Francisco X. Stork was kind enough to stop by and discuss The Memory of Light (out January 26).
Is there a character in this who’s more you?
In some ways all the characters in the book have little pieces of me. But it is Vicky, the main character in the novel, who carries within her soul all of the pain and wisdom gained through my own struggles with the illness we call depression. But in many ways Vicky is more courageous and compassionate than I am. I can see where some parts of her come from but there is much about her that came as a gift.
What’s the Twitter pitch for The Memory of Light?
“This book just might save your life.” Stephanie Perkins.
What was the inspiration for The Memory of Light?
My publisher asked me about four years ago if I would be interested in writing about a young girl recovering from depression. I guess they had read some of the posts on my blog on that subject. I thought about it for a long time wondering if I could do it. It’s the kind of book that needs to be told with just the right voice otherwise you end up with a boring, depressing book. Moreover, I had to be sure that I would not be pulled down by the weight of my own personal experiences with depression. I worked and worked on writing and re-writing the book until I felt that book would be a hopeful, helpful book to others as well as interesting, suspenseful story.
Can you share the first sentence/paragraph?
I open my eyes when I hear my name.
I’m lying down. A white bed. To my left a window.Pale blue sky. To my right a face. The same lady from last night. Underneath her white coat, I see a shiny green dress.
If you could make one book mandatory, what would it be and why?
I think everyone should read Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes at least once in their lifetime. It’s the first modern novel and a book about what makes life worth living.
What are your five favorite books? You can do authors, if that’s easier.
There’s so many. But here are some of my favorite books with young people as main characters:
Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
What 2016 releases are you excited for?
I’m sure there are some great books that I don’t know about yet. The one I do know about that I’m very much looking forward to reading is The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice – a wonderful author who is writing her first YA book.