Book Nerd Interview
Kat Rosenfield: At the start of the story, Callie exists in a state of sort of comfortable hopelessness. She's been very ill for a very long time, and she's basically adrift; she's too exhausted to try to engage with the world around her, especially when the world is pretty much happy to leave her alone. She doesn't live her life so much as occupy space in it. But she also has memories — unreliable and fading, but still there — of a time in her life when things weren't like this. And she has a promise, one she doesn't really trust because it seems too good to be true, that maybe one day things will be better.
Ultimately, this is the story of how Callie goes from being a person who's so tired and broken that she doesn't even dare to dream, to being a person who not only does dream, but who begins to feel things within her grasp that are unfathomable, powerful, terrifying.
Is there a playlist for INLAND? Any movies or TV or books that helped you write it? Share them with us.
The mythology of INLAND is more a whispering undercurrent than an explicit element, but I looked to a lot of stories about mermaids and aquatic beasties to get the bare shape of it — everything from Hans Christian Andersen's "Little Mermaid" to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P. Lovecraft.
As for a playlist, I didn't have one, precisely… but I did wake up with P. J. Harvey's "Down by the Water" stuck in my head nearly every night for the entire year that I was working on this book.
What's another supernatural creature, other than mermaids, that you'd like to write about?
This is a tough question, actually. If I were going to do something like this again, I think I'd have to come around to it the same way that I came to INLAND, where the original concept was rooted very much in the real world, and any fantastical elements came second. But without giving too much away, I do have an idea percolating that I hope to start working on within the next year, and it may or may not have something to do with the Devil.
But after years of running away, the promise of a life-changing job for her father brings Callie and him back to the coast, to Florida, where Callie’s symptoms miraculously disappear. For once, life seems delightfully normal. But the ocean’s edge offers more than healing air … it holds a magnetic pull, drawing Callie closer and closer to the chilly, watery embrace that claimed her mother. Returned to the ocean, Callie comes of age and comes into a family destiny that holds generations of secrets and very few happy endings.