A dozen of Indian Land’s Del Webb Library patrons and the library’s Teen Advisory Board members met local New York Times Best Selling Author, Carrie Ryan recently. Each teenager and adult sat clutching a well-worn copy of one of the books from “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” trilogy.Ryan talked about writing, exhibiting stacks of several editing drafts from her first published young adult fiction novel, “The Forest of Hands and Teeth,” which debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list in March 2009. She shared her experience establishing a writing schedule, especially using what helped her finish writing “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” – National Novel Writing Month, a documented pledge to write a novel in 30 days in November.She also talked about zombies, which she said not only haunt her novels, but her dreams, too. Her husband, John Parke Davis – a federal defender with the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina – introduced her to them.Ryan said that after writing and failing to publish a sensual western historical romance and a chick lit book about a debutante that worked in a coroner’s office, she decided to take Davis’ advice and write what she loves. And she loves zombies.“Zombies are fascinating because they seem so easy to kill, but the problem is, you can’t run forever,” she said, “… and the horrifying aspect, where you have to objectively kill the people you knew, who are now zombies.” Ryan said she finds it interesting how the consequences of decisions linger during a zombie apocalypse and how “making the wrong decision stays with you.”Ryan and Davis moved to Charlotte in 2005. Also a lawyer, Ryan worked for Moore and Van Allen law firm in uptown as a civil litigator from 2007 to fall 2008, when she resigned to start the pre-publication tour for her first novel.Ryan also wrote two short stories that accompany the trilogy, including her latest publication, “What Once We Feared,” an e-original short story published in May 2013. For this story, she drew inspiration from her old apartment, Camden’s Grandview on East Morehead Street, renaming it the Overlook as a place of refuge from the zombie apocalypse. Not limited to zombie novels, she also wrote the New York Times Best Selling Middle Grade book, “Infinity Ring: Divide and Conquer” of the Scholastic’s multi-author Infinity Series in November 2012. Ryan and her husband are co-writing a middle grade series called Pirate Stream with her husband. The first of the series, “The Map to Everywhere,” is expected to publish in fall 2014 through Little, Brown and Company’s children’s division.Ryan has also appeared in several anthologies, “Rags and Bones,” “Shards and Ashes” and “My Bookstore,” where she credits Park Road Books as a place that allows her to keep dreaming.Her readers are “passionate fans,” who aren’t afraid to give their opinion, Ryan said. “I’ve had readers say that they weren’t readers until they read my book. That’s powerful, more credit than I think I deserve.”“Most of all, I just want people to read,” she said. When Ryan isn’t writing about zombies, or as she calls them, the unconsecrated, she enjoys reading, watching reality TV and jogging with her husband. She said that she is too scared to watch zombie movies and series by herself.Ryan lives in Dilworth near Freedom Park with her husband and their two cats and a dog.
Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013
Charlotte best-seller author shares her secrets
Crystal O’Gorman is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Crystal? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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