Blog Tour: Scorched by Mari Mancusi

16006945I am so exited to be participating in the blog tour for Scorched! I am reading this one right now and it’s AWESOME!! Scorched will be hitting shelves on September 3, 2013 from Sourcebooks Fire. Today I have an interview with Mari and I love her answers! Be sure to check out Scorched when it hit shelves in a few weeks!

Sixteen-year-old Trinity Foxx is used to her grandfather’s crazy stories, so she never believed the latest treasure he brought home was a real dragon’s egg. Not until their home is invaded by soldiers trying to steal it and a strange boy who tells her the world as she knows it will be wiped out in a fiery dragon war–unless they work together to stop it. Meantime, there’s a different voice whispering to Trinity, calling to her, telling her what to do…the dragon inside her egg is not ready to give up without a fight.

As an author that writes several genres is there a genre you avoid tackling?

I try to avoid historicals. Not that I don’t LOVE to read them, but I always feel intimidated writing them because I know the readers will be so familiar with whatever time period it is that they will know all the details and will catch me if I get something wrong. That’s one of the benefits of creating my own worlds. I get to make up the rules.

Tell me FIVE things you loved about writing Scorched.

  • Dragons! Need I say more? I literally get to wake up in the morning and go to my computer and get paid to write about dragons. Which is clearly the most awesome thing ever.
  • Shades of Grey: There may not be fifty, but I loved the idea of writing a story that wasn’t black and white, good and evil. Everyone in Scorched believes they have the right answer and no one’s motivated by “evil” or “good.” And so it offers Trinity the opportunity to make a real choice on who to believe versus a fake choice where’s there’s an obvious right and wrong answer.
  • The Real World: Most dragon stories take place in some far off fantasy kingdom of vaguely medieval descent. I wanted to bring dragons to our present day world and explore what would happen if they did suddenly appear. The sequels go into this even further than book one. But yeah, would dragons be trending on Twitter? Would people dedicate tumblrs to them? It’s fun to think about.
  • Hot Twin Boys from the Future! OK I know a lot of reviewers are like OMG not another love triangle when they read the synopsis but this isn’t really a love triangle, more of a loyalty triangle. Both boys have valid arguments as to why Trinity should side with them and it’s up to her to make a choice. If anything, the book is kind of a love story between Trin and the dragon. (Not romantic love, mind you. But love all the same.) They’re the ones that have to learn to trust one another and work together to save the world.
  • And, you know, DRAGONS! No, seriously, it is so much fun to create dragon characters and imagine how they would act in the real world. I kind of see them as oversized goofy dogs with psychic powers. They’re hungry, affectionate, loyal. But in the end, they are still animals. Wild animals. And just like a mistreated dog will bite, so will a dragon scorch.

Tell me FIVE of the hardest things about writing Scorched.

  • Avoiding time travel paradoxes. My husband and I had long discussions on how to make the time travel mechanisms make sense. It involved a lot of drawings of time lines and alternate time lines and such. He’s much stricter than I am and would not let me get away with anything silly.
  • Making sure there was enough dragon stuff. It may sound crazy but in an early version of this idea the dragon never hatches until the final scene in the book. It was all about the egg. Needless to say beta readers, my agent, and ultimately my editor kindly suggested that “a dragon book needs to have actual dragons in it.” Um, oh yeah. I was able to revamp so not only does the egg hatch, but there are numerous flash forwards, visions, etc. where the characters get to hang with, fight, or ride dragons.
  • Building up my heroine. Trinity is a normal, everyday girl from Texas, thrown into an extraordinary world-ending adventure with two twin boys from the future. Connor and Caleb were easy to write—a dragon hunter and a dragon guardian–already larger than life characters. It was much more challenging to create a heroine who is real and flawed but also brave and strong and who could stand up to the boys and not get lost in the epic shuffle.
  • Acceptance: Another hard part to writing any time travel story. You want the heroine to act realistic—to question all the crazy that she’s being told. I mean, imagine if you were told this boy was from the future. At some point they have to doubt it all. At some other point, they have to accept it so we can freaking move on with the story. It becomes a balancing act and no matter how you do it, you’ll get some readers who say, “She believed him too easily, she’s stupid” and some people who will say, “Just believe him already and get on with the action!” It’s one of those things where you can’t win. I try to err on the “lets get on with the story” side because I figure the readers already know that it’s real and have accepted it, so let’s get to the dragons!
  • Creating the Backstory: I had to build an entire world in my head where Connor and Caleb came from, even though you only see the Surface Lands on a few occasions. Still, to make their stories believable, I had to know everything about their lives before they came here. A lot of Surface Lands scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, but may be included in the future books. I could even envision a prequel series that focuses just on Connor and Caleb’s dragon scorched world.

What books are currently in your reading pile?

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
Doomed by Tracy Deebs

What songs are currently on your playlist?

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
Leif Erikson – Interpol
Edge of the Deep Green Sea – The Cure
All We Ever Wanted was Everything – Bauhaus
Famous Last Words – My Chemical Romance
Human – The Killers