Carrie, tell us what’s behind the first line of The Forest of Hands and Teeth “My mother used to tell me about the ocean.” The line leads to The Dead-Tossed Waves.
One day at work I read an article online about the overfishing of Tuna and I thought to myself how odd it would be if tuna became so rare that the next generation would rarely every eat it when right now it’s so ubiquitous that I have cans of it sitting on my shelf (and always had). It made me think about what’s so common today that might not be common (or might even be gone ) in future generations.
When I was walking home from work that night thinking about this, the first line “My mother used to tell me about the ocean” just literally popped into my head and I was so struck by it that I pulled out my blackberry and emailed it to myself. The whole drive home I kept thinking about it and when I got home I pulled out my computer and wrote about 2,000 words.
I hadn’t really planned on writing a post-apocalypse zombie book but I needed to start a new project for National Novel Writing Month and I wanted to try a new voice (to basically clear an old character’s voice out of my head). The Forest of Hands and Teeth really started out as more of an experiment — me trying something new — than anything else.
As I wrote, the theme of the first line really stuck with me — this idea of what we forget through the generations and I really did wonder if a world cut off from everything else could forget about something as large as the ocean. This really hit home with me when I was telling my fiancé about a story my grandmother told me when she was ill, just before she died. In her story, she attended a college dance wearing lavender stockings and one of the chaperones asked her to leave because her stockings were inappropriate. Her mother, my great-grandmother, was also at the dance and she gave the woman the most perfect response that was cutting and proper and oh-so-clever. It’s a line that so perfectly explains the strength of the women in my family.
But I can’t remember what that line was. I’ve asked everyone else in my family if Nana ever told them that story and none of them had ever heard it. I was the one the story was entrusted to and now it’s gone forever. I really wanted to make that a part of Mary’s world — all the things that we take for granted and don’t bother passing on eventually become lost… including the ocean.
Wow. That’s powerful! Thank you, Carrie.
You can see more from Carrie Ryan along her blog tour:
If you’re a fan of Carrie Ryan’s books, you’ll want to check out www.RandomBuzzers.com where Carrie will be answering questions from March 22-April 2.
You can also become friends with Dead-Tossed Waves on Facebook, where you can watch book trailers.
And don’t forget to check out Carrie’s site–www.CarrieRyan.com to learn more, see the trailers, read Carrie’s blog, and view her tweets.