In a strange co-incidence, author Jodi Picoult wrote a novel about a high school shooting incident. This novel, called Nineteen Minutes, was published on 6 March this year, just over a month before the Virginia events.

As writers, we sometimes feel compelled to use past tragedies as part of our works in order to help readers come to terms with the human side of these events. Jodi used the events of the Columbine High School shootings as the background for Nineteen Minutes. I can't even imagine what she felt when she heard about the Virginia incident just as she was beginning her book tour for Nineteen Minutes. But we have to write about the good and the bad, in order to understand it and grieve it. Perhaps, maybe even in later years, the timing of Jodi's book will help those coming to terms with the Virginia shooting to find some sort of answer in the fictional life of a character.

Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna