Author Spotlight: Rory Power

July 12, 2019

Today we are excited to feature YA author Rory Power and her debut novel, WILDER GIRLS (Delacorte Press July 9, 2019), a queer horror thriller, described as ANNIHILATION meets LORD OF THE FLIES. Enter to win a copy!

designer: Regina Flath  illustrator: Aykut Aydogdu

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for teens.

Hi, I’m Rory Power! I write speculative YA full of weird nature, queer girls, and complicated relationships. I love writing for teens both because it’s such a dynamic and engaged audience and because the reading I did when I was that age has been so lastingly important to me. The books I read as a teenager were so fundamental to figuring out who I was, and so when I sat down to write my own, focusing on that age was only natural.

Congrats on your debut YA novel, WILDER GIRLS. Tell us about it and what inspired you.

WILDER GIRLS is a queer horror thriller set on a remote island off the coast of Maine, where an all girls boarding school has been put under quarantine after falling victim to a mysterious illness. It’s sort of ANNIHILATION meets LORD OF THE FLIES. It was inspired by a trip I took to Harkers Island off the coast of North Carolina in 2015. The landscape there was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and I knew I had to use it in a story.

Your story is powerful, with suspense, violence, and body horror, as well as friendship and love. How did you get in the head space to write the story?

I use music a lot to help me with getting in the right frame of mind. Every project I work on has a separate playlist - WILDER GIRLS'S is here. And then sometimes I’ll make a character specific playlist, or find one song that really suits a particular scene. It helps me keep the tone consistent from moment to moment across the project.
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between? 

I think I’d say it was something in between. Once I landed on the idea for WILDER GIRLS, I had a gut feeling that it was the right project, and things picked up, but arriving there took me a long time.

What projects are you working now?

Right now I’m working on my next book, which should be out in 2020. It’s a standalone, with different characters and a different world to WILDER GIRLS, but the vibe is similar. If you enjoyed one, I think you’ll enjoy the other. I can’t wait to share more about it!

What advice would you give your younger self? Is that the same advice you'd give to aspiring authors?

The best advice I could give to my younger self would be to trust your instincts. I spent a lot of time in high school and college second-guessing myself, and forcing myself into things I wasn’t really excited about. A lot of the time, if you give yourself space to breathe, you really do know in your gut what the best thing to do is. And I think that’s definitely something to remember for writing and publishing, too. Listen to the people around you, but don’t forget to listen to your instincts, too.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

Most people probably don’t know that I went to conservatory for music performance! I was terrible and should never have been there in the first place, but it taught me a lot about responding gracefully to pressure and handling stress, which has definitely been useful.

Where can people find you online?

I spend way too much time on Twitter and increasing amounts on Instagram - I’m @itsrorypower on both. And you can always reach me via my website, too.

Rory Power grew up in New England, where she lives and works as a crime fiction editor and story consultant for TV adaptation. She received a Masters in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia, and thinks fondly of her time there, partially because she learned a lot but mostly because there were a ton of bunnies on campus.

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  1. I'm so excited for this gorgeous book!

  2. I read the first two chapters of this book and now must read more--the mystery promised is intriguing.

  3. I have read this! It's a good book, and that cover is so sophisticated!

  4. I love this cover and both the story and the characters sound excellent. I'd love to have a copy, thanks for the chance to win one.

  5. I'm so excited for this book. The cover is gorgeous and the plot sounds intense.

  6. The cover is mesmerizing. Just beautiful. Lord of the Flies was one of the first books I liked reading in school. It had so much action and drama, but also it was very disturbing and one I return to and think about years later. I love this unique take on it! Congrats on the book. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Excited to get my hands on this book.

  8. Just started hearing the buzz for this book and I am so eager to read it!! Thanks for the chance!

  9. I can't wait to read this... there is definitely not enough horror with LGBTQ elements!

  10. I can't wait to read this book! It has been on my anticipated books to read this year!

  11. I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity.

  12. So excited to read this book!

    1. P.S. I love the playlist. Thank you so much for sharing!


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