SCORCHED Author Mari Mancusi’s Journey to Publication

You know me, I love posting about the once in a lifetime journey to publication. I’m excited to have award-winning author, Mari Mancusi over on the blog, writing about her journey. First, here’s a little bit about the book.


Don’t leave me here… It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise—her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it…

He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head—a dragon that won’t be tamed.

The Journey

I always tell aspiring writers there’s only one secret to publication and that is persistence. If you want to succeed in this business you simply can’t give up. Ever. And I don’t care if you’re on your first book or your fiftieth—there will be disappointments, rejections, bad reviews, and bad covers. Your editor will leave, your imprint will shut down, the book you thought would be coming out in hardcover is now digital only, or it is hardcover but Barnes and Noble refuses to stock it. I could go on and on. To be a writer you have to be a bit of a masochist. Or at least have a thick skin and a dogged determination to beat the odds.

My first novel was a wannabe Harlequin romance. Problem was, I had very little idea what went into a Harlequin romance. But I saw how many titles were released each month and figured maybe it would be easier to just write one of those and get it published.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. And I was rejected time and time again. And I wanted to give up. To find a new dream.

But that didn’t happen. And in the end all that rejection turned out to be for the best. Because that wasn’t what I really wanted to write. It was what I thought I was “supposed” to write. And when that didn’t work, I did some real soul searching and decided to start on something completely different. A book that I was actually interested in. (Novel concept, right?)

And so I started my very first mash-up which I called “A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court.” It was basically a chick lit time travel romance with a voice that was very “me.” The kind of book that, had I been perusing a bookstore myself, I would have picked up and read.

And that was the first book I sold. Since then I’ve written in all sorts of genres. Time travel, sci-fi, fantasy, cyberpunk, comedic, dark, contemporary, futuristic, zombie, vampire, and, of course, now dragons with Scorched. Maybe it’s not the best way to build an author brand—you don’t always know what to expect from me—but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I get to explore every subject matter that interests me. I get to immerse myself in the fantasy and the fantastic. I get to create characters I’d want to hang out with. And I’ve never had to write a book simply because I wanted the money or the fame or the following.

After all, there are a lot easier ways to make a living than writing. Why not enjoy the stories you tell?

Scorched may be the most mashed-up mash up yet—a time travel with fantasy elements set in a contemporary world. But it’s also my favorite book to date and I’m so proud at how it turned out. Even now, as I work on the sequel, I wake up in the morning and think to myself “Today you get paid to write about dragons.”

And then I’m really glad I never gave up.

About the Author

Mari Mancusi


Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession –journalism — instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults.

When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure–videogames. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin , Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and their dog Mesquite.

Find Mari on her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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Buy SCORCHED on Amazon


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    September 25, 2013

    Mari, that’s so cool that you write so many different types of stories. I really like it when authors can show that they can write in multiple different genres in their books (or even in the same book, which is awesome when those mash-ups happen). That’s shows that they’re versatile, and are willing to try new things. :)

  2. Reply

    Chri @ Fathomless

    September 27, 2013

    Time travel with fantasy elements in a contemporary setting… with dragons? I WANT. And, haha, “Today you get paid to write about dragons” <- that does sound amazing :D I'm really interested in Scorched now (and that cover's freaking beautiful). Thanks for sharing!