Tuesday, October 19, 2010


 by Lara Morgan
Walker Books Australia
October 2010

The Book Trailer

Reflections on Rosie’s past and future
When I chose this topic ‘Reflections on Rosie’s past and future, Lara said: “An interesting topic you've put down. Just wondering when you say Rosie's past/future are you hoping for me to talk about the character herself or the creation of the book? I'm not quite clear on it.”

That’s when I realised how ambiguous my initial statement had been. Of course, it could be either or both, though my initial idea concerned Rosie herself. But then, I had not yet read the book.

In the back of my mind questions tickled. There was a curiosity about Rosie’s awareness of the past 500 years. Had she looked back in history and pondered on the issues that had brought the world into its current mess?
[In 2010 there were a growing number of people concerned with the possible effects of climate change and dire warnings of the things that might happen unless appropriate and urgent action was taken.]

Is Rosie seeing the results of 500 years of the failures of the past - seeing what those who understood the issues in 2010 hoped would not happen? There are hints. She alludes to … Before the Melt? … The wall that’s been there hundreds of years … the old city — and a Newperth, geothermal powered
Then there’s the cost of water (already a 2010 reality) and the appearance of ‘the feral’.

After reading the book
At one level The Rosie Black Chronicles: Genesis is a rollicking ‘cloak and dagger’ mystery/adventure tale with a touch of teenage romance and angst. Beneath there bubbles dark undercurrents of interacting and multiplying effects generated by the realities of climate change, population shifts, social engineering; and the dehumanising processes where science and technology have become ‘god’ and at the mercy of political intrigue.  And I loved the ambiguity of Rosie (all things rosy) and black!

Let me introduce Lara:
Lara is a Western Australia writer living in Geraldton. The Rosie Black Chronicles: Genesis is the first in a series of Rosie Black stories and Lara's first YA novel. You can find out more about her on her blog at http://www.lara-morgan.com/

Welcome Lara! Now I have some questions for you.

M: Rosie Black’s world is one of social isolation, community fragmentation, increasing state/external pressures leading to the loss of personal power, heightened anxiety and increasing violence. A disturbing glimpse of where the world of 2010 is headed unless …? Yet how different is the world of Rosie Black to our own?
Lara: I’d say Rosie’s world is an extreme version of our own – and I’m talking about Western Society here – especially if you have a look at how the government has been slowly increasing its involvement in our day to day lives. We live in a society that is becoming increasingly violent regulated under the guise of ‘public safety’ but which I see as having the potential to become something much more. Police powers are growing and there are more and more rules about what you can and cannot do in public, from wearing bike helmets to curfews and a push to have people to be on the lookout for ‘suspicious’ activity in their neighbours, it’s all elements that can lead to a society like Rosie’s where the government has ultimate power over you and there is little to no room for dissent.

M: Is this a cautionary tale in the tradition of earlier tales? (For example George Orwell’s Animal Farm)
Lara: It is in some ways but I try not to be too heavy handed about it. I think it is more a cautionary tale in terms of environmental impact than social. I am very concerned with climate change and our apparent lack of ability to pull together and do something about it. I’d like to be hopeful but given the way we are going it is difficult.

M: Which came first the character or the plot?(i.e. an independent smart girl in 2600 who needed a challenge OR a world in crisis in need of a character to lead the way?)
Lara: Well I would say that for me the story always starts with the character first and the plot is driven by who that is and their circumstance. So character definitely came before plot but before both of those I started out wanting to write about Earth post climate change. That is unusual for me. Generally character comes before the world building but this time it was different in that I started off wanting to write a story set in the Earth’s future. I didn’t know what the story was but I knew it was going to be a young adult novel.

M: To what extent does the book do more than paint a landscape of the worst fears of today’s environmentalists?
Lara: Well I hope it offers an exciting adventure story as well. At the heart of it, this is a story about growing up and figuring out who you are and what you want to do, because regardless of the environmental and social background of anything I write what I’m really interested in is people. I like to explore how characters deal with terrible circumstance, how they overcome and move on – if they do – and what they learn. It’s always all about the character and their journey and in this case that’s Rosie.
... The character of Rosie followed very quickly. I’d written a short story a while back had a character in it that was very similar to Aunt Essie and set in a world very similar to the world I’d been thinking of for The Chronicles. So then Rosie just sort of appeared, which often happens for me, and I started discovering who she was and then from there what her story was going to be. 

M: As the story develops in what ways does the reader see Rosie herself change and grow as a person?
Lara: Genesis is the start of Rosie discovering a greater sense of purpose than what she has before Helios and Pip come into her life. It’s a trial by fire really as she has to face some scary situations and learn to trust her ability to get through it, but also to trust others as well – which is not something which comes easily to her. 

M: The story ends on a note of unfinished business. Where to now for Rosie Black? Has Pip really gone forever (or would that be telling)?
Lara: Genesis is the start of Rosie discovering a greater sense of purpose than what she has before Helios and Pip come into her life. It’s a trial by fire really as she has to face some scary situations and learn to trust her ability to get through it, but also to trust others as well – which is not something which comes easily to her.

M: Thank you, Lara, for visiting my blog today and sharing more insights into the life of Rosie Black from Genesis - and beyond!
Lara: I've enjoyed looking at the story from different angles, Mabel - and having the opportunity to visit your blog.

For more about The Rosie Black Chronicles and the Book Trailer go to  http://www.rosieblack.com/

The first three YA readers (of any age) to add a comment to this post and includes an email address so I can contact them will receive a copy of 'The Rosie Black Chronicles' courtesy of the publisher, Walker Books Australia. Others will be eligible to receive a bookmark.

Follow the blog tour below
Oct 11 Who is Rosie Black?


Oct 12 Writing tips on creating a futuristic world.
Tuesday Writing Tips http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/

Oct 13 The Publishing Process

Oct 14 Writing YA.

Writing a Fantasy Series

Oct 15 Interview

Oct 16 Interview

Oct 17 Writing sci fi

Oct 18 Heroines in YA

Oct 19 The Boy in this story; creating male characters in heroine driven YA.

Rosie Black’s past and future
http://belka37.blogspot.com/  [You are here!]

Oct 20 Interview


  1. Thank you, Neville, for your response. Sorry you had trouble with posting a comment - but your email is accepted and a book will be coming your way shortly.

  2. Thanks Mabel and Lara for such and in depth and insightful discussion about Rosie and her story.

    I enjoyed Genesis and can't wait to read Book 2 in the Rosie Black Chronicles.


  3. Fantastic info, thanks, Mabel and Lara. I love reading adventure stories, and love writing it,so well done, Lara. Love hearing success stories too!

  4. Dee and Sheryl,
    So glad you enjoyed the post

  5. The book trailer is really impressive and the book sounds fascinating. I'd love to read it.
    Can I put my hand up for a book?
    My email address is: zen.sagen@gmail.com

  6. Thank you Zen, glad you enjoyed the book trailer and post. Sorry about the book giveaway - I used up the last one this morning.