Marie Lu is one of my favorite authors and I had the privilege to meet her at The Bookworm in Omaha. I was a bit starstruck — and rambled like the adoring fan that I am — but she was incredibly nice to me despite this. She even signed my book with a heart and a smiley face.
I loved listening to her speak about her work and her characters. She is the author of the Legend Series (see also the graphic novel) and The Young Elites. She is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the most popular dystopian writers in the young adult genre today.
Lu admitted to having the same difficulties many writers face. She wrote four other manuscripts (that were rejected) before Legend was picked up by her agent Kristin. The novel was originally called Republic, which was rejected by her agent because it sounded too much “like a history book.” Other possible titles were Daylight and The Criminal and the Prodigy. Her agent told her she was “terrible at coming up with a title” and suggested Legend, which stuck.
In her newest novel, The Young Elites, Lu talked about Adelina and her struggles with writing about a darker main character. Because the main character is more of a villain, Lu felt a bit perturbed thinking from her character’s perspective. She stated that some of the inspiration for Adelina came from Darth Vader and the Assassin’s Creed series.
Lu loves corgis, can’t write without music (but can’t write to music with lyrics), and attests to being born under the sign of the cancer. She admits she’d love to write a standalone novel, but wonders if she can because trilogies come so much easier. She also hinted at a potential movie deal with CBS films — but didn’t make any concrete promises.