Author Interview: Marie Lu

Marie Lu

#1 New York Times-bestselling author Marie Lu is back with Skyhunter, an adrenaline-laced novel about the lengths one warrior will go to fight for freedom and those she loves. We spoke with author Marie Lu about the inspiration for the book, adapting a non-speaking character to audiobook format, and more!

“Lu (The Kingdom of Back) creates a devastating, war-torn world, built upon the wreckage of a technologically advanced society. Readers will eagerly await a follow-up to this engrossing dystopian novel, which searingly interrogates traumas of war, immigration, and imperialism.”

Publishers Weekly

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.

Skyhunter first came to me in 2016, after I heard Mr. Khan speak at the Democratic National Convention about his son, Humayun Khan. Afterward, I was haunted by the reality that so many young people go off to war for a country that doesn’t always have their back. From there grew a story about a tiny country called Mara fighting a losing war against a massive Federation, a girl named Talin who belongs to a small team of elite warriors called Strikers that are Mara’s last defense, and a boy named Red, a prisoner of war who just might be the weapon they need.

In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise listeners about your audiobook?

Talin, the main character, is a girl who doesn’t speak, which is an interesting person to adapt to audiobook form. Our narrator Natalie [Naudus] does a phenomenal job of bringing this introspective person to life, and I hope listeners enjoy her journey.

Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?

I’ve listened to the first bit of it! Natalie’s voice struck me immediately as a perfect fit for Talin. She sounds like the voice in my head.

Are you an audiobook listener? If so, what are some of your favorite audiobooks?

I’m definitely listening more and more to audiobooks! I recently enjoyed Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half, N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, and Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing.

What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?

Everything. Truly. Stepping into an indie bookstore always feels like entering a safe space, somewhere that feels like a second home. They give our communities such heart and soul, and carry that air of magic in a way you just can’t replicate anywhere else.

Header photo by Primo Gallanosa

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