Name: Lauren Tanaka
Birthday: June 2
Appearance: Slim and tall for her age, Laurie is a bit of a tomboy, preferring t-shirts and shorts over dresses. She feels like she needs to dress differently from every other girl her age, to show how mature she is. But, once and while, she can’t resist flowers, kitties and puppies.
Personality: Laurie is very practical for a 13-year-old, she does what she’s told and enjoys doing well in school. She’s very quiet and pensive, but isn’t afraid of saying what’s on her mind if anyone annoys her enough. She’s used to be bullied somewhat by other girls, but being at academics (Except math, she hates math) guaranteed a spot on Jenny’s group. What she lacks in charisma, she makes up with confidence and determination.
Background: Laurie is the only daughter of a nurse and a writer. Her mother is very busy, doing multiple shifts and volunteer work in her spare time. Because of this, Laurie has a closer relationship with her father, who works from home. They share some secrets for her mother, such as buying candy while she isn’t looking. Her mother is very strict with their diet (especially because her husband has a heart condition) and dislikes junk food and sugary drinks. Overall, they all get along very well, and she really likes spending time with her parents far more than any school friends.
At school, Laurie goes her way to stay out of trouble and recently managed to befriend a group of girls after some years of being an outcast. She goes to their parties and sleep overs, but doesn’t say much or enjoys it. She thinks they are very silly and should focus on studying instead of boy bands and pop music. Knowing this opinion would make her a target for bullying again, she keeps quiet, not out of shame, but out patience for constant conflict. She always looks for the most practical way of surviving high school, and of course, the zombie apocalypse.
Hobbies: Reading trashy romance novels when no one is awake, under her covers (lately she’s reading the Nightfall trilogy). Watching movies, especially sci-fi and fantasy, especially Star Wars. Her father was a die-hard Star Wars fan and initiated her to the series very early, they would watch together all the time and discuss the characters and universe.
Bonus round: Laurie and her father like playing mini-golf and it’s tradition for them to go to the course after Lauren’s mother cancels another family trip. During Laurie’s summer break, she and her father stay awake until Erika’s shift is over in the middle of the night so they can have dinner together and watch bad B horror movies.
Alignment: Chaotic Good.
Name meaning: Nothing really special about her name. Actually, she wasn’t going to be named at all, but I wanted to hint at her heritage and during the critique phase people wondered about it, so I chose Laurie. It was risky to give her a name with the same initial as Lily, as anyone will tell you that’s a no-no and can confuse readers, but this confusion is somewhat intentional. Lily and Laurie are parallels of each other, not outright parallel, but they share a connection, and will be clearer why in book 2 and 3.
Trivia: I actually dreamed Laurie. I know, sounds cheesy! But I did it. I saw her clearly walking around an abandoned mall, searching for her parents, and wishing to go back to the day they were supposed to watch a movie together. She went in a theater and started to imagine the movie and then she meets Peter.
The last one, of course, will be the Professor.