Monday, December 29, 2014

Out and About: Meeting Marie Lu + Giveaway: Signed Copy of The Young Elites

Out and about is a feature here on Fragments of Life for events, book launches and movie adaptations.

This time around, I am sharing my experience about the #MarieLuinPH event.

The Basics:

Who: The author is: Marie Lu. The Organizer is: National BookStore.

What books:

When: November 23rd 2014

Where: National Book Store, Glorietta 4

What I learned about Marie Lu and her books from the event:

  • Legend was pitched only as science fiction. Marie had never heard of YA dystopia before that.
  • For Marie, the process of growing up goes hand in hand with fantasy and science fiction, as with these genres, life if more fun and more extreme. She read books from both genres when she was younger.
  • One of Marie's goals that she would like to accomplish is to write a picture book. She is an artist and she would like to work on a project that is closely related to art.
  • Day was inspired by Robin Hood (and figures like Robin Hood) - a thief with a heart of gold. He is optimistic and his name is related to his motto: to walk in the light. Meanwhile, June's personality fits that of a gemini - smart and intelligent. She was inspired by Sherlock Holmes.
  • The plot of the Legend series is inspired by the social climate when Marie was writing it. That was back in 2009, after Obama became elected, wherein two parties were competing against each other. Marie Lu saw that as a potential for a story and she imagined what it would be like to have two America's. 2009 was the inspiration of the story world.
  • Before Marie drafts a story, she draws the characters first to find out who they are, what their personalities are. She needs to sketch the story world first to understand it better. Marie is just a visual person. She wants to write what she sees.
  • To counter writer's block, Marie Lu sketches.
  • The Young Elites was originally only 100 pages long. It was so different from the published version. Marie Lu's agent hated it. Marie had to call her for a second chance.
  • Fan reactions does not affect Marie's books. By the time she hears the reactions, the book has already been published.
  • Champion was the hardest book to write for her Marie Lu also mentioned that she likes bittersweet endings. There was no other good way of ending the series than the original bittersweet ending.
  • When it comes to rituals before or while writing, Marie Lu listens to sounds without lyrics, such as rain, or sounds with lyrics in a different language.
  • Marie likes writing in a train. She mentioned that there was something with the forward motion of the train that was conducive for writing.
  • In the beginning of the Legend series, Marie felt like she was more like Day. She related more to him because he was emotionally driven and he wears his heart on his sleeve, but as the story progressed, Marie found herself to be more like June. She noticed small details of June that represent little pieces of Marie's personality.
  • Adelina was the villain in the original version of The Young Elites. She was manipulative and cunning. Marie found Adelina to be interesting and different. After submitting the first draft to her agent, Marie's agent encouraged her to explore Adelina more. Adelina has a twisted view of life. What was justified for Adelina was crazy. When Marie was writing from Adelina's POV, she found it to be a disturbing experience to be in Adelina's head space. Adelina had a dark mind. Sometimes Marie Lu had to take breaks while writing.
  • Villains as protagonists was the theme for The Young Elites. "Everybody thinks they're the hero" - this applies to the villain POV.
  • Writing from various perspectives was not hard to do in Legend. The alternating POV showed the two sides of the world that June and Day were living in.
  • For Marie Lu, the bigger rebel is June. Day, of course, is the obvious rebel. But June changed her life 180 degress in the story, going against what she knew and what she believed in.

Marie Lu and I, books, bloggers. <3

Signed books!

Big thanks to National Book Store for the awesome event! Now, because I love Marie Lu and her books, I have a giveaway for those of you who were not able to make it to the Manila and Cebu signing.

So this is open to PH residents only, but if you're based abroad and have a Philippine address to send the book to, you could still join. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Precious! I'm from the Philippines and I've joined your giveaway. Though I've read Young Elite, I still want this 'cause Marie signed this. I'm so excited. I hope I'll win :)


    1. Hi Nyze! Thanks for joining! You're the first I think. :) I hope you win! Kudos to being a fellow Marie Lu reader! <3

  2. hello! how can i follow you at gfc?

    1. Hi Avy! Go to the left sidebar, you will see the post-it called "Amazing Readers," choose Join this Site and follow the steps after that (which is mostly pressing OK.) Hope that helps, thank you!