Blog Tour: The Forgetting by Nicole Maggi + Author Guest Post

Nicole Maggi has joined us today to share her inspiration for her newest release, The Forgetting.

About The Author:

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Nicole Maggi wrote her first story in third grade about a rainbow and a unicorn. After working as an actress in NYC, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family and two oddball cats. Visit her at nicolemaggi.com.


Connect with the author:  
Website| Goodreads

 

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What Inspired THE FORGETTING?

In the first few months of 2012, I was in a bad place. I’d just had my three-book deal with a major publisher cancelled, and I was questioning whether I wanted to ever write again. I didn’t know whether I’d ever have another original idea, or the passion to tell a story. All the love for writing had gone out of me, and my heart was broken.

While the cancelled book was out on submission, my wonderful agent gently suggested that I start working on something new. I did actually have a few ideas rattling around inside of me, and one of them was simply this: What if a girl wakes from a heart transplant and remembers the life of her donor?

The seed of that idea came from this odd little fascination I have with the theory of cellular memory, that our thoughts and feelings and memories are retained not just in our minds but also in our bodies, in our cellular DNA. There’s not really any science to back it up, but there are many documented cases of people who received heart transplants and underwent more than just a physical change. A dedicated carnivore suddenly becomes a vegetarian, a heterosexual becomes gay, or even (in a case that I read about long after I actually wrote THE FORGETTING) a ten-year-old recipient helps solve the murder of her ten-year-old donor because of a recurring nightmare that turned out to be memories of the murder.

But before I did any of that research, I had to work up the courage to write again.

I was so shattered from my book’s cancellation that the thought of writing again filled me with fear and sorrow and rage. Why had this happened to me? I couldn’t get past the unfairness of it all, couldn’t move on from the anger and sadness that consumed me. One night, after crying on the couch with a big glass of wine, I got up, went to my office, and pulled The Artist’s Way off my book shelf.

The Artist’s Way is a 12-step recovery program for damaged creatives by Julia Cameron. I’d done the program before, in 2006, after my first novel had been soundly rejected by every publisher in New York. It had saved me then; I clung to the desperate hope that it would save me again.

As I started to work through the intensely personal exercises, I started to realize that the book cancellation didn’t have to define me. It didn’t need to have the power over me that I’d been giving it. It was one stepping stone along this very long and winding path that we call a career. I’d kept myself stuck on that one stone, and now it was time leap to the next one. I stopped asking “Why me?” and started asking “What’s next?”

As I started to open up to the possibilities, windows opened all around me. I signed up for an online course given by Laura Baker called Fearless Writer. That sounded about right, I thought. I needed to become fearless again.

One of the main exercises we did in Laura’s class was to write our own Storytelling Paragraph, a very personal explanation of the kind of stories that I need to write. My Storytelling Paragraph reads, in part, “The desire to connect supersedes all else when I read and when I write. By putting complex female characters on a journey to discover their inner power, their true identity, and the place where they truly belong, I connect to my readers – and to myself.”

So working from that place, I began to think about my heart transplant idea.

I knew I wanted to write about a girl who goes on a journey into an underbelly of society that she never imagined existed. So I made my main character a girl of privilege. Out of that, her donor’s character grew organically; she had to be the main character’s complete opposite. Then I started to think about the memories that Jane Doe gives Georgie over the course of the story, and used those memories as touchstones to plot out the story.

As I delved deeper and deeper into this story, I got more and more excited. I was invigorated. I was redeemed. I would write something again, and something good.

About three weeks into working on THE FORGETTING, I got The Call from my agent that we had resold my cancelled book. I knew this timing was not coincidental. I had needed to focus my energy on something new instead of dwelling on the past in order to cultivate success. And the icing on the cake was that the publication date for my book (WINTER FALLS, Medallion Press) was not for another two and a half years, allowing me a luxurious amount of time to work on THE FORGETTING without any distractions.

And so, in the summer and fall of 2012, I wrote in a state of complete joy. I had fallen back in love with writing. It’s fitting that THE FORGETTING is about a heart transplant, because this book healed my own heart.

 

About The Book:

 

 unnamedThe Forgetting by Nicole Maggi
February 3, 2015; ISBN: 9781492603566; $9.99; Trade Paper
Sourcebooks Fire– Young Adult Fiction, Mysteries & Detective Stories
Ages 14-17, Grades 8-12

Georgie’s new heart saved her life…but now she’s losing her mind.

When Georgie Kendrick wakes up after a heart transplant she feels…different. The organ beating in her chest isn’t in tune with the rest of her body. Like it still belongs to someone else.  Someone with terrible memories…memories that are slowly replacing her own. Georgie discovers her heart belonged to a teenage girl who lived a rough life on the streets. Everyone thinks she committed suicide, but only Georgie knows the truth. And now Georgie has to catch a killer–before she loses herself completely.

Fans of Lisa McMann and April Henry will devour this edgy, gripping thriller with a twist readers won’t see coming!

Find the book Online:
Happy reading until next time!
Lucy