Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interview with Alexandra Adornetto, author of Halo

I had the very great pleasure of interviewing Alexandra Adornetto on Monday morning. I was a bit nervous as this was the first telephone/in person interview that I've done. I was quickly reassured by her down to earth, friendly manner and the oh-so-adorable Australian accent. Talking to an "eighteen-year-old phenom", as touted  by her publicist, I wasn't sure what to expect really. Alexandra is a well, but soft-spoken, young lady.

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.

On the topic of Hades, Alexandra mentioned she is working on book 2 while touring for Halo. The third title in the series will be Heaven; you have to love the alliteration here! Talk about a trouper though; This young lady is not only dealing with a North American tour but also writing a novel! With Halo coming in at 496 pages, she's no lightweight writer either.

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.


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Great interview. I would have been a nervous wreck. :) But it sounds like she is a great person and eased you some in the interview. That is great to learn that she was published so young. Amazing! That is quite an accomplishment. And wild to hear the city she picked for the book.

Sounds like a great book from what I have heard, I look forward to getting it and reading it. :)

Jackie said...

Thanks, Melissa! I'll hopefully have my review up soon.

Tamie Galbraith said...

Its there any Chance that a website other than Facebook may show when the 2nd and 3rd book may come out? or a round about date, just so i know when to go hunting it! This book, Inspired me to put so much more into my marriage that it has rekindled what was dieing, and I cant wait to read the other books to see what inspiration i pull from them.......Awesome work Ally! :)

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