Tag Archives: rosie black

Lara Morgan Interview & Book Signing
Author Interviews
May 9, 2011 posted by Christina

Lara Morgan Interview & Book Signing

Last week I was invited to interview the very talented Lara Morgan while she was in town on her book tour. Lara is the author of The Rosie Black Chronicles, the first book in the series, Genesis was released last year (see our review here), with the second book, Equinox, due out in November this year.

Check out our chat below, followed by some shots from her signing at Dymocks on George st in the city (Sydney). That outting coincided with the Water For Elephants premiere, with crews setting up barricades and fans setting up camp just around the corner to reserve the best vantage point for Robert Pattinson’s red carpet arrival (oh and Reese Witherspoon was there too…but that fans were basically there for Rob, sorry Reese).  The city was insane…

You’re in Sydney for 3 days for the book tour, with today being your last day. Have you done a book tour before?

No, actually, this is my first time at getting driven around by people who I called minions yesterday. One of the kids at one of the talks asked, “who are those people?” and I said, “oh they’re my minions” and they were like, “what’s minions mean?” [laughs]

Have you done a book signing before?

I have done signings before, for when my first book came out, Awakening, which is a fantasy book, and I did a few signings for that and I’ve done a few for Rosie Black as well.

So Genesis is your 3rd book, which came out last October and Equinox will be coming out in November. What’s it like seeing quite a few books now on your bookshelf with your name on it?

It’s kind of surreal, because you know, I feel like those books belong to someone else, even though I am one now [an author]. I’ve got a special bookshelf for them at home, where I have the twins fantasy books [Twins of Saranthium series], plus the international versions, it’s come out in German now which is awesome even though I can’t read it [laughs], plus Rosie Black is up there as well. If I’m ever having a bad day it’s nice to look at them and see that I actually am an author, I call myself that now, so it’s a pretty cool feeling.

I had looked around other review sites such as Goodreads, and Rosie Black has been really well received, lots of 4 or 5 star reviews. Were you ever surprised by that reaction?

Um, I think I’m always hopeful. I hold myself back from reading reviews because I always actually fear that no one’s going to like what you do and will say, I can’t believe you wrote this, it’s absolutely crap or you should just go away and die. [laughs] There’s always this thing in the back of your head that says, you don’t know what you’re doing. So it’s always such a nice surprise, to see people say something nice about something you’ve spent so much time working on. I like to comment on reviews sometimes.

What stage is Equinox at now? Is it finished?

I’ve submitted it to the publishers and I’ve been talking with the editors about it, it’s at the major editorial stage right now, just tidying it up and streamlining the plot before we do the copy edits, so there’s still quite a bit of work to do. The story’s there, we just have to make sure it all makes sense before we go ahead.

So how does your writing process work? Do you start from the story? The characters?

Well, I always find that the story is driven by the characters. I do the background as well, which is something I have to think about a lot as well when writing something like the Rosie Black series, I had to come up with the world that the characters exist in. I do a little plot map, I draw a line on a big piece of paper, one of those artist blocks, and I think, ok, this is where Rosie’s gonna start, this is where I see the story ending and in the middle there’s this big climactic thing happening. Then I might put some points in between, and then I start writing, and as I go along, I figure out if the little things are worth doing and it changes a lot. Generally the beginning and the end doesn’t change, but the middle can change.

The world Rosie Black lives in is essentially a dystopia, which has been very popular this year for young adult books. Why do you think that is?

I think kids today can see the problems of the world, they’ve grown up hearing about these things, and it’s gotten worse as they get older. So of course, they’ve got these concerns and it’s something that interests them, it’s something that they think about.

Do you have a favourite moment from the book?

I like writing the moments between Rosie and Pip, and they’re often the hardest to write. I love a love story, I’ve got lots of deleted bits between Rosie and Pip. Just the moments between them, as their relationship grows .

You’ve done a few interviews now, quite a few talks, is there a question that you wish someone would ask?

I get so many good questions, probably not, kids tend to ask things that are just off the wall. One question I wish they wouldn’t ask all the time is, where do you get your ideas from and it’s almost impossible to answer because I get ideas from anywhere. I understand why people don’t know and they want to ask it, but it’s just from everywhere.

If you could spend the day with any author dead or alive who would you pick?


You can pick more than one

Ursula Le Guin, I love her, I just want to be around her, maybe absorb some of her genius. Eoin Colfer, I think he’d be really funny, and Jane Austen, it would be so cool to talk to her, to find out what she was really thinking.

Last one, we’ll end on a fun one – crunchy or smooth peanut butter?

Crunchy, absolutely, what’s the point of smooth? [laughs]


Signed copies are now available at the Dymocks’ city store, so if you couldn’t make it to the signing, you can always head into the store on George st, Sydney and pick up a copy :) Saskia (center) from TeaMouseBooks.com also came along, and as you can see from out shot with Lara, we’re happy customers, haha.

