Similar to the story in The Mystery of Henri Pick, its author, David Foenkinos, had many manuscripts of his own. His parents were often absent when he was little. This caused Foenkinos not to be introduced to culture and the arts until later in his life. In his teens, he suffered from a rare disease. He stayed in the hospital for months after going through heart surgery.
It was at this time that Foenkinos discovered the magic of books. Those stories allowed him to escape from reality and travel to distant lands. After he became interested in creative writing, he wrote several of his own manuscripts. He didn’t mention any of them to his family, though. He was rather modest about his passion for writing.