The Journey Trilogy

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by Aaron Becker (box set to be released November 7, 2017, Candlewick Press)

I’m so excited to bring you this glimmer of good news today. Aaron Becker’s stunning wordless trilogy is being released as a box set by Candlewick just in time for the warm winter holidays, or any time your soul needs a boost.

Here’s a look at the magic.

I asked Aaron a little bit about his incredible past few years in publishing. Here he is!

So, how does it feel to know there’s a box set for the Journey Trilogy?

I am more than thrilled! I’ve always loved this sort of thing in the series that I follow, but I never imagined when I wrote Journey that it would grow into something like this. It’s such an honor and I’m so excited to see it come together.

Had you always planned a trilogy?

When I was editing Journey, the one thing I didn’t have room for was a resolution for the girl’s initial (and significant) disconnect with her family. Instead, she finds a way out of her loneliness through her imagination and the adventures and friends she makes along the way. This felt closer to life to me; that the things we desire deep down don’t always pan out the way we might hope.

At the same time there was this nagging question when the layouts were finished – What about the girl’s family? Will she ever be seen by them? Well before Journey published (as you know, it’s a long process from completion of artwork to final publication) I talked to my editor at Candlewick (Mary Lee Donovan) about extending the story into a trilogy to help finish the larger arc of the girl’s journey. At that point, I wrote out a synopsis of the final two books. It was important to me that the story not turn into an ongoing series, but end as a succinct story with three purposeful acts, where Quest delves us deeper into the worlds of Journey and Return comes full circle to resolve the girl’s initial rift.

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Journey was your debut and landed in the book-world like a meteor. Was it hard to follow up on that kind of success?

Luckily I avoided any of that pressure – the paintings for Quest were finished by the time Journey published! Return was harder to figure out, but mostly because the story needed to work both as a stand alone story and a book end to the trilogy – in 40 wordless pages!

Your book trailers are amazing. How do they get made?

Thanks! I used to work in the film industry, so when the time came to promote Journey, I took what I knew of animation and film making and put it to use. It’s a really fun part of the process for me, and I wanted to do something special to celebrate the release of the box set that was different than my animations from the trilogy. I filmed the lanterns and books in our back yard with some fancy new camera equipment. It was a blast, though waiting for the perfect sunset took some patience!

For the music in all of my trailers, I work with Jacob Montague, a composer from the band Branches. Jacob takes my temp track and scores original music based on the timing of the edit. Books are a relatively solitary process, so it’s nice to have the chance for some collaboration.

Now that the trilogy is complete and the box set is coming out, do you have plans ever to go back to the worlds from Journey?

I do have an idea about the girl’s father when he was a boy. It’s the back story of it all that explains the crayons and the mythology of the kingdom. Actually, if you look carefully, a lot of it is already there on the cave painting in Return. I think I prefer keeping it there instead of elaborating too literally for the reader. There’s such a large part of these stories that belong to the readers themselves and I’d hate to take that away by explaining it too much!

I’ll have to take a look at that cave myself! So what’s next?

I have an entirely new wordless book coming out in Spring of 2018, A Stone for Sascha. It’s hard to explain in words how lucky I feel to be doing this job of telling my own stories. Now if only I had more time! I have so many I want to tell.

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6 Comments

  • Posted October 3, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Love both the questions and answers :) Thank you.

  • Posted October 3, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Enchanting, appealing and I’m glad there’s three! And I agree with Stardi, great questions and conversation.

  • Posted October 3, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I love the book Journey and Aaron Becker’s style. I have been sharing his story to my art students for several years now. They like to look at the pictures and tell the story themselves and I think that it creates such a wonderful dialogue.
    Thank you!
    – Lisa Hancock

  • Posted October 3, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    These are wonderful books, and I can’t wait to see the next offering. Very exciting.

  • Maureen Zottoli
    Posted October 3, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Own all three books, but am so excited to get my boxed set in November! And am looking forward to the next project coming around the bend!!!

    The artwork is the selling point, but the story captures you!!!! The books are simply wonderful, gorgeous, awesome, inspiring. Whether you are a youthful 95 or 4 you can turn every page with your own story as you see a specially uniquely yours story as you unfold each page! It is magic.

    I love wordless books. They cross generations, language boundaries and even reading skills to touch anyone with an imagination.

    Thank you so much Aaron Becker! I look forward to more and more books!!!!

  • Kelly
    Posted October 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I love Aaron Becker’s work! So, so beautiful. I’m excited to see an exclusive print with a sailboat on it, no less. Can’t wait to buy the box set even though I think I own them all individually!