Aledans, I’d like you to give a warm welcome to Adriana Ryan, author of WORLD OF SHELL AND BONE. You might remember a few weeks ago when I was part of her cover reveal (and what a cover it is!). Today she’s here to tell us the five things she wished she’d known before she sent her book out into the world. But first, a blurb:
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?
And trust me, the story is just as beautiful as the cover! Now for Adriana’s five things:
5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Sent My Book Out Into the World:
1. Don’t rush the process. I wish I’d listened to all the sage people who went before me who said you should enjoy the time when you haven’t been published yet. I wish I’d been a little more patient and a little less despairing when the words wouldn’t say exactly what I wanted them to say or when edits took too long. I believe in myself more now (not only because I’ve finished the book, but also because reader response has been so positive), but I wish I’d believed more back then, too.
2. Authors are a welcoming group. I’d always imagined professional authors as a closed-off, inaccessible group of people who sat in little rooms with great views, smoking and typing away madly. In reality, they’re a really sweet, inclusive group of people, and I’m lucky enough to be able to call many of them my friends. I wish I wouldn’t have been so afraid to reach out to some of them in the beginning, for mentorship and friendship.
3. Writing the first draft is the easiest part. I always thought writing was the hardest part. Then I learned what it means to have to go through edits. If I had a choice between a hundred thousand dollars and writing perfect stories that needed no editing, I’d choose the latter. That’s how low editing ranks on my list!
4. Your first novel will probably be crap that will never be published. And that’s okay. Normal, even. The first novel you ever pen is usually the one destined to sit shamefully in a box, covered in dust, under your bed. Mine is a 90,000-word monstrosity that taught me a LOT about plotting, characterization, and conflict. I view it in the same light you’d view that weird great aunt who died and left you a beautiful house in her will. Maybe she was smelly and insisted on kissing you on the lips, but you can’t help but feel thankful to her.
5. Writing is art, but it’s also discipline. You can love words and grammar as much as you want, you’ll still never be an author unless you learn how to get your butt in your chair and write a certain amount every single day. No exceptions. You have to make writing a priority, and just like anything else, the way to do that is to clear space in your schedule for it. This is difficult, especially at the beginning before you begin to do it full-time, but you won’t be sorry that you did. It’s worth every sleep-deprived minute.
About Adriana Ryan
Adriana lives and writes in beautiful Charleston, SC. A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, she enjoys alternately hitting up the historic graveyards and outlet malls. World of Shell and Bone is her first book.