in a world without money...
Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone.
His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.
When the financial collapse of America wipes out life as Carrie knows it, she finds the will to survive with a man determined to hate her. Citizens of Logan Pond is a dystopian clean romance set in the not-too-distant future.
"A piece that should be required reading for young and old alike." - In D'tale Magazine
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Is Logan Pond a real place; do you live close by?
I do live by a pond, and I do live in a subdivision with about 20 families of wonderful people. However, my pond is not Logan Pond, and my neighbors are nothing like those in the book (out of respect for their privacy). So the pond, neighborhood, and citizens are all fictional. Even Shelton, Illinois, where the story takes place, is fictional. But the area in the western Chicago suburbs, is real. You can read more and see pictures and maps here.
What message do you hope readers to grasp?
That the human spirit is strong, that love goes on, regardless of circumstances. It always amazes me to hear love stories born in the worst of times, like pioneers marrying out on the plains, or people who find each other in WWII. I want readers to remember that people can choose to be “good,” despite what life throws at them (and on the flip-side, that people can do bad things, regardless of their situation). Humans are natural-born survivors. I want my readers to believe in people and themselves.
What one non-essential item would you keep if you were in a situation like this?
My computer. It’s my brain. Everything is on it: books, pictures, Google, emails, calendars. Unfortunately, there wouldn’t be electricity in this type of situation, so it would be lame to keep my computer, but I probably would, just in case.
What responsibility would you have in a clan like this? Must be essential: food, clothing, or shelter related.
I could grow vegetables and babysit little ones. If people were desperate, I could even mend their clothes and cut their hair. If anyone still had a piano, I'd play songs to cheer people up. Happiness is essential too, right?
Who is your favorite character to write?
Greg. He’s just so angry and bitter, and I’m not sure why I enjoy writing that, but I adore him in the same way a mother adores her misbehaving toddler. I can see so much potential in him, and I want to help him reach it. Plus, he often says what other people are thinking, so as an author, that was fun to write.
Which character do you relate to most?
Carrie. I have a hard time speaking up for myself when I probably should. I don’t mind being a wallflower in social situations. And my family is everything to me. However, there is a lot in Carrie's goodness and service to others that I am still learning. In that aspect, she's very much like a friend of mine that I admire (and hope to emulate).
How much do you think chocolate would be worth in this new society of bartering…or has it gone obsolete (heaven forbid!)?
Oh man. There are so many things I’d miss in a society like this, but chocolate would be on top. It's hard to envision a life without Reese’s. I might even give up my computer for a lifetime supply. Maybe.
frequently asked questions
What inspired you to write this series?
One day I was thinking, What if the end of society isn't caused by some massive war or devastation? What if it's caused by the lack of one small thing: the dollar? From there, the series was born. I also often asked myself:
• How would a family survive without money or technology when that's all they'd ever known?
• How would neighbors bind together to help (or hinder) each other?
• What kinds of human experiences transcend money and circumstances? Love? Jealousy?
• How strong is the human desire to survive?
• What price would people pay to protect those they love?
This series actually started as one book--one very long book. I started work on it in 2008. When the novel grew to 800+ pages, I knew I needed to split it up. The story had three distinct sections, and my husband suggested I split each up into their own book and call them LIFE, LIBERTY, and THE PURSUIT. The titles fit so well with each section, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. However, to take one book and make it into three took a lot more work than I anticipated. Each book need its own main plot, character arcs, etc. I love the story so much more now.
How did you come up with your characters?
I've read many YA books with strong, confident, shoot-'em-up, knock-'em-dead female lead characters. While those are fun, most women I know didn't feel that way in their early twenties. They were less sure, less confident, but still passionate about family and friends. So my main character, Carrie Ashworth, is that kind of lead. She knows what she wants (safety and freedom for her younger siblings), but she doesn't always know how to get it or how to speak up for herself. She's usually on the fringes of a group, the quieter one in a crowd. This causes issues for her. In other words, I wanted her to be more “real”.
The main male lead, Greg Pierce, is Carrie's opposite. He's confident, cocky, and quite embittered with all that life has thrown at him since this collapse in society.
With those two characters leading the charge, I wanted to throw them into one tiny confined society to see:
1) How they would torment each other (mean, right?), and ultimately
2) How they would learn from each other enough to form an insurmountable partnership