- (Photo: Courtesy Mercury Ink)
Richard Paul Evans recently released the follow-up to his bestselling "Michael Vey" series. Evans took the time to speak with The Christian Post about the influence literature has on young audiences, and where the idea for Michael Vey actually comes from.
Why did you decide to venture into Teen Fiction?
It just looked fun- growing up I was a superhero fan. The market had gotten so dark and booksellers were telling me they were having problems with parents and grandparents yelling at them for the stuff they were bringing home. It was a little bit ironic, when, coming time to sell it, we sold out of stock at Barnes & Noble within four hours.
I think there are so many parents/grandparents that want something good for their kids to read and something that kids want to read. This is something we tested with 500 students before the book came out. Teachers reported it was the most popular book in their school, with the highest readership.
The book is intense, scary in parts, but there was a rule that there would be love in the parent-child relationship. Second, that adults wouldn't be idiots or untrustworthy. Kids need their parents to help guide them. Third, I wanted these kids to be good, in the face of evil, to try and do the right thing. I think it's the difference between the Young Adult genre/vampire genres that has permeated the market.
Where did you get the idea for the character Michael Vey?
A lot of it was drawn from my own life; I have Tourette's syndrome and wanted to use it as a tool to help educate the public. I think the readers are forgetting that he even has Tourette's. I love his heart- it's what drives him, gives him a clear vision of what should happen. His personality is interesting because he has a certain humility in the wake of his power.
How does faith play a role in the series?
There are some very interesting Biblical archetypes, and in the second book especially, there are sections that believers will recognize. There's a Christ-like character who offers his life for his friends; in another scene, Michael is tempted to renounce his God. There are some very clear Biblical underlying themes. The important thing is not that readers get the lesson that is in the Bible, but that they understand the theme that God was trying to get out to us.
Seven books are planned for the "Michael Vey" series. "Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen" is available now.