Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BROKEN! A Birthday Party for Travis Thrasher's Latest Thriller! - GIFTS GALORE!


What a pleasure to welcome Travis Thrasher to my Window for the release of his latest novel, Broken. This is a story with supernatural elements, but with a depth of human suffering and, like the title suggests, brokenness that only God can heal and touch.

As sinners in a fallen world, we often make choices that take us into the depths of depravity. However, no place is out of the loving reach of our Father, and Travis explores this in a way that is unique to him - suspensefully and dangerously! So please welcome Travis to my Window as we explore his latest book, Broken.

On page 194-195 there is a passage that contains this statement: “Regardless of where you go and what you do with the rest of your life, the past is there to remind and taunt and to terrorize.”

This is such a true statement – even for God’s children! Truly Satan wants to use the past to destroy the faith of believers and to hinder unbelievers. This seems to be the foundational message within the story. Tell us how this story was first inspired?

For some time I’ve wanted to write a story about a broken woman. I’ve tried writing about someone like Laila a few times, but the stories have changed and morphed. This story ultimately was inspired by the birth of my daughter and having a whole new perspective on the term “God the father.”

Page 173 contains another powerful truth: “A man can change his ways, but his tendencies shadow his every move…He can confess that God is his master and that Jesus is his savior and yet he still might decide to forgo his master and savior and become the boss again.” I think Lex is the perfect counterpoint to Laila because of his weakness and the real power to overcome them. Why is admitting/confronting these tendencies in our lives vital to believers? How does it weaken/strengthen our faith?

The older I become, the more I realize how badly I want to control things. Yet life is completely and utterly out of our control. That makes faith a beautiful and tough thing. We have to let go of our control, yet it’s hard to do that. Admitting our weaknesses is one way of letting go.

As Christians, we know all of our sins have been forgiven, but we sometimes cling to the guilt of past sins and use it as an “I’m not worthy” excuse to forgo ministry opportunities. Have you seen/experienced this? Why are we so reluctant to accept forgiveness and do determined to tout our guilt?

I’ve definitely seen this and experienced it many times. I’ve spent my whole life struggling with past mistakes, whether they were ones I made in high school or ones I made last week. This whole thing of grace is such an amazing concept that it’s sometimes hard to really, truly believe that it exists. All my books have a theme of second chances in them. Grace is God giving us chance after chance, over and over and over again.

There is a scene on page 223 where Laila rants against God for ignoring her. She acknowledges her wrong choices, but then wants to blame God for not changing the consequences of those choices. Again, a profoundly true statement of human nature. Why do we want to blame God when things go wrong?

Admittedly, sometimes the wrongs are senseless (accidents, disease, murders ect..) but even when we are responsible for situations we tend to want to blame God for ignoring us and not rescuing us from the outcome.

Why is this such a huge stumbling block for believers and unbelievers alike?

Why can’t you ask me something like why I chose to write in present tense? J

This is a tough question to answer really quickly. But I feel that so many people think that if God does exist, then their lives should be better. Bad things aren’t supposed to happen to good people, right? Yet I tend to view it like this. If God does exist and created us to serve Him, shouldn’t He have every right to destroy His creation when we end up forgetting about Him? Instead, He does the very opposite. He loves us despite the bad things we do. It goes back to what I said about grace. It boggles my mind. It really does. I could never sacrifice my child, yet that’s what He did. Bad things happen because we live in a broken world.

The very last line of the book sums up for me. (I’ll save that for the readers!)

At one point in the story the thought appears that supernatural things seem to always be credited to evil (demonic activity) when in fact sometimes there are good things (angels unaware) are also supernaturally taking place all around us. What inspired you to so creatively look at the spiritual warfare raging around us? Have you ever experienced this yourself?

To me, there is a wealth of stories that can be told about spiritual warfare. I never intended Broken to go in the direction that it did. It was early on when a thought came to me—the big a-ha in the story involving Laila’s past. To me, that made everything deeper and more meaningful.

