Combining her family and work in the medical field, Khalia Moreau created "The Princess of Thornwood Drive".
What was the inspiration behind your most recent book?
The inspiration behind my book stems from my family and work in the medical field. I combined my lived experiences when it comes to these two things to craft "The Princess of Thornwood Drive"!
When it comes to the literary world, why do you think supporting diverse stories and featuring different types of characters with different backgrounds in novels is so important?
I think it’s important because books, like other forms of media, can teach and inspire. For example, one of my favorite books is "I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade" by Diane Lee Wilson. The main character, Oyuna, has her foot crushed by a horse when she’s a baby, cursing her family with bad luck. Throughout the story, Oyuna faces trials and tribulations, but despite all that’s working against her, she finds a way to survive. I remember being so wowed when I read this book because Oyuna didn’t just have her gender working against her but a disability you don’t often see main characters having. When I put it down, I felt like I, despite being a minority and coming from a lower-income household, could do anything if I set my mind to it.
What does representation in books mean to you?
It’d definitely be books with characters that have intersectional identities. Growing up, I read many books with mostly white male and female characters, such as Nancy Drew novels. As I’m sure anyone who has read the Nancy Drew series knows, she wasn’t very flawed. Instead, she was the “perfect” woman, and that made her a little hard to relate to. Even some of my white friends who also enjoyed the books couldn’t find much in common aside from physical traits. Thankfully, as the years have passed, we’re seeing more and more main characters who are neurodivergent, different races, gay, bisexual, the list goes on. And it’s not like these characters identify with just one thing but multiple things–just like real people. It’s validating!
Tell us a little more about the book and why you decided to write it, or how the story came to you?
I interacted with people from all walks of life who came to the emergency department while working as a medical scribe years ago. Some of the things I saw and heard back then made me acutely aware that not everyone can advocate for themselves. And not everyone unable to do so has someone willing to do it on their behalf. Around the time I was coming to this realization, one of my cousins had a life-altering injury that rendered her in a vegetative state. The doctors made it clear what that meant, but my family has always believed in the existence of the soul as much as the brain. As my mother posed it to me, who’s to say my cousin’s soul isn’t reaching out to us? Communicating in its own way? Not long after that, I started writing "The Princess of Thornwood Drive".
What can fans expect from your book and its story?
I hope readers find something different when it comes to storytelling. I say this because each sister’s narrative is characterized by a different genre – Laine’s version of events is rooted in contemporary. In contrast, Alyssa’s events are rooted in fantasy. However, everything that happens in both POVs is connected, the sisters ultimately telling the same story.
What’s up next for you in the bookish world?
I’m actually working on a supernatural thriller that’s based on an entity in Trinidadian folklore! I like to characterize it as a mashup of "I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast is Me", "Parasite" (2018 film), and "No One Gets Out Alive". I won’t lie. It’s been a process juggling that and my work as a resident doctor, but I have a good feeling about this story, just like I had with Princess!