A Chat With Dan Wells, Author Of “Partials”

Survival isn’t just about her life, it’s about everyone else around her…

In Dan Wells’ novel Partials, readers are taken to a not-too-distant dystopian society, where the last humans standing are left to live on Long Island, New York.

It’s been years since the end of the war against engineered, human-like warriors, known as the Partials, and the state of humanity is left with less than 50,000 survivors.  While the enemy has vanished, society is left to deal with an even bigger concern: no baby has been born and survived more than three days, due to the RM virus.

And stuck in the middle of it all is medic-in-training Kira Walker.

While the rest of the teenagers around her are forced to become pregnant due to new government laws, Kira decides to take matters into her own hands. She tries to find a cure for RM.

Along with her boyfriend Marcus, friends Haru, Xochi, Jayden, Isobel and Madison, Kira takes the biggest risk of all to go against the rules to capture a partial in hopes that he will help with the cure.

But while Kira desperately tries to find some answers, she may uncover more than she expected. In a world where everything isn’t what it seems Kira must choose between what’s right and wrong, even if it means becoming the enemy.

Just like the Hunger Games and the Maze Runner, Partials is a great addition to the dystopian genre. With a narrative that takes readers on a journey through desolate New York and what it means to be human, Partials does not disappoint. With the perfect blend of action, adventure, sci-fi and romance, Dan Wells’ story is almost impossible to put down.

As it is part of a trilogy, Partials’ cliffhanger ending will have readers rushing to grab the sequel Fragments.

I know I did.


We chatted with author Dan Wells about his book, his writing career and what comes next.

Was there a specific source of inspiration for your dystopian world and the partials in it?
I’ve been a fan of apocalyptic fiction forever, things like Mad Max and A Canticle for Leibowitz and even The Walking Dead, so there are definitely hints of that in there, not to mention some of the role playing games I played in high school like Rifts and Fallout. The world of Partials came when I combined those with the concept of human evolution–the terrifying idea that our time on the world would end, and some other sentient creature would step into our place and take over. That’s not necessarily what’s going to happen in the series, but that’s definitely one of the big fears the human survivors have: that the age of Man has ended, and the Partials will inherit the Earth.

I assume that this is not the last we will hear of Kira; any hints about what we can expect from the sequel?
I worked hard to make sure the first book had a solid, satisfying ending, but there are still plenty of mysteries to discover and problems to solve, and the book’s epilogue hints at some of them. All of the questions you have, Kira has, and the only way to find the answers is to leave Long Island and look for them. The world is a very big place, and you’ve only seen a tiny part of it so far.

What is the hardest thing about having a career as an author?
People assume we’re fabulously wealthy, and that we never “work.” I’ve worked harder as a full-time writer than I ever have before, but it’s a different kind of work, it’s artistic work, and a lot of people have no frame of reference for that.

If someone were to ask your advice about how to get published, what would tell them?
Write, then write some more, then write some more, then revise and submit, then get back to writing. If you write all the time, always trying to do more and be better, you’ll eventually get really good at it and publication will come. Quality will out. But you have to put in your dues first, and that’s the part people like to forget. Spend as much time and dedication on your writing as a med student spends trying to become a doctor, and yes, of course you’ll get published. But you have to do that work.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, I believe in writer’s block, and I believe that every writer has it now and then; on the other hand, I absolutely don’t believe that writer’s block can stop you cold and destroy your ability to write. You can push through it, or work around it. Solve the problem and move on.

What does success mean to you?
I feel like a lot of the major benchmarks are things I’ve already hit: I’m studied in schools, I’m on some bestseller lists, I’ve got a movie deal, and so on, but honestly: as long as I can support my family and write more books, I’m a happy man. Success, for me, is to still be doing this in 50 years.

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