Author Heidi Heilig Visits School

Author Heidi Heilig talked about her book, The Girl From Everywhere.

Author Heidi Heilig talked about her book, “The Girl From Everywhere.”

 This past Thursday, the library welcomed author Heidi Heilig, who is currently promoting the release of her second book, The Ship Beyond Time and heard speak about her debut young adult novel, The Girl From Everywhere.

The school librarian, Jessica Landon, expressed her excitement over the time travel fantasy novel,  The Girl From Everywhere, a piece she thought would especially appeal to the school’s audience.

“I know that fantasy is one of the popular genres that gets checked out the most…so I thought it was something our readers can connect with,” said Landon.

Landon also explained how every student could benefit from learning about the very difficult, yet interesting publishing process.

“It will…allow students to…have an opportunity to question the author about their writing process, and [the things that she]had to go through to get published.”

The Creative Writing and Journalism classes were among the English classes that had the opportunity to listen to Heilig, ask questions, and enter a raffle for a personalized signed copy of The Girl from Everywhere.  Heilig mainly formed her presentation as a loose conversation about her personal journey as a writer.

She also expressed the support she had when first becoming an author.

“I have a full time job and I sit at my desk, [so my] major form of support comes in the form of having a desk at which I am a receptionist…I was happy to do my writing (in)between phone ringing.”

Heiling emphasized the importance of finding support and others, such as her husband.

“He’s is a really good critique partner. He tells me when things doesn’t make sense, he will fight with me about plot points…I think that if you can find someone, a best friend, or partner, or anything that will really challenge your work, it’s like to me the best kind of support.” she said.

Her fairly new profession yields great influence on her daily life. She spoke openly about her accomplishments and hardships in the realm of writing.

“I think that the biggest sense of accomplishment was getting something finished… and I think that having a finished thing that I no longer can tinker with and pull apart…is my greatest success and accomplishment, ever,” Heilig said.

Yet, she struggles with the completion of projects just like any other person.

“I was struggling against myself not wanting to finish, not wanting to have a…commitment to the book being out there in the world, (and) having a lot of self doubt, knowing that some people won’t like (the novel)  and that has to be okay…it’s all wrapped up in…two sides of the same coin,” Heilig explained.

Heilig, who herself admits to never dreaming of being a published author, explained that her immediate passion and motivation for the exploration for writing stems from her love of reading.

“I love reading fiction…[especially young adult] novels…I think that they’re more inclusive than a lot of adult fiction…they speak more to me.”

Her initial intention was to write as a hobby. Heilig credits her mother to pushing her to write a query letter in order to convince an agent to take on her first novel and proceed with publication. Eventually, she signed a three book contract with her publisher, HarperCollins, with plans to expand her creative project into a three book series, a transition to being a full time author.