Marie Lu’s Panel at the Texas Teen Book Festival

“I always enjoy coming to hear the authors talk about their works. I think for me and I hope for the kids that are here they get a different perspective on what it means to be an author, and how authors come up with their material” said Leah Reick after she saw Marie Lu’s panel.

I went to the Texas Teen Book Festival, which is a festival that invites a multitude of authors. This festival is all about advocating reading and writing. This is all about having fun, meeting authors, and listening to their panels.

The panel that I covered was Marie Lu’s, and she was talking about here newly released book, Warcross. While talking about her newly released novel Lu mentioned that technology around us is evolving and the world is changing with it. Before the first iPhone was released we did not use our phones that often, and according to Lu, “The iPhone came out 10 years ago, like so much has changed in 10 years from this one device like I am never without my phone, you know, it’s become a part of my limb,” There are so many things that have changed in our lives, and we do not realize how fast technology is evolving.

Warcross, is a book about a video games. It’s about fans and players who want to escape reality, and some hope to make a profit out of playing. Emika, the main character, is a bounty hunter who tracks down players who bet on the game illegally. The bounty hunting world is competitive, and it is not easy.

When Lu started writing the book the she explained that she asked a couple of her friends who work in the technology industry, and she found out that developers do not ask if should we make it first, but instead they say can we make it. She was doing research so that she can include it in her book because her friends suggested that thigs that might happen in the near future. Lu also mentioned the need for actual human contact even if we have this kind of technology because it is essential to have communication. She talked about her book and how she created the world, the characters and more. She said that the main character, Emika, was a bit difficult to create because the author is not completely like her. However, she is as creative as Marie Lu. Warcross is an international video game and there are many players and viewers. Lu wanted to make this book feel real even if it is a work of fiction because according to her this might actually happen in the near future.

When Lu started writing she did not know that she was writing Young Adult Fiction Novels, YA. She thought that she was writing Science Fiction. When she presented her book to the editor and told her that this is YA and it’s not Sci-Fi. Also, the reason Lu continued writing YA because she said that many interesting things happen at that age, and everything thing is either incredible or awful. “I love adult fiction but it’s so depressing” said Lu, “You see young people are this sliver of light, I hope you leave the story with a feeling of optimism” and that is why Lu stuck with YA novels.

This was an amazing experience that should not be missed by book lovers. If you missed this festival don’t worry because there’s another one coming this year November 4-5, and the Texas Teen Festival will surely be coming back next year. You can see that the people who are behind the festival are dedicated and fueled by the love of books. I truly cannot wait to see the next book festival.