A Conversation 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:
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: Thank you so much for this interview, P.I. ! Can you tell us where you are from?
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.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
I wanted something that encapsulated the fantasy as well as the romantic elements of the book. It came to me, like everything else, when I was minding my own business, not thinking about it.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
Like the title, I wanted a cover that would accentuate the romance, the fantasy, how out of place Petyr was in this world, but I wanted it to be enchanting. There were many, many drafts. The cover artist, Melody Pond, did a magnificent job with the cover (and being very patient with me).
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
To quote a recent review, “It’s romantic, enchanting, yet deliciously dark.”
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
At its core, Heartbound is 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.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
Chapter 3. This is when the darkness becomes apparent.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
The story came to me and demanded to be written. I know, I know. That’s the most clichéd 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.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
I was raised in the Philippines where belief in supernatural creatures (e.g. dark mythical creatures, vampires, etc.) was embedded of the culture. A part of me still believes.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve been to some of the most beautiful places in the world. Right now though, I would love to go back to the Philippines and just enjoy the nature, the food, the people… I always get inspired to write when I’m over there. It’s such a magical place.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m definitely a night owl. I feel more awake—and alive—in the dead of the night.
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
My mother used to write my speeches for oratorical competitions and debates when I was at school. She’s a talented woman. She used to make up most of the bedtime stories she told us, and her father did the same when she was a child. I definitely got my interest in storytelling from them.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Belief in myth and supernatural is massive part of the Philippine culture. Growing up over there, I was always fascinated by the possibilities of other worlds and enchanted creatures. I believed in magic, fairies, mermaids, ghosts, engkanto, vampires… you name it. The writer part of me still believes.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
For everything to stay exactly as it is.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been lovely sharing my thoughts with you.