Hey everyone! Today I’m honoured to feature Erica Cameron, author of ISLAND OF EXILES, the first book in the Ryogan Chronicles!
About the Book
In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.
On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.
To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.
About the Author
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years studying psychology and creative writing, basically getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Now, she’s the author of several series for young adults. She’s also a reader, asexuality advocate, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse who loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.
Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga. In May 2015, Erica and her co-author Lani Woodland launched the Laguna Tides series with Taken by Chance. Riptide’s YA imprint Triton Books began the Assassins series with Discord in September 2016. The Ryogan Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy through Entangled Teen, launched in 2017 with Island of Exiles. Next up, Erica will be working with Entangled Teen to create a young adult science fiction trilogy pitched as Star Trek: Voyager meets The Expanse and Battlestar Galactica; Pax Novis is set to fly in 2018.
- Describe your book in five words.
Magic, family, conspiracies, deserts, death
- Island of Exilesis the first in the series, what can readers expect as the series continues?
It is! Island of Exiles is the first of what will be a trilogy, and the series will continue either at the end of 2017 or early 2018 with Sea of Strangers. The world will grow both in size and complexity as the series continues, and the trials and choices Khya and the others have to face will get harder. Because what kind of fun would it be if it didn’t? 😈
- Which of your characters would you love to get a chance to meet IRL and why?
I’m pretty sure all of my characters would gang up on me and either yell at me or beat me senseless for being so mean to them! Out of everyone in Island of Exiles, though, I think it would be hilarious to hang out with Rai and Etaro for a day. They complement each other incredibly well, and they’re also incredibly good at snarking at each other. Spending a day with them would be explosively hilarious. Or possibly just explosive. Either way, it’d definitely wouldn’t be boring.
- Family seems to be an important part of your novel as it focuses on Khya, a warrior who has to turn her back on her island in order to find her brother. Can you elaborate on their bond and talk about its role in the plot?
Although they may not have been the spark that created the world, the story definitely began with Khya and her brother. Their bond is uncommon, but it plays a big part. Blood ties aren’t important in Itagami—the entire clan is your family. Often, citizens don’t even know who they’re related to by blood. For Khya and Yorri to not only have grown up knowing their blood-tie to each other but also become so reliant on each other is rare. How far Khya will go to guide, protect, and/or save Yorri drives a lot of the plot, but so does Yorri’s admiration for his sister and what he’s willing to sacrifice to become what she wants him to be. Those bonds and those themes are going to be very important in varying ways throughout the series, so keep an eye on them both!
- What are you working on next? (If you can share!)
A LOT. In addition to editing the third book in The Dream War Saga, I’m also working on rewriting Sea of Strangers and plotting book three of the series. Once those are off my to-do list, I get to continue working on the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland and write the first of the Pax Novis trilogy, an incredibly fun sci-fi series! There are some other projects thrown into that list, too, but those are the major players. I can’t wait until all of these VERY DIFFERENT projects.
Thanks so much to Erica for answering all of my questions! If you haven’t read Island of Exiles yet, get on it!