Log In

Reset Password
Regional News

Local author to publish novel centered around grief in 2025

Lisa Taylor’s novel, “The Shape of What Remains,” will publish in March of 2025. (Unsplash)
The novel has been in the works for 10 years

Local author Lisa Taylor’s novel, “The Shape of What Remains,” is set to publish in March of 2025.

Taylor shared that this book has been 10 years in the making, and she is eager to share her character’s story with the world.

The theme of the book is “long grief,” and it follows the story of a woman named Teresa, who is dealing with the loss of her 6-year-old daughter in a tragic accident 10 years before.

“It’s really her story,” Taylor said. “Ten years later, she is still mired in grief and depression, and her husband has kind of moved on and doesn’t understand why she’s stuck. The novel is about her journey as she comes back, and her husband’s, as he has never really dealt with it.”

Lisa Taylor.

After two years of writing this novel, the story became even more personal.

“My next-door neighbor had a daughter exactly the same age (as the child in the book) and she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which is a pretty deadly brain tumor. She eventually died from it. So while I was working on this novel about grief, my next door neighbor was going through it,” Taylor said.

At one point, Taylor also led a grief group for teenagers who had lost parents.

“I think that helped me write the book and helped me understand the process,” Taylor said. “I very much believe that grief is highly individual, and we do not allow people they time they need. You never really get over the loss of a loved one.”

“There’s a section in the book that the editor liked very much where I describe how colors change, like bright blue is more of a muted blue now. Things aren’t as vivid because she’s always living in that grief,” Taylor said.

Taylor said characters just come to her, and once she grabs hold of a character, a story is not far behind.

“I just feel compelled to tell their story,” she said. “I remember doing a program at a college, and a friend of mine introduced me and said, ‘Lisa has characters that live in her head.’”

“I don’t know where Teresa came from,” she said. “She just got in my head one day and I was thinking about how people deal with the worst thing that could happen to them. She’s a college professor, and I was a college professor. She’s very snarky, she’s funny, and I like snarky and funny. If she were a real person I would probably be friends with her.”

While this will by Taylor’s first published novel, she has published a book of poetry and short stories. She also taught at Eastern Connecticut State University before moving to the Four Corners area. Now, she teaches online.

Taylor said while writing the book, she kept thinking how quickly people are to judge others without knowing the full story.

“The child was hit by a truck, and the guy with the truck had his own story,” Taylor said. “He was trying to get to a job interview to feed is family and he’s really poor and has kids too. He thought it was a deer and he was going to be late for the interview. She (Teresa) wants to hate him, but she can’t because he had a story too, and it wasn’t entirely his fault. Her daughter ran out into the road. You can blame, but blame doesn’t really get you anywhere.”

Taylor shared that having her novel published next year is a dream come true.

“When I have a narrative I love, I want to stay in it a long time. I want to live in their world,” she said. “I get sad sometimes when a really good novel ends because I don’t want these characters to go away. I know them, but I’m very excited because it was always my dream to publish a novel, and this is a dream come true for me.”

Additionally, Taylor hopes her book will be a positive message of healing and a comfort to those who are also grieving.

“If you’ve lost a loved one, you’re always going to see people in similar situations, and that will make you miss them,” Taylor said. “It has a very positive message and I do want it to be helpful.”