Today we're excited to chat with Heidi Heilig, author
of The Ship Beyond Time!
Below you'll find more about Heidi,
her book, plus a giveaway!
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
When I was a girl, I fell in love with a boy and then lost him.
I didn’t lose him to the sea, but to distance—I moved 3000 miles away to New York while he stayed behind in Hawaii, but the effect was somewhat similar. After all, this was back in the days before skype, when cell phone calls were much more than a teenager could afford. To make things more complicated, I’d never admitted how I felt; we were best friends only. So for years I wondered how my life would be different if I could go back and tell him I loved him when I still had the chance.
In THE SHIP BEYOND TIME there are obvious parallels: Nix learns she’s fated to lose the one she loves, and she’d do anything to save him. My own story has a happy ending—ten years after I lost the boy, I found him again, and finally said what I should have said years before. As for Nix’s story? You’ll have to read to find out.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
In book one, my favorite character was Captain Slate, Nix’s troubled, addicted father, who can’t let go of the past. But in book two, it’s definitely Kashmir, the charming Persian thief who’s had his own heart stolen. He’s handsome and persuasive with some good natured snark, and he managed to coax me into writing his own point of view chapters in this book. Kash had a difficult life and holds his cards close, so I loved writing his inner observations and emotions on the page.
What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Without giving any spoilers, I’m extraordinarily proud of the ending, because there were about five totally different versions of it, and we picked the very best one. For a book about fate and fortune, with alternate timelines and histories discussed--this was a coup.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I’ve definitely learned the difference between being a writer and being an author. To me, being a writer is fun, but being an author is a job. When I write, I write for me; when I publish, I have written for others. Being a writer means I can craft a scene over three months, taking liberal time off for Netflix and books and exercise; being an author means I need to write a whole book in three months and I get 10 minutes tops to do jumping jacks in my sweats before getting back to my desk.
Both situations are amazing and wonderful and it’s truly bananas that I have these options? But sometimes I think back to those writer days and wish for my own time machine.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love how well it goes with book 1! They look stunning side by side. And while both books spend time discussing grey areas and uncertainty, I love that the black and white covers are a sharp reminder that eventually, choices must be made, and consequences will result.
What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
I fully expect Angie Thomas’s THE HATE U GIVE to be the
blockbuster of the year and I am so excited for this. I’m lucky to call Angie an agency sister (and a release day sister!) and to watch the meteoric rise of such a talented and kind author—for such a heart wrenching and important book!—has been an absolute joy.
Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising is far and away my favorite. Drafting is almost always a long hard slog, but revision—where I can incorporate feedback from trusted sources like my editor and my critique partners—is my promised land. In fact, I’d happily revise something forever. Da Vinci is credited with the quote that “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” but in my case, art is never finished, only wrested from my hands upon deadline.
What’s up next for you?
My next book is actually the start of a whole new series that I’m so far describing as Moulin Rouge meets Miss Saigon (minus the asian fetishization and with much more magic.) It features a bipolar main character that I’m already in love with, because she’s so like me when I was her age, back when I thought I wanted to be an actor.
Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Every chance I get, I give credit to We Need Diverse Books. The first book in the duology—in which a hapa girl and her bipolar dad time travel to 19th century Hawaii on a pirate ship with a Persian thief and a queer Nuer couple and a chinese ex monk--sold three months before WNDB burst onto the scene—and of course, the conversation was going on long before then. My editor and agent are both amazing people committed to increasing representation of marginalized people in publishing, but without WNDB, I don’t think THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE would have had the amazing start it did, and their advocacy goes beyond diverse books to helping marginalized people break into the industry at every level. We Need We Need Diverse Books, is something I would probably say in an attempt to be pithy, but it’s true.
Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her future lies bright before her—until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves.
Desperate to change her fate, Nix sails her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems. Not even her relationship with Kash: best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire.
Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. At the center of this adventure are extraordinary, complicated, and multicultural characters who leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. This sequel—and conclusion—to The Girl from Everywhereincludes five black-and-white maps of historical and mythical locations. Fans of Rachel Hartman, Rae Carson, and Outlander will be swept away.
And here's more about BOOK ONE: The Girl From Everywhere!
By: Heidi Heilig
Release Date: February 28, 2017