Since Marie and I both have books coming out today—YAY!!!—we thought it might be fun to do a post together discussing what it’s been like gearing up for our second books’ release.
Jodi: Marieeee! It’s finally here! Prodigy and Asunder are out at last. It’s been a year for me, and over a year for you. What a long wait! Has the wait killed you? Are you dead now?
Marie: Dude, I am sooo dead from waiting. I feel like 70% of a writer’s life is waiting! Waiting on pub date, on query/mss/submission replies, on revisions, on reviews, etcetc. At least we get lots of practice with patience! How about you? Does the waiting game feel different with the release of your second, and how do you handle the new skill of juggling book 1 responsibilities with your book 2 obligations (and waiting)?
Jodi: I wholeheartedly agree that most of a writer’s life is waiting! The waiting for book 2 does feel a little different from the waiting from book 1. With Incarnate, the waiting for release pretty much consumed my life as soon as I wasn’t given something productive to do. The weeks between turning in Asunder edits and Incarnate’s release were basically all stress all the time. This time around, though, I have all kinds of work to do, so I don’t really have time to stress about Asunder.
What about you? Any difference? I’m really curious how it’s been for you with over a year between the books. Your fans must be going crazy waiting for more June and Day!
Marie: It was totally the same way with me, re: too much to do to stress! At the same time, there’s also this sense of relief, because Prodigy was so much harder to write than Legend. It’s just such a weight lifted from my shoulders, knowing that this very challenging-to-write book will finally be in people’s hands.
Was Asunder more difficult to write than Incarnate? Or was it easier the second time around?
Jodi: It’s hard to imagine anyone thinks the second book is easier to write. On one hand, you don’t have to develop all-new characters, build a world, find a trilogy-worthy plot—because it’s already there. That seems like it should make it easier, but for me, Asunder was just as intimidating as Incarnate. Maybe more! It went through several major drafts before I finally found the right way to tell story.
What kind of expectations did you have before Legend was published? Was it different with Prodigy?
Marie: I also went through many rounds of major revisions before Prodigy finally congealed! Totally commiserate with you. 🙂 And you know, I’m not entirely sure what I expected with Legend’s publication. I just remember hoping to high heaven that readers would enjoy the story, and that Legend’s performance would make Penguin happy. With Prodigy, my expectation changed from “I hope readers like it” to “I hope readers like this better than the first one” (or its close variant, “I hope readers don’t think I’m a one-hit author”). We always want to push ourselves to write progressively better books, and with each book, we raise our personal bar. It’s definitely a new set of fears!
Did Asunder turn out the way you expected it would? Did you have a solid story arc in mind for Asunder back when you wrote Incarnate, and if so, did the final copy of Asunder deviate from that initial arc?
Jodi: Having been lucky enough to read Prodigy already, I don’t think you’re in danger of anyone thinking you’re a one-hit author!
Asunder did turn out the way I hoped. I started out with a solid plot arc for all three books—and the trilogy overall—but as always, things changed: the plot became more streamlined, the structure shifted into an actual book structure, and scenes, events, and themes were adjusted to fit right. It was a lot of work, but all those drafts really served to help me get to the final one—the story I was trying to tell all along.
Will you be doing some traveling for Prodigy, now that it’s finally out in the world? Where will you be stopping, and where can readers find more information?
Marie: How awesome that Asunder came out in the way that you hoped! I’m so excited to read it–and can we say, prettiest cover ever?? Also, yes, I’ll be touring in early February for Prodigy as part of Penguin’s 2013 Breathless Reads tour! I’ll be signing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Boulder, Austin, and Salt Lake City. Details can be found on my site!
Jodi: Fantastic! Meanwhile, I’ll be visiting Boston, New York City, Albany, Richmond, D.C., Harrisonburg, VA, and Crozet, VA. You can find dates and times on my website.
Now, for all you fabulous readers out there, don’t forget to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! We’re giving away a copy of Asunder AND a copy of Prodigy!
MARIE LU is the author of the NYT bestselling Legend series. After graduating from the University of Southern California, she jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Pasadena, CA.
JODI MEADOWS lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.
*A Kippy is a cat.