Ever since National Bookstore announced her arrival, I was really adamant in clearing off any conflicts that may come my way on the said date. Thank the Lord that my plans ran along smoothly.
Anyway on the day of the event I arrived at the mall at 8:30AM. I kind of expected that there will be a lot of people, but HOLY CRAP the crowd that I witnessed was just… I can’t even…
|The line reached one of the farthest parts of the mall and sadly I was on it.
Seriously it is crazier than it looks!
After an hour of waiting we finally began to move. The process was shockingly complicated. All of us had to walk a few blocks just to enter the store then when we arrived inside we had to climb up three flights of stairs, climb down the said stairs and walk on a snake-like line just to be able to register for the event.
|The stairs of stress!
|The Snake Line…
After that process of self-torture, I got the much coveted signing number…
Yes you are seeing that right people! When I saw the number I had, I was like “HOLY CRAP is this for real?”
After a few minutes of taking the fact in, I shook off the shock and just treated myself with some good company! Laira (my book signing home girl) and I just talked about books (what else). Sadly I was not able to take a pic with her, which is kind of ridiculous because I was with her practically all day.
During this event, I got to meet some #Bookstagram peeps such as Josiah (@josiahreads
), Rexy (@reading_rexy
), and Pam (@pamnbooks
). We only got to interact for a second that’s why there are no pics of these wonderful bookish people!
|From left to right: Salve, Alex, and I!
I also got to hangout with Salve (@cuckooforbooks
) and Alex (@alexmarquez06
) which was just awesome! Meeting fellow Book Lions is truly the second highlight of my day!
|Salve and I with Louisse Ang!
Photo Credit: Louisse Ang (The Soul Sisters)
I also got to chat with a couple of #PHYABookBloggers Louisse (The Soul Sisters
), Algel (Tea-rrific Reads
) and Nicole (The Twin Reads
). As usual they looked great and they were all so nice! I forgot to take a pic with Algel and Nicole, which only speaks of my sloppiness. *hides under a rock*
The guest of honor finally arrived and she was met with a passionate crowd.
|Marie Lu is just so cool!
|My vantage point during the interview.
I did not have any good opportunities to take decent pictures/videos of Marie during the interview portion (which kind of sucks), but here’s what I learned about her (Disclaimer: The facts presented here are not direct quotes, unless stated otherwise):
In terms of her personal life:
- Marie Lu actually took up Biology and Political Science in college, but she ended up pursuing a more creative career path.
- She got married last spring and her husband is actually Filipino. The two of them met when they were both working in Disney Studios as video game artists. Her husband’s name is (wait for it) Primo Gallanosa (if you’ve read her books you’ll know why I think this fact is so cool!) who actually was the inspiration of the Day we know in Legend.
- Her mother actually read Legend but have not continued with the other two books.
In terms of Legend:
- The earliest incarnation of Day came when Marie was still in High School. At that time, the character was actually a full-fledged criminal that commits heinous crimes. She actually finished writing it, but it never got published.
- Originally, Marie wrote June as a boy because the main inspiration for the trilogy was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. In the classic, the two main characters were male and she took that to consideration in the first drafts of her book.
- Marie had a really hard time writing June’s part rather than Day’s because they are both totally different from each other. June is very meticulous and constantly analyzing situations. When she wrote some of June’s chapters, she usually consulted Wikipedia regarding facts about what June is analyzing (i.e. the paper clip facts).
- Marie Lu has been playing with the idea of writing a Legend spin-off. *happy dance*
- Fun fact: Marie Lu actually dreamed of becoming a pilot and this was the main inspiration for Kaede.
- Day is such a generous character. According to Marie, even if Day had a few spare change in his pocket he will still give it to the one he loves even if he doesn’t eat for a day. This was the main basis for the “paper clip ring” scene.
- Marie admits to have difficulties writing the love scenes rather than the fight scenes in the whole trilogy. One of the romantic scenes in Champion took her a month to write.
- Movie News: Legend has been optioned for a film adaptation by CBS and the producers of The Fault in Our Stars. The screenplay is already finished and she admits that there are changes made in the plot. However, she gave her seal of approval and assures the fan that it will be good (I do hope so).
In terms of The Young Elites:
- Marie Lu admits that The Young Elites is a really dark fantasy series. She sometimes worry about how her mind works when she wrote the book.
- Adelina’s journey is tainted from the very beginning since her father is ruthless. The manifestation of darkness within a person is what Marie Lu wants to explore deeper in the novel.
- Marie has actually finished the rough draft for the second book and she already has some ideas regarding the third book.
- The second book is more grittier and intense than the first one. Adelina seeks her revenge and she becomes more consumed by her anger and emotions, making her a true villain.
In terms of her writing career:
- Being an artist, Marie Lu is an extremely visual person so she normally begins with a sketch of what her characters would look like before diving into the writing process.
- She writes without an outline except for the essential plot points of the story in mind.
- She is not a consistent writer. She told us that there are certain months in which she could write everyday while there are times where she just doesn’t (I feel you Marie!). Although she does think that writing a little bit everyday is a great idea.
- She also noted that people should not be worried about the quality of their first draft. She believes that no one writes a perfect first draft.
- Marie actually wrote four unpublished novels and some of those she wrote when she was in High School (writing is truly in her blood).
- In the beginning of her career, whenever she gets a rejection letter her solace is chocolate (the universal happy pill). She even told us that she stopped writing for a while when she received her third rejection letter.
- Marie believes that every successful writer has gotten rejected once or several times (this has made me incredibly hopeful).
- One of her goals is to write and illustrate a picture book. Currently she has a few ideas but nothing is set in stone.
|The most dedicated Marie Lu fan who came 24 hours before the registration for the event.
3 hours later…
|Look how happy I was… Good times…
Basically that’s my overall experience. I had a grand time to say the least and hopefully you had an okay time reading this post (I know it’s pretty narcissistic, but it’s my blog so #SorryNotSorry).
Again thank you NATIONAL BOOKSTORE for bringing such an awesome author into our midst.
I want to extend my gratitude to MARIE LU for granting all of us Filipino fans the opportunity to meet and interact with you! You are an inspiration and I want to wish you the best!
Lastly, thank you to all the new found friendships I forged during the day. You guys truly made the entire experience even more astounding!