Mindy McGinnis talks about the world of her debut novel, Not a Drop to Drink.
In A World Without Water
By Mindy McGinnis
The seed that grew into Not a Drop to Drink was planted nearly fifteen years ago as I sat through a required geology class in order to get my liberal arts degree. Yes, rocks are important. Yes, air is nice. I didn’t expect this class to rattle me, but I’ve found that inspiration usually strikes out of nowhere.
Even though I was bored, I’m a good girl and I did all the required reading. One chapter in particular sat me back on my ass—hard. It was about aquifer depletion, and you’ll notice that the article I linked to is from July. Yep, it’s even more of a problem today than it was when it first scared the crap out of me.
It wasn’t aliens, velociraptors, demons, or even a natural disaster that had my attention. It was something very simple—there were too many people and not enough water. I sat through the next class waiting for someone to jump up and say, “Oh my God! Did anyone else go out and buy a bunch of bottled water yesterday!??!” But that didn’t happen.
It seemed that I was the only one absolutely terrified by my geology book.
A few years ago the fear was reawakened when I watched a documentary called Blue Gold. The numbers hadn’t improved. There were still too many people and not enough water. The seed that had been planted in college was rejuvenated. I went to bed absurdly thankful for the small pond in my backyard.
That night I dreamed about teaching a young girl how to operate a rifle so that we could defend our water source. I woke up and thought, “Hey . . . I wrote a book in my head just now.” The book made the journey from my head to paper, and soon it will get to travel from paper (or screens) into your heads. Just keep a glass of water nearby while reading. . . . Early reviewers claim that paranoia made them thirsty.
How likely is it that the world of Not a Drop to Drink could happen? Despite the A in my one geology class, I really don’t know. But keep in mind while reading this piece of fiction that the inspiration came from a college textbook and a documentary.
Also, buy bottled water.
5 Quick Tips for Surviving in the World of Not a Drop to Drink
1) Purify your water! Cholera is not a pleasant way to die, plus you’ll smell like diarrhea in the afterlife. Be familiar with the SODIS method. No boiling, no chemicals—let the sun’s UVA rays work for you.
2) Grow your own food! Seeds want to turn into plants. Stick them in the ground and stand back.
3) Can it! Even if you aren’t expecting to be killed any day, eating your garden vegetables in the dead of winter is incredibly satisfying. The Ball Blue Book is a must have and appropriate for beginners.
4) Girls, want to even out your chances? Yes, being a chick is hard; it’s even harder in a lawless land. Wear Carhartts to hide your body type and jam your hair up in a hat for a quick gender disguise. Walk with confidence. You look like a dude now.
5) Practice with flint! It’s not as hard as you think, but it’s also not as easy as it looks. Sure, you can get a book of matches at any restaurant or bar for free . . . today.
Not A Drop to Drink is on sale in hardcover and ebook now! Start reading it here.