This confession led us to imagine a novel in which an ill-prepared mother has to fight for her children’s lives in the aftermath of a disaster. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see her fierce mama-bear instincts play out against taut suspense? That week the agent tweeted out the general idea with the hashtag #manuscriptwishlist. A day later she had Jo Furniss’s masterful manuscript in hand.
Jo had written All the Little Children in the months following the birth of her first child. She’d spent hours walking in the woods around her remote home with her baby strapped to her chest. As she walked, she let her imagination roam, wondering what it would feel like to be isolated, desperate to protect her child after disaster struck. How far would she go? What would she be willing to risk? From there sprang the idea for this adrenaline-fuelled thriller. When I received the manuscript, I tore through the pages, completely absorbed, asking myself over and over, ‘What would I do in that situation? Could I be that brave?’
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stock up on a few more emergency provisions. This may not prevent disaster, but I do hope it will keep maternal guilt at bay. Thank you, Jo.
- Jodi Warshaw, Editor