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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Can you tell us what your book is about?
Heartbound is a YA/NA Fantasy novel set in two different worlds. It follows the story of Petyr, who comes to the human world on a mission to find a cure for a disease that is killing his kind. He is meant to be a superior being, but he finds himself confounded by the unexpected complexities of the humans. When he meets a human girl, Scarlett, he feels emotions he’s never felt before. Through him, we see our world and the typical things that we go through (e.g. love) from a different perspective. At its core though, 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.
Why did you 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.
Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?
I usually have an outline of the narrative, the bigger picture if you like, but I don’t plan the small details. I have fun discovering those as I write the chapters.
Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
Petyr comes face to face with the Forbidden: “The most incredible wave of urge swallowed up every sense, every principle, every belief, and everything else that I was. No longer capable of thinking about anything else, I was overwhelmed by the possibility of having a taste of the one true sublimity. Intense compulsion pulled me closer to the human standing in front of me, urging me to commit the Forbidden.”
Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?
For me, writer’s block happens when my head is filled with all the noise of day-to-day life, work, etc. I wait until it’s quiet enough, usually in the early hours of the morning, close my eyes, and listen to the characters.
Which holiday is your favorite and why?
I love beach holidays—sun, sand on my toes, song of the waves, salty breeze…
What do you like the most about being an author?
There is such delight in creating a whole world.
What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?
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.