Travis here, to introduce you to my first novel, which currently suffers from “working-title-it is.” It began under the heading Twelve and Two Underdogs, later being retitled Starcrossed until some point last year when I learned of another recently published novel with that title. You know how that song and dance goes. The need to be original drove me to scrap that title and keep looking. Right now the story is tentatively called The Fight of Fallen Stars.
What’s your book about?
The story has evolved greatly since it was brainstormed into existence with a close friend and fellow trumpet player on a marching band bus coming back from a high school football game. The core, which has never changed, was this: What if the constellations of the astrological zodiac were people, protectors of Earth who would come to its aid in a time of need? From there, the next, obvious choice (to a pair of fourteen year olds) was to include ourselves, and give us a good baddie. A smattering of influences later, some semblance of a story was born.
The Fight of Fallen Stars follows the story of two boys, Jared and Tyler, who become tangled in a web of prophecy that ties them to the Constellations, heroes from a distant, forgotten past who once saved the world from a consuming darkness. That threat has returned, prompting the Constellations to descend, one by one, and take up arms to defeat it. Even while the boys still struggle to come to terms with this unbelievable reality, they are swept up in the conflict and are “chosen” to defend their home. Doing so means defeating the twelve Specters, stopping their army of twisted living and dead, and unraveling a prophecy that has an unknown purpose for them.
What makes your book unique?
This story blends elements that have always fascinated me into a fast-paced, easy to digest form. At the same time, I tried to employ new concepts that would excite the imagination, like exploring what each of those zodiac members might be like, given a human form and history. Many of them have elements that you might expect, like Taurus being particularly stubborn and hard-headed and Pisces’ strong ties to the sea. Each of them is also connected to an elemental magic, which is something of a theme in my writing.
What I really enjoyed was mixing these magical fantasy elements with an urban setting and that’s what I’ve enjoyed the most. Blending these characters into a setting like that has been a lot of fun, and it has made me really excited to explore other settings and combinations.
Who would be interested in reading this book?
The book falls neatly under young adult fiction, and it could well be described as an action-adventure fantasy. I put a lot of detail into fighting sequences, so if the complex fighting choreography of comics and action movies appeals to you, I’ve aimed to create something you can enjoy. The story also has its fair share of drama, as Jared and Tyler try to deal with being thrust into a dangerous and demanding situation, and the Constellations’ own personalities clash with each other. Suspense and mystery are both supplied by the Specters, elusive being that haunt the protagonists throughout the story as they build their army.
What are similar reads?
The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer has an excellent blend of urban sci-fi and fantasy, and extremely witty story telling.
Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn triology has masterful use of magic, and exhilarating combat, set to an epic story.
Some of the earliest inspiration for the story and its struggle came from Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, which I adored when I was young, and are fantastic reads for kids of just about all ages.