Marie Lu’s whirlwind Champion Book Tour ended in her hometown of L.A. last December 7th, 2013.
Despite the crazy weather (first buckets of rain, then bright sun like nothing happened), many of her fans attended her last book signing at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach.
Marie Lu at Mysterious Galaxy
Marie takes a lot of inspiration from things around her when she writes. The story for her Legend series actually came about while she was watching Les Miserables on TV. She wanted to write a story about teen versions of Jean Valjean and Javert. Originally, both characters were supposed to be male but her then- boyfriend-now-fiancée Primo suggested that June should be a girl, and the rest is history.
When asked what inspired one of her character’s name, she replied “in a way, Day’s name was inspired by Daniel Radcliffe.” When she began writing Legend, she thought Day was a cool name so she used it for one of her main characters. Then she realized she had to give him a full name and set about finding one that was close enough to “Day”. She chanced upon an interview with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and thought “Daniel” was close enough and decided that would be her main character’s full name.
YA Author Marie Lu
Marie said that when she first began writing the series, it was easier for her to write in the voice of Day. She explained that when she was in high school, she had written a novel with Day as a main character. When she wrote Legend, she simply transferred Day’s character into her new story, so writing about him was easier since she felt like she already knew him.
Unlike Day, June’s character was so different from Marie’s own that writing about her was difficult.
“How do you write about someone who’s way smarter than you?” Marie asked. She remembered having to spend two hours of research just to come up with one line for June. As the series progressed, however, June’s character began to evolve and she began to let loose a little. She became even easier to write when Marie realized that she had unconsciously sprinkled parts of herself in June’s own personality.
CBS Films acquired the film rights to Legend and according to Marie, the script is finished and they are in the process of casting for the film. One of the audience members asked if she was worried the movie version might not stay true to the book. Marie replied that as long as the characters and their essences stayed the same, she didn’t really mind if the plot was changed a bit.
With her Legend trilogy now finished, Marie is currently working on a new series, which is temporarily titled “Young Elites.” She’s pitching it as an “X-men meets Assassin’s Creed.” It’s a fantasy story set in the renaissance, which features a group of young teens who discover they have powers.
Marie Lu encouraged questions from her fans and graciously signed books afterward.
I was with my writing buddy /critique partner Cassie for the event and the two of us had to wait for the line to dissipate before we could get our books signed. We were so engrossed in our conversation that we failed to realize that Marie Lu had finished signing and was on her way to sign stock in the backroom!
Writing buddy Cassie with YA Author Marie Lu
But Marie, gracious as ever, waved us over when I knocked on the window of the backroom and told her that we hadn’t gotten our book signed. She stepped outside to chat with us for a bit, sign our books and even posted for pictures with us.
I’m always so happy to see Marie Lu and attend her book events. She is definitely one of the nicest YA authors out there.
Myself with author Marie Lu
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