Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Guest Post: World of Shell and Bone by Adriana Ryan

Original Title: World of Shell and Bone
Author: Adriana Ryan
Release Date: December 7th 2012
Genre: Science Fiction

In a world ravaged by a nuclear holocaust, Vika Cannon knows there are no guarantees: no guarantees of safety, no guarantees that your neighbor is not actually a spy for the government, and no guarantees you’ll be allowed to emigrate to a new life in Asia.

New Amana is dying. Food and water are scarce, and people suffering from radiation-caused mutations—the Nukeheads—are the new class of homeless.

Vika has just one purpose: to produce healthy progeny using a Husband assigned by the Match Clinic. Unhealthy children are carted away to Asylums to be experimented on, just as Vika’s little sister Ceres was, eight years ago. Parents incapable of producing healthy progeny are put to death in gas chambers.
When she’s assigned a Husband shortly after her twentieth birthday, Vika expects him to be complacent and obedient. But Shale Underwood has a secret. He is a member of the Radicals, the terrorist group intent on overthrowing the government. And Shale has information about Ceres.

As she learns more about the Rads’s plan, Vika finds herself drawn to Shale in ways she’d never imagined. When freedom calls in the way of a healthy pregnancy, will she betray her government and risk death for Shale and Ceres? 


Adriana Ryan lives and writes in Charleston, SC. She is currently at work on a dystopian and an urban fantasy series. A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, she enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards.

Contact her using the form at the top right of this website or email adriana@adrianaryan.com.

Adriana Ryan is a member of the Romance Writer’s Association (RWA).

AUTHOR ONLINE: Email | Twitter | Facebook | Website

"World of Shell and Bone"

- Guest Post by Adriana Ryan

Every single book a writer pens, I believe, teaches her something. This is probably especially true ofher first couple of books. World of Shell and Bone is the third book I’ve ever written (though I’ve written countless short stories before it), but the first of its kind I’ve attempted. This is true on all counts: I’ve never written a dystopian or a book with heavy thematic significance before. I’ve also never written a book without humor sprinkled throughout the pages. I thought this last one would be hard, but I’d been thinking about Vika and her journey for so long that I found her voice came easily to me. That was a definite relief.

If I had to pick the top five things I’ve learned while writing World of Shell and Bone, they would be:

1.  The doubt never goes away. I thought my insecurities as a first-time writer would be gone for good when I got to my third novel (the first will never see the light of day, and the second has been contracted to be released in February 2013). That was most definitely wishful thinking. I was still insecure throughout the middle of WoSaB, which has historically been the hardest part of the book for me to write. I kept wondering if I was (a) smart enough to tackle heavy topics like feminism and class issues and (b) interesting enough to keep readers rapt for two hundred and fifty pages. I don’t know about (a), but early readers of World of Shell and Bone have been very kind, so I hope I’ve managed to accomplish (b).

2.  Writers aren’t islands either. You know that saying, “Man is not an island”? It’s true for writers, too. Although writing is one of the most solitary pursuits known to man (and woman), it is necessary to reach out and talk to others in the trenches. I’m lucky enough to have a great group of online and in-person writer friends who not only support me, but know exactly what I mean when I say I can’t get out of bed in the morning during the editing phase because I dread editing so much. They know to give me that kick in the pants I need when I’m procrastinating on Pinterest when I should be writing. And, of course, I do the same for them.

3.  Being entrenched in your work can give you nightmares. I remember waking up bathed in a cold sweat, skin rippling with goosebumps because I dreamt I was in Vika’s world. My children were there too, and if you’ve read the book, you know why that could be a major problem. It was awful. I actually had to wait for the freak-out to pass before I could get back to sleep. I guess that’s what happens when you spend too long in a fictional world!

4.  Be kind to yourself. This is true not just of writing, but of just about any endeavor you take on. I still have a hard time with this one, because I’m my toughest critic. There were moments during the writing of World and Shell and Bone when I just had to step aside and say, “You know what, I think I’ve worked hard enough today. I need to go take a walk and then eat some chocolate.” You have to know when to stop. That can be hard when you’re really into what you’re doing, but when the negative self-talk pops up is when you have to get firm with yourself.

5.  There’s almost nothing as incredibly exciting as finishing a book. I’ve been married, had two children, and bought a house, and I have to say, finishing a book is almost as exciting as any and all of those. Though finishing that first draft is a heady feeling, being absolutely finished—with edits, read-throughs, all of it—is a feeling like you wouldn’t believe. I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.


  1. Thanks so much for having me, Vidya! :D

  2. The premise sounds so interesting!

    1. Thanks, Catherine! :D


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