Marie Lu spent most of her youth writing, although Legend is her first published novel. In writing Legend, Lu was inspired by the stage version of Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables. Hugo's work and its subsequent adaptations follow Jean...
Marie Lu was born in Beijing, China in 1984. Her given name is Xiwei. Although Lu moved the United States at age 5, her early life in China greatly influenced her work. Her mother lived through repression by the Chinese government during the Cultural Revolution. On a walk with her aunt, 5-year-old Lu witnessed tanks and soldiers preparing for what would become the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
In 1989, Lu and her family moved to the United States, settling in Texas. She went to college at the University of Southern California, where she studied political science. Lu originally considered becoming a lawyer, but she ended up taking a job as an art director for a video game company. She has said in interviews that certain elements of Legend, such as the Skiz fights, were inspired by her love of gaming.
Lu started writing as a young girl, and she wrote novels for 12 years before Legend was accepted for publication in 2011. The book attracted attention almost immediately - CBS Films bought the movie rights before it was even published. Since then, Legend has enjoyed great popularity among teenagers and adults. Legend is the first novel of a planned trilogy, and its first sequel, Prodigy, will be published in early 2013.