World Building with Carrie Ann Ryan, Author of Dust of My Wings

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Hi friends! Yesterday we had a visit from science fiction author Jeffrey Zweig where he talked about world building in the context of other worlds. Today, we’re hearing from bestselling paranormal romance author, Carrie Ann Ryan. Carrie Ann will tell us all about how she came up with the idea for the world in her new series beginning with her just released, Dust of My Wings.

Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Title: Dust of My Wings
Series: A Dante’s Circle Novel

Genre: Paranormal romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Published: July 2012

Available fromAmazon | Barnes&Noble | ARe

Humans aren’t as alone as they choose to believe. Every human possesses a trait of supernatural that lays dormant within their genetic make-up. Centuries of diluting and breeding have allowed humans to think they are alone and untouched by magic. But what happens when something changes?

Neat freak lab tech, Lily Banner lives her life as any ordinary human. She’s dedicated to her work and loves to hang out with her friends at Dante’s Circle, their local bar. When she discovers a strange blue dust at work she meets a handsome stranger holding secrets – and maybe her heart. But after a close call with a thunderstorm, she may not be as ordinary as she thinks.

Shade Griffin is a warrior angel sent to Earth to protect the supernaturals’ secrets. One problem, he can’t stop leaving dust in odd places around town. Now he has to find every ounce of his dust and keep the presence of the supernatural a secret. But after a close encounter with a sexy lab tech and a lightning quick connection, his millennia old loyalties may shift and he could lose more than just his wings in the chaos.

Creating a New World by Carrie Ann Ryan

First, thank you so much for having me today. So how does the author’s mind work? For me, I think of the characters in the world comes from that. Each time I created a new world, have to be consistent, but I can be as dramatic as I feel like. That’s where world building comes in. Each time we create a new species have to make sure that you have their powers, characteristics, descriptions down pat. Especially when you’re in a series, and a little small tidbit of knowledge that you said in chapter 2 a book 1 may actually be important in chapter 12 book 7.

In my Dante’s Circle series, I have the seven book series in which I’m creating a whole new world, that is outside of my Redwood Pack world. Meaning, I had to make sure that each species and supernatural are consistent with themselves. In order to do this, I use Microsoft OneNote. Each book has a different tab and with each tab, I have serious outline character outline character descriptions and then species descriptions. And I have an overall book Bible that combines these tabs I can do a quick glance at what I need.

So unlike my Redwood Pack series in which I have demons, witches, werewolves, I have a lot more going on this time. I have angels, demons, wolf shifters, bear shifters, Fae, mermen, brownies, pixies, cats, and many, many more. And so each time I do this, I need to make sure I’m consistent with myself, and actually interesting. You don’t want to have each supernatural have the same exact thing. That would get a little boring.

Now, I do use an online resource about magical beings to at least get an idea of what I wanted. But as I kept reading through the mythologies, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. So ended up taking that and evolving it into something that was my own. So yes, I do cite them, but it really wasn’t my overall arc.
In my world, humans are not merely humans. They are diluted versions of supernaturals who over time forgot the meaning of magic and what goes bump in the night. But because it’s still inherent in their DNA, something can make all of that change, and bring back that latent feature in and make it dominant. That’s why so excited about this, because I get to go crazy and do it ever I want in my own world. As long as I’m consistent with myself. That’s why I love reading fiction and paranormal books. You don’t have to stick to the normal rules, but you have to stick to your own rules.

So what is it that you guys love about breaking open new worlds? What are your favorite types of supernaturals? Do you like that have the same tendencies in care services in each book by different authors? Or do you like it when an author goes off the path and makes it her own?

***Giveaway Info***
Carrie Ann is giving away a swag pack to a lucky person who comments. Be sure to leave your e-mail address to be entered.

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate – even if its just in her books. Happy endings are always near – even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.

Her first book, An Alpha’s Path, is the first in her Redwood Pack series. She’s also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She loves meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.

Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:

Website | Blog | Heartthrob Haven | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Friend | Goodreads |
Twitter: @CarrieAnnRyan |

Dust of My Wings Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | ARe

Dust of My Wings Excerpt
The motorcycle vibrated beneath Shade as he pulled off the side of the road and parked. The rain pelted him, the cold seeping into his bones, but he shrugged it off. He was in northern Washington and this seemed to be the norm in terms of weather.

He lifted his leg and got off the bike, ignoring the stares of the women around him. They watched him stroll, his powerful legs leading to long strides. He’d tucked his wings into the slits into his back to hide the fact he was an angel, but he couldn’t hide his face or the fact that women seemed to fawn over it.

It had been a long time since he had a woman. Not since that were jaguar a century or two ago in a night of deep depression and loneliness for him. But the heat, claws and desperation and only served to fill a physical need that left him even lonelier than before. From then on he left his carnal needs up to his hand. Before the jaguar it had been even longer, but he didn’t want to think about her. The one he’d lost. She was long since gone.


