Wednesday, September 22, 2010

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
This quote from Stephen King’s novella, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, sums up the goal of every single one of Travis Thrasher’s novels: providing hope. As the novelist of twelve works of fiction, Travis has spent a decade fighting against being typecast and labeled.

“It’s a natural thing for novelists to be put into a box,” Travis says. “My goal has always been to tell stories about flawed characters who find redemption, whether it’s in a love story or a supernatural thriller.”

Having lived in places as diverse as Munich, Germany, and Sydney, Australia, during his youth, Travis moved to the Chicago area during his junior year of high school. That’s where he has remained.

After graduating from Trinity Christian College, Travis landed a job at Tyndale House Publishers as Author Relations Manager. He worked for over a decade in that position, acting as liaison between the publisher and the authors. But writing always came first, and Travis was fortunate to have his first novel published in 2000. It was THE PROMISE REMAINS, a sweet love story in the vein of Nicholas Sparks.

“I wrote six or seven dark, ambitious novels that went nowhere,” Travis says. “It was only after writing a simple love story about unrequited love that I got my first break.”

Getting that first book published was a dream come true, but Travis always saw himself having multiple books in print. Travis’s drive and imagination have allowed him to see a variety of books published: from love stories (THE WATERMARK; THREE ROADS HOME) to suspense (GUN LAKE; ADMISSION; BLINDED) to drama (THE SECOND THIEF; SKY BLUE) to supernatural thrillers (ISOLATION; GHOSTWRITER).

“I tell people this is not the way to build a writing career, but I’m thankful I’ve been able to build mine the way I wanted to. I want to entertain and surprise readers, and to continue to build a readership that will take journeys with me, whether they’re going to 1929 Brazil or current day Geneva, Illinois.”

2010 will mark a decade of publishing for Travis. It will also be a significant year with the release of BROKEN by Faithwords in May and SOLITARY by Cook in August.

“I’m excited about these two upcoming stories that will surely surprise and move readers,” Travis says. “BROKEN is about a young woman who is just that—broken and bruised by this world. SOLITARY is the first in a teen series that combines a love story with the supernatural. Both are powerful stories.”

His goal continues to be to tell powerful and moving stories that will reach fiction readers of all types. As a fulltime novelist for over two years, Travis feels he’s still just warming up.

“There are things I learn about the writing process and about myself with every novel. I believe my best stories are still in front of me, waiting to be discovered like a buried treasure. I’m thankful that I’m able to dig a little more every day.”

Travis lives with his wife and three-year-old daughter in a suburb of Chicago.

Welcome, Travis! Tell us about your latest book. How was the idea of Solitary conceived? Other than the age of the protagonists, how does this story differ from other similar stories you have written?

I’ve wanted to write a story from a teenager’s perspective for some time. I came up with this idea while I was in the Carolinas on a book tour. I lived in North Carolina when I was in high school so I wanted to document some of those experiences while writing in the supernatural vein. This is first time I’ve done a series, so there’s a lot of back-story on the town of Solitary and the characters. Solitary is the first of a four-book series. Each book will shed more light on the darkness of the town and on what’s happening to Chris.

Was it difficult to write from the viewpoint of a sixteen-year-old boy? Why or why not?

I actually found it quite easy to tell this story. I wasn’t sure what my publisher and readers would think about the job I did, but the response I’ve gotten has been very positive. I’m not sure if that means I’m doing a good job getting into the mind of a teenager, or if it simply means that I’m immature.

Do you think this will be a book that appeals to parents as well as teens? Will it provide opportunities for parents to discuss spiritual matters with their teens?

There have been lots of examples of “teen” stories being read by adults. The Solitary Tales are certainly stories that can be enjoyed by both. I think as the series progresses, there will be a lot of things to talk about. Issues like faith and spiritual warfare.

What is the greatest take-away value offered by Solitary and its characters?

My hope is that Solitary is a thrilling and slightly creepy beginning to an amazing supernatural series. I want readers to be surprised and to be eagerly awaiting the next installment. I’m not making this up as I go--the story has all be laid out. It’s going to be interesting to see how successful I am at getting to the final destination. I hope readers will come along for the ride.

Can you tell us about other projects you are working on right now?

I have four novels coming out in 2011, including book two of The Solitary Tales. That book is called Gravestone and will be released in June 2011.

For more information on Travis Thrasher, visit his website

Also, check out Travis’ blog to read about the 10 ways that Solitary is similar to Twilight and more:

Solitary: Book 1 in the Solitary Tales Series by Travis Thrasher
David C Cook/August 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6421-8
336 pages/softcover/$14.99


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