Take Five with Carrie Ryan, Author, “The Dead-Tossed Waves”


Carrie Ryan is the contributor for this week’s Take Five, a regular series where we ask authors to share five facts about their latest books.  Her most recent novel, The Dead-Tossed Waves, will be released in paperback on February 8.

Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of several critically acclaimed novels set decades after the zombie apocalypse: The Forest of Hands and Teeth, (Delacorte Press, 2009), The Dead-Tossed Waves, (Delacorte Press, 2010) and The Dark and Hollow Places (Delacorte Press, 2011). Her first novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, was chosen as a Best Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association, a Best of the Best Books by the Chicago Public Library and a finalist in the Borders Original Voices program. Born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Carrie is a graduate of Williams College and Duke University School of Law. A former litigator, she now writes full time. She lives with her writer/lawyer husband, two fat cats and one large puppy in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can find out more about Carrie at www.CarrieRyan.com.

Carrie Ryan:

1. Originally I started writing The Dead-Tossed Waves from Mary’s point-of-view (she was the POV character in The Forest of Hands and Teeth) and it took me several failed reboots of the draft to realize that her story was done and I needed to move on. That’s how I ended up deciding to write it from her daughter, Gabry’s, point of view.

2. My husband came up with the title before I even started writing the book. We’d been trying to come up with titles that matched the first (The Sea of ____ and ____ or The Ocean of _____ and _____) and he said, “What about something totally different like The Dead-Tossed Waves’” and I knew immediately that was the title.

3. The dog in The Forest of Hands and Teeth is named Argos, Odysseus’s dog from The Odyssey. In The Dead-Tossed Waves there’s a dog named Odys as a nod to Argos.

4. One of the romances in The Dead-Tossed Waves is based off the relationship between my mother and step-father (who both grew up on banana plantations in Latin America and didn’t fall in love until later in life when they met at a Chiquita Banana Reunion) which is why the book is dedicated to them.

5. I came up with the first line of The Dead-Tossed Waves while driving home from the beach with my husband. He went into a gas station to grab water and I borrowed his blackberry so I could email the line to myself. This amused me mostly because I also came up with the first line for The Forest of Hands and Teeth while walking home from work a year earlier and ended up emailing it to myself. Thank goodness for smartphones with email!