Interview with P.I. Alltraine, author of 'Heartbound'

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.
Her latest book is the YA fantasy romance, Heartbound.
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About the Book:

Title: Heartbound
Author: P.I. Alltraine
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Pages: 177
Genre: YA fantasy romance

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.

For More Information

  • Heartbound is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The idea for the novel came to me unexpectedly, and it compelled me to write.  When a powerful idea hits a writer, it’s no longer a choice. You have to write it, or it will drive you mad. 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.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The most difficult was trusting the characters, especially whenever they did things that I didn’t agree with. It’s so much easier to write what I wanted, but having the patience and the commitment to be faithful to the characters was definitely important in keeping the authenticity.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Heartbound is published by Soul Mate Publishing, New York. It was a very quick process for me.  First, I did some research on credible agents and publishers that would be interested in my genre. I randomly picked one from the list, just to see how the process worked and what a rejection letter looked like. Two weeks later, I got a request for the full manuscript, and two weeks after that I was offered a contract. I had a difficult decision to make because I hadn’t really tried anything else at that point. However, from what I heard, querying agents could take months for a reply (even a rejection reply), and even if someone took me on, there was no guarantee they could sell it to a publisher—and I already had a publisher interested. In the end, it made sense to seize the opportunity.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I expected the journey to publication to be far more difficult, but I suppose I got lucky in finding my Publisher.  I have to say that I made the right choice signing with them. The whole team—from the editors, the cover artists, the authors—have been so accommodating and supportive. I’ve learned so much from Debby, the chief editor. Most importantly, because SMP is a small press rather than a big corporate publishing machine, I feel like I’ve had a voice in the whole process, which is something that I didn’t expect from what I know of other authors’ experiences with other publishers.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on three novels at the moment. My priority is Heartless, the second book in the Heart Series (sequel to Heartbound). The other two came to me at the same time and bugged me until I got some chapters written. I’m also building a (spoken word) poetry collection that will hopefully be ready for publication next year. There’s a video performance available for Unmoving, and a few more from the collection should be up soon.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I’m a massive fan of Spoken Word Poetry, so I tend to go on youtube to watch some readings and performances. I could watch them all day. Michael Lee is a personal favourite of mine. He’s magic!

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

At its core, Heartbound is about questioning and finding one’s own identity and finding a resolution between who you’re meant to be and who you want to be. More importantly, it’s about finding the courage to go against the tides, refuse to conform, and fight for something that means everything to you but means nothing to everyone else.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been fun sharing my journey with you. For other aspiring writer, always remember to write for yourself. It doesn’t matter if your style doesn’t fit the current trend or if some circles won’t 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 oneself.

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