Writer Spotlight: Marie Lu
Marie Lu is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Legend series, The Young Elites trilogy, Batman: Nightwalker, and the Warcross series. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Marie jumped into the video game industry, where she worked as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare hours reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in the traffic-jam capital, Los Angeles, with her illustrator/author husband, Primo Gallanosa, their Pembroke Welsh corgi, and their Chihuahua-monster mix.
What is your favorite part of New York Comic Con?
The energy of the attendees. I love seeing so many people congregate who are genuinely passionate about books and art and media. It reminds me for whom I’m writing and how much I enjoy entertaining others.
How does it feel to go back to the Legend series after 6 years?
At first, weird and a little scary. I realized over time that I wanted closure for my own characters, but I didn’t know if I could execute what I envisioned for them. Now that the book is out, I’m excited to share with readers what finally happens to Day, June, Eden, and the gang.
Out of all the characters you have brought to life, who do you see yourself most in?
There are pieces of myself in every character I’ve written, but I’d say Tess (Legend) and Emika Chen (Warcross) have the most in common with me. Tess is very much who I was in high school—shy, insecure, searching for what she believes in. Emika is the much cooler version of myself and shares my fascination with colorful hair, art, design, and technology.
What do you do when you hit writer’s block?
I usually step away from my writing for a while, for days, sometimes weeks. I let my conscious mind rest so my subconscious can work out the problems that are keeping me roadblocked, and often, an answer will suddenly come to me.
Has becoming a mother (congratulations!) changed your approach to writing, or the content you write about?
Oh yes. It has permanently altered the chemistry of my brain. Now, no matter what, there’s a constant buzz of thoughts in the back of my head, like: Is my baby okay? What is he feeling? How is he doing? What does he want? I’ve had to learn to concentrate on my writing despite this new presence in my mind. I also can’t bear certain stories now; I have trouble watching horror movies or writing about bad things happening to young children.
Do you feel that Rebel is the final chapter of the series, or will there be more?
I feel like I’m going to jinx myself saying this! But I truly believe Rebel is the definitive end to the Legend story. I got the closure I wanted from it, and I hope my readers do, too.
Thanks, Marie! You can follow her at @marielubooks, and for those of you attending New York Comic Con this year—check out Marie’s panel discussion Saturday, October 5th in room 1A18!