Karyn Langhorne Folan graduated from Harvard Law School and after practicing and teaching law for several years, decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She is the author of twenty-one books and counting, including three young adult titles for the popular Bluford High series, four romance novels, several works of nonfiction. She has also been the ghostwriter for personalities in the entertainment and music industries. She is married and has two daughters.
The idea for The Doomsday Kids was the result of a mash-up of influences and ideas in pop culture: the popularity of the TV show, Doomsday Preppers, the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 and the fears many people had that the world would end then, and the ongoing “war against terror” were all influences. So were The Hunger Games and Divergent books. But a bigger influence to Ms. Folan were every day teens who enjoyed those books but felt unrepresented in the imagined worlds of the future where everyone was heroic, good-looking and usually, white.
“That’s just not the world—or at least not where I live,” Mrs. Folan says. “The communities around Washington, DC are very culturally diverse and my kids go to school with kids from every religion, every race and every nation in the world. Our own family is the United Nations: my husband is Irish American, I’m African American. My elder daughter’s father is black and Pacific Islander, so she’s part Asian! All of those influences make us who we are.”
“I wanted to write a science fiction book series that featured stories that featured real diversity. I wanted to tell those stories from the points of view of all different kinds of kids,” she continued. “I wanted black kids and white kids, Asian kids and Latino kids, fat kids and athletes, kids with physical limitations and kids with emotional ones. In short, I really wanted to take some of the real kids I know—my daughters’ multicultural cast of friends— and drop them into a survival situation. They don’t have super powers. They’re just kids, separated from their families by the ultimate tragedy, finding hope and family in each other.”
The result was The Doomsday Kids book series.
Would you like Karyn Folan to visit you?
Karyn Folan is an accomplished speaker for young people who visits high school and middle school students through the Pen Faulkner Organization Writers in Schools program, through Townsend Press for the Bluford High books, and independently. In addition to discussing her own work, she also lectures on writing and publishing. If you’d like Karyn to visit your school or organization, please email here.