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An illustration of a green and red dragon-like creature drawn on top of a photograph of a cat with a book, "When Thavma Came for Nyx."

The Story Behind the Story | Jellie Vayas presents ‘When Thavma Came for Nyx’

Nyx Ripley-Rowan has a few bones to pick with the universe. It seems to be throwing punches left and right, leaving Nyx to always be on guard (except around her best friend, Basil).

The biggest issue involves her late grandfather, Elias Orion Rowan, and the mess he left for her to clean up. Not only did he leave her with bitter memories, he also left the unfinished manuscript of the final book in his famed series—Potential Energy—for Nyx to finish on her own! Having skirted around the problem of completing the book out of spite, Nyx is ready to let it rot and never be complete. But there are a few things Elias left unsaid and had never spoken about before he passed, a few rather dangerous things, when you get down to it. Such as, you know, the fact that the world of the books, Thavma, is leaking out because it’s tired of waiting for the story to be finished—and it’s coming for the author, who just so happens to now be Nyx. If Nyx doesn’t finish the book and find an ending for it that she can accept and live with, the tales within Thavma—the creatures, the characters, the rotting curse— threaten to take both reality and the story world down for the count.

It’s up to Nyx, with Basil by her side, to find what she’s been missing and face the ghosts that haunt her between the words—to bring an end not just to the manuscript, The Searching Soul, but also to the pain and grief that have been threatening to boil over inside of her.

Visual artist and writer, Jellie Vayas has a habit of building worlds and stories for others to get lost in, and sometimes she tends to get lost herself. Writing Nyx’s story, and letting loose the creatures and magic in the illustrations, brought closure to some gaping holes in chapters of adventures in her own life. With a BA in Art, Design and Interactive Media from Seton Hall and an MFA in Visual Narrative from SVA under her belt, Jellie is prepared to tell more cinematic stories about the skies and seas and a few things in between.