Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Character Interview with Olive
What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite memory is from the last time I visited my gramma’s house in Maui. I was about ten, and my little sister, Macie, hadn’t been born yet. It was just me, Mom, Dad, and Gramma. One evening, we went to get shave ice and took a long walk on the beach. The sunset was unlike anything I’d ever seen in my life and we spent hours sitting by the shore, letting the waves wash over our toes. Life in Boston was so crazy, it was really special to just be. Together. I loved my parents so much, and, at that moment, I felt closer to them than ever before. And then it all had to change.
What traits do you most admire or dislike in others?
I absolutely can’t stand snobbery. I hate it when people act like they’re better than others, just because they’re smarter or richer or—whatever. It really drives me crazy. And, unfortunately, there are a lot of snobs in Maui. Or, at least, I keep running into them. Maybe some of them are nice deep down inside, but I won’t be around long enough to find out.
How do you feel about your occupation?
I’m not a fan. Right now, I’m working at the Shave Ice Shack in Lahaina, Hawaii, with a snobby worship leader for my coworker. He’s nice enough and everything, and I make good money, but it’s not enough. I’ve got to get back to Boston—fast. Dad never should have dumped me and Macie here in Maui. What was he thinking?
Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord?
Nope. I used to, but after everything God let happen to my family this last year? I just can’t do it anymore. It’s too hard. Everything—every loss, every time He lets me down—it just hurts too much. Gramma says I need to take a step back. Put things in perspective. Remember that God works everything for good. And who knows? Maybe I’ll give Him another chance sometime. But not right now.
A Note from Taylor: Aloha!! I hope you enjoyed getting to know my main character, Olive. Forgive her–she’s feeling a bit snarky right now. She’s been through a lot lately and, sadly, she’s finding it difficult to put her trust in God.
It’s easy to “give up” on God during a tragedy, but it’s even better to cling to Him in difficult times. Like Olive will learn in the pages of Porch Swing Girl, He will never give up on us. He works all things for good. We–and Olive–can take heart in this, no matter what we’re facing today.
More about Porch Swing Girl:
What if friendship cost you everything?
Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.
With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.
But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.
Taylor’s book can be purchased at Amazon.