Editor’s Note: Passion to Portfolio introduces the dynamic individuals who have found as much success with their hobbies as they have with their careers. Watch a new episode each week on CNN International.
Marjorie Liu is a New York Times bestselling author
However she is also a qualified lawyer who changed her career after college
She has written for Marvel Comics
Words have been a part of Marjorie Liu’s life as far back as she could remember.
She would devour children’s books sitting in her mother’s lap, dreaming up adventures of her own she wanted to share.
But the New York Times bestselling author never thought her passion for writing could earn her a living, so she set her sights on a career in law, spending years diligently poring over law books to pass the bar.
“I was going to be a lawyer and I had studied hard,” Liu says, “but then it suddenly occurred to me in a very deep, profound way that I didn’t want to keep practicing law for the rest of my life,” she adds.
Follow the dream
Liu was struck with the impulse to fulfill her dream of writing a novel, and brushing off concerns from those around her, she closed herself off in her apartment for a month to write.
She worked feverishly for 14 hours a day, producing her first novel – a paranormal magic thriller called “Tiger Eye”. Her leap of faith paid off, and the book was bought by a publishing house and turned into a four-sequel contract. Nine years after her debut, the 35 year-old is a celebrated writer with 17 novels to her name and myriad of literary awards.
“I had my dreams, and even though everyone told me that they weren’t practical, I knew in my heart that this is what I had to do. Even if it ended up being a failure, I had to make the attempt,” she says.
Expanding the portfolio
Apart from traditional novels, Liu also found her calling in comic books. She has written issues for Marvel Comics’ “Dark Wolverine” and “Astonishing X-Men” series, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the LGBT community last year.
Liu also teaches comic book writing at MIT, even though she only became familiar with the genre at college after stumbling across it in a local bookstore.
“I didn’t know how to write comics, I had to teach myself,” she says, “I had never been a comic book person before really because I had no access to them. Once I had access I thought that these are just another avenue for telling stories and delving into the imagination” she adds.
In spite of managing to turn her passion into her job, Liu doesn’t regret the years she spent toiling away at law school: “There was no guarantee that this would work out. I don’t want to give people the wrong advice to follow their dreams no matter what because it’s not fun to be a starving artist.
“But on the other hand, life is short and if you are burning with a passion to do something then do it. Work hard, study hard at it and don’t give up,” she says.