is socks. I can’t focus if I have cold feet.

Bonus Question! Would you rather be a book or a computer?

Good heavens — a book, I suppose. Computers know too much. I think I would always get distracted and frenzied. But a good book lives one good, solid story. That sounds like a pretty decent life.

About ‘Cinder’ and ‘The Lunar Chronicles’:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

For more about Marissa Meyer:

You can follow Marissa on Twitter at @Marissa_Meyer and keep in touch with her on Facebook. You can find more about Marissa and contact her through her website, MarissaMeyer.com. Cinder is available for purchase from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and other booksellers. Scarlet will be released on Feb 15.

Legion M president Jeff Annison introduces the first fan-owned entertainment company

"Opening the gates to Hollywood" with fandom-powered entertainment production.

2:12 pm EDT, August 24, 2016

Hypable speaks to co-founder Jeff Annison about Legion M’s goals, fan engagement, and potential impact on the entertainment industry.

An exciting new project launched over the summer: Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Hype Podcast sat down with co-founder and company president Jeff Annison, in order to learn more about the ambitious startup that promises to give fans more creative control of entertainment production.

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Hypable speaks to co-founder Jeff Annison about Legion M’s goals, fan engagement, and potential impact on the entertainment industry.

An exciting new project launched over the summer: Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Hype Podcast sat down with co-founder and company president Jeff Annison, in order to learn more about the ambitious startup that promises to give fans more creative control of entertainment production.

The full interview is available to download here or via iTunes, or you can stream it below:

In the interview, Annison explains the mission of Legion M, which is to bring fans directly into the production process. Says Annison, “For the first time in history, we are architected to be built from the ground up to be owned by fans.”

With a ‘Legion’ of fan investors behind them, Annison believes that Legion M’s approach to selecting and developing projects will be very different from anything else we’ve seen in Hollywood.

Where usually creators will struggle to make their content stand out from the crowd, “bringing the audience into the process [of creating entertainment], we’ve already got a built-in audience,” Annison explains. “If you can have the audience of content be invested in content, it gives that content a competitive advantage.”

One of the key ways in which Legion M hopes to influence the creative industry is by opening the door for more diverse projects.

As Hollywood is so revenue-driven, oftentimes the ‘risk’ of letting a movie’s lead character be a woman, a person of color and/or a member of the LGBT community is simply considered too great. But Legion M, being owned by fans, has the opportunity to tip the scales. Because if the investors want more diversity and new kinds of stories, that’s exactly what they’re going to get.

“The reason that there are so many superhero movies and reboots and remakes… Hollywood’s figured out the formula. You pick something with an established fanbase, and if you make the movie you know it’s less risky because you know those people are gonna come see the next Superman movie,” says Annison. “Whereas if it’s an unknown story, you just don’t know. So we believe when you make the audience part of the process, these fans that are part of our studio … if you’ve got an audience that’s baked into it, that gives you so much more creative leeway.”

In practice, this means that Legion M, “could come up with a completely new and novel story that’s never been tried before, and know that it’s gonna have some success” — which means that it’d actually get produced, unlike many original ideas that come to Hollywood to die.

Further, fan owners of Legion M can experience unprecedented involvement with the creative process. Not only are they involved with selecting and developing projects, but, “our promise to our investors is that we’re gonna take you along for the ride. When we film a movie, we wanna live-stream from the set. When we have project opportunities, we wanna put them in front of you. We give the Legion a voice.”

To start with, Legion M is partnering with Seth Green and Matthew Senreich’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which created Robot Chicken. Annison explains that they still have “dozens” of projects that networks have rejected, and Legion M is working on bringing some of them to life.

In terms of representation, Legion M doesn’t necessarily want to commit to a quota of diversity. Instead, where they expect to be able to influence Hollywood is at the “table” where these decisions are made — and, “because we’re owned by such a broad, diverse group of people, we’ve got a better shot than anybody else at being able to affect that change.”

As Annison explains: “Fans have the ultimate power. Our money is what makes this whole thing spin around. When we combine and come together, we’ve got all the power.”

Read more about Legion M and how to get involved on their website.

As we approach the Captain America: Civil War Blu-Ray release date, a new deleted scene from the film has been released.

And it’s a Civil War deleted scene that is sure to please Stucky fans.

In the clip, Bucky quickly comes to the defense of bae (a.k.a. Cap) when War Machine briefly takes him down. Bucky gets back at Rhodey by throwing Cap’s iconic shield at him, and as the shield boomerangs back, Steve Rogers catches it. Take THAT, War Machine! #TeamCap

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As we approach the Captain America: Civil War Blu-Ray release date, a new deleted scene from the film has been released.

And it’s a Civil War deleted scene that is sure to please Stucky fans.

In the clip, Bucky quickly comes to the defense of bae (a.k.a. Cap) when War Machine briefly takes him down. Bucky gets back at Rhodey by throwing Cap’s iconic shield at him, and as the shield boomerangs back, Steve Rogers catches it. Take THAT, War Machine! #TeamCap

Watch below:

The movie’s airport scene was easily one of the most delightful moments of the film, so we’re loving this extra dose of Stucky brilliance.

Need more? The Captain America Blu-ray, with a release date set for September 13, includes the following special features:

  1. United We Stand, Divided We Fall – The Making of Captain America: Civil War Part 1 & Part 2 – As the tension mounts, sides are chosen and lines drawn. Learn more about the characters on each side—from Captain America and Iron Man to the latest recruits. In this complete behind-the-scenes look at a landmark in the Marvel saga, we’ll examine their stories through exclusive footage and interviews and discover just what went into selecting the Super Hero teams, filming the epic action sequences and introducing Black Panther and Spider-Man to the MCU.
  2. Captain America: The Road to Civil War – Explore the First Avenger’s fascinating evolution from loyal soldier to seasoned, conflicted hero who questions authority.
  3. Iron Man: The Road to Civil War – From Gulmira to Sokovia, delve into the development and evolution of one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  4. Gag Reel – Break the tension of this high-stakes conflict with some hilarious outtakes featuring the lighter side of your favorite Super Heroes.
  5. Deleted & Extended Scenes – Check out never-before-seen footage that didn’t make the final cut of Captain America: Civil War.
  6. Audio Commentary – Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely deliver scene-by-scene insight and explain the storytelling challenges they faced creating the third installment of the Captain America franchise.
  7. Open Your Mind: Marvel’s Doctor Strange – Exclusive Sneak Peek – Go behind and beyond the scenes as Doctor Strange makes his journey to the big screen.

The Digital HD version of Civil War will be released on September 2.

Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

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Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-concept-art

In his replies, he names the creature and states that, no, they aren’t fighting in space.

Then taking to Facebook, Gunn replied to fans who had questions about the image.

An updated synopsis for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reads:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

So it looks like for those who were lucky enough to see GotG 2 footage at San Diego Comic-Con this year, you’ve already seen this guy in action.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ lands in theatres on May 5, 2017