BLOG TOUR! Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!

Posted January 24, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 87 Comments

I’m over the moon to be hosting today’s stop on the
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Blog Tour!

I think we can pretty much all agree that if we’ve read and loved Cinder, it feels like forever that we’ve been waiting for it’s follow-up, Scarlet. Thank goodness the wait is almost over, everyone! Like many of you, when I read Cinder for the first time, I fell in love. It had so many of the great things I love about fairy-tale re-makes, but  it was in a completely, absolutely never-seen-before new package and just…wow. 

Well, you guys, Marissa Meyer has done it again. I’m not sure how she was able to top Cinder, but Scarlet is like Cinder-plus-some. This time, she’s taken Little Red Riding Hood and given it a makeover. I had no idea I would be able to like this companion book as much as the first one, but I do. Cover-to-cover, it’s nothing but fantastic. 

(You can read my thoughts on Scarlet HERE.) 

Author Marissa Meyer has stopped by my blog today to talk about one of my favorite elements of a book: setting! She’s discussing the real-life town behind one of her settings from Scarlet.

I’m so happy to have Marissa Meyer talk about this on my little blog because you know how I get squeally great settings. This little town in Scarlet is such a cute, visual, and dreamy place, you guys!  


Rieux-Volvestre: The Real-Life Town Behind the Fictional Rieux
By Marissa Meyer

Scarlet takes place in the French countryside. Just saying the words French countryside seems to call up visions of weathered farmhouses, the smell of fresh-baked breads, and the taste of garden-fresh herbs, and—I don’t know about you—but it immediately fills me with a sense of longing. Scarlet herself lives on her grandmother’s farm and runs deliveries to restaurants and grocers in nearby towns.

However, my choice of setting posed a few problems for me when I started writing the book. Namely, I’ve…uh… never been to France. Sure, I had plenty of fantasizes of what rural European towns might be like, but it was still a bit of a crapshoot trying to choose a location that would have that small-town feel I wanted but still allow me the flexibility to be creative.

Lucky for me, my inability to travel to France and explore the countryside myself was somewhat mollified by having connections. My French editor agreed to take an early look at the manuscript and offer feedback on my setting, for which I will be eternally grateful. (Thank you, Xavier!!)

In that early draft, I was using a “placeholder” town called Bessou. I’d found it by spending way too many hours staring at a Google Maps satellite image. Bessou—a real town—seemed small enough that not too many readers would question its legitimacy, and yet close enough to the larger city of Toulouse, which I needed for certain plot points.

However, my French editor wasn’t thrilled with this choice for Scarlet’s hometown. He never explained why, but I wasn’t about to question him.Instead, he pointed me toward a town called Rieux-Volvestre. Population: 2,401.

The wonderful thing about changing the inspiration town to Rieux-Volvestre was that there was a lot more information available about it. In fact, the town has a lovely web site filled with pictures of buildings, both interior and exterior: the time that I was researching there was also a travel documentary detailing one of their town festivals, although that now seems to have been removed.)

In order to maintain distance between fact and fiction, and be able to keep creative control over the setting, I called Scarlet’s town simply “Rieux,” and of course, many of the specific businesses are entirely of my own making (such as the Rieux Tavern where we first meet Wolf, and the nameless parts store filled with everything from tractor engines to spaceship power converters).

But I was able to use the pictures and information I found on Rieux-Volvestre’s web site to get a much better feel for what small town living might be like in France. Buildings fused together, streets became narrower, concrete turned to cobblestone, olive trees spanned the alleyways over arched windows and flower boxes. These are the details that can bring a fictional city to life, after all.

Both Paris and Rieux-Volvestre are now high on my Ultimate Travel Wish List. But in the meantime, I very much enjoyed getting to explore the semi-futurized yet still adorably quaint town of Rieux, France, in the European Federation. I hope readers will too. 

Make sure you check out the rest of the Blog Tour

Monday 1/21   Alexa Loves Books
Tuesday 1/22  Alice Marvels

Wednesday 1/23  Mermaid Vision Books
Thursday 1/24  Into the Hall of Books
Friday 1/25  Supernatural Snark
Saturday 1/26  Anna Reads
Sunday 1/27  A Backwards Story
Monday 1/28  Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday 1/29  The Book Rat
Wednesday 1/30  Makeshift Bookmark
Thursday 1/31  Book Sake
Friday 2/1  Making the Grade
Saturday 2/2  Birth of a New Witch
Sunday 2/3  Two Chicks on Books

Thank you for being here today, Marissa Meyer!
I’m ONCE AGAIN on the edge of my seat for the next book
in the Lunar Chronicles Series, CRESS.

Check out these other websites!
Marissa Meyer’s Website/Blog 
Marissa Meyer’s Tour 
Lunar Chronicles Facebook Fan Page

More Scarlet-Related Information
Have you pre-ordered Scarlet? If you send in your receipt: the first 1,000 people who do will get a Scarlet-branded lip gloss! US only! Details here:
Download the short story Glitches (Lunar Chronicles #0.5): the short story The Queen’s Army (Lunar Chronicles #1.5):
Download the first five chapters of Cinder for free onto your e-reader: the first five chapters of Scarlet for free onto your e-reader:

Author Marissa Meyer & MacMillan Publishing are offering
one paperback copy of CINDER & one hardcover copy of SCARLET
(US/Canada Only) (ends February 6)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


87 responses to “BLOG TOUR! Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!

  1. Great interview!

    I can read a book with minimal emphasis on the setting and still enjoy it. BUT when a setting is really well developed, it enhances my reading one hundred fold. I've been to Paris, but never to any rural parts of France (Provence is on my bucket list!) so reading about Rieux-Volvestre was a real treat:)

  2. I am hyperventilating over this book! Seriously!

    Settings are definitely important to me. I really like getting a good sense of place whenever I'm reading a book. I like knowing what kind of world the characters are in as I think it adds more to the story if you can imagine the place!

    Oh, and the book trailer is making me hyperventilate even more! I cannot wait!

  3. For me character is a lot more important than setting, but a good setting just makes things all the better! If it's a fantasy or sci-fi, then the setting becomes much more important to me because it's a world where I can't easily fill in the blanks myself.

  4. Setting is important, but not as important as character and plot development. I do need to know where I am though when I'm reading, so I do prefer lots of details!

    The trailer is AMAZING. I seriously need this book!

  5. I really like the book trailer. As for the setting, well, it’s very important to me, because I feel like it adds to the overall world building. Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  6. Some settings I can't get out of my head, while other's are a bit meaningless. I love it when the setting is an integral part of a story, especially if it's one that I love or have been to.

  7. Anonymous

    I happened to read the review of Scarlet as well and is sounds really really great! I can't wait any longer *scream of excitement* only one week and five days left!!!!!

  8. I can't seem to will this book into my grabby hands fast enough. Ugh. I think Marissa's plan to ground the story in the reality of a real city will give it the authentic feel the story needs, and help the reader experience the city and the story simultaneously. I can't wait to smell and see and touch and taste it all. That trailer rocks. I can't wait to read SCARLET and review.

    Thank you for the great post and giveaway! 😀


  9. I enjoy when an author shows me a setting that I would like to visit. Never been to France, YET!
    The trailer is amazing. I'm very excited to read Scarlet now! I loved Cinder.

  10. For me, setting is important, but definitely not as important as the characters. I find setting to be most important SF and fantasy books. I need the world building for things to be believable!

  11. Hanner a.a.)

    The town looks fascinating with such interesting nook-and-cranny possibilities. I'll enjoy picturing fictional Rieux (sp?) even more now. Thanks!

  12. This setting is so cool! I love all the photos. I wonder why the Editor changed the setting? Maybe he's more familiar with the second town or he knew there was more information available online about it. Fascinating!

  13. A great setting can certainly help set up a good story with interesting characters. It's pretty important to me that I get a strong feeling from where the story takes place. I thought the trailer was OK, maybe a little short for me.

  14. The importance of the setting depends on the book for me. If the book is about the people and some sort of relationship/ drama the setting can rank pretty low in terms of how much they interact with it and how important it is (When I say setting here I mean the overall town/ country, not just the house/room the people live in). However, if the story is about more than the people and involves them interacting with the setting a lot (for example the various settings of Cinder play a larger role in how I as the reader sees the actions of the characters. They couldn't DO specific things unless they were in certain settings) then the setting needs to be clear and well described. Long winded way of saying… it depends on the book. ; )

  15. The importance of the setting, for me, depends on the book. But I think that it is really important. The setting helps visualizing the story. Sometimes it feels like the setting isn't important but when there is some importance if the setting is boring, the book isn't as good.

  16. LOVE the book trailer!! and setting is really important– I've fallen in love with gorgeous descriptions and the "feel" of the world which Meyer created in CINDER as I'm sure she does in SCARLET as well 😀

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!

  17. The setting is really important to me. If it's not well described or well written, then I lose interest in the book. Love the trailer, and thanks for the giveaway!

  18. I love the trailer. Getting really setting is great but it's not necessarily a deal breaker. It's just that some types of books like dystopian and fantasy need the great setting work because it's a whole new world.* In those books, setting can totally make or break.

    (*Totally started singing the Aladdin song after I wrote that.)

  19. I love a good setting especially one that is brand new to me and so creative and Marissa Meyer created a wonderful world…. It's probably the biggest reason I love reading and rereading the Harry Potter Books.

  20. Oh, man that's so interesting! How awesome is that that she ended up with an actual French person to back her shizz up so no one can say she didn't know what she was talking about?

    I can't wait to see what the world-building is like in Scarlet. In fact, this just adds to the endless reasons why I need this darn book NOW.

  21. Wren B.

    I am more for the character rather then the setting. I have to love the character I don't need to love the setting.

  22. I love a setting that adds to the story rather than overpowers the story. It can be as big as the whole planet and outspace or as small as a single room. However, I do love places that I can look up online and learn more about!

  23. Laura R.

    Atmosphere is so important. It really looks like this will be perfect. It won't be overbearing, just enough to feel like you're there!

  24. Trailer= AWESOME!

    Setting is not as important to me. I am more about falling for the characters and their backgrounds. If the book does not have relatable characters, I tend to stray from the story. With that being said, I LOVE THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!

  25. Setting is important to me in certain situations where it's relevant. If the book is mostly about people and their emotions, then not so much. But in a fantasy where the setting is created in the author's mind, I love it when they can make me see it in my mind.

  26. Setting is SO vital to any good book! Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which I read last year, was an amazing example of beautiful attention to detail when it comes to setting. I really felt like I was pulled right into the world of that story.

  27. The setting is very important, as books draw you into the world of the characters. If the setting isn't right, it draws away from the book. If the facts about that place aren't right, it drives me nuts and distracts me.

  28. Setting and plot have always been the most important aspects of the story, for me. Although, I'm generally referring to the overall setting (advanced technological society, Europe) instead of the smaller aspects. Rieux wasn't the most important part of Scarlet's setting for me because I'm generally not the best at picturing what the other intends. My mind just threw together this small town with a few shop a muddy streets. I know, I have no idea why either 😛

  29. I care about setting only because I have traveled across North America, Central America, and Europe, and reading about places reminds me of my travels. I have been so Southern France, so this setting just makes me think of the train rides along the coast of France.

  30. I love the post! And the setting is France! 🙂 Oh the city of love <3
    There is something overrated yet intriguing in choices of settings, and of course, France is one of the place which is very compelling to have as a setting. And not only do the people have an idea about the place, with the book, a person discovers more about the place. Which is not really seen if your just strolling or a tourist. Sometimes a locals' eyes are much more eye-opening and when someone indulges to one place there are a lot to discover. Like a photographer's eye in taking pictures, for him/her there is something beyond the naked eye. And for a writer to choose a setting, characters and plot that will all relate and create a beautiful novel, setting is important to note and we can see from that writers' eye what she wants us to see and imagine 🙂

  31. I still haven't read Cinder (I know) but I'm super excited about Scarlet if you think it tops the first book. I imagine that means there is SO MUCH GOODNESS coming my way + I have lots to look forward to. Now, I just need to read Cinder…

  32. I've been wanting to read this book ever since I finished Cinder, and it didn't disappoint! Scarlet's and Cinder's stories blend so well with each other. Looking back, there are little bits of Cinder that hint at things to come in Scarlet. And everything puzzles together so perfectly, I loved it.

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