YA Wednesday: Marie Lu Lightens Up in "Warcross"

Warcross200Ever since her first book, Legend, I've looked forward to the next offering from Marie Lu.  She's completed two trilogies (The Legend Trilogy and The Young Elites), and now she's begun a third series with Warcross.

I love the new world Lu has created, it reminded me a bit of Ready Player One, where gaming has become such an embedded part of society that for many it's a way of life, and the protagonist becomes involved in the game that beats all.  Warcross the game has it's own dark underworld and Lu brings together exotic locations, dangerous bounty hunters, and closely held secrets in her a creative sci-fi thriller.  Now here I am drumming my fingers waiting for the next installment...

In the piece below, exclusively for the Amazon Book Review, Lu gives us an inside perspective on her latest novel...

*Warcross was an Editors' Pick for the Best Young Adult Books of September


Warcross is quite different in tone from my other books. I’m used to writing dark stories; the Legend series is about a divided, dystopian United States, and The Young Elites is a fantasy trilogy about a girl who becomes a villain. I absolutely loved creating these stories, but they weighed on my psyche, and at the end of every workday, I’d find myself exhausted and in need of something to cheer me up.

So I started a story called Warcross.

Warcross began because I used to be an artist in the video game industry, and I’d always wanted to write something centered around a game. It was a story I used as a treat for myself—entirely, unashamedly, 100% for fun, written in stolen snatches every evening after I finished drafting chapters for my contracted books. The only question I asked myself each time I worked on Warcross was this: does writing this scene make me happy? If so, I went ahead.

Out came a story of bright lights and rainbow-dyed hair, games and bounty hunters, of young people inventing the impossible and girls capable of accomplishing anything.

It still wasn’t easy. Writing never is.

But as hard as the process was, I woke up every morning breathlessly excited to jump back into the book, and ended each night reluctantly stepping away from it. In the corner of my office, Warcross took on life, developed a heart.

Is it normal to like working on a story from the very beginning? I don’t know, self, but don’t ask too many questions. Just enjoy the weird, unpredictable highs of the creative journey. Just hope your readers have as much fun reading it as you had writing it.

I hope you do.

--Marie Lu

 


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