I’m interviewing Libby Heily today, author of YA Fantasy “Wrong Side of the Rift”. Welcome to my blog, and thanks for answering my questions.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
As a little kid. I’ve always loved words. I started off writing horrendous poems in elementary school. They were terrible, but the love was there.
What inspired you to write “The Wrong Side of the Rift”?
The Grape Merriweather series started as a response to a dangerous trend I saw in YA a few years ago where female characters had little to no agency and stalking/abusive behavior was normalized. That was the impetus for the first book. Once I started though, I decided to tackle some challenging themes using the fantasy genre. In the first book, we explore beauty/celebrity worship. In book two, we’re really looking at dealing with your inner demons and taking on impossible tasks. Delving deep into the themes is where I have the most fun as a writer but I also love the adventure aspect of the story.
What is your editing process like?
Grueling. My first drafts aren’t particularly good. I’m more of a re-writer as opposed to a writer. I take a lot of notes as I read draft one and ask myself how I can do it better. Then I make a whole new plot outline and pound out another draft. Repeat.
Is this your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
I’ve written two others. The very first was Tough Girl, a book about an eleven-year-old girl who escaped the harsh realities of her life through daydreaming. The second was the first book in this series, Welcome to Sortilege Falls.
Did you set any writing goals for 2017?
I wanted to finish book 3 in this series and I am on track to do just that.
Are you working on something now?
I’m finishing up book 3 in the Grape Merriweather series and preparing for my next novel. It’s going to be a contemporary fiction novel with fantastical elements.
About the Book
Title: Wrong Side of the Rift
Author: Libby Heil
Genre: YA Fantasy
Grape can’t unlearn what living in Sortilege Falls has taught her. Magic is real. Vampires live among us. And there’s a portal in her back yard that leads to another world.
A few weeks ago, Grape lived a quiet life with her family in Watts Landing. Now, she’s stuck in Sortilege Falls, searching for a way to rescue her brother from the other side of the rift. She’s connected to Brad through dreams and what she sees terrifies her. Brad is being tortured into performing magic and, even worse, he’s being forced to torture others.
Grape hounds the magic folk in town, seeking a way through the rift. Her mother’s memory’s been stolen. Her new vampire friend refuses to help. Grape must do it all alone. What she uncovers is a whole host of secrets about the town and her own family. And she’s not the only one hunting for answers.
Time is running out for Brad, but it might be running out for Grape as well.
Buy your copy of Wrong Side of the Rift from Amazon.
I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.
Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.
Puschcart Prize Nomination for “Grow Your Own Dad” – Published by Mixer Publishing
Semi-finalist Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference – “STUFF”
Honorable Mention The Ohio State Newark New Play Contest – “The Last Day”