'Sonora and the Eye of the Titans,' a young adult urban fantasy, explores the trials of adolescence
When Travis Hall couldn't shake a vivid dream June 26, 2009, he wrote the first 30 pages of his debut novel.
'Sonora and the Eye of the Titans' combines historical folklore, action and humor in a genre called young adult urban fantasy. And, it's set in Sandy.
'It seemed like the perfect spot being so close to Mount Hood National Forest and with Sasquatch as an integral character,' says Hall, a Lake Oswego native.
Hall describes 'Sonora' as an exploration of adolescent trials and young adult urban fantasy as a modern fantasy set in a realistic place on earth.
The 'Twilight' series falls within this genre, but Hall said he tried to make his female protagonist much stronger and more self-assured than 'Twilight's' Bella Swan.
The book opens with Allora trying out for cheerleading at Sandy High School. After becoming the target of a prank, her embarrassment turns to anger and her hands burst into balls of flame.
Unknowingly, the 16-year-old has attracted extraterrestrial assassins who have been searching Earth for a group of Sonorian rebels hidden near Sandy. They seek the source of the 'energy signature' Allora has emitted from her hands.
Under the guidance of a sage named Sumatra and a bumbling warrior, Sasquatch, Allora and her friends train in combat. Their destiny, they've learned, is to become Sonorian warriors.
While navigating advanced calculus, jealous cheerleaders and their much-anticipated prom at Sandy High, Allora, Tanner, Dax and Katie must solve complex riddles, fight mythical creatures and navigate a cavernous maze in pursuit of an ancient Sonorian artifact.
After his book release last December, Hall began writing the next installment of the Sonora series, 'Sonora and the Scrolls of Alexandria,' which likely will come out in November 2012.
'The second book takes Allora, Tanner, Dax and Katie to places like Mount Olympus, Egyptian pyramids and Shangra-La in their search for the lost library of Alexandria,' Hall says.
While he grew up in Lake Oswego, he now writes from Ernest Hemingway's hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho, where Hall moved in November 2010 and works full time in a recruiting position.
'It's a beautiful, creative setting,' he says.
Hall studied economics at the University of Oregon and Portland State University. Though he loved his English class during his senior year of high school with Sheri Rathbun, he says he didn't pursue writing until after college.
Three months after his stirring dream, Hall had written more than 400 pages of his book. 'Imagination is a prologue to the future,' Hall tells aspiring writers. 'Always have a vivid imagination.'
For more information about 'Sonora,' visit sonoraseries.com. The book is available through amazon.com.