Sci-Fi Month: Guest Post & Giveaway by Sarah Crossan

As part of Sci-Fi Month hosted by Rinn Reads, today I want to share with you a Guest Post by Sarah Crossan who very kindly put together on the World Building of her novels Breathe and Resist. Also Bloomsbury has also allowed me to giveaway 2, yes TWO sets of her books. Find out more at the end of the post... But first here is a little bit about her recent novel, Resist.

Resist (Breathe #2)
by Sarah Crossan
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Released - October 8th 2013
The sequel—and conclusion—to Sarah Crossan's Breathe. Three teen outlaws must survive on their own in a world without air, exiled outside the glass dome that protects what's left of human civilization. Gripping action, provocative ideas, and shocking revelations in a dystopian novel that fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth will devour.

Bea, Alina, and Quinn are on the run. They started a rebellion and were thrown out of the pod, the only place where there's enough oxygen to breathe. Bea has lost her family. Alina has lost her home. And Quinn has lost his privileged life. Can they survive in the perilous Outlands? Can they finish the revolution they began? Especially when a young operative from the pod's Special Forces is sent after them. Their only chance is to stand together, even when terrible circumstances force them apart. When the future of human society is in danger, these four teens must decide where their allegiances lie. Sarah Crossan has created a dangerous, and shattered society in this wrenching, thought-provoking, and unforgettable post-apocalyptic novel.
{Guest Post} 
World Building of Breathe and Resist

Writing Breathe and Resist, my dystopian series set in a future world of no oxygen, is the closest I think I could ever get to writing sci-fi or fantasy, and man, has it made me admire those genre writers because world building is hard.

Initially, the trickiest part is setting up boundaries for the world. What can characters do? What can’t they do? What scientific rules govern the place? And once these are set in place, they are fixed and you have to work around them. There’s no changing your mind in the sequel! And unlike with fantasy, magic can’t solve any of your characters’ dilemmas… drats! (Though I know that even in fantasy, magic rules and limits.)

What was particularly tricky for me was the fact that my narrators knew very little about the organic world because it died before they were born. Try writing over 600 pages without using metaphors or similes linked to flowers, plants or animals – that’s hard too!

But one thing that did make the world building a little easier was knowing my location. I set book in London. Firstly, because I know the city so well, but also because I love London, and a future where it has been destroyed is terrifying to me. I’ve been asked if this was difficult to imagine, but the answer to that is no. I simply focused on how a world would look if lots of people had suddenly died – if fear ruled the last moments of their lives and decay were allowed to take over.

The only research I did was to visit the places I intended to use as locations: Tottenham Hale tube station; Kings Cross; Arsenal football ground, and take plenty of photographs. I also drove the route from where I imagined the pod would be (Essex) right into Kings Cross, so I could get a sense of how far the characters would have to travel. I know Bea, Quinn and Alina all went by foot, but I was too lazy to try that – my commitment to world building only goes so far!

Here is also a short video about her dystopian novels


Thank you for stopping by today and I don't forget to enter the giveaway below. 

{Giveaway Time!}

Below is the Raffelcopter you will need to fill out in order to enter, however there is a few T&Cs first...

This is only for UK and Ireland Entrants ONLY please. Sorry to all International Bloggers.
The Winner will be selected at the end of Sci-Fi Month on the 30th of November. 
For Bonus Points there will be a question which links to the guest post and/or books. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have the first book but have yet to read it. A world without oxygen is really terrifying! I'm looking forward to getting round to this one.

    That certainly sounds like a challenge, writing similies and metaphors without using the sort of objects that we so commonly use in them.

    Thanks for sharing this post, Emma =)

    1. Oh, and I'd keep the British Museum because it hosts a huge amount of our history, and we can't lose that. Plus I love museums ;D

  2. Ha. I love Sarah's final line there. ;) I enjoyed Breathe but haven't had a chance to pick up Resist yet. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to get world-building in books like this exactly right! The research must be fun though, even if time-consuming.

    A great guest post! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  3. I just finished the Divergent series and am looking for a new series to read - I believe this will hit the spot. Thanks for posting!

  4. I haven't read this series - mostly because many of my friends haven't been too fond of it - but I love this guest post. I think it perfectly outlines what I love about the genre, particularly the various constraints placed on characters. Thanks for sharing, Emma!

  5. I haven't read this series because I have heard some not great things about the first book. I've made a mistake I guess. I love the guest post. Great post, Emma :)

  6. Absolutely loved the first book in this series - I thought Resist was OK, but not my favourite! Although, this was a fantastic guest-post and I thought Sarah's world-building was SO GOOD! :)


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