Everyone is been waiting for this another glorious moment of every reader/booklover to meet one of the NY Times Bestselling Authors. All eyes are closed on Sundays. Well for us who lives in Manila. We are so much anticipating to be able to get the most popular and widely known author who created a marvelous characters in her YA and High Fantasy books.
I am one of the lucky and blessed blogger to attend into the Blogger's Forum and we are given a chance to ask several questions that were living inside our heads.
On starting to write YA books:
Marie Lu didn't actually know she was writing books for YA until she wrote Legend. She pitched it as a sci-fi but her agent told her that it was fitting to a category called Young Adult. But she actually never heard of YA at that time so it was kind of accidentally falling in love for YA.
When she was in high school, she read about sci-fi and high fantasy books even though they are categorized as Adult Fiction and it sometimes tends to have a teenage protagonist. She thinks the process of growing up and buildings roaming of story line is what makes it with the sci-fi.
On things she wanted to do beyond writing:
Marie Lu wanted to do a picture book someday. Before she was a full time writer, she was an artist in a gaming industry and from that she wanted to apply something that will involve artworks.
On the deeper aspect of her characters:
Day's street name was inspired by his personality. Marie Lu wanted to find a name that symbolizes his very optimistic view on life and somebody who's always seeing for the truth and positive. On the other hand, June's name was after the month of June itself. She thought this will fit with people who are Gemini's. People who were kind and known for being intelligent, ambitious and logical. Also, her character is inspired by Sherlock Holmes.
On the inspiration of her books:
Legend is inspired by a social climate. Back in the year when Obama was elected and two parties don't like each other to the point it was unsettling to watch and so that was the inspiration in splitting the US in two separate countries physically and pushing them both to their absolute extremes.
On her writing routines:
Marie Lu loves to start the story until she draw the characters. Before she start drafting the story, she draw the main characters to figure out whether who they are and what they're personalities are and she would also sketch the world to get a sense of what is like to be on it. Drawing her characters makes her feel more connected with them. Writing and drawing are two inseparable things for her and when she get a writer's block, she draws until she gets the inspiration back.
She also listens to music while she writes because she cannot in a total silence. But she don't listen to anything that has lyrics because the words distracts her, so she would either listen to soundtracks or ambient noise like rain or water sounds or she can listen to any songs in which the lyrics she can't understand, she's fine with that because she generally don't know what they are saying.
Her favorite place to write is on a train. She did it once and she realizes how some authors like JK Rowling were able to come up with new stuff while they're on the train. There's something about the movement of the train that is very conducive to her while writing.
On the process of writing alternating POV's:
It wasn't difficult for her to switch on another POV to another, because when she was in high school she was used to be in a different characters mind to be in that way once she got to write Legend. Meanwhile in Young Elites, it was a little tricky for her because it is told mostly from first person Adelina's POV but there are couple of third person POV's scattered on the book. That's a little weird for her to switch between so she finds herself constantly editing.
Right after she spilled the beans on her books, we moved on to signing. She's ultimately talented on drawing and I realize how people were always looking forward on seeing more of her works.
*unwrapping the presents*
My signed copies (!!!)
*I can look at this one for like, forever*
We went to the public signing and this is what we've came into...
and it even became more like this...
Readers/Fans are so enthusiastic to meet her and get to sign her books. I feel so lucky and blessed how National Bookstore makes a bridge for the authors and us, readers. It is something genuine and memorable everytime they bring surprises like this. And I am pretty sure they still have plenty on their hands that are waiting to be revealed.
Now, how should I end this post with a great and meaningful one..hmm..First, I'd like to thank JB and Chad of National Bookstore for always, always, always being the cheerful hosts and photographers everytime this happens. Both of you always took candid shots of us, like this one. HAHA. And all the people behind this event and of course, Marie Lu. Thank you for giving us a wonderful memories of being with you up-close and able to know your characters even more. THANK YOU SO MUCH!