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Without a World (Kirasu Rising Book 1) by Kristen Illarmo
Genre: YA Science Fiction
A dying planet. A mythical new world.
Miranda struggles through each day in the Trash Lands, scraping for food and water, wishing she could blend into the sea of ash. The best part of her day is working a meaningless job in a place where people pretend she doesn’t exist.
Dismayed to learn her mother was right, Earth will get sucked into a black hole, Miranda must trust in skills she never knew she had to get to a place she refused to believe existed.
But when they learn the black hole is no natural phenomenon, Miranda can’t turn her back on the suffering of Earth, and saving it could cost more than she ever knew.
Kristen Illarmo is a young adult, science fiction author driven to write stories with strong female characters in the backdrop of crumbling societies. She proudly calls New Orleans home, a fact that may only change if the perfect beach town reveals itself.
When she’s not toiling to improve efficiency in local government in her day job, she’s writing about dark possible futures and thinking about the importance of the choices we make. The prequel to Without A World, Behind the Red Door, is available now at kristenillarmo.com.
Join her monthly newsletter to grab the prequel to Without A World for free, get author updates, and access other free books from emerging authors at kristenillarmo.com.
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How to find time to write as a parent?
I started writing Without A World in 2017 when my son was four, and my daughter was seven. I finished it in the summer of 2021, there were breaks and even other books written, but it certainly wasn’t fast.
It has gotten easier as they have gotten older, but it’s still hard since I also have a full-time job. I knew there was no way I could follow Stephen King’s advice and complete a first draft in three months, so I gave myself permission to work at a much slower pace. However, the other side of that coin is that I produce better work when I write consistently. That means I have to push myself to find snatches of time throughout the week to write.
I can’t write every day, and I make a point not to beat myself up about that, but I need to write at least 4 days a week to complete a competent draft. I have ambitions to be one of those people who wakes up at 5 am and writes for an hour or more before work. But waking up early makes me so cranky that I have never made it past the ambition. Instead, I aim to put the kids to bed by 8:30 and start writing right away.
Rather than watching the clock, I stick to the goal of writing a 1,500-word scene. I might not be able to bang out that many words before my brain turns to mush and my eyes start closing on their own, but I can usually get close, and even a start of a scene is better than nothing. Writing with kids and a full-time job is no picnic, but the small starts are what will keep you going.
Have 15 minutes? Start the scene. I also always leave a few lines about what should come next, so I don’t have to start with a blank page when I next pick it up.