There's a buzz still thrumming through my veins because of the experience, and I can wholeheartedly tell you one thing: I had absolute fun today.
Another amazing author visited the Philippines for a signing, and this time it's New York Times Bestselling author Marie Lu, author of the highly popular Legend trilogy (Legend, Prodigy and Champion) and her latest novel, The Young Elites. Marie has never been to the Philippines, but I'm pretty sure this isn't the last time she'll be here! Her husband is Filipino after all, so she might visit us again soon!
|Photo grabbed from Kate @ The Bookaholic Blurbs' FB album!|
Admittedly, Marie's signing was one of my most anticipated signing for the year. And that says something when we already had powerhouse signings scheduled all year long. My lack of sleep will always be a constant during signings, but what doesn't get old for me is while we wait for Marie to arrive, I had ample time to catch up with my blogger friends. And then of course, Marie arrived.
|An amazing author, staring off into the distance... :)|
*cue internal fangirling* The Q&A started, and Marie Lu went ahead and answered all the questions we threw her way. I loved all of her answers, and she passionately discussed the way she writes, her quirks, etc. Some quick points below:
- When Marie first submitted her manuscript for Legend, she didn't know she'd be writing books for Young Adult. Legend was pitched just as a science fiction, but her agent said her story fits in the YA category.
- She grew up reading Fantasy and Science Fiction and she plans on writing within those two genres.
- If Marie was to choose where she wants to live: The Republic or The Colonies? Neither, since they both suck in some ways. She'd gladly be in New Antarctica instead.
- Marie can only write while listening to music, but it has to be songs that are either soundtracks, ambient noise (the sound of rain!) or in a language she can't understand because if it's something she can understand, it distracts her.
- Yes, she has tried writing while on a train, and she definitely gets why J.K. Rowling likes to write while riding on one. She wants to do it again in the future.
- A quirk of hers: she has to draw her characters first before she writes her books. She has to get a "visual" of them first.
- If someone was to ask her who she's most like, she'll say she's like Day (this was before Legend came out) but if you asked her after Champion was released, she'd say June, because she can see parts of herself in her.
- It was hard for Marie to write a really smart character, as she thinks she's not as smart as June. One time when June went off about paperclips, she had to research for an hour about it just so she can write a part of June's dialogue.
- The first draft of The Young Elites is nothing like what was published. When Marie submitted the first 100 pages to her agent, she didn't like it (the character was very bland, good hearted, totally normal guy, like Clark Kent) but then her agent asked about Adelina, the villain, and then Marie described her, and so she tried writing from the point of view of the villain, so TYE was born.
- The difference between writing Day and June and Adelina: Day and June came from good families, and they were loved. Adelina's situation isn't like that, so it's pretty hard writing from her point of view. She had to stop after writing a chapter and go pet her dogs and remind herself that she's a normal human being who doesn't think like Adelina. But it was a very interesting challenge to explore that sort of head space.
You can listen to the whole recording below:
Also, because we had time to kill, aside from chatting with each other, exchanging book recommendations and just hanging out with each other before and during the Q&A, we of course had to take some photos.
And of course, while Marie was signing the books, some of us had the chance to ask her to doodle on some of them. And so we witnessed firsthand, the awesomeness of Marie Lu's drawing skills. Not only is she a great writer, she's definitely talented and you can see why she was an art director in Disney before!
Gorgeous, right? I wasn't able to attend the public signing, but I know a lot of people who had a great time there! (If you want to listen to a recording of Marie's interview, it's here.) When I arrived early in the morning, I was so shocked when I saw that the last person on queue is right in front of Glorietta 4. You can see my tweet here. WOAH. Amazing bookworms are amazing!
I cannot say thank you enough to the generous and awesome people over at National Bookstore for another once in a lifetime chance to meet the person responsible for the books we love to read.
This signing marks the last of the phenomenal slew of Young Adult authors who visited the country and shared our love of books. But of course there's more in store next year! I am definitely looking forward to seeing what's in store for YA book lovers and bookworms in general this coming 2015. Keep em coming!
And as a bonus, here is a recording of Marie Lu's message to Filipino readers:
See you soon, you amazing readers!