Marie Lu‘s debut novel, Legend, hits the shelves tomorrow. We caught up with Lu (pictured, via) to learn more about how authors can utilize social networking tools, the writing process for the book and her views on being an Asian-American author. The highlights follow below…

Q: How did you land your book deal?
A: My agent, Kristin Nelson, first took me on for a novel that we ultimately didn’t sell. While we waited for feedback on that one, I began writing Legend. After two intense rounds of edits with Kristin, we submitted Legend to publishers in the summer of 2010, and I recall shrieking in my apartment when Kristin told me it was going to auction with six interested publishers. Legend sold to Penguin a couple of weeks later!

Q: You drew inspiration for Legend from watching a musical production of Les Miserables. During the writing process, did you consult with Victor Hugo‘s Les Miserables?
A: It’s odd–Les Miserables triggered the first flash of inspiration for Legend (a criminal versus a detective-like character), but after that, I never referred to it again. I think the story just started going in a completely different direction. I did consult Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow a few times for inspiration on how to write from the point of view of a child prodigy.

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