Today, I would like to welcome author T.S. Graham to the blog. Get to know the man behind 'The Chronicles of Trellah' a little bit better. He has led quite the interesting life! And has written an excellent book.
Thank you for this chance to talk with you about my YA Fantasy novel, “The Chronicles of Trellah.” It means the world to my entire family. –T.S. Graham
What was the inspiration behind this book?
Everything I do is inspired by my wife and daughters. I saw the impact that good YA literature had on my three older girls and wanted to create something they could relate to. I had penned two film scripts at that point, but adult content kept me from sharing my work with them. Sophina, my fourteen year-old heroine of Trellah, is a blend of all five of my daughters. I hope they see the compliment in that when they grow up!
Is there a message you hope readers will get from reading it? Does that message change depending on the age of the reader?
I hope that Sophina, through her words and actions, shows us the importance of loyalty in relationships. She is fiercely loyal to her younger brother, Eliot, and will stop at nothing to save him. She has flaws like the rest of us, but she tries to do the right thing even when there aren’t adults around to guide her. I think readers of all ages can relate to that.
Do you hope to continue this book in a series? How many do you anticipate there being?
I planned “The Chronicles of Trellah” as a trilogy from the beginning, with the story arcs for all three books outlined in my head before I struck the first key. It was important to me, however, that Book One also be a stand-alone novel. It drives me crazy when debut writers introduce a series with a cliffhanger just to get people to buy the next book. Established writers can get away with that, but not first-time Indies like me; the writer-reader trust bond isn’t strong enough.
You have written an award winning screenplay and now your debut novel. Do you prefer one style of writing over the other?
That’s a tough one! The formats are so different. I enjoy the collaborative process of screenwriting; getting a phone call from an established Hollywood director to discuss his vision for your story is quite a thrill. Still, I feel that writing a novel is more satisfying. Until the film gets shot and released, only a handful of people will be familiar with my work as a screenwriter: my manager, the producers, a handful of actors, and my wife and closest friends. With “The Chronicles of Trellah,” I have the opportunity to bring my story to anyone who enjoys an original YA fantasy. Professionally speaking, nothing is more exciting than that.
What other projects do you have in the works?
Thank you for asking! First up is a deluxe edition of Book One in the Trellah series. It’s due out June of 2013 and will include new edits, plus 14 full-page chapter illustrations and cover art by renowned artist Ryan Penney. A sample of Ryan’s amazing work is located at the front of the free sample found on my Amazon home page, or can be seen by visiting me at my website, www.tsgraham.com, or Facebook page. The deluxe edition will also include the Prologue and Chapter One of Book Two in the Trellah Trilogy, “Storm on the Horizon,” due for release in the Fall of 2013.
You have an eclectic resume: sea urchin diver, fish monger, home renovator, and working in group homes with people with disabilities. Which one was your favorite?
Working with special needs people, without a doubt. The other jobs have done far more to advance my family’s financial security, but little in this world compares to helping folks who can’t take care of themselves. It’s made me a better parent, for sure. I’m far from perfect in that regard, but I would be even less perfect if not for that experience.
How did these varied jobs contribute to your writing?
Every job I’ve held has required long hours and mental focus. Writing, if you want to do it well, requires the same dedication. Most people who start a novel or screenplay never finish it. I’d like to think that my prior jobs instilled a work ethic in me that will help my writing career be successful in the long run. I’m not there yet, but I also won’t be quitting anytime soon.
Do you have any other career plans in the near future, other than writing?
My wife and I are lucky to live in an area where home values continue to rise, so right now we’re focused on our next house flip. Beyond that it’s all about getting “The Chronicles of Trellah” into the hands of as many YA fantasy and SyFy fans as possible. The feedback has been amazing so far. The challenge in being an Indie author is reaching critical mass with your target audience, that elusive point where a project takes on a life of its own. It’s a difficult thing to pull off.
What is something else that readers may be surprised to learn about you?
When I was fifteen years-old I survived a bout with a rare and deadly form of bacterial meningitis. The doctors told my mom that if we had arrived at the hospital an hour later I wouldn’t have lived. I was in a coma for three days while the medical staff tried to prepare my parents for the fact that I would likely suffer some form of brain damage and never again be the same person. Amazingly, when I woke up I felt better than ever. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t go home. I was sitting in my bed eating pizza and watching the news when a story broke. It was about a boy who lived a few towns away from me who had contracted the same form of meningitis. His mom had gone to work thinking he just had a bad headache. When she returned her son had succumbed to the infection. The anchor mentioned that another boy had contracted the disease, one that hadn’t been documented in our state for over twenty years, and was recovering at a nearby hospital. That boy was me. My mother was supposed to have gone to work that day as well, but chose to stay home when she saw the vacant look in my eyes. When negative thoughts creep into my head I remind myself of that day and how everything I’ve done since was an hour away from never happening. It’s like an instant happy pill that I can take without water any time I need it. Thank you, Mom, for paying attention!
Anything else you wish to share with us?
I would just like to say thank you to any of Andrea’s followers who are willing to take a chance on a new author. I can’t promise that you’ll love my story, but I can promise that you’ll experience a book that is professionally written and edited. I love to hear from my readers, so please feel free to share your thoughts by using one of the provided links. Happy reading!
"An excellent choice for readers eager for a suspenseful, emotionally satisfying fantasy adventure." -Kirkus Book Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Sophina Murray will be the first to tell you: Bad luck comes in threes. First, her father is lost at sea. Then, the rains start . And don't stop. And finally, her little brother is taken from his bed by a monster straight from her worst nightmare. A glimpse into the parallel universe of Trellah - a land of giant trees, bizarre creatures, and a glowing red mineral with mystical properties - convinces Sophina that all may not be lost. But first, she'll have to survive in a hostile world where her darkest fears live and breathe.
Trellah is an original and realistic fantasy for ages 12 to 112. Parental guidance suggested for advanced readers ages 10-11 for moderate elements of horror.
The upcoming deluxe edition of this book will include illustrated paintings by artist Ryan Penney. Below is a sample of this talented artist's work.
Purchase this book on Amazon.
About Author T.S. GrahamT.S. Graham was born and raised in midcoast Maine. He has worked as a sea urchin diver, fish monger, home renovator, and in several group homes for children and adults with disabilities. His original screenplay, Stone's Point, written as Clint Elliott, has won multiple awards. He studied English Literature at the University of Southern Maine, where, despite developing a strong dislike of the traditional curriculum focused on old, dead (and boring) scribes, he somehow managed to graduate with honors. His greatest influences are writers like Stephen King and Michael Crichton, whose talents would have allowed them to write more literary fare, but they chose to thrill and entertain instead. He now lives on a horse farm with his beautiful wife and five daughters, two poodles, two cats, two happy turtles, four playful ferrets, three fish, a corn snake named "Tiger," dozens of chickens, and, of course, four awesome equines. The Chronicles of Trellah, Book One: The Perpetual Rain is his debut novel.
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