The truth is that I’ve lived a lot of my life in fear. Twenty years in bondage to obsessive-compulsive disorder will do that to a person. I’ve been afraid of so many things, most often related to my faith journey and the way that God sees me. The concept of eternity collapsed me.
The Last Battle helped me to not be so scared.
I was a mediocre writer in college and in the years following. Okay, maybe above average. But excellence happened by accident, and I was hesitant to embrace imagery and metaphor because it felt very physically descriptive to me.
But in The Book Thief, I encountered imagery that was emotionally descriptive, images that rousted my soul and completely changed the way I write.
Even though young adult literature was my favorite to read, I still spent four years writing a novel for adults and then started in earnestly on a second one.
Then I encountered John Green’s masterpiece, angels started singing and fireworks exploded in my brain, and I adopted my new identity as a YA author.