Book Chat #12: The Midnight Star and Marie Lu

Hello friends! ❤

Yesterday, I got to go see one of my favourite authors at a book signing–Marie Lu! (Yes, I’m still in shock.) She’s got some really amazing, intense books and is a superb writer. Here’s a lil Book Chat about my experience!


book chat yasimone

Lu has just released the final book of The Young Elites trilogy, The Midnight Star, and she is currently on tour, holding events in bookstores across the country. I immediately decided that I wouldn’t be missing it when I learned she’d be having a book signing close to my home. Oh, and when I say close, I mean at a bookstore in a city four hours away from me. (Never let it be said I’m not a dedicated fan!) 😀 I’m so glad I got to see her though, and it was definitely worth the drive.

When I got there, it was much smaller than the Rick Riordan meet up I attended in October of last year–around thirty to forty people this time around–but everyone there was excited and chattering on to each other about the new book as they sipped frozen hot chocolate that had been handed out; and yes, the frozen hot chocolate was pretty good. After a bit, Marie Lu walked over to the microphone and greeted us as everyone cheered. She introduced herself and spoke a little bit about the process of writing this new book, and then all the attendees raised their hands and asked questions and she answered all of them.  Here are a couple of answers to questions that I thought were interesting.

marie-lu-jpg
She was so warm and friendly and and and–

 

  • Marie Lu draws out her characters before writing them, a habit left over from previously being a video game artist.
  • Her ideal atmosphere for writing is rain, a cozy blanket, and a nice cup of tea.
  • She tends to write mostly from 8 am to 2 pm.
  • Kiss scenes are hard; she always imagines a tiny mother on her shoulder, scolding her as she writes.
  • She doesn’t generally cry over anything she writes, but writing out the last scene of the last book in a trilogy makes her shed a few tears each time.midnight-star-marie-lu-jpg
  • It’s hard for her to see her characters move on and leave their heads after writing their lives and thoughts for so long.
  • The original idea for The Young Elites involved a current side character, Raffaele, as the protagonist before she realised that a certain villain, Adelina, would make a better main character.
  • She is currently writing a new duology–the first book is called Warcross–about two bounty hunter teens hired to kill a hacker messing up the world’s most popular video game. Keep an eye out; it’s being published next fall.
  • Lu’s a pantser! In other words, she’s not super great at following an outline and sometimes her writing runs away with the characters scrambling to catch up.
  • She’s currently reading Crooked Kingdom and it might just be her favourite book of the year.

Then she signed everyone’s books and I returned home in a euphoric state, clutching The Midnight Star to my chest. Overall, it was so much fun! Marie Lu is such a genuinely warm and down-to-earth person. After only thirty minutes of her speaking, I already felt like I’d known her for a long time. 😛 I always love seeing authors and getting to know the thought processes behind their books, and I’m really glad I was able to go to this book signing in particular.

So now all the books I own that are written by her are signed, which I am thrilled about. Also, look at how pretty they are together!

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The best fall aesthetic of all.

 

I’ll be reading The Midnight Star this week and reviewing it as soon as possible. The Young Elite series is one of my  favourites, and I’m sure the final novel will not disappoint!

Have a lovely day everyone!

❤ Yasimone

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Book Chat #10: Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer” Norse American Tour!

Oh my gosh, you guys.

Remember this post? The one about Rick Riordan’s new mythology series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard? Well, the first book has officially come out! 😀 But that’s not all…

Over the past week, Rick Riordan has been on his “Norse American Tour” (what a great pun!) he’s visited five out of eight major American cities so far. This morning, I was able to be at the event in Miami, which I thought was so cool, and it was absolutely AMAZING! I’m so glad I got to go! 😛

What does the Norse American tour look like? Something like this. #magnuschase @disneybooksSo, the first thing I’ll say is that it was crowded. Fans of all ages were excitedly chattering away, showing off their Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter t-shirts, and reading The Sword of Summer while standing in a long, winding queue. I grabbed a copy of the novel and immediately joined the line, bursting with eagerness to start reading it. Oh, and did I mention that all of the books were signed? 😀

Magnus Chase meets my owl necklace/blog logo.
Magnus Chase meets my owl necklace/blog logo.
Agh, what a pretty cover!
Agh, what a pretty cover!
I have a book with Rick Riordan's signature in it, therefore I have lived live.
I have a book with Rick Riordan’s signature in it, therefore I have lived life.

Finally, after waiting for a bit, we were ushered to our seats inside the auditorium and we were given foam shields! How cool is that? Foam shields!

My precious foam shield.
My precious foam shield.

And the moment we were all waiting for arrived: Rick Riordan walked up onto the stage! He is such a great guy—so funny, and friendly, and basically everything you’d want the author of some of your favourite books to be. You can definitely tell he’s the one behind the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus.


Highlights of Riordan’s Speech/Presentation/Stand-up Show

  • Actually getting to see Rick Riordan in the flesh
  • Listening to him talk about his childhood and how he was a reluctant reader (How things have changed!)
  • Laughing at awkward photos of him with long hair from middle school and high school
  • Rick Riordan calling his wife Becky his “Annabeth” *swoon*
  • Seeing the covers of The Lightening Thief from different countries (Look up the German one—it’s hilarious!)
  • Learning about the inspiration and the writing process behind his books
  • Him telling us that Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is a trilogy and the next book will be coming out around this time next year!
  • Him telling us that he’s coming out with ANOTHER NEW SERIES IN 2016 called the Trials of Apollo and that the characters from Heroes of Olympus WILL BE IN IT *hyperventilates*
  • Finding out that he hasn’t ever watched the Percy Jackson movies and doesn’t want to
  • Basically everything
Rick Riordan speaking to a roomful of fans.
Rick Riordan speaking to a roomful of fans.
Two Rick Riordans at once! Which one is the real one?
Two Rick Riordans at once! Which one is the real one?
After the presentation ended.
After the presentation ended.

It was such a wonderful experience; I would love to be a part of something like this again. And I’m so pumped up about the Trials of Apollo series that will be coming out in May of next year! If you’re anywhere near Houston, Phoenix, or St. Louis in the next three days, I would seriously recommend that you grab tickets as soon as possible and attend—it’s so worth it!

Okay, back to reading The Sword of Summer now! I’ll be up with a review as soon as possible!

❤ Yasimone