As we continue to celebrate the release of Within These Lines, we are featuring part two of our “Author Spotlight” with Stephanie Morrill!
Get your copy of Within These Lines HERE!
What makes this book special?
What I hear most from readers is, “I knew hardly anything about the incarceration of Japanese Americans before I read Within These Lines.” While there are other novels about this topic, I would love to see even more!
What kind of impact did writing Within These Lines have on you personally?
Aside from the educational aspect of writing the book—because I hardly knew anything about Japanese American history before undertaking this novel—I became acutely aware of times in my life that I choose to turn away from hard topics and issues. I do it because caring about someone or something can be painful and costly, so my self-preservation instincts kick in when I’m confronted with hard things. But, as Evalina learns during the story, it isn’t just enough to privately care about something, even though that takes its own kind of courage. Change only comes about when we are bold enough to act on behalf of what we care about.
How are you reflected in Within These Lines (or, how much of you is reflected in the book)?
I think my outrage over the racism and injustice toward the Japanese Americans comes through pretty clearly in the book. I would love to be more like Evalina in my real life, but truthfully I’m much more like Taichi. My tendency has always been to just keep my head down and do what I’m told. His growth over the book and the discovery that there are times when fighting back is the right choice felt really personal to me.