It’s quite difficult to remember the inspiration behind my story, as it was originally part of a novel I wrote about ten years ago. I had completely forgotten about it, and when I discovered it again last year, I sent a chapter to a friend, who loved the character, but felt that it belonged to part of a book, rather than a short story. I therefore decided to rewrite one of the chapters and it became The Sun is Also a Star. I seem to recall that it was originally inspired by a newspaper article that I read in 2007, and although I can’t remember the exact details now, the character of Stella then appeared in my head. I saw her as a bright, funny young woman who had inexplicably committed a serious crime and become a ‘falling star’ who crashed and burned, becoming a teenage celebrity for the worst possible reasons.
This is typical of my writing, as most of my ideas come from newspaper articles, an overheard conversation, or something I see that sows a tiny seed of a story. I’m not sure whether it’s because I work with teenagers, or I remember very clearly being a teenager myself, but most of my stories have an adolescent voice, although I don’t particularly write for a certain audience.
My story is about relationships, love, forgiveness, and ultimately redemption. There are a lot of real life Stellas who can’t stay locked up forever. What do we do about this as a society?