Sunday, October 12, 2014

1 Marie Lu, author of THE YOUNG ELITES, talks about villainous heroines and writing on trains.

What is your favorite thing about THE YOUNG ELITES?

My favorite thing was also the most intimidating thing to write: that Adelina, the main character, is more of a villain than she is a heroine. I've always been a fan of the dark hero, or the gray villain (Magneto, Darth Vader), and I really wanted to tell a story from the flip side. Writing from inside the head of a villain-in-training was quite a challenge, though. I had to force myself into the headspace of this girl who frequently had dark, twisted thoughts about the people and world around her. It was both a fascinating and unsettling battle for me.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

My ritual is constantly in flux. In general, though, I almost always listen to lyric-less music (so that
there are no lyrics to distract me) when I write, and I like to take outline notes longhand. I'm fairly flexible in where I write, largely by necessity--my favorite writing experiences have been on trains.

What are you working on now?

I'm currently hacking and slashing at the sequel to THE YOUNG ELITES! It's kicking my butt.


The Young Elites
by Marie Lu
Putnam Juvenile
Released 10/7/2014

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

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Marie Lu writes young adult novels, and has a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, she was born in 1984. She likes food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers' markets, video games, and of course, books.

She left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked her into sticking around, so she's  currently in Pasadena with her boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In her past life, she was an art director in the video game industry, but now she writes full-time.

1 comment:

  1. I finished the Young Elites about a day or so after release. (I preordered, so I was able to get it on October 7th, when it came out). Even though I had some problems with the POV shifts and the first to third person writing, I lovedddd this book. Marie Lu really managed to capture Adelina's descent into darkness. I'm not much for series, but this is one time I cannot *wait* for the sequel~


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