So, I really loved Trapped, and am so excited that Carrie Grant(the super awesome author) agreed to do my very first character interview! So, I sat down with Emily and asked her these very pressing questions. I hope you enjoy her responses as much as I did. Oh, and don’t forget to check out my review of Trapped over here!
1.) Hello Emily! So nice to meet you. I very much enjoyed reading your story in Trapped as told by the amazing Carrie Grant. But, we don’t get to hear much about your life outside the tunnel before, besides the fact that dad is no longer in the picture and you’ve been raising your younger twin sisters in between school and the math team. My question, how did you balance it all? It must have been pretty tough for one teen girl to handle!
I’m a math nerd, so I know how to balance equations! You are right, though, it was difficult. Every day I had to help my sisters get ready and go to school, then I had to manage my own school work and Math League practices before we’d get home in the evenings, when I’d take care of them again. But it was a good kind of difficult. My sisters mean the world to me, you know, and I enjoyed being such a big part of their lives. And being so busy kept me from regretting other things I wasn’t allowed to do before, like dating.
2.) Besides the obvious, what were some of your first thoughts when you realized you were trapped in the tunnel? Despite your reassurances to everyone around you and before you knew of half the true danger, did you ever worry you wouldn’t make it out alive?
My first thoughts were…probably some words I can’t say in an interview! After I got over the shock, my mind went straight to my sisters. I’ll never forget that moment when rocks were tumbling around us and the earth was shaking, when we came to a gut-wrenching stop, when I pictured the twins buried in the back seat under unyielding boulders…but after I checked on them and found out they were okay, my thoughts turned immediately to safety. How safe was the car? Could the metal frame hold if more boulders tumbled down? How secure was the tunnel–and when would it go? I was very worried we wouldn’t make it out alive. There were many times in those first few moments, and throughout the time we were trapped, that we almost didn’t.
3.) Earlier on especially, you seemed to be pretty suspicious of Chris. What made you so hesitant to trust him?
Chris…he was unlike anyone I’d ever met before. He was literally facing getting buried alive, but he still laughed. He was injured from the cave-in, but he still teased me. I guess I thought he was just too calm about the whole situation. And perhaps too secretive–he seemed to know so much more about the tunnel’s collapse than he was saying. And it turned out he did.
4.) You seem to be a pretty good judge of character. The end of the book happened so fast, were you ever suspicious of who turned out to be the lead “bad guy” (without naming any names, of course), before it all came to light?
No, I truly wasn’t. I had my suspicions of other people in the tunnel, of course–and with good reason. But that person had been a source of help to me, someone who seemed to be looking out for the good of everyone who survived the cave-in. It was a shock when we found out, and it was the worst kind of mistake to have trusted that person.
5.) There seems to be a lot going on between you and your mom. The way she acted so selfishly about food, not seeming to care about you or your sisters so long as she herself could eat, along with a few other choice events in Trapped makes me wonder how your relationship is with her now. Do you look at her differently? Does she act differently for you? Oh, and perhaps more importantly, do you think she’ll let you spend time with a certain someone. 😉
For the most important question–yes, I am allowed to date now! It’s hard to talk about, but my mom and I have always had a difficult relationship. Ever since my dad left us, she relied on me to take care of the twins, to be responsible, to keep things running at home. In the tunnel, that’s of course what I did for my sisters. I think that because I’ve always been there for them, she felt like she didn’t have to be–she could look out for herself and only herself. And that’s unfortunately what she did. It was up to me to make sure my sisters were safe…right up until the end.
Our relationship hasn’t really changed that much. I still look after my sisters, and she still expects me too. But she’s less hard on me, especially now that I have my driver’s license and don’t have to rely on her so much. I think she respects me more now, too, after everything that happened for us to survive the tunnel.
6.) Not being able to eat seemed to bring out the worst in a lot of people in the tunnel. Were you ever afraid to even let the twins go out and play what with all the starving people milling about? I mean, you knew that y’all didn’t have any food or water to speak of, but everyone else didn’t.
It was very nerve-wracking to let them go off on their own in the tunnel. Although it was a confined space and I knew they couldn’t get into too much trouble, people were becoming more and more hostile as our food and water ran out. But I think after a few days of barely eating, I felt that the benefit of playing games and being distracted outweighed the risk of of them getting hurt. And of course, I had so many bigger concerns for their safety. The people who lavked food didn’t scare me nearly as much as those who did–the ones who came prepared for the tunnel’s collapse.
7.) An event like this can certainly change a person in more ways than I can possible fathom. I know you mentioned being able to speak up more, but do you feel any different all around? Better yet, do you find yourself being more prepared in the off chance something like that could happen again. I know that reading your story certainly made me think about keeping a case of water and maybe some granola bars in my car. Hey, you never know!
Now that I officially have my driver’s license, I am definitely keeping emergency supplies in my car! I have a case of water bottles, a box of canned cokes, and various snacks piled up in my trunk. But there are many more intangible ways that I’ve changed. I see the world a little differently–it’s a risky place, where anything can happen. And it’s worth being adventurous and experiencing all the world has to offer, rather than hiding in the background.
8.) Well, Emily, I don’t really have much more to ask you as I don’t want to give to much away before my readers get a chance to read your book for themselves(which they so should!). Do you have anything you’d like to add? I’ve enjoyed having you so thanks so much for taking the time to answer all these questions!
Thank you for having me, Paige! I used to be so shy, but now I truly don’t mind sharing my story. Being trapped in that tunnel was a terrifying experience, but I emerged stronger, better…and in love. It was a tragedy, but without the tunnel’s collapse, I never would have found a certain someone–or myself.
Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Emily!
I hope y’all enjoyed my first character interview, and that maybe it inspired you to check out this really awesome book! Let me know what you think of Emily’s responses in the comments section.