Travis Thrasher -- Inside His New Books of Marvella Series
THIS NOVEL IS ABOUT A TEENAGE BOY WHO FINDS HIMSELF THE CENTER OF SOME VERY MYSTERIOUS HAPPENINGS. IT'S REMINISCENT OF A SPIELBERG MOVIE LIKE ET OR SUPER 8--A SUMMERTIME AMERICANA STORY WHERE A KID FINDS HIMSELF AT THE CENTER OF SOMETHING REALLY BIG. WHERE DID YOU GET THE INITIAL INSPIRATION FOR THIS NOVEL, AND WAS THAT THE FEEL YOU WERE GOING FOR?
"Reminiscent of ET or Super 8"?? What a compliment. I was going for that feel but never made that connection. There's something dark at the heart of this story, but there's also a sweet tone to it.
I remember the moment this idea came to me. It was all about the character of Marvel and her journey. I wanted to write a series that's sorta like the younger, more pretty version of The Solitary Tales [Thrasher’s 2010 series published by David C. Cook]. Tone is everything in that series and this one.
HOW WAS THIS PROJECT DIFFERENT FROM PREVIOUS ONES?
In my first YA series The Solitary Tales, I wanted to create this sense of dread and doom. It's a world of darkness that's full of questions and despair. Poor Chris Buckley. The title Solitary sums up the feeling and mood in those books. And while there's light at the end of the tunnel for that series, it's still quite dark.
With The Books of Marvella, I wanted something lighter. The darkness that exists in the world is still there, but the character of Marvel sees it in a different way. She is full of hope and light. Again, the title Marvelous is what I want to convey. This wonderful, marvelous thing that faith in God can bring. The narrator of the series, Brandon Jeffrey, doesn't have that hope. But he's transfixed by both Marvel and her faith.
THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK IN YOUR MARVELLA BOOKS SERIES. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY BOOKS WILL COMPLETE THE SERIES?
There will be four. Wonder has already been written and will come out January, 2015. Awe will follow in May and Glory will conclude the series in October.
ARE YOU ALREADY WORKING ON FUTURE INSTALLMENTS? IF SO, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
Wonder is the true love story out of the four. There's this true sense of wonder the first time you fall in love as a teen. I wanted to capture that and to continue the journey Brandon is on. He's a true hero that wants to protect people. But he can only do so much.
Awe will maybe be the darkest of the four books. This sense of hope and wonder doesn't last long. And then Glory will finally take readers to the conclusion and will show them where this journey has been going the whole time. I've already written the final chapters of Wonder. I love them. Some of the best things I've ever written.
WHAT ARE SOME THEMES PRESENTED THROUGHOUT THE NOVEL THAT YOU THINK WILL RESONATE WITH READERS?
I ask this question--what if God spoke to you like he spoke to Moses? What if he had a specific purpose and plan for your life, but also said you would have to lose yours? This is what happens to Marvel.
There are themes of faith and love presented in these stories, along with themes that high schoolers deal with--bullying, the darkness in this world, how to stand strong in your faith.
I want to create a truly original story dealing with very real topics but also weaving in elements of the supernatural and spiritual warfare. This really does tie in to The Solitary Tales in a cool way. I can't wait to get to the end and see what readers think!