Ask the Author: Rory Power

Credit to Rory Power

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. 

Wilder Girls is her first novel and will publish with Delacorte Press on July 9, 2019. She is represented by Daisy Parente at Lutyens & Rubinstein, and Kim Witherspoon at InkWell Management. 


What would you like readers to know about you? 

Hi, I’m Rory Power! I write speculative YA about weird nature and angry girls. When not writing, I’m usually haunting the sale section of the Sephora website or rewatching old videos of my dog. 

What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
Wilder Girls is a YA thriller about an all-girls boarding school on an island off the coast of Maine. The girls have been quarantined for a year and a half after the outbreak of a mysterious illness, but when one of their number goes missing, her best friend will do anything to find her. It’s full of body horror, queer f/f romance, and has Lord of the Flies meets Annihilation vibes. 


What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

I was inspired by a trip I took to Harkers Island, off the coast of North Carolina. The landscape there stayed with me, and when I sat down to write, it really formed the foundation of the story. Everything that happens in Wilder Girls comes out of the environment, and the relationship between the characters and the setting is very symbiotic.

What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

I think my favorite scene to write was the scene where my main character and her love interest confess their feelings. It went through a lot of different revisions – I tried a lot of different setups to find the right one – but the core conversation was always the same, I loved getting to write something with a tone that’s a little softer and brighter than the rest of the book. 


What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

I grew up loving the Redwall series, by Brian Jacques, which are what I always think of as the first books to make me want to write my own. But for Wilder Girls in particular, I was really inspired and motivated by The Walls Around Us, by Nova Ren Suma and Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer. They are both so deeply their own style and that was something I wanted to cultivate in my own work.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

Read widely! Books in your category, of course, but more broadly too. News articles, history, wiki articles about obscure developments in geometry – anything and everything. You never know what will inspire you. 

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