?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Book Launch:30!

Two days until The Forest of Hands and Teeth officially hits shelves! I don't know if it's gauche to shamelessly pimp your significant other's book, but let's be honest, I don't know from tact to begin with so I would do it even if I did know it was gauche. I have watched this book go from being a shy little idea in carrie_ryan 's mind to be the amazing thing that it is today, and I really want to share my excitement and pride with the whole world, so indulge me a little here.

Way back in November '06, Carrie told me she had come up with this idea that she was playing with that was completely different from anything she had written to that point. She wouldn't tell me anything about it at first, and it wasn't until the first chapter was written that I got to step into the world of Mary and the Forest of Hand's and Teeth. Carrie insisted it was just for play, that it would never sell, but I've never seen such a firey passion in her. As soon as I heard the first line, I knew that she had something special, and I was not disappointed. Mary's world is a bleak one, a terrifying vision of the future, but it is one filled with hope, too. It's a world where the human spirit is bloodied, but unbowed. And even as the people around her succumb to the dreadful malaise of life constantly surrounded by the hungry dead, the never-waivering visages of their loved ones constantly clawing for their flesh, Mary dreams. Who hasn't been in that situation-- not surrounded by the undead (I hope), but surrounded by the living who have lost themselves, who have given in to the world around them? Who hasn't wondered if they are the only one who still holds on to the thought that things can be different, better? Who hasn't felt the pressure, not just the societal pressure, but the internal need for acceptance, telling them that it's best if they give in too, if they just accept what the world is and give up on fantasies? 

This is Mary-- though her world may be fantastic, the people in it are terrifyingly real. And isn't that what all good zombie stories are about, the people? Zombies aren't like other monsters, that are characters in themselves-- they are literarily what they are literally, a mockery of reality, an element of setting that just looks like an element of character. I don't mean to denigrate stories where zombies are good horror fodder or the butt of limitless jokes, but to me, the timeless zombie story is one where the zombies exist simply to push the characters to the limit and expose who they are underneath. I have to admit, I always knew that Carrie was a fabulous and gifted writer, but even I was astonished to see her get everything so right, to make these real and flawed and amazingly three-dimensional characters that speak so well to life today despite existing in a future as distant from now as the sun from a star at midnight.

I've read The Forest of Hands and Teeth many times now, and seen it through many variations, and I can honestly say that it's never once been a chore. And each time I've seen, I see some new chord, some fresh element that was previously hidden from me but resonates deeply, like Jed's struggle to balance his family with his own sense of duty and conformity, or Harry's profoundly tragic love of Cass, forever distracted and abused by his unquenchable obsession with Mary. I hope that you will see these things, too, and I can't wait to discuss them with you, I can't wait to hear what you get from it, good and bad. Because even when Carrie was swearing that The Forest of Hands and Teeth would never see daylight, I knew it was a story that had to be shared, and I'm so amazingly happy and proud that she's gotten the opportunity to share it with you.

FHT hits shelves Tuesday. As a reader, not simply as the fiance of the author, I'd tell you to go out and find yourself a copy (preferably purchasing <cough>) and see it for yourself. I can't promise you'll love it like I do-- you may even hate it, as someone somewhere surely will. But what I can promise that you'll see something there, one way or another, that will make you think deeply and feel passionately. And for me, that's what literature is all about.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
mamculuna
Mar. 9th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
And it's partly yours, too! Not just the original concept, but also the support and beta reading and everything else that goes into being there with a book. Can't wait! Guess I'll head over to Amazon and buy an advance copy!
jp_davis
Mar. 9th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Can't take much credit, it's all Carrie (though I did come up with the title!) So exciting to see it on shelves tomorrow!
mamculuna
Mar. 9th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
I ordered mine from Amazon, but might go to B&N just to see it!
jp_davis
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
I know I am!
ken_schneyer
Mar. 9th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
My felicitations and congratulations to Carrie. And to you too -- behind every great woman is a great beta-reader.

jp_davis
Mar. 9th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
That's the spirit!
daydreammuse
Mar. 9th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
I am not sure when I will read this novel, but I know that I will before my life ends. :) Sounds amazing and I agree full heartedly about the zombies in fiction. But I am not going to discuss it anymore, since you did it quite well.
jp_davis
Mar. 9th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
You're in the UK, right? You can read it this summer... but in case that isn't public, you didn't hear it from me. It is totally amazing, in my totally and utterly in every way unbiased opinion.

Awesome icon, btw.
daydreammuse
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Nope. I am in the magical Eastern European land called Bulgaria, where the laws of common sense do not function at all. I will have to order, when it gets out in the UK. :)

PS: Thanks about the icon.
jp_davis
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
Bulgaria, you say? Why did I think you were in the UK? Well, lobby hard for a Bulgarian printing! Bulgarian rights are still available :)
daydreammuse
Mar. 11th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
No idea? Let's wait and if it makes a bestseller it will get translated eventually, plus I hardly read anything Bulgarian anyways. So many people send me review titles for my review blog I am full.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )