I’m so excited to be a part of the Warcross blog tour! I was so excited to find out Marie Lu was coming to Wellesley Books this month that I thought I’d do a recap of the book event I attended last night and a little dream casting.
I was thrilled to find out local author, Malinda Lo would be joining Marie Lu at Wellesley Books last night. It was probably the first time I’d ever got to attend a book event where both authors were Chinese and I think that is what made it extra special.
Both Marie and Malinda’s latest books are so vastly different than their previous titles, it was fascinating to learn why they chose tell that particular story. Marie stated amid writing The Rose Societ, which happens to be her darkest story written, she began to feel the effects of her story and wanted to write something happier. Warcross was her “Happy Story”, which Malinda immediately questioned. We learn right from the beginning Emika is still coping with a big loss in her life.
Malinda Lo decided to write A Line in the Dark after a conversation with her editor about reading The Secret Place (?) by Tana French. It was then she thought about writing a mystery. Marie and Malinda came up with the comp “Gone Girl meets Mean Girls”.
When asked about setting the book in Tokyo, Marie explained she did visit Tokoyo last year to do some “research” and eat her way through Japan with fellow author Amie Kaufman. Originally Marie wrote Warcross from the perspective of a girl who was from Tokyo, but felt she wasn’t qualified to write it that way. Instead Marie chose to write Emika’s experience going from New York to Tokoyo as a tourist, just like she had.
Both ladies have different approaches to drafting a new book. For Malinda, she often starts off not knowing what she’s doing, but after working with the idea, she eventually figures it out. Marie on the other hand is a pantser and wants to be an outliner, so she tries to write an outline for every book. However she always gets off track, but not so much because she still follows the major plot points.
For Marie and Malinda, Warcross and A Line in the Dark is the first time either of them feature a Chinese American main character. Throughout their careers both women have been inching forward to put Asian characters in their books. Though why did it take so long to write a Chinese American character?
They began to explain that many years ago, in the industry publishers would could only pick 1 story featuring a POC and 1 LGBTQ story. So at the beginning Marie felt that she had to make a choice between getting her career off the ground with no POCs or risk not getting a book deal if she had an Asian MC. At the time when she made this decision not to feature a POC, it was a way of protecting herself. She did wish she were a little braver and took the risk.
As for Malinda, she wrote all of her books for herself, so all of her characters were queer women. However she also chose not to feature a POC because she felt like she couldn’t add more her queer characters. Although she didn’t want to narrow her audience by making Ash queer and Asian, in Malinda’s mind Ash was Asian it just wasn’t on the page. As for Huntress, with the story inspired by Asian culture, Malinda wove in details that hinted to the characters being Asian, but doesn’t explicitly say it.
I am so glad I was able to attended the amazing event at Wellesley books!! Both Marie and Malinda are so inspirational! I need more events like theirs honestly.
Switching gears for a little dream casting! The only reason why I started to agonize for HOURS deciding who would portray Emika and Hideo was the fact I had an actor in mind as I read about Emika’s father… OF ALL PEOPLE! I also came up with an actor for Asher and then I realized it’s super late and I need to go to bed.
Ellen Wong as Emika
Lucas Till as Asher
Jun Matsumoto as Hideo
Godfrey Gao as Emika’s Dad
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.
In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
About Marie Lu
Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and one Pembroke Welsh corgi.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!