Kristine: Thank you so much, Carrie Ann, for being such a great guest on my blog today. I loved hearing about how you created your characters and the rules for your world, and how you kept them all organized. You are truly and amazing author and woman! Congratulations on your new release 🙂

Readers, remember to be eligible to win Carrie Ann’s wonderful swag pack, you need to leave a comment with your email address.

Here are Carrie’s questions again: So what is it that you guys love about breaking open new worlds? What are your favorite types of supernaturals? Do you like that have the same tendencies in care services in each book by different authors? Or do you like it when an author goes off the path and makes it her own?

Happy Reading!

30 Responses

  1. the 'dust of my wings' excerpt looks really good. thanks for sharing!


  2. I loved the excerpt so much I just had to go buy it. Thanks for sharing, though my budget does not thank you. LOL

  3. Thank you for hosting me!!

  4. Angels, demons, wolf and bear shifters, Fae, and mermen, oh my! You def have some great world-building going on!

    • Thank you for commenting, Martha! Carrie Ann has a unique ability to create worlds that draw us in. I devoured her Redwood Pack series just as I know I'll devour the Dante's Circle series 🙂

  5. This sounds really interesting. I bet it was fun to write. I love writing about paranormal/magical people and building worlds for them. I am currently working out the series for my Angel ebooks, who saves who and who teaches and guides which angels. I had fun creating a fantasy Heaven for my first romance ebook coming out this month, and have just had an idea to create short stories for the series. I love creating humans or angels with magical powers; be it transportation or coming alive via a photoframe. Makes writing so much more fun to do.
    This is Julie Day at

    • Thank you for commenting, Julie! I don't write paranormal (yet!) but even then, I still have to create my fictional town, family relations, job positions, etc. It's definitely not as complex as creating a whole world. I admire all of you who can do it! Good luck with the giveaway!

  6. World building is so dang important.
    I love coming up with how my paranormal creatures fit in with each other–how they fit in with humans. I love creating history, lol!


    • I agree! Carrie Ann's books are all fabulous and this one has a whole host of new creatures for us to fall in love with! Thank you for your comment. Come back and leave your email address to be entered for the giveaway 🙂

  8. Great escerpt and congrats on the relase. Best of luck.

  9. Great insight Carrie. Thank you.

  10. Thank you so much for the post! I enjoyed reading about how you create your worlds. I've not seen the creative side of it explained, and just this post makes me want to pick up all the books! I'm inspired!

  11. So what is it that you guys love about breaking open new worlds? What are your favorite types of supernaturals? Do you like that have the same tendencies in care services in each book by different authors? Or do you like it when an author goes off the path and makes it her own?

    So many questions do I pick the one to answer?

    New worlds? It's the imagination that goes into the building of this new world and making it credible

    Favorite supernaturals? Vampires, shifters and angels!

    I like either or for your last questions; there are so many twists and turns to be done on the same subjects that none are ever identical.
    diane dot sadler at gmail dot com

    • "there are so many twists and turns to be done on the same subjects that none are ever identical."

      Exactly! Most romances are at there core, essentially the same story. It's the telling of the story that differentiates them, the richness of the characters, and the twists and turns of the plot. I've read tons of vampire stories, but I still love them, because they're all different. Thank you for your great comment, Diane!

  12. What I love about authors breaking open new worlds is that they set up the rules. You never know what you're going to get and can end up in a grand adventure just from reading.

    After reading about Lily and Shade I can't wait to find out how you write the other magical beings you have in your head!


    • That's what I love about paranormals as well – you never know what you're going to get. They may be vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, angels, etc. And we may already have read stories with about those creatures, but it's not the same creatures. Every author imagines them differently, and invents their own world for them to live it. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  13. Carrie, this sounds awesome! I love angels, vamps, and shifters most in worlds without our present limitations. I like to believe that with love, anything's possible, so my characters break the rules a lot! Congratulations 🙂

  14. Great interview and excerpt. World building is a very important aspect of any story. I am also a published author (1 Sci Fi, 1 Erotic Vampire Romance)and in both of my books I had interesting challenges. I decided to come up with a whole new twist for my vampires. They had to hae sex as well as blood, in order to survive. My SciFi took me almost a month of constant work to get everything setup. I did cheat a little, no aliens. They found life, just not sentient life.
    I've put your book on my TBL and I'm looking forward to reading your series. PS I will also rate and review your stories as I read them on Amazon. I always try to do reviews. I know that the feed back and detailed reviews helps, they do me.
    I am including my Email address to enter your contest:
    Goodluck with your new book.
    G W Pickle

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment, GW! I love how you made changes to your world to make it a little different from others with similar characters. Your stories sound fascinating. Best of luck with the giveaway!

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