New York Times best selling author, T.A. Barron joined me recently to discuss his new trilogy, Atlantis Rising. He was kind enough to share what inspired him to write the book which is aimed at young readers, and the importance of promoting reading in children.
Candace Rose: What inspired you to write this book?
T.A. Barron: “Well, let me say that I love stories and as you know if you’ve seen any of my books, I especially love heroic quests, epic fantasy kind of stories. But I don’t think there’s a single word in the entire realm of story that is more packed with meaning, power and mystery than the word Atlantis. We’ve all heard hundreds of versions of the story of the destruction of Atlantis and that lost island that was buried under the waves.
It struck me a couple of years ago, Candace, that maybe there’s more to it than that. Maybe instead of just hearing about the destruction of Atlantis, let’s find out about the creation of Atlantis- how was it born? What was involved in the stakes? Who are the heroes? Who was the villain? What was at risk? In the end, what led to this most magical place on earth actually rising out of the sea and being created. That’s the beginning of Atlantis Rising.”
Candace Rose: What are the themes that you feel are important?
T.A. Barron: “In all my books, I think in any book that you see that has T.A. Barron on the book cover, you’ll have two kinds of big ideas that are woven seamlessly into the story.
One is the idea that any young person from any description- any background- can be a hero and find surprising kinds of qualities, courage or perseverance or deep generosity…things that you wouldn’t expect were there but you find out in a difficult time, in a struggle.
And the other is the magic and beauty and power of nature. Where I live in Colorado, nature is really close at hand, and I take great strength and inspiration from it…so that’s woven into the books too.”
Candace Rose: Why is it so important to promote more reading in children?
T.A. Barron: “Let me address that by looking at the young people that are the heroes of Atlantis Rising. You’ve got a boy named Promi, a boy that’s a street thief- he lives on the streets of the biggest city and he exists by stealing pies or the stuff from people’s pockets. And then Atlanta meanwhile is a young woman who lives deep in the forest and she has a special gift and kind of a deep secret. And the two of them are unlikely allies. They never would imagine ever that they’d be the people called upon to save their world alone, who would actually team up and lead to the birth of this amazing wondrous place called Atlantis. It’s the ability to imagine what’s possible that actually changes them and makes the difference and makes it all possible. In the story of Atlantis Rising, that’s where the situation turns, and the same goes about reading. If you can read, you can imagine…you can think of a different life or a different world. And if you can imagine, anything is possible.”