Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Interview with Alexandra Adornetto, author of Halo
I started by asking where the name of Venus Cove, the fictional town that's the setting of her latest novel, Halo, came from. I thought that she would say it was based on somewhere local to her in Australia, but Alexandra says that Venus Cove is an unidentifiable American town; this was done to reach a wider market which makes sense being her North American debut.
Halo has been distinguished from other teen novels as being a "clean" read. When I asked Alexandra about this she felt it was more a reflection of her upbringing in a Christian household and attending Christian schools than anything intentional on her part. On reading her work, the publisher liked the fresh outlook, again giving Halo a wider appeal. Along this vein, I asked Alexandra how difficult it was for her to write the part of Jake, the "bad-guy" of the story. She told me that with Jake's character, there's more creative license involved. He appears as a teenage boy, the same as Gabriel, but Jake has his underlying dark side. Alexandra said Jake's character, along with the others, will be further developed in the second book of this trilogy, Hades.
We got onto the subject of more general author questions. I asked her about her writing day. Alexandra insists on complete quiet to write; she used the word "fussy" to describe this aspect of herself. She understands that lots of author's can write in coffee shops, etc. but that's not for her. She offered me an anecdote about kicking her mom out of the study one time for breathing too loud! I questioned her use of a quote from Beyonce at the beginning of Halo and Alexandra says that she finds music can be inspiring for writing....obviously just not while she's writing.
Alexandra isn't a newbie in the world of writing, having her first novel published at the age of 14. In fact, it was a trilogy, also, that she released but they were only available in Australia. I asked, with her break into the world-wide market, if there were any talks of bringing that first trilogy out in North America. She feels that the potential is there, with having had people ask where they could purchase them, but her focus (and that of her publisher here) is on Halo, Hades, and Heaven.
We chatted about her reputed piles of books lying around. I asked if there were particular books which she re-read. Alexandra told me that for YA novels, she basically reads them once and puts them aside, but the re-reads are usually the classics: Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, etc.
My final question put to Alexandra was: Neighbours or Home and Away? She admitted to watching Neighbours occasionally, but I can imagine having four books published by the age of eighteen that not a lot of time was devoted to watching these long running Australian soaps.
Again, for me this was a great pleasure. Alexandra Adornetto appears to have a good head on her shoulders and the world now within her grasp. I wish her all the best success with Halo and her future endeavors.