A big thank you goes out to the very lovely Jo at Walker Books :)


Author Interviews
November 22, 2010 posted by Christina

Interview with Lara Morgan

Lara Morgan is the author of the thrilling new novel, Genesis, the first book in the Rose Black Chronicles.

Set five hundred years into the future, the story follows Rosie Black as she deals with a world much different from the one we know.
The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”.

Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and will kill to get it.

Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss?

From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box – before it’s too late.

**As always, beware of a few small spoilers**

Genesis has elements of both dystopia and sci fi, and does it quite well, what drew you to writing a book in those genres and where did the idea for Genesis come from?

I’ve been a fan of dystopian futures for years (I think it has to do with being a teenager in the 80s when we were all convinced the Cold War was going to end with a nuclear winter) and although I’m generally a positive person when I look at the way the world is today, I don’t hold out much hope for any kind of utopian future. Given the environmental damage we’ve inflicted, and our politicians’ short term policies for dealing with it, I can’t see any other alternative than for a fairly bleak future. That concern about our environment, the climate change debate, is really where the idea for Genesis came from. I’d been reading a lot of books about it and wanted to explore a future where we are dealing with the possible fallout from our present mistakes.

From the Melt, to Pip, to Riley, the actions of the past have made a huge impact on not only the story and the world but also for the characters personal lives – was that something you wanted to highlight to readers?

The past always informs the present and the more interesting or challenging a past, the higher the stakes are in the present. I like to write about consequence, for both characters and the worlds I create, so having had awful things happen in the past creates for more interesting characters and a more interesting world.

How much research did you do before starting Genesis?

A lot. I’ve always had an interest in space but I’m no scientist so I had to do heaps of research on that. I read a lot of books on climate change and I also had to research Mars, space exploration and try to get my head around the physics of the solar system and travel within it. I have a whole stack of books on astrophysics on my shelf now to add to my collection.

Will we get to hear more of Yuang’s back story?

You will get to hear more about Helios which will lead to a better understanding of why Yuang was the way he was, but Yuang himself, of course, is not in book two.

I was getting the feeling that Riley and Aunt Essie could be a good couple, am I wrong?

You’re not wrong, but love is complicated so let’s not pressure them into anything!

We’re left with a lot of unanswered question and unresolved issues (that I’m dying to get to the bottom of), what can we expect from the next book?

Equinox is going to go further into what/who Helios is and also offer up some new challenges for Rosie. Pip will return but there is also a new boy, Dalton, and the fight against Helios moves into the wild lands of the north, known as Gondwana Nation. Rosie will find out that not everything is as black and white as she thought and she’s going have to make a choice that will alter the course of her future.

In your acknowledgments you mentioned Isobelle Carmody (who I am also a big fan of), what was it like having her input/advice?

Isobelle’s advice was absolutely invaluable. She saw Genesis in its very early stages in 2007 and was really supportive which I very much needed at that stage. I’d been writing for adults beforehand and she gave me the best advice anyone’s who is writing for young adults can get which is; never let your adult characters take over from your teenage protagonist. Oh, and she is a totally awesome person as well, just in case you were wondering.

Any quirky writing rituals or habits? Where do you prefer to write? Cafe, at home…etc

I can’t write in noisy crowded places like cafes, I have to be at my desk or in a quiet place, but I must, must have tea. The writing day starts when I have a cup of tea sitting on my desk, a little to the left as I’m left handed. Irish breakfast, loose leaf, white, no sugar, thanks.

What’s currently in your to-read pile?

Fallen by Lauren Kate, The Poison Diaries by Wood Northumberland, Slights by Kaaron Warren and some research for a future project: Lilith the First Eve and The Book of Enoch

Thanks Lara! Genesis is available in store in Australia and New Zealand and online for international readers.

Book Reviews
November 13, 2010 posted by Christina

Genesis – Lara Morgan (Rosie Black Chronicles, Book 1)

“Five hundred years into the future, the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”.

Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and will kill to get it.

Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss?

From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box – before it’s too late.”

Life’s not easy in Rosie Black’s world.

The Melt has devastated the earth and sunken all the coastal cities and forced society into a crippling caste system of the haves, “The Centrals” and the have-nots, “The Bankers”. As a Banker, Rosie and her dad struggle to survive after the shattering loss of Rosie’s mother to the MalX disease.
The world as Rosie Black knows it is very different from the one we know today, and the contents of a seemingly harmless little box are about to turn that world upside down.

The box contains a secret, one so incriminating that the powerful Helios corporation will stop at nothing to get back in their possession. But they’re not the only ones who want to get their hands on it. As it becomes clear that Rosie and her family’s safety is in jeopardy she finds herself on the run without knowing who exactly she’s running from or to where. As she falls into the web of the schemes and plots of others, Rosie must put her trust in Pip, a shady and much too attractive Feral (the outcasts of society) and his boss Riley, a man who keeps his cards, and true identity, close to his chest.

