Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Interview with Marie Lu + Giveaway: Dystopian Prize Pack with Signed Legend ARC

Hi everyone! I just reviewed Legend and I can tell you this: it's amazing. Today, I have my favorite dystopian author with me..Marie Lu! She’s going to answer a few questions that I asked (after I raved about how awesome her book was via email!)

How did you build the world of Legend?

The world of Legend came out of my interest in a lot of dystopian concepts that already exist or have existed in real life. For example... In Sparta, infants that were judged to be too weak were left to die on a hill outside the city; likewise, in the early 1900s, people in the U.S. (and elsewhere) deemed "unfit" or lacking "good genes" could be legally sterilized in order to improve the society's genetic pool. These events fascinated and horrified me because, to me, they are examples of real-world dystopias. The road to dystopia is paved with good intentions, and at the time, both Sparta and the U.S. genuinely believed they were implementing good laws. So I combined this idea with extreme climate change and the need for population control. The result was Legend's world, which I hope our actual future won't resemble!

What or who inspired you to give life to Day and June?

Day has existed in my imagination ever since high school, although I can't remember exactly how I came up with him. I think I always wanted to write about a notorious, somewhat arrogant boy with enough spunk to take on The Society. I also love watching parkour videos on YouTube. It's such an awesome skill for a teen criminal to have. So Day became a most-wanted-criminal with expert parkour skills.

June came to me a little later, when I was watching Les Miserables on TV one afternoon. She actually started out as a boy, until my boyfriend suggested, "Why don't you make him a girl?" Ha, I should always trust him! Since I needed a character who could be Day’s rival, I thought that a super-intelligent teen prodigy with a Sherlockian mind might be able to take him on. She was really fun to write.

What's the hardest part to write: beginning, middle or end? Was it from Day's or June's perspective?

Oh, the END! I always have the most trouble getting endings just right. Legend's ending was rewritten twice before my agent and I were happy. Day is easier for me to write because he's been in my head for so long, but the challenge of getting June's intelligence right is definitely fun.

I love the distinct voice of Day. Being a female author, how were you able to build this voice? What did you do to maintain that 'guy' quality?

I'm so relieved that Day came across naturally! I've always been a bit of a tomboy (I loooove fighter jets, especially the F-15 and the Sukhoi-47), so I've enjoyed writing Day's point of view from the beginning. For certain scenes, I also ask my boyfriend what he would do or think. And sometimes I go on AskMen.com....which is actually a really interesting site. :)

The action was insane. I loved every moment of it! What kind of preparation (if any) did you do for these scenes? What movies/tv shows did you watch?

Thank you! I watched a lot of parkour videos for Day's action scenes, as well as the parkour movie District B13. Sherlock Holmes was great inspiration for June. And Les Miserables was the movie that inspired Legend in the first place. :)

What can readers pick up from your novel?

I didn't want Legend to have any blatant moral themes, so I hope readers, first and foremost, are entertained by Legend. Having said that, though, I do hope that Legend encourages readers to seek out the truth in their own lives and societies. Don't be afraid to dig deeper, and don't let others mislead you. As Day would say, walk in the light!

Thank you, M, for dropping by!

Here’s a photo of my favorite scene in Legend (thanks to M, I have permission to post this here at Fragments of Life)

‘The Kiss’ as I like to call it. That's a sweet scene. :)

Marie writes young adult novels, and has a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, she was born in 1984. During the day, she’s an Art Director at a video game company where she enjoys discussing Facebook game apps with her co-workers, hearing amusing insider stories about World of Warcraft bugs, and delighting in cute 3D renditions of buildings--all via Skype. She also runs/owns a small business called The Fuzz Academy, a children's brand of chubby, fuzzy animals that attend college on a tropical island. With 90,000+ registered users on its online game, Fuzz Academy was chosen as one of the 20 brands at the International Licensing Expo with the most potential for a television series. We are currently in discussions with several companies for licensing and media deals.

She likes food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers' markets, video games, and of course, books. She sucks at working out. She also gets lost very easily, but she’s a halfway decent driver for an Asian girl. At least, she likes to think so. :)

She was born near Shanghai, but settled down in Texas until she went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked her into sticking around, so she’s currently in Pasadena with her boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix.

*photo credit to Paul Gregory

Giveaway: Dystopian Prize Pack (including a signed ARC of Legend)

If you comment on this interview, you get two extra entries to the dystopian prize pack giveaway! It includes the signed ARC of Legend!

Be a follower!
Comment about the interview with your email address!
This one is open internationally. :)


  1. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! It's neat to see all of these authors' different motivations for writing and sources of inspiration.

    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

  2. Oooh I can't wait to learn more about Day!

  3. Great interview! I especially love the name Day--I'm actually writing something with a boy named Day (the son of "Sleeping Beauty"). I like the part about not having "blatant moral themes" because some people can be quite...touchy about things like that. That picture is beyond cute, too!


