Saturday, August 15, 2015

Author Q&A: P.I. Alltraine author of Heartbound

P. I. Alltraine, author of Heartbound, stopped by for an interview.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in London, but I was born in the Philippines.  I’ve lived in London for most of my adult life, and I love the place and the people and the culture, but I’ll always be proud to be Filipino. I think living in the Philippines, a place where myths and legends are embedded in the culture, really sparked my imagination at a young age.


What do you do when you're not writing?

I’m an English teacher, so that keeps me pretty busy. In my spare time, I try to travel as much as I can, see the world with family and friends.


When did you first start writing?

Writing is something I always knew I could do. When I was at school, some of my friends could sing, some could draw… I could write. I was the editor in chief of the school paper so I edited and wrote news articles, I wrote many of the school plays I performed in, I entered poetry writing competitions and performed spoken word poetry, I wrote the speeches I delivered in oratorical competitions, declamation, debates, etc. At the time, I thought I was doing so many different things, but looking back, everything I chose to do involved writing. When I was writing Heartbound, there were times when I didn’t agree with my characters’ actions, but I couldn’t change anything because it wasn’t my decision anymore. That’s when I realised what being a writer truly means. Everyone can write a story, but to create a world with a life of its own, I think that takes a writer.


Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I love writers who make me feel something I can’t explain or challenge my perspective. When I read anything by Virginia Woolf, for example, be it an essay or a novel, I feel baffled and enlightened all at once. Paradise Lost by John Milton, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Dubliners by James Joyce are some of my favorites because these pieces pulled me into an unfamiliar world and compelled me to change my perspective. For instance, I was raised Roman Catholic so when I read Paradise Lost, I found the sublimity and the epic heroism in a figure I grew up seeing as a one-dimensional villain very enlightening. It was empowering to see how Milton took something a lot of people considered sacred, especially at the time, and manipulated it with such grace, such skill.


What inspired you to write this particular book?

The story came to me and demanded to be written. I know, I know. It’s the most clich├ęd answer ever, but writers keep saying it for a reason. It’s hard to describe the impact of a powerful idea. When it hits a writer, it’s no longer a choice. You have to write it, or it will drive you mad.  In my case, I was minding my own business, and all of a sudden, there was this image in my head. It hit me so hard that I had to stop what I was doing. I picked up a pen and paper and started to scribble. My husband walked in and found me on the floor with pieces of papers around me. At that point, the outline of Heartbound was completed—chapter by chapter, from beginning to end.


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

So many–Petyr’s initial interactions with Scarlett and his attempt understand the humans and to act like one made me laugh whilst I was writing. I also loved writing the scene with Alex, the scene in Evan’s cave… so much more. This is making me realise just how much I actually loved writing the entire book. ☺


What is best writing advice you can give?

Write for yourself. It doesn’t matter if your style doesn’t fit in with the current trend or if some circles may not consider it “good writing.” Write because you want to, and write whatever the hell you want. Writing is not a way to fit in or please others. It’s one of the very few things in the world that allows the liberty to be true to yourself.


Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

Heartbound is a fantasy so it’s littered with elements that are out of this world (literally). But at its core, it’s about questioning and finding one’s own identity, trying to find a resolution between who you’re meant to be and who you want to be. It’s about finding the bravery and courage to go against the tides, refuse to conform, and fight for something that means everything to you but means nothing to everyone else. It’s my hope that the readers will be able to identify with Petyr’s journey, and thus reflect on their own identity, their own bravery to follow their heart, and their own courage to find your place in the world.



About the book:

Petyr has never found it necessary to consider the humans as anything more than distant, inferior beings–until now. They are the cause of the fatal disease that has plagued his realm, taking the lives of too many of his kind. As a future leader of a realm in peril, Petyr must find a way to resist and cure the affliction. He must enter the unfamiliar realm, appear to be an ordinary eighteen-year-old human, observe, and learn.

However, things don't exactly go according to plan. Instead of embarking single-mindedly on his sober mission, Petyr meets an 18-year-old girl who does things to his emotions that he can't quite fathom or control. Petyr is falling in love, and he almost forgets the gravity his choices have on his entire world. Despite the risk it poses to his life and hers, he wants to know her, and he wants her to know him–and his world.



About the author:

P.I. Alltraine is an award winning poet and author. She has won several international poetry competitions, and her poems have been published in separate anthologies.

She teaches English Language and Literature in London. She earned her degree in BA English from Queen Mary University of London, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Master’s in Teaching at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London.

Before moving to London, she lived in the Philippines where she was ensconced in the rich culture encrusted with dark myths and enchanted tales. She draws inspiration from these in her writing. Although she has lived indifferent places and experienced different cultures, she always enjoyed the constancy of writing in her life. Her favourite authors include John Milton, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.

http://www.pialltraine.com
https://www.facebook.com/p.i.alltraine
https://twitter.com/pialltraine
https://www.goodreads.com/pialltraine




0 comments:

Post a Comment