Pub Rants

One Very Good Reason To Let Go That Manuscript

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STATUS: I’m working super late tonight. It’s often the only good time to really check off items on the TO DO list.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS by Whitney Duncan


As you can guess, LEGEND released yesterday. And there is one simple fact I want all my blog readers to know. If Marie had not been willing to let go of a previous manuscript (that didn’t sell), we would not be celebrating her release this week.

All too often, I hear about writers revising and revising the same manuscript–some even for years. Sometimes, the best decision you can make is to simply let it go. It’s never a waste as you learned valuable things as a writer from the process of writing that novel.

It might stay tucked away on your computer forever. And you know what? That might be a good thing! Maybe you needed to grow in your craft and it will be your next novel where the stars will align, angels sing, and voila, publication.

Don’t believe me? You only have to ask Marie Lu.

From Marie’s face featured in Times Square after the book sold to stories in Entertainment Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, what a ride it has been, Marie!

5 Starred Reviews

“Lu’s debut is a stunner. Weaving the strands of SF dystopia, police procedural, and coming-of-age—with touches of superhero and wild frontier traditions—she fashions a narrative in which the action is kinetic and the emotional development is beautifully paced. First in a series, this story is utterly satisfying in its own right and raises hopes high for the sequels to come.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles…This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes.”
—Kirkus, Starred Review

“. . . the delicious details keep pages turning to learn how it’s all going play out. Combine star-crossed lovers with the need to take down the Republic and you’ve got the makings for potent sequel.”
—Booklist, Starred Review

“Debut author Lu has managed a great feat—emulating a highly successful young adult series while staying true to her own voice. Legend will give Hunger Games fans something worthwhile to read while they await Katniss’ movie debut—and, most likely, Day and June’s.”
—VOYA, Starred Review

“Teens will love the page-turning suspense and emotional tension created by the dynamic characters. Following the success of Hunger Games, many dystopian books are filling the shelves, but this book stands out.”
—Library Media Connection, Starred Review

LEGEND, yesterday, in the promo stand as you walk into Barnes & Noble:

Marie on the PBS Late Night Show with Tavis Smiley:

And best of all, we heard that LEGEND was being featured in elevator news reels today. Wacky but a heck of a lot of fun!

So thank you, Marie, for being undaunted and forging ahead writing that next novel in the face of rejections.

Have a wonderful, wonderful release week.

19 Responses

  1. Marie said:

    Kristin, I totally cried over your post. <3 Thank YOU for believing in me and sticking by me through the rejections! You are 100% amazing.

  2. Anne R. Allen said:

    What an inspirational story. Congratulations to both of you! And Kristen, you are sooooo right about letting go. I worked for–I’m embarrassed to say this–nearly ten years on a book that will never be publishable. When you’re trapped in a hole, you have to stop digging.

  3. Bethany Robison said:

    I saw her “publication story” on THE STORY SIREN the other day, fun to hear the other side! Started reading LEGEND last night. Been looking forward to this one for months!

  4. cindy said:

    congratulations on all the accolades, marie!! and for the release of LEGEND–yay Day and June! i can’t wait to read the sequel! =D

  5. Ebony McKenna. said:

    Congratulations Marie!
    What a wonderful success story. I’m a huge believer in the first, first few (or in my case first SIX) manuscripts not seeing the light of day.


  6. Ric 'The Turtle' Ryan said:

    Congratulations, your really getting the press working. Your mentioned a couple places in the January, Writer’s Digest and I have not even finished it yet. The more I get into the computer the more I keep coming across you and your agency. Good omen I guess. At least I know a place to try if I ever get off my duff and get something actually finished. Blogs tend to be addictive and a time suck. Anyhow Congratulations to and Marie also.

  7. Dawn Chartier said:

    I had a few books I had to let go while learning the trade. I sort of laugh about it now because I sent those books to an agent or two. Sure hope they don’t remember. lol

    Enjoy the ride, Marie. I’m going to buy your book for my teenaged daughter for Christmas, and then she can loan it to me after. 🙂

  8. Tim said:

    I’m going to have to check this one out. Also, nice pic of the downtown Denver B&N. I’ve been there more than I care to admit (when I need a break from work).

  9. Jessica Strider said:

    It’s a great read. I almost skipped it as I’d read a few angsty teen books prior to picking this off my TBR pile (I got an advanced reader copy). I had a hard time putting it down.

    For adults wondering what all the YA fuss is about, this is a book that will show you YA writers don’t dumb down their story lines for the younger audience and that not all YA lit focuses on romance or angst (though there is a romantic thread in the book).

  10. E.R. King said:

    Congrats, Marie!
    I just set aside a novel that I spent three years revising, and what happened? An even better novel emerged. Great advice, Kristin!

  11. Kristin Laughtin said:

    I was excited about her book after seeing her on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, but now after reading about her journey and all the great press she’s getting, I’m bouncing in my seat a little. (It might be a little unbecoming, as I’m sitting behind a library reference desk right now…with word verification “comical”) Congrats, Marie!

  12. Lauren Alissa Hunter said:

    Congratulations! Definitely an encouragement to read. I’m sending out two copies of my manuscript for the first time EVER in about two hours… incredibly nervous that I’ll be looking back at this as a “had to let it go” moment… but that’s all a part of it, I suppose!