Annette Gilson is a master of fiction. She has spent several years perfecting her craft, and it shows in her novel New Light.
It’s not exactly a romance, nor is it a philosophical or scientific work. It’s not fantasy, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s based on reality. New Light is a hybrid of a myriad of genres neatly woven together to create a whole new kind of novel.
Gilson takes on the awe-inspiring task of taking a mysterious and otherworldly subject – visions – and explores what makes it so fascinating by using a blend of scientific and poetic language. If any other author tried to do so, I’m sure it would have become a muddled mess, but Gilson does so with ease. She is able to perfectly balance her vivid images with scientific jargon that overwhelms and pacifies the reader into understanding.
The time has come. I am officially a graduate of Oakland University. This final article as Photo Editor (and occasional reporter and blogger) for the Oakland Post marks the end of an era of learning my passion in life: creative writing. I have met many people on my journey to getting my bachelors, but one person who has helped me the most is the one and only Annie Gilson.
I had Gilson as a professor for my Advanced Creative Writing course about a year and a half ago. My good friend and fellow author Adrian Schirr was joining me, and I felt prepared to take the class by storm. However, I was not at all prepared for the intensity that is professor Gilson and her teaching.
To put it simply, she is a powerhouse of creative writing. Her energy was never less than 150%, and her passion for writing was even higher. She didn’t hold back with her critiques, and I admit that I left class with tears in my eyes after having some of my work ripped apart. However, it was the critiques I needed to hear, not the critiques I necessarily wanted to hear. That was one of the most important values I learned after taking Gilson’s course. I needed to develop a thick skin when it comes to revising and critiques. My writing isn’t perfect, and I need to know and not let my feelings get hurt when someone says “this makes no sense!”
The best part is that Gilson applies everything she teaches to her students to her own writing, which I learned when I interviewed her about her novel New Light, which was first published in 2006, and reprinted in 2010.