Interview – Mrs. Larson is Writing a YA Book

What is Mrs. Larson doing now?


Imagine this: a girl chooses to freeze her body so that in the future, scientists can thaw her body and brain in order to bring her back to life. This is the book idea that has been brewing in the mind of Mrs. Aidan Larson since she left Canyon Vista last fall. I decided to interview her and ask her a few questions about the new book she is writing.

Although most of us know Mrs. Larson solely as our former 8th grade Language Arts teacher, this is not the first book of fiction she has written. Mrs. Larson has already written a full length adult novel called Dejeuner. The title is French and means lunch. Dejeuner has a double meaning as it also means “resurgence of youth”. The book is about a woman in her mid-forties who goes on a cooking vacation in the south of France after her kids leave for college. Mrs. Larson even got the novel professionally edited and went through an agent search for about 9-12 months. The novel never got published but Mrs. Larson is not discouraged. She says, “Every writer has a ‘back of the drawer novel’. I eventually put my book on the back burner and decided to try out writing a second book.”

What is Mrs. Larson’s writing process? First, she thinks about the scenes in her head and writes down character ideas and research into her notebook. Next, she uses Scrivener, a writing software that helps her organize her basic ideas. Then, she fleshes out the scenes and creates her writing world. Mrs. Larson also says that she uses index cards to write out single words for a scene or scene ideas. Once she has all her index cards for her book, she puts them up on a wall and organizes them to get a better overview. There is a lot of moving things around. Another thing that Mrs. Larson does when she’s immersed in writing a book is that she will dream about her book in her sleep. The characters from her book will speak dialogue to each other in her dreams and in the morning the sentences form in her mind and she can write down her ideas. The famous writer Toni Morrison’s quote inspires Mrs. Larson when she’s writing. Toni Morrison says, “Writing is really a way of thinking – not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic, or just sweet.”

The inspiration for her current book came when Mrs. Larson was getting ready for school one day. She heard a news story about a young girl in England with terminal cancer who wanted her body and brain to be cryogenically frozen. The girl’s hope was that one day in the future, scientists would find a cure for her cancer, “unfreeze” her, and successfully treat her illness. Mrs. Larson said, “[These people believe] that they can transfer their brain matter and their consciousness and soul into another body when they are unfrozen.” In what she refers to as an existential book, Mrs. Larson is going to write from the point of view of this girl when she wakes up from being frozen sometime in the future. The girl’s entire family will be gone, and she will have to make a new life for herself. The book will start off with the girl at her own funeral. She’s talking to everyone at her funeral, and later on she will be frozen. Then, when she awakens, the story will be told from different points of view explaining what happened while she was frozen. There will also be a younger boy who reminds her of her brother and she will take him under her wing. In addition, there will be a dark power hidden behind the theme of the story when someone takes advantage of the character. The book will have elements of psychology in it with existential questions such as: What happens to your brain and your body after you die? How much of your brain is your body and how much of your body is your brain?

Do you want to know what happens to the girl in Mrs. Larson’s book? You’ll just have to wait and find out.