Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: February 29th, 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naïve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nora-kettle-lauren-nicolle-taylor/1122157779?ean=9781634221351&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, note cards, post-it notes, etc.?
My writing process looks like the inside of my brain: A total mess. I usually just start writing and then maybe write a very rough outline about halfway through once I’ve got a good sense of who my characters are. I usually write little quotes in my notebook as I go along and they guide my scenes.
2. I love retellings of fairy tales or other classic stories. How did you come up with this reimagining of Peter Pan?
The Peter Pan theme really just fit my characters. I’d say about a third of the way through writing Nora & Kettle I realized that I was taking inspiration from Peter Pan and then I just ran with it. To me, it was important to have a fantastical element to the story to help the reader gain some relief from the confronting situations the characters face.
3. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for about three years now. Before I wrote my first book, The Woodlands, I’d never written more than a few pages of anything.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
I’m sure everyone says it, but be persistent and just keep writing. The more you write the better you’ll get at it.
5. How important are names in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds, or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names usually just come to me because I like the way they sound and then I have to look them up to see of they fit the era. Nora was always Nora and Kettle was always Kettle. Frankie was actually Eleanor or Ells for short to start with but I just didn’t like it after I’d written her character some more.
Some fun questions
I have many favourite books. Pinocchio was my favourite childhood novel. I also loved the Shiver series, The Sea of Tranquility, Me Before You… I could go on and on.
I’ll watch just about anything but I tend to like comedies more at the moment. Loving The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Undateable at the moment. Old faves include, Scrubs, The X Files and The O.C.
I’m a Hip Hop fan. Some of my favourite artists are Common, Jurassic Five, Hilltop Hoods and Lupe Fiasco. But I also love the folky stuff like Jose Gonzalez and Paul Simon. Plus I have a soft spot for musical soundtracks like Wicked and Les Mis.
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Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.
She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.
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