Beware of Dragons: Mari Mancusi On Scorched

We at RT have always been big fans of Mari Mancusi, and today we're sure you'll join the fold. Mari's stopping by to talk about the inspiration of her new YA, Scorched, an electrifying tale about a girl and a dragon who could save the world — or destroy it. And in just one post, Mari namechecks Christian Bale, Robin McKinley — and throws in some dragon GIFs. And if there's one thing the Internet has taught us, it's that everything is better with GIFs. Take it away, Mari!


For a writer, inspiration comes from everywhere. And my new dragon series Scorched is no exception. In fact, the books take some of my favorite things: dragons, time travel, the apocalypse, and hot twins from the future (!) and mashes them all up together in one book.

So where did my inspiration come from? Well, here are a few places.

The Terminator

Growing up I loved the movie Terminator and its sequels. I’m also a big fan of the Sarah Connor Chronicles. There’s just something about the idea of people coming back in time to change their apocalyptic future that is so darn cool. But in my book, instead of Skynet and killer robots, there are dragons.

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire is a seriously underrated movie about a dragon apocalypse. It stars Christian Bale, which is a reason in and of itself to watch. But it also has a lot of crazy fire-breathing dragons burning stuff up, which, as you know, is always made of awesome. We’ve seen so many zombie apocalypses and nuclear apocalypses and killer plague apocalypses — if I was going to have to live through the end of the world? I’d at least want there to be dragons.


Anne McCaffrey and Robin McKinley

These lovely ladies were largely responsible for my dragon obsession growing up. Anne McCaffrey wrote the epic Dragonriders of Pern series and Robin McKinley had Hero and the Crown. While the dragons in each book were very different — McCaffrey’s dragons bonded with human riders to save the world, whereas McKinley’s fierce Maur preferred to destroy it — they both featured beautiful, majestic creatures that filled me with awe.


My dog, Molly

Confession: my dragons are very dog-like. Probably because I’m such a dog lover myself. They like to lick their guardians’ faces and be scratched on the nose. They love to eat — and aren’t above begging for table scraps. They may be a lot bigger than your average cocker spaniel, but they have many of the same mannerisms. They’re also very loyal to their guardians and will defend them with their lives. My dog Molly was very much like that. She would have made an awesome dragon …


Everything is bigger in Texas — just like dragons! But seriously, it was important to me to set Scorched in a real place, in the present day. So many dragon stories take place in fantasy kingdoms and far-off lands. I wanted to explore what it would be like if dragons came to our present day. What would happen? How would they be received? Would they be trending on Twitter?

-Mari Mancusi


Are you dying to see how these items all add up to Scorched? Then pick up your copy of this sizzling read in stores or online today. And head over to our Everything Young Adult Page for even more YA buzz!