Ghostwriter – Travis Thrasher

Ghostwriter Travis Thrasher
Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher
Published by FaithWords on May 1, 2009
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Speculative
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five-stars

When a writer’s haunting novels suddenly intersect with real life, he faces terror unlike anything he ever imagined.
For years Dennis Shore has thrilled readers with his spooky bestselling novels. Now a widower, Dennis is finally alone in his house, his daughter attending college out of state. When he’s stricken by a paralyzing case of writer’s block and a looming deadline, Dennis becomes desperate. Against better judgment, he claims someone else’s writing as his own, accepting undeserved accolades for the stolen work. He thinks he’s gotten away with it…until he’s greeted by a young man named Cillian Reed—the true author of the stolen manuscript.

What begins as a minor case of harassment quickly spirals out of control. As Cillian’s threats escalate, Dennis finds himself on the brink of losing his career, his sanity, and even his life. The horror he’s spent years writing about has arrived on his doorstep, and Dennis has nowhere to run.

It’s 2am. The blinking cursor contrasts sharply with the blank white screen, mocking the fact that I haven’t written anything. Time for a break, I thought. Maybe if I read for a bit, I can clear my head and figure out how to finish that scene. So I grabbed the book resting atop my to-read pile. And pulled down Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher.

So I pick up the book and open it, slowly remembering what I already knew about the book’s premise. Horror novelist Dennis Shore has a looming deadline and a horrible case of writer’s block. I look up at the blinking cursor still mocking me. Haven’t even read the book yet and I feel this strange urge to check under my bed.  After disposing of the remnants of the previous day’s dinner…I’m still not sure how it ended up under the bed…I settled in for the haunting story that is Ghostwriter.

Still reeling over the loss of his wife, Dennis finds himself pushing a deadline with no book in hand. In a panic, he takes out a manuscript sent to him years ago by a kid – Cillian Reed – adds a few touches to it, and submits the plagiarized work as his own. He thinks he’s gotten away with it, until it literally comes back to haunt him.

At first, Dennis shrugs it off. He had to protect his career, didn’t he? But Cillian won’t stop stalking him. And he seems to know more than anyone alive ever could. A ghost? But Dennis only writes about the supernatural, he doesn’t actually believe in it. But Cillian doesn’t seem to care that Dennis doesn’t believe. He’s going to make sure the man that stole from him never writes again.

Thrasher has written a harrowing and redemptive story that explores the concept of a horror novelist who doesn’t believe in the supernatural yet finds himself confronting it in a terrifying and visceral way. Thrasher throws a lot of himself into the book, and one wonders if at least some of Dennis’s thoughts regarding writing and life aren’t taken directly from Travis himself.

Supernatural thriller is the genre Travis is known best for and writes best in, though he’s certainly shown his artistic abilities in an array of genres. Ghostwriter is another great story with a great redemptive message.

Mini Q&A with Travis

Josh: How freaky is it to be a novelist writing about a novelist whose stories are coming true? Have you ever experienced anything like that in your own writing?

Travis: This has happened quite a few times. One big example is Sky Blue. I was writing about a couple who was trying to start a family but they couldn’t. My wife and I found ourselves in the same boat a few years later (as I was still writing the novel). I love blurring the line between reality and fantasy. I put a lot of myself in my stories, but at the same time they’re completely made up. (Or are they??)

Josh: Where did you get the idea for Ghostwriter?

One night as I was battling with writer’s block, I decided to look in my closet, and there it was–on yellow paper. This novel just sitting there. Oops, maybe I’ve already said too much.

five-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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