Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Q & A With Nicole Murray, Author of, Autumn's Child

Nicole Murray, author of Autumn's Child, has been so gracious and kind enough to agree to be featured on the blog for a short Q & A. Below are some of the questions I asked her based on my reading experience of the book and what I was curious to know. Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!


Q: What inspired you to write this story?
Nicole Murray: Autumn’s Child was birth from a short story that I wrote years ago. After the story was written I felt as if there was more that I needed to know about Layla. Life for Layla didn’t end when her parents pass away, it only began.

Q: Which female character do you most identify with?
Nicole Murray: There are no direct parallels in my life to any of the character but I identify most with Layla. There were many things in her life that tested her faith. I drew from those feelings where my faith was ever tested. Like Layla I was also raised in a very strict Christian household which isolated me from a lot of things in real life. As I grew older and more exposed to the world around me I realized that I was a bit naive but eager to experience from an entirely new perspective.  
Q: Which character would ideally want black girls to aspire to be?
Nicole Murray: There aren’t any model characters in the novel. Naturally I would say Shay, her spirt is so real, genuine and no nonsense but she comes with a whole host of issues that you see intertwined throughout the novel. In my opinion Granny is the closest to an ideal character. Black girls should aspire to be like her as an old lady.

Q: What lesson do you think the reader learns when Lala abandons her faith after her parents die?
Nicole Murray: I more so want the reader to feel. When you feel you take from that feeling whatever lessons apply to your life and circumstance. When you feel Layla’s hurt after her parents pass away you come to understand the root of her abandonment which translates to feeling as if God has abandon her. As she grows up and matures you realized that she never abandon her faith, perhaps in words only. Her faith and religion is the common denominator through her life. The universal lesson is that when you have God in your heart you can never abandon your faith. The Bible and teaches are embedded, ingrained into everything you do and all that you are.

Q: Do you think your novel is criticizing religion or is it meant to solely criticize society?
Nicole Murray: Autumn’s Child does not criticize religion it actually applies religion to real life circumstance. The criticism of society is apparent in the novel. Society’s class system plays a major role in determining Layla’s faith. 

Q: The novel is a progression of Lala talking to her therapist, do you think this session has helped Lala deal with the harsh reality of her world?

Nicole Murray: I think the therapy did help her. There are a lot of events in her life and choices that she had to make that she couldn’t necessarily tell anyone. She needed an outlet and her therapist allowed her to analyze her one life from her own vantage point.

Q: Dr. Patel plays such a minor role in such a major healing process, why do you think this is?

Nicole Murray: Dr. Patel provided Layla a platform to express herself. Her actual role was small but her platform was hug, she is the funnel that allowed Layla’s personal truths to flow.

Q: What can we expect from you next?

Nicole Murray: I am working on a few different projects, more TV and film. I have started working on another novel but I am currently working through the story line.