Rosie soon realizes that the situation is bigger than all of them as they race to Mars to put a stop to actions that could have devastating consequences.

Genesis is the very impressive first book in the Rosie Black Chronicles, Lara Morgan’s first foray into young adult fiction. Morgan’s dystopia paints a bleak picture of a society where the people are on the one hand, living in gleaming skyscrapers, making progress in medicine, technology and the colonization of Mars, yet at the same time the other half are struggling in poverty and desperation.

The story is gripping and complex as we uncover the layers of conspiracy and hidden agendas within Helios and to what extent each character has played a part in these schemes.  Genesis at times had a very Hunger Games feel, not just with a strong female like Rosie but also with the author’s no holds barred approach to certain characters.

Like all good villains the one in Genesis is not only not apparent at first, but also has motives that sound logical but are obviously misguided. Our villain is also cold and ruthless, but needed a bit more explanation into what made him so, which will hopefully be seen in the next book.

To balance out the breathless action, we see Rosie as well as Pip battle with their emotions as they come to terms with their pasts and the current circumstance they find themselves in. The relationships between characters felt very organic and believable, and not just in the romantic sense. But, behind Pip’s demeanor and endless, obnoxious flirting could there be real feelings?

Genesis is fabulous novel that takes on the dystopia/sci fi concept and does it well. We have a strong female lead in Rosie and plenty of unresolved issues (and feelings) to take us through to the next book.

Pages: 454
Publication Date: October 2010
Rating: : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote:   “Grunts know how to hit, don’t they?”
The heat in her skin seemed to spread suddenly all over and her heart rate spiked making the machine beep faster. “Get off.”
“You sure?” He glanced at the machine.
“Get. Off.”

Blog Things
October 17, 2010 posted by Christina

Guest Post by Lara Morgan

To promote the release of  Genesis by Lara Morgan, the first book in the Rosie Black Chronicles, yaReads is very proud to be part of the Lara Morgan blog tour.

Heroines in Young Adult Fiction

When I was in my early teens one of my favourite heroines was a girl called Trixie Belden. She was a teenage sleuth who had short strawberry blonde hair and lived in America where it always seemed to be sunny and people played a lot of tennis. Trixie was always investigating something. She was constantly involved in mysteries which she had to solve with the help of her family and friends. Many times they were dangerous, but she was smart and intrepid and even though she did sometimes mess up, she usually managed to get herself out of trouble and save the day. To me Trixie was the coolest girl on the planet. She wasn’t perfect, she didn’t always get it right but she had guts and I loved that about her. I read as many of her books as I could get my hands on.

That was the early 80s. Of course there still was an element of sexism around; Trixie’s brothers sometimes behaved like 1960s ad men who knew everything, but Trixie herself was still a go-getter. She didn’t wait to be rescued, she could rescue herself.

It’s been said that that type of heroine isn’t around enough anymore. I’ve heard complaints that there are too many books with heroines whose sole purpose seems to be achieving/keeping the love of a boy, but I’m wondering if that’s actually true or if it’s just a perception that’s arisen due to the success of Twilight.

Debates rages over Bella and her boys. We love her. We despise her. We compare her with characters in more recent novels, such as The Hunger Games, and find her lacking and we worry she’s a bad role model for girls today who will start believing a boy creeping into your room to watch you sleep is romantic not creepy.

I think this is a mistake and that we are all a bit smarter than that. I also think that Twilight, along with similar forbidden love romances that have been inspired by it, is a fantasy that plenty of people like to get lost in but not necessarily believe in.

And I don’t think there aren’t enough alternatives for those who want to read about girls doing something other than falling in love. I think it is actually in film, tv and music videos where the positive representation of young women is lacking. That medium is littered with girls as gossip hungry, vacuous boy hungry air heads or overly sexualized gyrating dancers clinging to male singers. Heroines in books are providing some of the better role models really when you look at it that way.

I’ve read plenty of books recently with a female lead who faces desperate situations and overcomes them. Yes there is often a boy and romance involved and there is a focus on gaining his love, but there is also a heavy focus on the girl’s own journey.  The Guardian of the Dead, The Hunger Games, Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales, The Mortal Instruments, and Claudia Gray’s Evernight series just to name a few are some of the more recent heroine driven works which feature girls who make their own choices, good and bad, despite the love interest of the storyline. So I don’t think we can say there aren’t enough good heroines in books. They’re not perfect, but they are there and it is those types of books, as well as the formative influence of those Trixie Beldens that have inspired me during the creation of Rosie Black.

I wanted a character who was independent, smart and courageous but one who was also flawed, a girl who doesn’t always make the right choices and who can love a boy but still follow her own path. A character who is real. That, I think, is the crux of what we want to see more of in our heroines and I think we are getting there.

A big thank you to Lara! Genesis is available in store in Australia and online for international readers.

Next stop on the tour: ‘The Boy in this story; creating male characters in heroine driven YA.’ @ The Phantom Paragrapher