Why I Ended the World As We Know It
By Lissa Bryan
author, The End Of All Things
author, The End Of All Things
I’m a romance writer, primarily, but I also like for my stories to have themes of hope, redemption, and discovering inner strength. I wanted to write a story in which my characters have survived the absolute worst that can happen, but are able to find strengths within themselves to cope. This is a story about the end of the world as we know it, but it’s also a story about the power of hope and love.
The trend lately has been for dystopian novels to have kick-butt heroines with advanced combat skills, who are prepared for anything. But I wanted to explore what it might be like for an ordinary young woman to experience a situation in which the life she’s known has been ripped away from her. Very few twenty-two year olds would be prepared for that, or have the skills needed to survive in a world without modern technology.
When we meet Carly Daniels, she’s in deep shock and denial, having lost her parents and watched the world crumble to dust around her. She ekes out a meager existence, scavenging, hoping for everything to go back to normal soon. To adapt to this brutal new world, she’s going to have to find strengths within her she never knew she had.
Justin Thatcher is more prepared for this situation. As ex-Special Forces, he’s seen what happens when society breaks down during war or famine. He has survival skills and combat training, but under that tough, cynical exterior, he’s hiding a heart of gold. Justin finds Carly and gently coaxes her out of her hiding place, prodding at the wall of denial she’s built around herself until it crumbles. He convinces her to travel with him to a warmer climate where their chances for survival are better.
They travel across a nation laid to waste by disaster, but along with the struggle for survival, they encounter ethical questions that make Carly question every value she has. But she has a persistent hope that the world they’re rebuilding can be even better than the one that’s gone. It’s that stubborn optimism which gives her courage, and the cynical Justin begins to see how precious hope can be.
This was a fun novel to write, but it was also challenging. I had to determine the best mode of transportation, because the gasoline would be going bad and the roads are perilous. I had to research everything from wind-powered cell towers in France, to home canning methods, and vaccines. I can be a little pedantic about it, I admit. If I’m writing a scene where the characters are traveling, I want to know if they’re going uphill or downhill, and what they’d see along the road. Fortunately, the internet was a big help with this. I utilized a lot of vacation photos and Google Earth shots.
But, more importantly for me as a writer, I got to explore those fascinating themes of the strength of the human spirit, and write a love story of two very different people who come together during the worst of circumstances. The sequel is being written, and I hope you’ll enjoy seeing the new world Carly and Justin are trying to build with their fellow survivors.
About the Author:
Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot ... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
Her first novel, Ghostwriter, is available through The Writer's Coffee Shop, Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo. Her second novel, The End of All Things, was released on January 24, 2013, and is available through TWCS, Amazon, and iTunes. She also has a short story in the Romantic Interludes anthology, available from TWCS, Amazon and iTunes. Her third novel, Under These Restless Skies, is scheduled for release in spring of 2014.