Today I'm welcoming Lauren Nicolle Taylor to the blog to tell us a little more about herself and her YA post-apocalptic novel, "The Woodlands."
1. What was your inspiration for The Woodlands? Can you tell us about how your own experiences influenced this story?
My inspiration for The Woodlands started with race. It then bloomed into the concept of All Kind, the contradiction that to eradicate racism you must blend all the races and make everyone look the same. I am of mixed race background and it was interesting to me to twist that and see where it led me. I also drew on other personal experiences to do with being a young mother, a teenager in love and my obstetrics background to write The Woodlands.
2. Would you classify this series as plot driven or character driven?
Definitely character driven!
3. Can you tell us a little about Rosa and how her home life has shaped the way she interacts with others?
Rosa is a solitary character, not by choice but because her inability to control her behaviour makes her an outcast in the tightly controlled Woodland society. She has a complicated relationship with her mother who appears not to care and sides with Paulo, Rosa’s verbally abusive and controlling stepfather. Rosa’s reaction to this situation is to antagonize Paulo and do anything she can to get into trouble. This is not because she’s trying to get attention but rather because she doesn’t care enough about her own wellbeing to stop herself. She doesn’t think she matters. Her mother reinforces this every time she turns a blind eye to Paulo’s abuse.
4. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the trials Rosa faces.
Rosa starts out a very closed off, angry child. As the book progresses she is faced with challenges that force her to open up, to love and trust people. This is a hard fought battle and often she clambers halfway up the hill only to slide back down again.
You’re always so much stronger than you think you are.
And it’s not always instant, it’s not always romantic but a love based on mutual respect and acceptance is worth the wolves, the helicopters and everything in between.
6. What song best describes your writing style?
Anything Can Happen Finn Brothers
7. Night Owl or Early Bird?
Neither. According to my husband there is only a magic seven-minute window in every day where I’m pleasant to be around ;)
8. Skittle or M&Ms?
M&Ms preferably peanut butter M&Ms.
9. Who are your favorite authors?
I love Veronica Rossi, Colleen Hoover, Maggie Stiefvater, Julianna Baggot…
10. Can you tell us about your upcoming book, “The Wounded,” any other future projects?
The Wounded picks up where The Wall left off. Firstly, Rosa must deal with her father suddenly entering her life after a long absence. The challenges she faces in this book will either break her and Joseph apart or bring them closer together. The secrets they uncover will completely change their world and everyone else’s.
In terms of future projects, I have to write the fourth and final book of The Woodlands series. I have also written a New Adult novel. The blurb/synopsis is below.
Langley is eighteen years old. She's spent most of her childhood in and out of foster care until she gives up lying and admits to the fact that she sees her dead sister. Now she spends all of her time in a psychiatric facility. The problem for Langley is she doesn't want to be treated. She wants to keep her delusion, it's the only family she has.
Tupper is an orphan as well. But lucky for him he was adopted by a loving family. He had a great childhood, but he always felt like something was missing. So on his eighteenth birthday he takes the car his biological mother abandoned him in and follows the map they found in the glove box detailing a trip through the middle of America to Canada.
Tupper and Langley meet when she escapes the mental institution and he's on his way to the Grand Canyon, the first stop on his mother's map. Together they hash out the past, enjoy the silence of each other and realise some things can be fixed but other's you just have to live with.