What Erica Cameron has to say about Island of Exiles:
I started writing Island of Exiles several years ago, but the book you’ll get to read in February barely resembles what I started with. Part of that is because I sold the story to Kate Brauning at Entangled on proposal – nine chapters, an outline, a synopsis, and concepts for the rest of the series. Writing the full first draft after Kate’s input gave me the chance to add what I’ve learned from years of immersing myself in the writing community and from the many discussions of diversity I’ve been privileged to see, hear, and take part in.
I once saw someone ask, “Why can’t a fantasy world be more diverse than our world? Why is it almost always less so?” No one had a good answer, because there isn’t one. So much changed when I reimagined Shiara with that in mind.
The society Khya lives in is arid, a desert far more like Arizona and Nevada than the Sahara. The people who live there are varying shades of brown, from the beige of the sand to a far deeper black. They’re also a people who accept bisexuality as the natural state of being, and they don’t blink at all at nudity, polyamory, asexuality, or gender. There are three sexes and no gender roles.
Khya, my bisexual narrator, sees all of this as normal and natural. It’s the way her world has always worked, so why shouldn’t it be natural? This is one of the beautiful things about science-fiction and fantasy, getting to idealize some aspects of society even while using others to highlight issues. It’s important for people to see, and it’s what I tried to do with The Ryogan Chronicles.
About Island of Exiles:
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.
Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Island of Exiles today!
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.
Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, asexual, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She 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.