Thanks Trisha & Leah for visiting!
(all graphics provided by author)
Today Wednesday Women will interview Leah Taylor, the main character in the Young Adult novel Deep Green!
You’ve been through a lot in the last couple months.
LEAH: It hasn’t been the best months of my life, that’s true. Surviving a terrorist attack during a family vacation would have been bad enough, but not knowing if my parents were dead, being adrift in a lifeboat with strangers, marooned on an island, having an innocent person die in my arms… worst Spring ever.
What is your greatest fear?
LEAH: I have some social anxiety. Recently, I was late going to the Captain’s Dinner on the cruise ship and I remember standing outside the door, hating this fear of mine. I thought, “People all over the world are struggling against real problems, and I’m standing out here paralyzed with fear that some strangers might look my way?”
If you had been in the dinner, you might never have ended up on the lifeboat. Then again, it must have added stress to have that anxiety when stuck in a cramped space with strangers.
LEAH: Well, perspective does wonders. As soon as the terrorists attacked the ship, my shyness was a far second to my fears that my parents had been killed. I also had to overcome this focus on myself in order to help our group survive.
Did you connect with any of the strangers in your group?
LEAH: Two of them in particular. Blue and I really connected over literature and philosophy. Musir is so different from Blue; really chivalrous and wise in a quiet sort of way.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
LEAH: That’s easy! Sitting alone in a warm library surrounded by books, reading one of my favorite classics!
That sounds a bit lonely. I thought you would want to be hanging out with Blue or Musir.
LEAH: I don’t need people around to enjoy life. Jean-Paul Sartre said, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
Going back to the island, were you miserable the whole time?
LEAH: Certainly the majority of the time was survival, which doesn’t fall into misery or joy the way most things in civilized life do. For example, at home, I might feel happy reading in the sun, or unhappy doing math homework. On the island, I wasn’t happy or unhappy fishing or building a fire or getting water. It was something more organic. Almost primal. There was misery though at certain times, usually tied to something that happened, but also intense joy and love and beauty. Those higher elements were mixed in with the primal ones. Finding water for the first time, for example, was exhilarating… as was my first kiss.
Book critics have talked a lot about your role in the book Deep Green. Once Upon A YA Book said that your “courage and spirit are uplifting,” and KStew’s Book Reviews said “There aren’t enough strong females like her in the book world!" A Mom With A Reading Problem said:
“I believe that by the end of this book Leah became one of my all-time favorite female protagonist in a YA book. She's just sixteen (turns seventeen while stranded) and despite all that she encounters, all that she has to do to survive, she isn't whiny. She only had one true breakdown in the entire book and it is well deserved!”
How have you felt about this kind of focus and praise of your strength?
LEAH: It makes me blush!
Our time is up, but let our readers know how to find out more.
LEAH: Check out Deep Green by Trisha Haddad (www.TrishaHaddad.com)!