There were two main prongs of inspiration for this book: mental health, and The BFG. Not exactly related, I know, but hear me out.
I was diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety a couple of years ago. Many of you know this. At that point, I was considered to be affected at a moderate-severe level. Writing, painting and music have been some of the things that brought me out of that depression and now they help me manage it. In some ways, this book was a tribute to myself; a tribute to the journey I took out of my own darkness.
It’s interesting to me that one of the phrases most used by readers to describe this book is: “It’s got HEART.”
And what about The BFG? For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, The BFG is one of my favourite books from one of my favourite authors, Roald Dahl. It stands for ‘The Big, Friendly Giant’ and features an amusing array of vocabulary. A lot of Dahl’s books made a significant impact on me as a child, and this was one of them. When I read this book, it was the first (and only) time I have ever thought: “I wish I wrote this book.”
The Star-Maker in What Stars Are Made Of is heavily inspired by the BFG, who journeys through the night collecting and sharing dreams. See the connection? (Thanks, Roald Dahl!)