Search this blog

Friday 29 December 2017

ℚ Sea of Strangers: The Ryogan Chronicles [2] - Erica Cameron

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Sea of Strangers (, Entangled: Teen, 384 pages), a Young Adult Fantasy, book two in The Ryogan Chronicles series.
"This brought to mind other talented and brilliant authors who not only create strange new worlds, but go the extra mile to populate them and fill them out with imaginative flourish. As a science fiction fan, I found this book fulfilling; as an avid reader of all genres, I was equally pleased." -J.D. Hart, Reading and Literature Resources

"[R]eaders of the genre will really enjoy this addition to this fantasy series by Erica Cameron, which presents a sprawling, diverse world with complex issues and a wealth of magical power. Readers will be ensnared by the scope of the world Cameron is creating, but also by the depth of the characters, and the humanity behind their struggles." -Alanna, One Page at a Time

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Erica Cameron; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Sea of Strangers?

"Inspiration is complicated when you’re talking about a second book in a closely tied together series. For me, it’s rarely a sudden burst of epiphany for later books. It becomes more like carding wool (book 1 is the wool in this scenario), spinning thread with those fibers, dyeing the threads, and then trying to create an interesting design from what you have.

For Sea of Strangers, it was this plus several conversations with my editor Kate that shaped the book. Inspiration, when it came at all, came from the work we put into the book more than anywhere else."
How much of yourself is reflected in your books, and how?
"This is something I never notice until it’s pointed out to me. My first novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, carries very heavy thematic undertones pulled straight from my life—specifically my unbalanced marriage and its tumultuous demise—but I didn’t put them there on purpose. I didn’t even realize they were there until someone else pointed the similarities out to me. Now, I always find it interesting when people who know me well point out these points of parallel."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Sea of Strangers - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I am incredibly grateful that Entangled Teen is so devoted to getting things right. There was a bit of trial and error involved with getting the cover for Island of Exiles right, but the final product is fantastic. The color scheme, the sharp, rocky island in the center, and the girl herself, not quite how I imagine Khya looking, but striking and captivating nonetheless. It’s brilliant.

When it came time to create the cover for book two in the series, there wasn’t any question. We went back to the designer of the first book—Anna Croswell. She kept to the general style of the first book, changing the character on the cover and certain elements to hint at the location shift as well, and the final product came together perfectly. The books look beautiful when they’re side-by-side on a shelf!"
Why should we read Sea of Strangers and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
"There are two things I’m proud to claim for my series. The first is that it’s an entirely non-white cast. The second is that within the primary culture I introduce in Island of Exiles, there are three acknowledged and accepted sexes, and bisexuality is the norm.

All other sexualities are also accepted—including asexuality, for which I created the word ushimo—and polyamory is just as common as monogamy. Sagen sy Itagami does have its social issues and problems, but prejudice about skin color or sexuality is not included on that list."
Can you tell us something quirky about Sea of Strangers, its story and characters?
"The entire language system and all the character names evolved based on Tessen’s name.

Originally, everyone and everything had a different name. Except Tessen. I initially named him after the viciously beautiful iron-bladed fan from Japan, and his name fit him so well I didn’t want to change it. So, instead, I shifted everyone else around him.

Since his name is Japanese, that was the language that became the source for the rest of my manufactured words. His is the only word I literally borrowed from another language, but the rest of the words are based on Japanese.

I borrowed sounds and patterns more than anything else. The words I use in the book are as much Itagamin, though, as I could make them. They’re also—more or less—phonetically pronounced."
Who would you recommend Sea of Strangers to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Mainly, the biggest trigger is likely to be genre-typical violence. However, if someone who has read the series has a different experience and knows of a trigger warning I should use, please email me to let me know."
If you could / wished to turn Sea of Strangers and The Ryogan Chronicles series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"So much of the movie for Island of Exiles could be shot in the deserts of Nevada, New Mexico, or Arizona. Sea of Strangers needs somewhere far greener. The Pacific Northwest or Japan would be solid locations.

As for a dream team, I am currently in absolute awe of the team behind The Expanse, both because of the show itself and because of the incredible decisions they’ve been making in their efforts to adapt the book series to TV. They seriously know what they’re doing, and they’re masters of character, story, set, and special effects.

If I could have that team behind the scenes on anything I’ve created? I’d probably cry tears of pure joy, honestly."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I definitely jump genres in my writing. Of the four series I have so far, one is paranormal, one is contemporary, one is a thriller, and one is fantasy. Next up will be a science fiction series!

I love playing in all the different worlds, and I love reading in them, too. In reading, though, I have historically tended to binge on one genre at a time before I jump to something completely new and different and repeat the process. I think it’s one reason I have so much trouble picking favorites!"
What is your writing process?
"It’s so variable that it feels wrong to call it a “process.” Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going from the first page. Sometimes it’s a huge question knot of threads I have to slowly unravel as I write—and usually, in these cases, I have to write it out of order.

Sometimes I research or map or plot before I write, sometimes I don’t. The writing process and experience changes with every single book.

The most important part of writing isn’t how you write, just that you get all the way from Page One to The End."
What is in store next?
"Right now, I’m working on edits for book 3 in the Ryogan series. I can’t say too much about it, but it’s going to continue stretching everything Khya knows, and she’s going to have to face a few more harsh truths.

Once her story closes off, I get to work on a new series, this one set in space. It’s going to include massive spaceships, stowaways, intergalactic war, cybernetics, and explosions. Lots of explosions, probably."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"The thing that’s most special to me (apart from family and friends) is less about the thing and more about what it represents. During my debut year, I was lucky enough to join the One-Four Kid Lit group."
Vivi Barnes, Erica Cameron, Julie Murphy, Robin Constantine and Christina Farley
"We had a program where we sent ARCs around to each other and left notes in the book, and now I have a copy of Sing Sweet Nightingale with beautiful notes and comments from so many wonderful people. The young adult community has been so welcoming and wonderful, and that physical copy is a constant reminder of that. It’s sitting on my special shelf where I have physical copies of all my print books. Just looking at it makes me smile."
Thank you for sharing!

Sea of Strangers
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads

No comments: