I am so happy to be kicking of the Cress blog tour today! The Lunar Chronicles is my favorite series ever, and Cress is a wonderful addition to a group of amazing characters. Marissa’s writing never ceases to amaze me. It’s no surprise that her books get better and better as she publishes them. I loved Cinder and Scarlet, but Cress is definitely my favorite. Here’s my review, if you’re interested. I can’t wait for you to read it!
I’m excited to have Marissa Meyer on the blog to tell you all about the making of Cress. I always love it when authors have behind the scenes tidbits to share with us, and Marissa has written a very fun post that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!
Why Cress was First Named “Arugala”
by Marissa Meyer
Cinder = Cinderella.
Scarlet = Little Red.
Winter = Snow White.
It doesn’t take too much imagination, or fairy tale know-how, to figure out how I got the names for most of my heroines. But Cress and Rapunzel? That’s where a lot of readers get hung up.
So, allow me to explain.
The tale of Rapunzel opens with a poor man and his wife overjoyed at their first pregnancy. However, during her pregnancy, the wife begins to have some pretty intense food cravings. Not for pickles and ice cream, as a normal pregnant woman might have. Oh, no. This poor woman was craving salad. In particular, she really, really wanted a very particular kind of lettuce called . . . wait for it . . . rapunzel.
She wanted this lettuce so badly that she believed she would die if she didn’t get it. Unfortunately, the only place in their town that rapunzel grew was in the witch’s garden. So one night the husband hopped over the wall and stole some rapunzel and brought it back to his wife, who devoured it like a ravenous vegan.
This continued for a few nights until—dun dun dun!—one night, the witch caught the husband stealing from her. So she posed a compromise. The witch would kindly spare the man’s life, and even allow him to take as much rapunzel back to his wife as she wanted, if, when his wife gave birth, they would give the child to the witch as payment. The husband agreed and his wife got a nice steady diet of salad greens for the remainder of her pregnancy.
A while later, the wife gives birth to a beautiful baby girl. They give the baby to the witch who takes her and raises her as her own daughter.
And the witch names the child, you guessed it, Rapunzel.
The point of this story is that rapunzel is a type of lettuce. As it so happens, cress (a.k.a. watercress), is also a type of lettuce.
On a side note, when I was first coming up with character names, I called my Rapunzel heroine “Arugula” (another kind of lettuce) for all of ten minutes, before I realized I’d never be able to say it with a straight face.
Side note number two: Another word that is sometimes used interchangeably with rapunzel is rampion. Also known as the name I gave my spaceship, thanks to the clever suggestion of a friend.
Lettuce greens FTW.
Lastly, while I’m on the topic of Lunar Chronicles names, I’ll tell you that both “Carswell” and “Thorne” have hidden meanings that relate to Thorne’s role in the books and fairy tale.
But I’ll let savvy readers figure those out on their own . . .
The lovely people at Macmillan are offering a pretty amazing prize to the readers of my blog! One lucky person (USA/CAN) will win paperback copies of Cinder and Scarlet, as well as a hardcover of Cress and a special Cress comb! You know you want it! If you are brand new to the series, and are interested in learning more click on the book titles above to be taken to the Goodreads page.
(For a picture of the comb, click here!)
Awesome Places to Be!
Become a fan of the Lunar Chronicles on Facebook!
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Follow Marissa Meyer on Twitter!
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Pre-Order a copy of Cress to get a free comb! Details here. (US Only)
See Marissa Meyer on tour!
Join the Scarlet Readathon!
Get more fun Lunar Chronicles links and info on the MacTeenBooks blog!
Follow the rest of the Cress blog tour!