My Interview at Literarily Speaking

Laura Carroll, The Baby Matrix

I had the pleasure to be interviewed about The Baby Matrix on the author interview site, Literarily Speaking.  Also answered some fun personal questions! Here’s the Q&A:

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Laura! Can you tell us where you are from?

I was born in the Midwest, but have lived in California most of my life. As an adult, I have spent many years living in San Francisco.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

In the movie, The Matrix, the “matrix” is something that feels so real to people but we find out it is not reality at all. The more I dug into “pronatalism,” what The Baby Matrix is about, the more I saw it’s the same. In this case, it’s a set of beliefs that we’ve come to believe so strongly they feel “real” or true, when they really are not.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

In the movie, The Matrix, the character Neo takes “the red pill” to find out what the “matrix really is. So the cover has a dominant red theme. The baby in inside “the red pill” represents “the baby matrix,” and it is inside a head to because the book is about mindset change.

I worked with Creativindie Book Covers, and they are great!

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

What if I told you these statements are myths:

We are biologically destined to want to have children.

Something is wrong with you if you don’t want to have children.

Parenthood is what brings true meaning in life.

Wouldn’t you want to know why? The Baby Matrix explains how we have come to believe that these things and many more beliefs related to parenthood and reproduction are true, and why they don’t reflect reality.

The book is a mind blower and mind expander–after reading The Baby Matrix, you will never think about parenthood in the same way!

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

Lots! I want people to know what pronatalism is, its origins, and why it remains so pervasive in our society, even though in so many ways it is to our detriment. I want readers to understand why we have believed seven long held pronatalist assumptions for so long despite the fact that they either no longer serve us or have never been true to begin with.

I want readers to understand why it is time to stop blindly believing pronatalist beliefs, realize their serious costs, and why it is time to move toward what I call a “post-pronatal society.”

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

It would have to be the “Awakening to Pronatalism” chapter. When you read it, you will have taken the “red pill” and have started down the pronatal rabbit hole to learn what is real about parenthood, reproduction and our future.

In this chapter I explain what the “baby matrix” is. I talk about where it came from, why we have thought it is the “reality.”

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

I am also the author of Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice. Since its publication, I wanted to dig deeper into why society finds people who have no children by choice hard to totally accept. This led me to go down the pronatal rabbit hold myself and learn about pronatalism—meaning pro-natal-pro-baby—beliefs surrounding the idea that parenthood and children should be the central focus of our adult lives.

The more I looked into it I saw the picture was much larger than just those who don’t want children. Pronatalist ideas affect all people, such as being judged for only having one child, or being seen as less than whole if one can’t biologically reproduce. Pronatalist beliefs also carry serious costs when it comes to what’s best for our planet and the people on it.

The more I learned about pronatalism the more I saw the negative impacts of its influence, and was very surprised that many people aren’t aware of this—and even that most people don’t even know what pronatalism is. I saw the real need for people to know what it is and how it is affecting us today.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I mostly read nonfiction as part of growing my LiveTrue Books Collection, but when it comes to fiction, most people, even those who know me, would not guess that one of my favorite fiction books is The Witching Hour by Anne Rice!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I have traveled to many places in the world, but one place at the top of my bucket list is Egypt. I want to see the pyramids before I die. I am waiting until the political turmoil settles down there to go, however!

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Morning, definitely.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My husband is a lovely writer. He is working on a memoir of sorts about his fly fishing adventures and how they relate to lessons he has learned in life.

My mother is an avid reader, and for many years has kept a written collection of her experience of every book she has read. I keep telling her that this collection should one day be a book in and of itself!

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

I would say I was a very curious child. My mother tells stories of how she and I would take the bus when I was very young, and I would walk up to strangers and start asking them questions. An interviewer from a very young age, I was. I also had dreams of traveling the world as a girl, and am well on my way to fulfilling that dream.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

That I reach my goal with this book—that it becomes a catalyst–an instigator for needed change when it comes to how we think about and make decisions related to parenthood and reproduction in today’s society.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

If you think you want to have kids, read this book. If you are on the fence, read this book. If you have kids and are thinking of having another, read this book. If you know someone in any of these situations, tell them about this book!

It truly is for everyone, however, who reveres the truth, and wants the best for themselves, their families and our world.

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