Samantha Hastings ('09 M.S.) tore through the 19th century novel Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, eagerly awaiting the next plot twist.
"I kept turning pages and wondering how she was going to wrap everything up in time," she says. "Spoiler -- she didn't."
Gaskell died without finishing the book. And that got Hastings thinking. That led her to write the young adult novel The Last Word (Macmillan), about a young 19th century woman, Lucinda Leavitt, who investigates her favorite author after she dies without completing her serialized novel.
Hastings credits her classes at UNT for helping her to learn about books and the library world.
"My storytelling classes helped me understand the importance of voice and hearing your words spoken," she says.
Hastings, who is based in Salt Lake City, says she's wanted to write since she first read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. "I love being a writer of historical fiction because you get to combine real events with characters from your own imagination," she says. "But the best part is wearing pajamas all day long."