  4. Thanks for the great interview! I totally adore the "The Kiss" photo :-) !

    danaan at gmx dot at

  5. Awesome interview! Makes me even more excited. :D I cannot wait to meet Day and June. Also, I'm really loving the artwork of them. :)

    I'm a follower. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  6. I follow your blog.
    I learned that she likes afternoon tea, and this is also my favorite time of the day :)

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

  7. I'm so psyched to read Legend!! And I love all of Marie's artwork that goes along with it.

    m_laura28 at yahoo dot ca

  8. GFC Follower

    Wow, if the interview didn't convince me about Legend's awesomeness then the super steamy drawing sealed the deal!


    -Mocha from A Cupcake and A Latte: YA Reads, Reviews & More!.

  9. That picture is awesome. Jeez, I wish I could draw like that.
    She should have stayed in Texas though...because Texas is the best. Then again I may be a bit biased since I am from there ;D
    Thanks for the interview and giveaway :)


  10. Well, I'm extremely excited for Legend. Plus the artwork is gorgeous!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  11. Great interview! The photo is very beautiful.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  12. Thanks for the interview! I love that you used Sherlock Holmes as inspiration.

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  13. wow a woman interested in World of Warcraft. Interesting. I also think her book is awesome two. I read your review about it and I think it's great


  14. yay!!

    americangirlie1991 AT yahoo DOT com

  15. Thanks so much for the interview and for hosting the giveaway :) i'm an old follower, please enter me!


  16. I can't wait to read this one! Oh, and I follow this blog. Thanks for the giveaway!


  17. I like really really love dystopian novels and this is another one I absolutely cannot wait to read. It's already on my list and I'd love to win!


  18. I haven't heard of this author before, but great to get to know her.

    Thanks for interview and giveaway


  19. Colour me intrigued! I want to lean more about Day too!

    GFC follower: vickyvak


  20. This sounds like such an amazing book! I think it is interesting the author found inspiration in parkour for some of the action
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  21. Psyched to read Legend, especially after this interview! :) Thanks so much for the giveaway! There are just so many good ones this week!

    And yes, I'm definitely a follower ;)


  22. Oh! Can't wait to get my hands on Legend. Thank you for the giveaway!


  23. Sounds like a great book, Day is especially interesting. Thanks for the great interview

  24. I envy you so much!

    So who would’ve thought Les Mis could inspire a character let alone a dystopian society? Definitely not I! Unless there’s some musical scenes in Legend.

    Enter me into this giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity.


  25. Haha, wow, I love how she captured Day's voice! LOL! The artwork is beautiful as well. What a fun interview!


  26. Amazing interview! It's interesting to know where she got her idea for the book! And you made such an interesting review as well! This makes me much more eager to read the book!

    I'd really like to participate in this giveaway.

    I'm a follower: Mara Delgado


  27. Interesting interview! I've always liked knowing how authors come up with their books. And I also read your review, which has made me more eager to read Legend!

    I'd like to participate on this giveaway.

    I'm a follower: Mara Delgado


  28. Ooh thanks for the chance! I'd love to read this! wilsondev at gmail dot com
    I love that the author loves fighter jets! I like getting to know them a little like this. it makes me want to read the books more!

  29. Hi,
    I like your review and the interview. This is the first time I read about this book and I want it.

    GFC follower = Adriana

    thanks for the giveaway

  30. Thanks for the giveaway, I love the dystopian novels.
    Your Dystopian Domination Event is awesome!
    I learn about so many books in this category I haven´t read.
    GFC follower = Adriana
    +2 Follow Amaterasu Reads


  31. I LOVE that Legend art! Wow. Just wow. Marie is so talented. Legend sounds absolutely AMAZING! I am dying to have this in my hands already! And I love how she came up with the characters of Day and June. Fantastic interview!

    Thank you for this incredible giveaway! <3

  32. Awesome interview! I can't wait to read this book!

    I'm a follower.

    Erin. x


  33. I have try to post this comment 2 times

    Thanks for the giveaway, I love the dystopian novels.
    Your Dystopian Domination Event is awesome!
    I read about so many books in this category I haven´t read.
    GFC follower = Adriana
    +2 Follow Amaterasu Reads


  34. HI Precious!
    I'm a lover of anything dystopian, so this interview coupled with your review has me all the more excited about Legend.

    Im a follower.
    I even grabbed your banner... :)

    please pick me!


  35. Sorry for the double (now triple) post; had to refresh the page and then it said it hadn't posted :/

  36. Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

    I enjoyed reading the interview.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  37. Ooh this sounds like a great book! Its interesting to read about how Marie got her inspiration for her novel and characters.


  38. Awesome! That 'Kiss scene' look so sweet! Argh! I cannot wait to read this! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    GFC follower

    girlaboutbooks at gmail dot com

  39. Thanks for sharing this interview and for this amazing giveaway! :D

    I'm a GFC follower (.ambur.)

