I had the honor of being an early reader for L.J. Sellers’ new futuristic thriller, The Arranger. It was well written, sported a riveting storyline, but the world building for her near future 2023 was so carefully crafted and perfectly executed that I felt it deserved a feature here, where I so often discuss world building for paranormal romance novels.
True, the only ‘para’-normal element of Sellers’ book is that it’s set in the future, but there are all kinds of things writers can learn from her excellent example:
Sellers is clearly up on current events. In The Arranger, Sellers extrapolated current political situations and societal issues into a frighteningly possible framework for 2023. This has a seriously chilling effect (and it’s a great skill for a thriller author).
Everything from outrageously inflated gas prices to a shortage of doctors came into play for world building in this novel, and Sellers threw increasingly impossible obstacles at her characters within the dangerous and interwoven plot lines.
But Sellers doesn’t preach, there’s no sense of author intrusion or even a conveniently placed soapbox. Which is an excellent compliment to her world building talent.
Instead, Sellers’ characters in The Arranger deal with the grim realities of budget cuts, a fragile job market, and a broken health care system in the only ways that make sense to them and fit their personal agendas.
This is world building for the sake of intensifying the experience for the reader. Whatever Sellers personal views, her characters have independent, individual reactions and motivations that make the story all the more gripping because the reader can sense how easily the bleaker elements of Sellers’ 2023 could happen.
I can’t say I loved the future that Sellers created for The Arranger, but that’s precisely why it is such a great read.
No, much like my own world building for paranormal romance novels, I desperately hope Sellers’ fictional changes don’t come about. But I’ll gladly revisit her fictional worlds anytime I want to experience a great reading escape.
Live the adventure! (and pick up your copy of The Arranger today)!