Crichton has been gone 10 years. Something I learned yesterday on the anniversary of his passing. Sometimes we are too busy in the world to stop and reflect, sometimes we just have to step away to think about life and how one day we are here the next we are gone.
More recently I have been too damn wrapped up in getting my 4th book published that I’ve lost my way a little, I’ve lost who I am whilst trying to be what I want to be. And learning of this poignant anniversary brought back a memory that carries everything I stand for. I’m not being dramatic and I am not trying to take anything away from a world renowned writers passing this is more of a tribute than anything and its also truth. When you speak from the heart and when you speak truth, people truly listen and care.
In 2005 I was sixteen years old when I took my first job as an airline cleaner at Heathrow Airport. Whilst on that job I found a discarded or even left behind book titled ‘Timeline’ written by Michael Crichton. I quit that job way before I finished reading Timeline but that book had a lasting effect on me. It inspired me; an already want to be writer; it pushed me to read more and so every time I had some extra cash I spent it on his work. Michael Crichton became my writing idol for some years, all I would read is his stuff, all I could read was his stuff. Slowly I became more and more immersed in his science fiction- research heavy narratives.
Now why is just finding a book and reading it anything special? because of what came next. That sixteen year old kid who quit cleaning planes never forgot the style of Critchton or the tales he wrote, that sixteen year old kid lived his life and read all he could. Then he delved into writing seriously. He worked tirelessly much like Michael and he eventually became a published author of 4 books. His friends and family supported him and spread the word about a book called ‘Open Evening’ a book inspired much by Jurassic Park and Prey.
It wasn’t until I stopped and thought about it for a moment that it actually sunk in. That moment I found a book influenced who I became and only all these years later has it actually become apparent. Books have a power to not only immerse but to influence others.
We aren’t here forever and I never got the chance to thank Michael for his influence on me as a writer and a person. He’ll never know how he shaped my work and possibly others. You can still see his work even today; Westworld and the new Jurassic films come to mind. His books will live on through readers and writers alike and that is what we work for. Sometimes that wordsmith goes silently by whilst others become immersed in their worlds. The day I learned of Michael’s passing ten years ago crushed me because I knew there wouldn’t be any more of his works and I would never get the opportunity to meet him.
Maybe one day…