6 Questions with Marjorie M. Liu

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Right now — and this is remarkable for me to write — my current level of insanity is perched at a very nice and lovely ONE. Despite the fact that I’m suffering from jet-lag and have deadlines — a lot of work to do — my ideas are flowing, and life is good. Life is always good, but I’m not letting myself get stressed about things. I’m taking it easy.

2. Recently, you announced that you’d be writing six issues of Marvel’s NYX series. How is writing a comic different from writing a novel?

Not that different at all, except in the format. Telling stories is mostly the same, no matter whether it’s a comic book or a novel, but it does take some getting used to when writing a script versus prose. I’ve been lucky, though, to have received a lot of support from my Marvel editor, John Barber.

3. Even before NYX, you have had experience writing in worlds not your own. Two years ago, you published Dark Mirror. Do you not find it constraining in anyway?

Not really. Because even when you’re writing a character that isn’t yours, you still have the opportunity to explore that character is ways no one ever has. And that is very fun, indeed — especially when you’re getting the opportunity to play with characters as remarkable as the ones in the Marvel library.

4. Every author influenced by who she is and where she’s from. You are half-Chinese, you majored in East Asian Languages and Culture, and your first book, Tiger Eye, is set partially in China. Have you ever read the old Chinese folktales, and if you have, do you have a favourite supernatural creature amongst them?

I have read them, and while I must say that Monkey is my favorite supernatural creature in the Chinese pantheon — of all the books I’ve read, folklore or otherwise, the Chinese literary masterpiece, THE DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER, remains the most lovely, as does the hero of the story — Bao-yu, the magical stone who is born upon earth as a boy, to learn the ways of man.

5. What’s the one thing you think that one must do in Shanghai? And aren’t you excited about World Expo 2010?

There are so many things to do in Shanghai! First off, just walking around on the side streets of the old city, mingling with locals, is a lovely experience. Wander! Keep your eyes open! But if you like more formal experiences, I highly recommend the Shanghai Museum, the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, strolling along the Bund — during the day, and at night — and exploring some of the parks in the evening, when the elderly come out to practice their ballroom dancing. There are also some beautiful bookstores in Shanghai.

And yes, I’m very excited about World Expo!

6. Name a place that you’ve been and would love to include as a setting in one of your books, but haven’t yet done so and tell us why.

Gosh. I’m pretty good at mining most places I’ve gone to. I would love to travel to Europe, though, and see what inspires me there!

Marjorie’s latest release is The Iron Hunt.

And one lucky winner will get a mystery prize!


12 Responses to “6 Questions with Marjorie M. Liu”

  1. July 1, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Ooh, would love to be in the running for the prize, please.

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  2. 2 Crystal B.
    July 1, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Great interview. I love Marjorie’s books. Please count me in the drawing.

  3. July 1, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    You guys are so nice. I should add that there’s a new book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KugcHyIgMts

    You can find the HD version here: http://www.chronasoft.com/theironhunt/

    The trailer was created by a friend of mine, Al Bogdan.

  4. 4 Amy S.
    July 1, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Great interview!

  5. 5 Jane
    July 1, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I heard Marjorie was in China during the earthquake. I wonder if she felt the trembles in Shanghai.

  6. July 1, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Interesting set of questions. And yay for a 1 on the insanity meter!


  7. 7 Cathy M
    July 1, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    I auto buy the Dirk & Steele series, love it.

  8. July 2, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Hi Marjorie!

    I was just looking up THE DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER and there’s quite a few books that come up with different authors – Tsaio Hsueh-Chin, Cao Xueqin and David Hawkes and another one by Chan Ts’ao – which one did you mean? I’m always looking for different books to read.

    Anyway, great interview! I’m really looking forward to reading The Iron Hunt. 🙂

  9. July 2, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Thanks, guys!

    Wendy: Tsaio Hsueh-Chin and Cao Xueqin are the same person, just different ways of spelling out the Chinese. David Hawkes is a translator (and a brilliant one, though I think he only did the first three Volumes of the series). There’s also an alternate title to Volume One, which is THE STORY OF THE STONE. It seems to be out of print, though. I recommend the Penguin Classics edition, if you can find it.

  10. 10 Kimmy L
    July 2, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Hi Marjorie!
    WOW!!!! Great interview!!!! Hope you’re getting ready to have a great weekend. What are your plans? We’re going out of town to visit w/ family. The kids r excited.
    I can’t wait to read Iron Hunt. Sounds like a great read.

  11. July 2, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks Marjorie! I’ll see if I can find it. 🙂

  12. 12 Eva S
    July 2, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Marjorie,
    I love the Dirk & Steele series and after watching the You Tube trailer I know I’ll love to read Iron Hunt too!
    Welcome to Finland!

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