    Thanks again,

  40. Thanks for participating in the giveaway.
    I'm a follower on GFC-Lisa Richards


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  41. Great interview. I get how ending can be so hard and I thing they're one of the most important parts of the novel. Thanks for such an awesome giveaway.

    GFC - JessS

  42. Great interview! Really looking forward to this book. Thanks for the international giveaway :)

    GFC: Lisa

    P.S. Found you from Brodie!

  43. Can't wait to get to know Day and June (awesome names btw) better! :)
    Thanks for this great interview & the superb giveaway.

    I am a GFC follower.


  44. Great Interview! Legend sounds really interesting and I'd love to read about Day and June!

    GFC Follower - Gabbie

    Gabbie-ethela AT hotmail DOT com

  45. Really great interview! I've been looking forward to these novels for a while now, and interviews like this really give us a great look into the characters, world, and author.


  46. Great interview, and I'm glad to hear the book is getting good reviews! I can't wait to pick up my own copy soon!


  47. Great interview!!! Loe Marie to bits and pieces. Looking forward to Legend!

    Yay contest!

  48. Marie is awesome and I'm looking forward to her first novel!

    Yay, contest!!!

  49. Sounds great......thanks for the giveaway

    gfc follower


  50. Lovely interview! I really liked the part at the end, where the author said she did not write Legend so as to give us some great moral warning in a blatant way. Books should be written to entertain. If certain thoughts are made because of the story, then the author has succeeded in making us relate to the story. On a side note, Day and June sound like great characters!

    Thanks again for making it international!


  51. I'm so excited for Legend. Nice interview and great questions. That drawing is gorg!

    I'm a follower. sharonluvscats at gmail dot com

  52. Thanks for the interview! I get more intrigued by this book everyday.

    I read the excerpt and I've been hooked every since. (I want to know what happened the the family!!!)

    Anywho, thanks for making this contest international! Even if I don't win I'm still happy that you gave me the option of entering. It's so frustrating seeing all these amazing contests but not being able to enter. So thank you thank you thank you!!!

    Love Ash


  53. Thanks for the giveaway! I also read a bit of your review and I've got to say I've got high hopes for this book! I'm glad it's been slated for release in Australia as well.

    cc932005 at hotmail dot com

  54. I love how she's a female author who can find a boy voice and fill pages with it. That has always amazed me! Thanks for the giveaway!!

    I follow this blog & Amaterasu with GFC.
    I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/book_mistress/status/74936985344671744
    Button on my sidebar: http://the-book-mistress.blogspot.com
    Blogged about it: http://the-book-mistress.blogspot.com/2011/05/amaterasu-reads-dystopian-domination.html
    I commented on your post here.

    Miss Lauren @ The Book Mistress

  55. Thanks for the interview and the gieaway!! I'll be checking that book out!!

  56. The part of how the characters of Day and June are created is interesting! Looking forward to reading this book!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  57. I love finding out what authors find the hardest part to write as all authors find a different part the hardest!
    Thanks for this interview + giveaway
    booksforcompany @ gmail.com

  58. Oh! It's so great hearing more about the idea process! I can't wait for this book, you don't even know.


  59. Ee, I can't wait to read this book, it sounds so great ;v;!
    Thanks for the review and interview!


  60. Thanks for this interview and this giveaway!


  61. The flow of the interview is so natural. Thank you for that! :)

    I read the first chapter on the website and loved it! I can't believe I have to wait until November to read the next chapter!


  62. I've been following her art on DeviantArt for a while, and when I heard about the book I went crazy! I just love the plot and the whole idea; I've tried to write a book myself, but I haven't had the proper inspiration yet.
    Can't wait to read this, and I'm sure it'll make my bookshelf soon!

  63. Awesome interview! Legend (and Marie Lu!) sound awesome, so I might be reading it sometime soon.

  64. I was just reading the stuff on her deviantART site, which got linked to the Legend site, which somehow got linked to hereXD
    This makes me really excited for her book to be officially released:)
    It's been a long time since I was this excited for a book to be released, not since The Hunger Games...
    Bad thing is that here in Asia, books are always released late. What I consider late, at leastXP
    Good interview though:)


  65. Loved the interview and I hope to read Legend very soon! :)

  66. \o/ IT SOUNDS AMAZING I am looking forward to this book a lot and this interview only made me want it even more |D


    :) I did publicize this on my Plurk page but the account itself is set to private. If you want, I could screenshot it?

  67. Did you draw that picture, because it's really pretty!

    crazypplrok at gmail dot com

  68. Hi!

    I found this blog through Marie Lu's DeviantART Journal and I'll honestly tell you my main intention was to get my hands on a copy of that book! So because I am international, here is my e-mail address: zententia [at] gmail [dot] com

    But now I also want to say: great interview, and thank you!

    - Zen

  69. Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway! :)