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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Day in the Life of Marie Lu with a Contest

Before becoming a full-time writer, Marie Lu was the art director at a video game company. She also owns the children’s brand Fuzz Academy. She was first inspired to write Legend while watching Les Miserables one afternoon, and wondered how the relationship between a famous criminal vs. a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Visit Marie at www.marielu.org
Join the Legend experience!

A Day in the Life

My writing days can be all over the place, honestly. Some days, I have little to do (i.e. waiting for feedback on drafts/edits, no phone calls, plain old procrastinating, etc)...other days, I'm lucky enough to attend conferences and conventions and meet readers and all sorts of other exciting things. But one of my average days is detailed below, for anyone who's curious:

6:30 AM - Wake up, then head off with Boyfriend to the gym to battle the treadmill and/or precor machines. Sometimes I'll even attempt crunches.

7:30 AM - Time to walk and feed the dogs. (We have three. Two are Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and the third is our "accident"--a brown and tan chihuahua mix who absolutely rules the house.)

8:15 AM - Writing time! Okay--I am absolutely, and will forever be, a morning person. My childhood friends still remember how I'd wake them up during slumber parties with my annoying typing at 6 in the morning. (Yes, I wrote in the mornings after sleepovers. What? That's not normal behavior?) I do my best writing before noon. Often I'm forced to write later than that, but it's all downhill--and anything I attempt to write after 8 PM is almost guaranteed to be completely worthless. (I also answer some emails and tweets during this time, although for emails I usually only answer the emergency ones.)

1:00 PM - Break for lunch. This is when I try to get out of the house; I'll usually eat at a local cafe so I can get some exposure to outside life and not become a half-insane hermit. This is very, very important for full-time writers. One cannot stay in one's house all day. One will lose one's mind.

2:00 PM - I might still do sporadic writing, although anything written during this time is kind of second-rate. Instead, I'll usually do a combo of answering non-emergency emails, tweets, Facebook messages, deviantArt stuff, post the occasional blog entry, update and maintain my web presences, and other tasks that are part of a writer's job but do not really involve novel-writing. Believe it or not, this stuff takes up quite a few hours out of each day. (Not that I'm complaining--I enjoy it all very much.)

Sometimes I'll sketch things too, things that are often related directly to Legend. This is a creative exercise that comes in particularly handy when I'm experiencing writer's block. I've noticed that immersing myself in other creative activities will get my imagination flowing again for my writing. Lately, I've also started using my afternoon time to make notes about a new, non-Legend story idea. I have a feeling that, come 2012, I'll start using my afternoons to do some first-draft writing of this story. And that's all I can say for now. :)

Finally, late afternoon is when I indulge in some of my favorite Facebook, iPhone, and console games. (As of this writing, I'm playing Mario Kart 7 (3DS), Sonic Generations (PS3), Serf Wars (Facebook), and Ravenskye City (Facebook).)

5:30 PM - Dog walking/feeding time again.

6:30 PM - Dinner out with the Boyfriend. (This is as good a time as any to mention that I CANNOT COOK TO SAVE MY LIFE. I destroyed a pot once when I tried to boil eggs. I even ruined rice--IN A RICE COOKER. WHICH IS AUTOMATED. Don't ask. So, in short, we eat out quite a lot. :) Occasionally I will cook the one thing I *can* make, which is vegetarian dumplings.)  [Yan: I've actually undercooked rice and burned rice in the automated rice cooker before so I totally understand.]

8:00 PM - The day's pretty much over for me here. I spend time with the Boyfriend, watch some shows, read, and play with the dogs.

Sprinkled in random intervals across the above schedule are additional things like: work-related phone calls and interviews, online writing-related chats, Skype school talks, outlining plot points to prepare for the next day's round of writing, post office runs (which have somehow become more and more frequent these days), and other odds and ends.

Of course, when I'm on deadline, the above schedule pretty much gets thrown out the window and I'll write on and off for the entire day. :)

Now that you know what Marie does in a day, how would you like to spend your day reading Legend!? Well lucky for you, I have this awesome prize pack, which will go to 1 lucky winner! Not sure what's Legend about quite yet? Then...

Read my REVIEW. Trust me, I liked it. A lot.

Read a CHAPTER SAMPLE and be dazzled by the cover!

Watch the trailer:

Sounds awesome right? Well get to entering yourself for a copy then!

P.S. I'm using rafflecopter so you might have to view this exact post to see the form. Also only the "easy peasy entry" is mandatory. Everything else is optional and are for extra points.

EDIT to add: I've deleted many entries from this contest because they were invalid. I do check entries so don't assume you'll get away with it. It only makes me weary of you.


  1. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I've heard so much about Legend, so I can't wait to read it.

    As for when I wake up... it really depends on whether or not I have school that day, what time school is at, and whether or not I need a shower. So, sometime between 7 and 9. The 9 o'clock days are good. The 7 o'clock days? Not so much.

  2. Oops I entered and I realized it's for US only..Please disregard my entry :)

  3. Regardless of the season, I want to wake up at 7am every day and start writing. But since it's winter and it's so dark early in the morning, I wake up at 9ish.

  4. I love reading how other authors write. I'm a total night person so any writing for me before 8pm is garbage most of the time. Too bad it makes working a 9-5 so hard! I'm always sleep-deprived. =) Power naps!

  5. I am excited to read this. I am a morning person as well, but I can be sharp at night. My real useless period during the day is between one and four in the afternoon. I'm really only good for television watching, eating lunch and napping:)

  6. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    I usually wake up around 7:25a, so that I have barely enough time to get ready for work and make it there on time. I'd like to wake up around 9am, but sadly, that's not going to happen. :P

  7. I'm a morning person which is god since I get up at 5:30 for work.

  8. I am anything but a morning person. I have the hardest time getting up before 8:30-9:00, which is not good since I have a lot of things that need to be done.

    If left alone, I could easily sleep till noon and not even realize it was that late. =)

    Definitely enjoyed seeing a glimpse into the life of an author. Very enjoyable post.

  9. Thanks for the giveaway! Legend sounds really good! =)

  10. Thanks for the contest! Legend sounds like it will be fantastic! Since I'm in college, I wake up at 6 or 7, depending on the day, but I'd really like to sleep in till 8am-8:30. I can't sleep in till late in the afternoon unlike other teens. o_O

  11. I get up at 5:40 am- would love to sleep till 8

  12. Okay I played this on facebook before the book was out! I'm so excited to read it! :D

  13. I usually get up around 10/11, but I don't sleep until 3-4am haha.

  14. Me, I'm up every 2 hours through the night because I have a newborn in the house. 9am sounds like heaven though.

  15. Thanks for this giveaway!!! I would *LOVE* to win this book! Depending on whether I have to go to school that day, I wake up at about 7. But, if it were up to me, i'd wake up at about noon everyday! Im not a morning person at all! :D