Storytellers That Have Changed Our Lives for the Better

Check out Bookstr’s favorite Storytellers and their journey of changing our lives.

Art and Music Author's Corner Book Culture Bookstr Talks Lifestyle Opinions Pop Culture TV & Movies
Three book covers in front of a book with leaves.

Storytelling is found all around us. From our favorite movies to our favorite pop artists, tales from our favorite storytellers can be discovered in the smallest cracks of lyrics and chapters. One of the most fascinating aspects of storytelling is how it affects us all differently. We all have our favorite tales and artists who create those stories, and in this article, we will be looking at Bookstr’s dearest storytellers and how they create their chronicles. Do you spot any of your personal favorites?

Mike Flanagan, Filmmaker

Mike Flanagan is an American filmmaker well known for his iconic horror movies and limited series. In particular, many people know him for his horror adaptations, as he’s adapted works from horror legends like Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry James, and Shirley Jackson.

The Haunting of Hill House poster showing a house with a family standing outside, all on top of a persons head with a tear running down their cheek.

I’ve been a huge fan of Flanagan ever since I watched The Haunting of Hill House, a limited series inspired by Shirley Jackson’s masterful novel of the same name. Flanagan has an immense talent for taking beloved horror stories and transforming them into something completely new while also retaining the original work’s core essence. He rarely uses jump scares, meaning his vein of horror is more psychological, making it all the more terrifying for me. (Although that one jump scare in The Haunting of Hill House nearly stopped my heart…if you know, you know.)

I’m not the biggest horror fan in general, but I would watch anything Mike Flanagan put out. He’s an ingenious storyteller, and his films and TV series never fail to impress me, thoroughly spook me, and inspire me to create great art.

  • Lauren Nee, Editorial

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Writer

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is an American poet and essayist. She is a professor at the University of Mississippi’s MFA program in English and Creative Writing and also teaches for Writing Workshops in Greece. I’m a STEM major, and I always thought that writing would only be a hobby that I wouldn’t be able to take into the field with me. But reading World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, I realized that my two passions don’t have to be exclusive.

Front cover of various animals, bugs, and sea creatures with the words "World of Wonders, In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments."

Aimee Nezhukumatathil writes about the environment in an enchantingly empathetic and logical way, educating readers in a way that will resonate with them. Her beautiful stories, accompanied by exquisite illustrations, connect smoothly with nature and bring awareness to conservation and sustainability topics. Not only has Nezhukumatathil served as the representation I needed to see in my prospective career, but she’s shown me that creative writing can be used as a tool to advocate for the environment, letting me know that I don’t have to divide myself among my passions, and I can harness them equally and direct them towards the same goal.

  • Emma Jamrin, Editorial

Sarah J. Maas, Writer

Front cover of A Court of Thorns and Roses, showing a mythical creature being shot with an arrow.

I love deeply immersive fantasy, and I love a good romantic plot. SJM can entangle the two in such a beautiful and all-encompassing way that it leaves me breathless. Her ability to weave so many subplots and emotional cobwebs of complexity — not only with the series you’re reading but with others, as well — that I sit at the edge of my seat dying to find out what comes next.

  • Kristi Eskew, Editorial

Mizuho Kusanagi, Mangaka

Front cover of Yona of the Dawn, showing a person with long red hair surrounded by many swords.

Because I’m such a manga enthusiast, I have to shout out Mizuho Kusanagi. She’s the mangaka for Yona of the Dawn, which was one of my first manga series, and it’s still a favorite. From then on, I latched onto all of Kusanagi’s works. Everything she does is right up my alley: romance, comedy, fantasy, action, and gorgeous illustrations. She also seems hilarious as a person; I always enjoy reading personal commentary about her work process.

  • Gabriela Collazo, Editorial

R.F. Kuang, Writer

I started The Poppy War trilogy in November, and since then I have read every novel Kuang has out and am committed to buying every one she publishes in the future. I heard great things about The Poppy War series and wanted to pick it up as part of my initiative to read more adult fantasy. It was, in short, an amazing read, and the trilogy quickly became one of my all-time favorite books.

Front cover of The Poppy War, showing an archer looking at the reader.

My favorite thing about Kuang’s writing is her characters and their flaws. I think she spends more time than other authors on how her characters are flawed and the effects those flaws have. Focusing on characters from a humane perspective and not just a “good” perspective makes them more interesting, relatable, and engaging to follow. I’m so excited to see what she comes out with next!

  • Abby Caswell, Editorial

Moira Dela Torre, Singer/Songwriter

Image of Moira Patawad's album showing a person looking at the camera sideways.

Admittedly, I do lean toward sad songs, and Moira Dela Torre has certainly moved me to tears with the delivery of her lyrics. She’s also the reason I really got into listening to more songs in Tagalog: to make sure that I’m able to not only be reminded of loved ones but also to keep my comprehension fresh. I think that a lot of her songs help me to be at peace, especially since most are accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

  • Bernardine Landicho, Editorial 

Country Music Artists and Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Singers

I’m a huge fan of Carrie Underwood. Her songs really resonate with me, unlike Taylor Swift’s music. Also, I find myself enjoying individual songs from various country artists. These songs all seem to have a story behind why they were written, and I can feel that through how the artist sings the song. I’m really into Chris Stapleton’s White Horse and Lainey Wilson’s Wildflowers and Wild Horses right now.

Album cover of Maroon 5's "Songs About Jane," showing a person with long, red hair holding a box to their ear.

Adam Levine, frontman of Maroon 5, always puts genuine emotion and vulnerability in his music. There’s always a story behind every song. The song Sad really freaked me out because it was so dark. It kind of bordered on suicide note/suicidal thoughts. It was that dark. I really love Girls Like You, Sugar, She Will Be Loved, Daylight, Middle Ground, and Love Somebody. I feel like each of these songs has a unique vibe and storytelling aspect to them.

  • Christina, Graphics

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