I have always felt like God has watched over me. When you hear the term “guardian angels”, it’s easy to think of some clich├ęd picture that television or movies have given us. But I think there are many ways to tell stories about spiritual warfare. I hope to be able to tell many more, each in their own unique way.

What was your favorite scene in Broken? Your most difficult?

My favorite scene is one of the final scenes in New Orleans involving Laila. It’s the climax of the story where the final puzzle pieces are in place. I also really love the scene where Laila is at the lake letting go.

The most difficult to write? There was a particular scene in an abandoned church that wasn’t so fun to write. This book as a whole, too, was a heavy book (though I guess many of my books are heavy). It’s a marathon having to wade through the darkness. But it makes the end that much more rewarding.

Can you tell us what you hope to be the greatest take away value of this story?

Nobody in this world is too broken to be fixed. God doesn’t come along and fix you in neat and tidy ways, but He does save your brokenness. That sounds preachy and I’m always saying that I don’t write to preach. I don’t. With this story, I wanted to write about a woman who feels like there is absolutely no hope. She is shown grace and she manages to pick up the pieces of her life and move on.

Give us a sneak peek into your next project! I hear you are going into new territory!

In August, the first in a supernatural teen series will be released. It’s called Solitary and it’s very much in the vein of Broken. There will be four books in this series. I want Twilight fans to check it out (I know there are a few of them out there). No vampires in this story, but there is a love story combined with a dark, creepy story about a dark, creepy town.

What exciting things is God doing in your life right now?

Oh, just the usual. Working on various writing projects, planning for twins in the fall . . . you know, the usual. Nothing to freak out about every other day. Nothing at all.

Closing words of encouragement you’d like to share with your readers?

There are many great novels out there. I appreciate people spending time and money to read mine. I keep doing this because of the positive input I get from readers. So thanks.

Travis comes to the party bearing gifts! Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a copy of his first two stories repackaged in one volume, his favorite novel published (Sky Blue), his scariest (Isolation), Every Breath You Take and Broken!

That's five chances to win folks!! You don't want to miss this!!
These will be sent to you autographed from the author himself, so what are you waiting for? Enjoy the party!!


Linda Henderson said...

You are a new author for me, but I would love to read your books. I do enjoy the supernatural in books and ones that have powerful messages. Thank you for the opportunity for this great giveaway.

seriousreader at live dot com

Virginia C said...

Hi, Travis! Thank you for a very interesting and honest interview! Great food for thought. In my own life, I have learned over and over that bad things do happen to good people. God doesn't promise that nothing bad will ever happen to us. What He promises is that we will have a life in heaven without fear, suffering or want if we accept Him into our hearts and take a leap of faith. As humans we are filled with doubt, insecurity and need. It's very tempting to take what we think is the easy way out. Sometimes "easy" becomes a snake that coils up and waits, and then strikes a fatal blow. Doubting yourself and denying your worth as a person weakens you and leaves the door open for all kinds of trouble. There are always users who spot self-doubt a mile away and make the most of a person's weakness for their own selfish purposes. I promote literacy in every way that I can, especially for girls and women. Being literate is empowering and enables informed decision making.

Thanks for a great giveaway!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

karenk said...

a fabulous party...a great posting...thanks for the opportunity to read travis' work.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Mocha with Linda said...

What a wonderful interview! Enter me, please!

Unknown said...

You would be a new author to me but your books sound like an awesome read. I would love to try one of them. Sound so different then what I normally read! I love different!


Pain SUX said...

Wow...all these books look great! Can't wait to check some of them out.


The Book Club Network - TBCN said...

GREAT INTERVIEW!! Travis is one of my favorite authors. I would love to be entered into this contest!!

THANKS for putting my name in the hat.

Finding Hope Through Fiction

Rachel said...

neat interview! Please enter Ashley...summer is coming! :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

I have never read Travis' work, but have heard many rave reviews. Please enter me.


Kim said...

Okay folks!! Drumroll please!!

Virginia C
Mocha Linda

You are the lucky winners of these great books!

Be watching for my email!!

Linda Henderson said...

Thank you so much.

Virginia C said...

Thank you very much! I am truly delighted to have won! I emailed my info : )