The Way We Fall Inspirations and Giveaway: Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Previous TWWF inspiration post: The Stand

It makes sense for me to bring up this second book that helped inspire The Way We Fall immediately after The Stand, because the two basically took a tag team approach to convincing me I needed to write about an epidemic. The second book being The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

I got to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth a few months early, in late 2008, as part of the ARC swapping done among the 2009 Debs. I stayed up later than I normally would to finish it, because I needed to know how it ended, and then, as I relate in this post shortly after the fact, I had the only other nightmare I’ve ever had that was based on a book. It involved one particular plot development, which I won’t spoil if you haven’t read it, but it was emotionally wrenching specifically because of the infectious nature of the zombie condition. Because the most horrifying element for me was imagining what it would be like to be infected or have someone you care about infected and know there’s nothing that can stop the disease from following its course towards the inevitably awful end.

And as you can see in the post I linked to, when I thought about that, and how the only other book that affected me that much was The Stand, I knew I needed to write a book about my own mysterious and deadly virus.

It took a year of brainstorming and researching and outlining (I didn’t start the first draft until the end of 2009), but finally I did write that book, and that book was of course The Way We Fall.

Giveaway completed. Thanks to all who entered!


The Way We Fall Inspirations and Giveaway: Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth — 11 Comments

  1. Its fascinating how inspiration occurs I have yet to have a dream in which I recalled and so compelled I wrote about it, I think that would excite me, although I do have a notepad on my night stand. I look forward to reading THE WAY WE FALL and especially supporting you an awesome Canadian author.

    • I once wrote a short story where the first two scenes and the premise came from a dream, but that’s the only time I’ve actually gotten plot and characters while sleeping (and the story didn’t end up working out that well anyway). But I do think dreams are a great well to tell what gets to you emotionally, which you can then work into your writing!

  2. I find epidemic stories fascinating, from historic tales about the Black Plague like A Parcel of Patterns, to a contemporary or sci-fi novel like Blindness. They hook me every time. I love the way they gather power like a snowball rolling downhill. Sounds like I’ll be adding The Way We Fall (and The Forest of Hands and Feet) to my must-read list.

    • Yes, there’s something so gripping about the idea of an epidemic, especially because it seems so possible. I read A PARCEL OF PATTERNS as a teen and BLINDNESS a few years ago, and really enjoyed both.

  3. The books’ titles alone are enough to catch my interest and make me want to check them out! Throwing zombies in there just makes me want them more. I’m definitely adding them to my “want to read” list.

    • Glad to hear it! Though I’ll note that while TWWF has a virus, there are no zombies involved. (Actually, I think of them as anti-zombies — the illness makes people over-friendly rather than over-aggressive. 😀 )

  4. Pingback: Guest Author: Megan Crewe on Inspirations & Influences | The Book Smugglers

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