How The Voice of Thunder Came To Be
by Raina Kadavil
My mother loves to tell everyone from my friends to strangers the story of how she’d punish me as a child, not by taking away my toys or computer, but with threats of not reading to me that night. Her favorite bragging line is, “I bought her books instead of toys and took her to the library instead of the park, and taught her to love reading instead of watching TV…and that’s what made her successful.” I roll my eyes when she tells the tale, but it’s true – the love for words that she gave me have taught me how to think instead of what to think, and that has made all the difference in my life. As the years passed, a love for reading translated itself into a love for writing. My memorization of every word of “Cinderella” at the age of two evolved into reading “Harry Potter” eleven times on the plane to Arizona at the age of eight, and into the copycat stories I wrote on looseleaf paper stapled together into “books” – knockoffs of “The Boxcar Children” and “The Pony Pals.” I even did the big-eyed, smudged-graphite illustrations, back then. Even as I grew up, I never lost my enchantment …
When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, there were many answers over the years (among them, fashion designer and paleontologist), but “author” was always at the top of the list. But writing for me was never so much an ambition as it was a passion – there’s always been a part of me that knew that publishing was the ultimate goal, but it was never the thing I fought for the way I fought for As in math (my personal Waterloo). Instead, it was simply the guilty pleasure I used to keep me sane.
I started writing what eventually became “The Voice of Thunder” at ten years, in the sixth grade. Back then, it was called “The Last ExtraOrdinaires” and featured a host of characters who held [an entirely coincidental] resemblance to myself and my friends. Writing was to vent feelings, but it was also for the pure love of weaving together words to create something that had never before existed, something that had come genuinely from the most wild and overgrown portions of my mind. The story evolved as I wrote and rewrote over the next few years; it especially picked up the following summer, when I spent a summer in India with no Internet or electronics. Today, “The Voice of Thunder” bears quite literally no resemblance to “The Last ExtraOrdinaires,” even down to the names of the characters. It was during my sophomore year of high school, at fourteen, that I made up my mind that the pages and pages of scrawled-up notebook paper I had on my shelves were going to become a novel. In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeastern United States, ravaging Southern New York. By candlelight, I began writing what slowly became “The Voice of Thunder.” Honors Chemistry and Pre-Calculus classes over the next few months were occupied by my scrawling into notebooks, trying my best to look like I was taking notes on chemical equations and logarithms, when what was actually being brought to life by my pen were Zaara Theroux and her wild adventures in Asteria. By the time I left class for summer vacation that June, I had a completed manuscript.
I always dreamed, but never expected, that by the time I graduated high school, I actually would see my name as the byline of a novel. Children with big, wild dreams are too often discouraged, by parents or teachers or the realists of the world – engineering is a more viable career path, and grades are the most important thing if you want to get into Harvard. Both of these are true. But children with dreams that seem intangible are the ones who move the world, who take the world in their hands and mold it to their will, instead of letting it mold them instead. Children who dare to believe in their dreams despite what society tells them are both incredible and dangerous – they remind us that the social norms we swear by can crumble easily, and will crumble if the right dreamer puts their mind to it. I am grateful every moment of my life and every page of my novel to the people who have believed in me as I grew – my parents, my family, my teachers, my friends, the changemakers that seem to crop up everywhere – for watering the garden of my dreams instead of taking shears to it. I want that for every child, someday – and I hope my novel will give young adults a channel through which to dream. Like Blythe, I’m a believer that if you push the world, the world will change. This novel is my nudge to the world.
About the Book
Author: Raina Kadavil
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy/Adventure
Length: 497 pages
Release Date: August 5, 2015
Synopsis: Fiery-haired, witch-eyed Zaara Theroux has all but resigned herself to the dull life of an Asterian princess when her engagement is suddenly interrupted by the elusive Jay Sattler, who has an irresistible proposition for her: he’ll show her the world – the good, the bad, the beautiful – and free her from her royal captivity, if she promises to open her mind.
Suddenly, Zaara’s quiet, boring life is shattered and she is thrown into a world where not everything is as it seems: where dragons soar and breathe fire; where people like her are gifted with affinities for water, fire, earth, or air; where a rebellion is rising, seeking a justice that involves destroying her perfect world and everything she has been raised with…including the love of her life. As Zaara joins the rebellion, she learns more than she had intended about the strange and tangled history of the world she lives in and the role she herself has to play, as keeper of the rare fifth element, in preserving that balance between order and chaos in the mythical land of Asteira.
About the Author
Raina is excited to be fulfilling her very first lifelong dream of publishing “The Voice of Thunder” in 2015. She hopes to continue her writing career while double-majoring in International Relations and Political Science, and someday pursue a career in the United Nations. For more information, see rainakadavil.com and wphsambassadors.org.
WEBSITE ~ BLOG ~ TWITTER ~ FACEBOOK
Currently Available at:
THE VOICE OF THUNDER
AMAZON US ~ AMAZON UK ~ BARNES & NOBLE ~ KOBO
GOOGLE PLAY ~ iBOOKS ~ SMASHWORDS ~ PAPERBACK ~ CREATESPACE