There was tons of buzz back in May/BEA time about 18 yr old Alexandra Adornetto, author of Halo. Did you know this is not her first book... she published her first book at the age of 14? Oh to be so talented at such a young age.
I have some great news to pass along for all my Toronto area readers. Alexandra will be making a tour stop here next week! Come on out to Indigo Yorkdale Monday September 27th for a chance to meet Alexandra. What an inspiration & amazing opportunity for aspiring teen writers to chat about writing!
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to ask Alexandra a few questions, I hope you enjoy!
Besides possiblly being jealous, I'm sure many readers want to know how by age 18 you've had the time to write four books & somehow keep up with school. Congrats, how do you do it?
When I wrote my first novel I was thirteen and in Grade 8 so I didn’t have too much homework to worry about. Things got a lot trickier when I started writing Halo in my final year of high school. There were quite a few instances when I had to finish a chapter and revise for an exam in the same night! Throughout most of my school-life I’ve had to manage my writing career and after a while you just learn to organise your time. My teachers were very understanding when I had to take time off to tour or do media events and my school principal fully supported my writing. So it wasn’t that bad!
Halo is not your first published novel, though this is your break into the North American market. Does it feel any different?
Halo is actually my first novel published outside Australia and it’s been sold to the USA, Canada and sixteen other international countries, so it feels very different! Up until now, I’ve been writing purely for a local market and engaging with local fans. Now I’m touring around the US and planning visits to England and Brazil next year. It’s an amazing feeling to have fans write to you from across the other side of the world. Being able to reach people on such an international scale is overwhelming and amazing.
My idea of an angel is perfection, yet in Halo Bethany appears very human. How do you envision angels in your world?
In my mind, Ivy and Gabriel are the epitome of traditional angels; they protect and watch over human-kind without engaging with them on a personal level. They are on a completely different plane of existence which is why it’s so difficult for Molly to get Gabriel’s attention. Bethany on the other hand, is a combination of the human and the divine. Her angelic nature gets all tangled
up with her human desires and emotions. In Halo, Bethany has not been around for thousands of years, like her siblings, which means she does not have the same perspective as them, but it also means that she is able to deeply connect with those around her which is powerful in itself. I had to make Bethany more human in the novel so that readers could identity with her and so that I could include my own life experiences.
There's a familiar feel to the love triangle aspect of the story that may be compared to Twilight. What do you think sets it apart and would give those that didn't necessarily like that particular series a reason to read Halo?
I don’t think a love triangle is a specifically “Twilight” trait. It appears in lots of classic novels and Shakespeare was a huge fan of love triangles or even love rectangles which were designed to engage and frustrate his audience and provide comic/tragic scenarios for his characters. However, unlike Twilight, where Bella is torn between her love for Edward and her bond with Jacob Black, Jake Thorn in Halo is more of a threat and his desire for Beth’s affection is part of his own dark and twisted nature. She isn’t battling feelings for Jake; she views him as troubled and is afraid of what he’s capable of. Apart from that, the situation is reversed in Halo with a supernatural girl falling for a human boy. Also angels and vampires are completely different characters. The angels in Halo are glorious and righteous, while the demons epitomise the dark side of humanity. Halo is a very straight-cut, classic story, I think and it deviates entirely from the blood, sex and violence themes which are prominent in most vampire-novels.
Any chance of a sneak peek at book two, Hades?
I can give you some hints!
1. Jake is back with a vengeance and he’s out to get Xavier
2. Beth is torn away from everything she loves
3. I got a little creeped out writing some scary scenes
4. The action and drama kicks into high-gear
5. Characters like Gabriel, Molly and Ivy really develop and you will meet a few new characters
6 . It’s a very different setting!