August 24, 2015
Hello fellow readers!
We’re so excited to have Mari Mancusi on the blog today,
in anticipation of the release of Smoked (Scorched #3)!
Once upon a time the world burned.
Until a girl and her dragon smothered the flame.
But the spark that ignited the apocalypse never went out.
And the Scorch is about to begin.
When Team Dragon rescues Emmy from the government lab, they think the future is finally safe. But they soon discover that Emmy has a secret--a secret so dangerous it could trigger the very apocalypse Connor and Caleb were sent back in time to prevent.
As a dragon hunter, Connor has committed his life to saving the world. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to complete his mission… even if it meant betraying his brother and losing Trinity’s heart. Even if it meant doing the unthinkable. But a desperate choice meant to prevent The Scorch, may become the spark that sets the world aflame once more.
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Mari: Thank you for having me!
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
Mari: Terminator but with dragons instead of robots
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
Mari: I wanted to write a book about dragons, but I didn’t want to set it in a fantasy world—I wanted to
set it in our present day world. I thought it would be interesting to imagine how we, as a society, would
deal with dragons set loose on our world. Certainly they would end up on YouTube!
I had also recently watched the film Reign of Fire, a dragon apocalypse movie set in the future. And so I
thought—what if I combined the idea of Terminator, where someone comes back in time to stop the
apocalypse, but instead of a robot/machine apocalypse we could have dragons. Thus the spark for
Scorched was born.
Tell us about the main characters.
Mari: Trinity is your everyday normal 21st century girl, living in rural West Texas with her grandfather
and helping him run his failing museum. He tells her he has bought the world’s last dragon egg and, of
course, initially she doesn’t believe him. Until she starts hearing a strange voice in her head and the
government breaks in to try to steal the egg. Suddenly she finds herself on the run with two twin boys
from the future, Connor and Caleb.
Connor is a dragon hunter. A solider who believes the egg needs to be destroyed in order to save his
future. Caleb, his brother, is more the rebel. He has joined up with a dragon animal rights group and
believes the dragon should be spared. The first time around we abused dragons and tried to use them as
weapons—of course they’re going to rise up against us. But if we ally with them this time around they
can actually save us from our own extinction.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
Mari: From the second book in the series, Shattered – with Caleb talking to Trinity about the dragon
basically hitting puberty: “Imagine a thirteen year old who can breathe fire. Do you want to be the one
who tells her she’s grounded and can’t go to the mall?”
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
Mari: Some of the time travel aspects were challenging as I wanted to avoid paradoxes. For example, if
the boys go back in time to stop the dragon apocalypse, there’s no need, in the future, to go back in
time to stop the dragon apocalypse. So that took some research on various theories of time travel and
how that might make sense.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now? Any new books coming out?
Mari: Smoked will be out September 1st and that concludes the Scorched trilogy. I also have my first
middle grade novel, Golden Girl, a contemporary about a 8th grade competitive snowboarder, coming
out in December.
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we
wish you much success in your writing future!!
Mari: Thank you so much! It was fun!