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February 3, 2015

5 Things People Don’t Know About THE FORGETTING - Guest Post by Nicole Maggi

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When we read books, we get completely wrapped up in the plot, the characters, the whole world that the author created. So much so that we forget that there's a lot going on behind the scenes --- little bits and pieces lifted from the author's real life, backstories to characters that never get explained, and reasons why a book is set in one city versus another. In the below blog post, Nicole Maggi indulges us by sharing a few of these juicy "you would never guess" details about her new thriller, THE FORGETTING, in which a girl wakes up from a heart transplant with memories from the donor.

 


 

1) I was inspired to make Jane Doe, Georgie’s heart donor, a trafficked girl when I drove past a billboard put up by the Los Angeles Metro. The billboard was a picture of a child surrounded by shadowy adults with the caption “Sexually trafficked children are hiding in plain sight.” I passed the billboard twice every day while driving my daughter to and from daycare. Having my own child in the backseat made the message hit very close to home.

2) THE FORGETTING’s original title was HEARTLINES. I took it from the Florence & the Machine song of the same name, which I listened to over and over as part of the playlist I created while writing the book. However, HEARTLINES made the book sound more like a dark romance than the thriller that it is.

3) I knew I wanted THE FORGETTING to be set in a city, so at first I considered the two cities that I know the best --- New York and Los Angeles. But both of those cities felt too big for the book. I wanted a place that was smaller and more compact, like San Francisco, but I’d only been there a couple of times in my life. Boston just felt right --- I know it very well because I went to Emerson College, which is based in the city, and I visit family there, often.

4) Georgie plays the oboe because I played the oboe. I was actually very serious about the oboe when I was young and had I not been bitten by the acting bug, I probably would have pursued classical music professionally. My oboe teacher was also named Joel, as Georgie’s is, and many of the pieces named in the book were ones that I worked on. The Poulence Oboe Sonata that Georgie is working on for her Juilliard audition is the last piece that I was working on before I graduated from high school. It’s really, really hard. I never mastered it.

5) Although I never specify exactly what type of writer Georgie’s mother is in the book, she writes literary fiction along the lines of Donna Tartt or Barbara Kingsolver (although she’s not as well known as they are). She’s cloistered in her office for a lot THE FORGETTING because she’s in the home stretch of finishing her current book (and she takes a really long time to write each one).


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.