Q&A with 14-year-old Dubai author Izabella Faye Lebig

Estimated read time 9 min read

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Consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis.” byline=”staff reporter” caption=”Izabella Faye Lebig is the author of the Alex Hades trilogy.” credits=”SUPPLIED”]

Q&A with 14-year-old Dubai author

We caught up with Izabella Faye Lebig at the PBC Masterclass in Dubai. We chat with the young, Dubai-based author about books, “Holy Quartet” of inspiration, writers’ block, her Alex Hades trilogy and more.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m fourteen and a Year 10 student at Cambridge International School Dubai. Beyond academics, I am passionate about writing.

When did you discover your love for writing?

I wrote my first short story when I was around five years old. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in a bookstore, and as a result I wound up with a very vivid imagination. I love how my mind works, at least what I know of it, but then my imagination got in the way of my reality. It became a common occurrence for me that I would be found sitting incredibly still, spacing out and lost in my own head. Eventually my parents stepped in, and we discovered that writing is a very effective way to channel everything running through my head. The magical world of words captivated me, and I discovered the power of expressing emotions and thoughts through writing.

Tell us about the works you have published so far

So far I’ve published the Alex Hades trilogy. I wrote and published the first book, Legend of the Dark Prince, in 2020, based around the story of an FBI agent by the name Alex Hades, who begins with a mass murder case and transcends on to matters beyond her own comprehension in the supernatural world of angels and demons. With the help of experts and beings in that world, she not only finds the dark prince but continues on to battle greater enemies in Sister of Araddon (2021) and Wrath of Inarem (2023).

What challenges have you faced while writing?

The process of writing books had turned out a little more tedious than expected. Of course, there’s the whole inspiration and writing process, where I would be met with writers’ block, plot holes, confusion, dissatisfaction and a bipolar motivation, ranging from writing elaborate, intricate masterpieces to staring blankly at the screen. Then I had to send my draft back and forth with the editor, making a lot of changes to the story, to make sense or to have more emotion, or for strict grammar rules, so and so. I honestly believe that the editing process is equally as important and as difficult as the actual writing process.

I notice that I write best when I can personally, emotionally relate to what it is I’m writing about. I gather inspiration from real life as well as many other things, could be people, events, conversations, anything. I firmly believe that writing should be a channel to express more than your thoughts but overall your story and who you are as a person. If you’re unsure about how to continue a certain scene, maybe it’s not where it’s supposed to be. If you can’t feel the tension, the chemistry, so on, you have to put yourself in your character’s shoes. Little mottos and beliefs like this are also what help me overcome certain challenges as a writer.

Which of your work are you most proud of, and what can readers expect?

I’m truly really proud and excited for the Alex Hades trilogy as a whole, I love how the difference and the progress in my writing can be seen throughout the three books. Readers can expect a coming work in progress, in a completely new genre, new, more diverse characters, new tropes, really a 180° shift from the Alex Hades trilogy but equally, hopefully even more exciting.

What inspires you to write your own stories?

I always have this “Holy Quartet” of things that inspire me to write my own books or stories. First is the original duo, books and movies. These come together, I get inspiration from the characters, the writing style, the character arcs and so on. Then there’s music. It could be instrumental, there could be lyrics, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is how the song makes me feel. I’ve explored different music genres for a long time now, every beat, not and lyric comes together and fabricates different scenarios, possible scenes for my books, down to the little sparks between my characters, sometimes whole new characters. I love how certain songs perfectly recite the moment or scene it represents, simply in a different font.

Finally, there is real life. I find that while “real life” is a common source of inspiration among writers, it is more effective than one might think. Allow me to redefine “real life inspiration”: It’s not about writing dramatic proses about a rock on the ground, or over-romanticizing the everyday blue sky. Real-life inspiration means taking your hand and reaching into the deepest parts of yourselves, the memories, feelings you’ve locked away or built a wall around, moments in your life that have literally sculpted who you are, and encrypting them into words that, if you feel it enough, turn into sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, novels.

What’s next for you?

In the future, I plan to excel academically and explore studies aligned with my interests, possibly leading to a career in writing, literature, or business. I’m eager to expand my writing horizons by crafting more poems, delving into short stories, and submitting my work to publications. Prioritizing community service, I plan to increase my involvement in impactful volunteer activities. Navigating adolescence, I seek personal growth, diverse experiences, and a well-rounded perspective on life, excited to weave my story through academics, writing, community service, and personal exploration. JMK/Expat Media

Alex Hades and the Legend of the Dark Prince is available on amazon.ae for Dh56.53 


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