If you’ve ever doubted how important a story can be to somebody, watch this (NSFW: some swearing):
The quick version of the story: A guy’s friend has terminal cancer and may be dead by June. So the guy jumps online and explains that it would mean so much if his friend could find out how the next book in a series he loves ends.
Through the magic of Reddit, he gets an advance reader copy of the book and…he also wrangles a call to the ill friend by the author, Harry Turtledove.
My sister was a fan of the Harry Potter books. When she found out that she had cancer, some of her first words were, “I can’t die–I have to find out how the Harry Potter books end.”
Sadly, she missed the last few books in the series. (It was bittersweet reading those damn things after that!)
I’m sure the story of this kid and my sister [sadly] aren’t uncommon. As a writer, I never take what I do for granted, but seeing this…I’ll always put everything I can into every story I tell.
You just never know how important that story might be to somebody…
This has to be one of the best illustrations of your point. Thanks.
Christopher Gronlund says
Mary: What I have out there hasn’t sold in droves, but hearing back from people who like what I’ve written and why they like it — it means a lot to me. When I released Hell Comes with Wood Paneled Doors, I was so connected to it that I saw it as just a fun little read peppered with some crude humor. It wasn’t until somebody told me that they teared up at the end of the podcast that I remembered it has heart. Others contacted me, thanking me for reminding them of road trips they took when they were younger. A couple other people were interested in the views of faith, and lack of faith, in the book.
Just when I think it’s all fart jokes and humor, others reminded me that I put a lot more into the story. Something I wrote, on some level, mattered to others — and that’s a great feeling. So seeing these two kids and their story…it got me thinking about stories I love and what would happen if I didn’t get to see things play out. What if the author of that series thousands (or even millions) of people love died before the end? What if it’s YOU who reaches an end before the storyteller is done?
It’s a good reminder that even if you don’t sell a lot of books or e-books that, to somebody out there, the story you’re telling matters. And that’s a big enough honor to keep writing, no matter what!