Charles Tan interviews Mira Grant

Mira Grant

Hi! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. I love the title of the novel and how it works on multiple levels. How did you settle on Feed as the title of the book?

“News feeds.  Zombies feed.  Fear feeds.  People feed on fear, and the news feeds them more to be afraid of.  It was the only title that actually encapsulated everything about the story, and to be entirely honest, it wasn’t originally mine.  My editor at Orbit, DongWon Song, was like, ‘have you considered…?’, and I was like, ‘DUDE,’ and the book had a title.  (I’m from California.  I say ‘like’ a lot.)”

What kind of research did you have to do to make your zombies plausible?

“So.  Much.  Research.  I researched virology, epidemic modeling, and the behavior of populations in pandemics.  I researched simple-cell hive behavior, flatworms, viral transmission, genetic engineering, and the history of the CDC.  Everything I learned gave me eight more things I needed to know.  It was like this crazy daisy-chain of science.  But I think it paid off.  I wound up with something that was so concrete it could stand up to anything I wanted to throw at it.  And I like to throw things.”

What was the most difficult aspect in writing the book?

“I usually say that it was the very bad thing that happens two-thirds of the way through.  But from a technique standpoint, it was the length.  There’s very little extra in the text.  It’s actually very spare, a lot of the time.  So it’s all there because it has to be.  I’d never written anything that long before, and sometimes I got a little scared of my own story.  On the plus side, it was the kind of story that worked when it was backed up by a little fear.”

 

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