I’m delighted to be welcoming Lisa Selin Davis to the blog today, to talk about the novels that inspired her to turn to writing! Her debut novel, Lost Stars, is out from Hot Key Books and I’m very excited about it. I’m in love with the cover.
Over to Lisa:
I’m not alone in being inspired, very recently, by The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s not why my title is “Lost Stars”—that came from my own love of astronomy and my main character, Carrie’s, obsession with the night sky. But the heartbreak and humor in that book—it stayed with me. The first young adult novel I can remember really loving was Madeleine L’Engle’s Meet the Austins, about a noisy, loving family, forever changed when an orphaned 10-year-old girl comes to live with them. I think I really wanted a family like that. My parents were divorced and I felt terribly lonely and isolated in the towns we moved to when I was young. As an older kid, three pieces of writing really affected me. A short story by Alice Munro, How I Met My Husband; Anne Tyler’s Morgan’s Passing; and a short story by Deborah Eisenberg called What It Was Like, Seeing Chris. They were all very, very different pieces, but probably all had a sense of quiet bewilderment that really affected me. I read them all when I was in junior high, and I said to myself “Whatever these ladies did, I want to do that too.” They really made me want to be a writer. As a side note: my parents subscribed to The New Yorker, a famous, venerable, and long-running literary magazine, that has both fiction and journalism. I really hold this magazine accountable for my becoming a writer. For a long time I just looked at the cartoons (many of which I didn’t understand) or at the illustrations, but then, around age 13, I started to read the stories. It was there that I read Deborah Eisenberg’s piece, which changed me forever. Thank you, New Yorker. Or maybe I should curse them instead, since now I’m doomed to the writing life (unless I can think of how to become an investment banker). And as for recent novels for adults, I have a hands-down, absolute favourite called Christadora, by Tim Murphy, which is about several generations of a family in New York City’s East Village, all touched by gentrification, art, and AIDS. It’s an amazing book.
Thank you for visiting the blog, Lisa!
Lost Stars (or what Lou Reed taught me about love) is out now from Hot Key Books in the UK.