Category : Book Signings

Marie Lu’s Book Launch for Prodigy

Last Tuesday, January 29th, 2013, YA Author MARIE LU had her book launch for PRODIGY, the second book in her LEGEND SERIES.

prodigy marie lu

Mysterious Galaxy looked ready for a party when I arrived.

food set up

Tables were laden with tons of food for Marie’s guests, and the chairs were already filled with friends and fans alike.


Marie Lu’s wonderful book launch feast



Fans and friends waiting for Marie Lu

After her introduction by the bookstore’s manager, Marie greeted her guests and began the question and answer right away.

marie lu smiling

Q: Was your writing process different for LEGEND and PRODIGY?

With LEGEND being the first book, Marie says there was more room to breathe. She’s a pantser by nature, and she wrote LEGEND by the seat of her pants. PRODIGY was more stressful because of the deadlines. Her usual pantser method would not work with PRODIGY and she had to learn how to do outlines.


Q: Do you have a soundtrack while you write?

Marie usually listens to soundtracks while she writes. She doesn’t like to listen to music with lyrics, as the words tend to distract her. Instead, she listens to Epic Soundtracks like Two Steps From Hell. She likes the sound of rain, so sometimes she listens to for 8 hours at a time. For PRODIGY, she found herself listening to a lot of Trans music.

marie 1

Q: What’s the latest update on LEGEND the movie?

CBS already has the script done, and is now in the process of looking for a director. Once they find one, they can finally begin the casting process.


Q: Do you feel a sense of relief whenever you finish writing a book?

Marie says in writing, there are hills of relief but never true relief. There are moments when she feels doubt, and thinks, “I can never write another book again. Everyone will know I’m a fraud.” Then she realizes all writers feel this way and it’s totally normal, so she keeps on going until she finishes a draft. Then it starts all over again.
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Q: What other YA books would you recommend?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass, Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.


Q: What is the most stressful part of writing a book?

Deadlines. Fear of failure. Sometimes Marie will see a shiny new idea which will tempt her to cheat on her current book, but she has to ignore it and keep on working.

marie lu 3

Q: How do you inspire yourself to keep going?

Sometimes Marie will go to a café with a fellow writer and just write silently together. She says it might look awkward from a distance, but they’re actually pretty comfortable. Marie also does word sprints with fellow author friends, where they check in with each other about how many words they’ve written within the day. It encourages her to write a lot because it would be pretty embarrassing to not have written anything at all.


Q: Did you go to school to learn how to write?

Marie took up Political Science and Biology in college, but unfortunately never used those degrees. She does use the knowledge she’s learned in the books she’s written, however. She says writing was always intuitive for her, and something she’s always done.


Q: What’s next after the LEGEND series?

Marie says she loves fantasy and her next series will probably be High Fantasy series.


After the Q & A, Marie began signing her books.

marie lu signing books


Marie Lu signing copies of PRODIGY

I was happy to wait my turn to get my books signed. I’ve been to many of Marie’s events, so she recognized me right away. I was so thrilled that one of my favorite authors greeted me like an old friend. She even gave me a hug!

with marie lu


With YA Author Marie Lu

I was so happy to see Marie again, and had an awesome time at her book launch.

To top it all off, I saw an amazing sight as I was driving home. I’d never seen the moon that big before, and I took it as a sign of my impending good forture. :)

moon over freeway

Largest moon I’d ever seen

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Laini Taylor at the Santa Monica Library

Loads of fun things happened to me in November and December, 2012.  I wanted to share the experience with all of you, but since I took a blogging break in December, I’m going to play catch up now.

One of the highlights of those two months was getting to meet one of my favorite fantasy authors.  I was absolutely thrilled to meet pink-haired writing goddess Laini Taylor when she visited the Santa Monica Library last November 15th, 2012.


With YA Fantasy Author Laini Taylor (DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE)

Laini sat down for an interview with resident librarian Robert Graves, who wore a pink shirt to match Laini’s hair.

Laini Taylor being interviewed by Robert Graves

Robert asked a lot of good questions before opening the floor up to Laini’s fans. I learned a lot about Laini and her bestselling series DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE that day.

* Laini was working on a different story, which she kept on trying to write it even if she was miserable. One day she gave herself permission to write something for fun—and the idea of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was born.

*Unlike other authors, Laini prefers silence to music when she’s writing. She used to go to a café, where she would wear noise-cancelling earphones as she wrote her novel.

*For Laini, cadence and flow of the language is very important. She makes sure to read her work aloud.

*Asked where she would go, if the portals in her story were real, Laini answered: “Hogwarts. I would go back to school if I could go to Hogwarts.”

*Some of Laini’s favorite books includes Robin Hobb’s THE LIFESHIP TRADERS, Philip Pullman’s THE GOLDEN COMPASS and the SABRIEL books by Garth Nix.

*If she could cast a male actor to portray Akiva in a movie, she would choose Ryan Gosling.


Laini also has a lot of good advice for aspiring authors:

*Keep an idea notebook. You may not use the ideas you have now for your current novel, but you may be able to use it in your future books. Some of the scenes from DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE were born from ideas Laini had written years ago in her idea notebook.

*In your idea notebook, write down things you discover/read  that are fun and interesting. Things that you might want to put in your own book someday.

*Take two words to rub together to create a new idea.

*Write whole pages of the things that spark your mind, things that fascinate you.

*Write the book that does that to you, fascinates you and sparks your mind. Find something that speaks to you.

Laini was not only generous with tips and advice. She also came prepared with a lot of giveaways. I was one number away from winning one of the two big prizes. Two lucky gals won custom made Daughter of Smoke and Bone inspired necklaces. Other lucky audience members got goody bags.

The best part of the whole afternoon was meeting Laini in person and telling her about how much I love her writing. Laini’s writing style  is just so lyrical and descriptive. I’ve been a big fan of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE since I first listened to the audiobook version.

It was  an awesome event, and I’m so glad my boss let me leave work early so I could attend. I only wish I had remembered to bring a camera so I could’ve taken better pictures of Laini’s event. As it is, I had to make do with the camera on my phone.

I do hope she comes back to L.A. I’ll be sure to bring my nice camera then  :)


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