Legend, available now, is 27-year-old video game art director Marie Lu’s first novel, and it’s already attracting major buzz. CBS Films has already snatched up the film rights, and Twilight producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are attached. Legend takes place in a dark future in which North America has split into two warring nations: the wealthy Republic (or the West Coast) and the poor Colonies (everyone else). Two teenagers on opposing sides of the conflict are caught in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse, though a series of shocking events eventually bring them together. Lu took the time to talk to EW about writing her gripping debut—and about being an Asian-American author.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your road to publication like?
MARIE LU: It was a long journey. I started writing seriously when I was a teenager, around 14 years old. I remember the exact moment when I [wanted to be a writer] because I saw an article in the Houston Chronicle about a young writer named Amelia Atwater-Rhodes who got a book deal when she was 15 years old. That was when I realized that I can actually pursue something like this, and I started writing seriously. I wrote four manuscripts before Legend over the course of 10 or 12 years, and none of those ever made it. I had one agent in college I parted ways with. My fourth manuscript didn’t sell, but it got me my current agent Kristin Nelson. When we were pitching that one, I started writing Legend, just to sort of distract myself from the whole submission process. My agent and I went through two or three heavy revisions on Legend before we finally submitted it. It was just really surprising and amazing to see Legend to sell after the other ones didn’t, so it was a long journey. [Laughs] READ FULL STORY »