As Stephen King wrote, writers don’t choose the stories they write. I actually gave ten friends the choice between this story and four what-if premise ideas, and they unanimously picked this one, regardless of their background.
I wanted to write a story that was page-turning, suspenseful, and exciting, but also made people think about what exactly makes us truly human, in the positive sense of the word. I also feel strongly that any story needs to have a touch of humor, because a good book should be like a good friend, and make us laugh sometimes too. I am convinced that what makes us laugh stays with us longer than what makes us sad or afraid.
My goals were a well-written and entertaining story. But the result was greater than the sum of its parts, as the story resonated at a more profound level than I anticipated, with some readers feeling moved emotionally. More importantly, it made readers get in touch with the fundamental qualities that unify us, rather than the small differences that separate us. I am so glad that this was the story my ten friends had picked from a hat!