Gayle-Forman
Gayle Forman | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Gayle Forman
  • Occupation Author, Former Journalist
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace California, USA
  • Birth Date Jun 05, 1970
  • Age 51 Years, 3 Months

Quotes

Author of 'If I Stay'

Gayle Forman | Biography 2021

The book ranked no. 1 on 'The New York Times Best Seller' list, and USA Today's 'Best-Selling Books List.'

Gayle Forman published her second book 'If I Stay,' in 2009. The book unraveled the story of a 17-year-old girl, Mia, who is stuck between her first love of music and her boyfriend, Adam. Forman had no desire to continue Mia and Adam's story as she felt that she had ended it on good terms. She later realized that they went through so much and sensed a difficult road ahead. It made her continue their story and bring out its sequel 'Where She Went,' in 2011. The book was adapted into a movie in August 2014, starring Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia.


Gayle Forman is an American writer known for her best-selling novel 'If I Stay.'

Who is Gayle Forman?

Gayle Forman wanted to become a professional storyteller. She then joined the University of Oregon to pursue medicine but transferred to the Journalism and Communication Department during her sophomore year.

As a journalism student, Forman believed that going to places and exploring many things will let her tell new stories. So, she worked for over a decade, traveling and writing about gender justice and female equality in prestigious US magazines such as Cosmopolitan, The Nation, Elle Magazine, The New York Times, and Jane.

She then decided to take up a less stressful job than journalism and published her first novel 'Sisters in Sanity,' in 2008.

Subsequently, in 2009, she published her second and best-selling novel, 'If I Stay.' The book was no. 1 on both 'The New York Times Best Seller' list and USA Today's 'Best-Selling Books List.' Over 2.4 million copies of the book were sold, and the novel was translated into more than 40 languages.

For the novel, Forman won 2009 The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) 'Book of the Year Award' followed by the 2010 Indie Choice' Honor Award' and 'Young Adult Honor Award.'

The book was adapted into a movie titled, If I Stay, released in 2014, starring Chloe Grace Moretz in the lead role. The commercially successful project made over $78 million from its $11 million budget.

Forman went on to publish 'Where She Went' in 2011, 'Just One day' in 2013, 'Just One Year' in 2014, 'I was Here' in 2015, 'ByPass' in 2016, and 'We are Inevitable' in 2021.

Early Life

Gayle Forman was born on 5 June 1970 in Los Angeles, California. While growing up, she wanted to become a storyteller and believed that she could pursue a career in storytelling. Nevertheless, when Forman came to realize that there is no such career path, Forman was devastated. Yet, she still had not envisioned herself as a writer or a journalist.

After high school, Forman enrolled at the University of Oregon to study medicine and chose biology and chemistry as majors. During her sophomore year, Forman attended a journalism class and transferred to the School of Journalism and Communications (SOJC). 

Beginning and End of Journalism

At the SOJC, Forman also joined an information course popularly known as Info-Hell. The course was presumed to be a class made for the journalism outcasts. But, Forman considered it as a breeding ground to kick-start her storytelling dreams. She eventually realized traveling, talking to people, and writing about it is also a form of her dreams.

So, after graduation, Forman decided to go in for magazine-style journalism. She joined the International Flair Magazine and wrote reports and pieces from different countries.

Then, Forman landed a job at the Seventeen Magazine. She attended the UNICEF press conference while covering an issue on female soldiers of Sierra Leone. Forman met experienced writers from the New York Times, The Economist, among others at the conference. Their knowledge made her realize that she needs to work hard to find stories to tell.

With that conviction, Forman went on to work for more than a decade, covering gender issues and the social justice process around the world. During that time, she worked for many prominent US magazines like Cosmopolitan, The Nation, Elle Magazine, The New York Times, Jane, etc.

However, after dedicating a significant portion of her life to journalism, Forman decided to take up a less stressful and non-traveling lifestyle after becoming a mother. Soon, she chose to become a writer and started writing stories.

Forman recalled her journey from a dreamer to a writer, where she took pivotal choices to become someone she never imagined herself to be, "…I always told stories and wrote them down, but I never thought writing was a career path, even though, clearly, someone was writing the books and newspapers and magazines. At college, I studied journalism (though not initially - more on that in a second) and then I worked as a journalist for a dozen years. And then I had my first child and didn't want to travel as much as I had as a journalist and I wound up writing my first novel. So, I guess motherhood and the threat of not being able to pay my rent inspired me to be a novelist. But as far as what inspired me to be a writer, it's the stories. It sounds very clichéd, but the stories rise up and demand to be told. They always have done, long before I became a writer."

Books

Forman's first book was 'Sisters in Sanity' published in 2008. The book was an emotional narration of a story she was inspired when she worked for Seventeen Magazine. It dwells upon young love, self-realization, and behavioral management clinics, where the mental turmoil meets the emotional one. 

'If I Stay' Series

Followed by that, in 2009, Forman published her second book 'If I Stay,' which received the more-than-expected applause and appreciation. The book unraveled the story of a 17-year-old girl, Mia, who is stuck between life and death. After a devastating accident, Mia has to choose between her first love of music and her boyfriend. Mia and her decisions chronicle the meaning of family and choices.

The book became a no. 1 on the 'The New York Times Best Seller' list, selling more than 2.4 million copies, and was translated into more than 40 languages. It was an international bestseller ranking no.1 on USA Today's 'Best-Selling Books List.'

The creation won the 2009 NAIBA 'Book of the Year Award.' The book also won her the 2010 Indie Choice' Honor Award' and 'Young Adult Honor Award.' 

In 2011, Forman published a sequel of the book titled 'Where She Went,' which ranked no. 3 on the 'The New York Times Best Seller' list.

The sequel was told from Mia's boyfriend, Adam's point of view, and underlines a continued story of their relationship three years after the accident.

Forman initially had no desire to continue Mia and Adam's story as she felt that she had ended it on good terms. She later realized that they went through so much and sensed a difficult road ahead. It made her continue their story and bring out a sequel.

Movie Adaptation 'If I Stay'

As a result of the immense success of Forman's book, Warner Bros. and MGM jointly worked on the movie version of 'If I Stay.' The movie was released on 22 August 2014, starring Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia.

'Just One Day' and 'Just One Year'

After the 'If I Stay' series, Forman released 'Just One day' in 2013 and 'Just One Year' in 2014. These novels were intertwined with the love stories of teenagers Allyson and Willem, who meet each other spontaneously and get separated the same day. The first book deals with their meet, from Allyson's perspective. The second book tells their story a year later, trying to reunite with each other, and this time from Willem's perspective.

Other Novels

In 2015, Forman published another book, 'I was here.' The book was about two 18-year-old friends Meg and Cody, in which Meg commits suicide and leaves an email to Cody as her final words. Reading the email, Cody starts investigating the reason behind Meg's suicide and her final days that led to the death.

In 2016, Forman came up with an adult book 'ByPass,' meaning writing something different from young adult books. The book journeys the life of an ideal magazine editor, Maribeth, who is also a wife and a mother. After Maribeth suffered a heart attack, she is forced to be dependent and is not able to join the office. She departs her home to find her estranged biological mother, hoping to discover some answers and herself.

Forman's 2021 book 'We are Inevitable' is available from 2 June 2021.

Personal Life

Forman is married and has three children. She often talks about her children, among whom one is adopted from Ethiopia. To her, they are an inspiration to bring her out of writers' block.

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