Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry. More than twenty years later, her children found out. Their lives would never be the same.
As someone who has been writing stories since I was able to form sentences with a pencil, I have many favorite authors and creators, but I have a very select list of “writer role models.”
In 2002, as an eleven year old bookworm struggling with depression, I read about J.K. Rowling and her determination to get Harry Potter written during difficult times. While anxiously waiting for the next book (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) to be released the next year, I threw myself into writing stories so that I could be just like her. In more recent years, learning how much more there is to the Wizarding World than what I originally read or saw on the big screen has only cemented J.K. Rowling’s spot on my list.
In 2009, when I was away at college for the first time, my friends introduced me to Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. That first year of college was a struggle, and some of the best moments were when I would curl up on a couch in the common area with my friends to lose myself in Echo’s story. I quickly became obsessed with finding anything created by Joss Whedon, and I admire the way he is able to craft stories that take your mind, as well as your emotions, on crazy adventures.
When I finished reading Kazuo Ishiguro‘s first novel, A Pale View of Hills, I closed it and set it on my bedside table, feeling quite confused. When I woke up the next morning, feeling refreshed and more clear-headed, I went over the final pages of the novel in my mind, and whispered, “Holy shit!” as the story fell into place.
Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my favorite novelists. Back in 2013, I first read Never Let Me Go, which blew my mind just as much as this one has. He writes about relatable issues in such a subtle way that you often don’t realize what you’re reading about, until one carefully-placed line throws everything into perspective.
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
When I put down Paula McLain’s novel, The Paris Wife, I was saddened by the ending, even though I had known the story would end that way. The sadness evaporated into awe when I thought about the fact that this romance was a true story, and that the quiet yet strong main character, Hadley Richardson, was Ernest Hemingway’s first wife out of four. Read more “A Moveable Feast – The Paris Wife”