Interview With … P.I. Alltraine
Posted by authorcamilson
Hey folks. Today my guest is P.I. Alltraine. If you remember, she was a guest on my blog back on October 2nd.
P.I.. Tell us about you.
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.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am one of these annoying people who love life and feel very blessed. I wouldn’t change anything about my life, so I try to enjoy it as much as I can. I’m also very much aware of the transitory nature of life; I try to live in the now and just make the most of every moment.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Does it have to be someone alive? If not, I would love to pick William Shakespeare’s brains!
What’s the story behind your latest 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.
Tell us your writing process.
I’m an English teacher, which is pretty hectic, so I don’t always get to write during term times. I get the bulk of my writing done when I’m on my holiday. Otherwise, I take advantage of the silence I find in the early hours of the morning.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Writing is something I always knew I could do. When I was at school, some of my friends could sing, some could draw… I could write. I was the editor in chief of the school paper so I edited and wrote news articles, I wrote many of the school plays I performed in, I entered poetry writing competitions and performed spoken word poetry, I wrote the speeches I delivered in oratorical competitions, declamation, debates, etc. At the time, I thought I was doing so many different things, but looking back, everything I chose to do involved writing. When I was writing Heartbound, there were times when I didn’t agree with my characters’ actions, but I couldn’t change anything because it wasn’t my decision anymore. That’s when I realised what being a writer truly meant. Everyone can write a story, but to create a world with a life of its own, that takes a writer.
Tell us about your main character.
Petyr isn’t from the human world, so he sees everything in a different way, including things that we would consider ordinary. Through him, we get to realise just how complex we are as humans. It’s also part of his nature to be rather pragmatic and in control, so it’s interesting to see how he responds to emotions that are unfamiliar to him, particularly when his body responds in ways that he can’t necessarily control.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on three novels at the moment, but my priority is Heartless, the second book in the Heart Series (sequel to Heartbound). I’m also working on some Poetry (Spoken Word). I’m building a collection that will hopefully be ready for publication by next year.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I don’t know about “extraordinary”, but I do a bit of Spoken work poetry:
Who are your favorite authors?
I love writers who make me feel something I can’t explain or challenge my perspective. When I read anything by Virginia Woolf, for example, be it an essay or a novel, I feel baffled and enlightened all at once. Paradise Lost by John Milton, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Dubliners by James Joyce are some of my favorites because these pieces pulled me into an unfamiliar world and compelled me to change my perspective. For instance, I was raised Roman Catholic so when I read Paradise Lost, I found the sublimity and the epic heroism in a figure I grew up seeing as one-dimensional villain very enlightening. It was empowering to see how Milton took something many people considered sacred, especially at the time, and manipulated it with such grace, such skill.
What do you like to do with your free time?
I try to spend as much time as I can with family and friends, and I also love to travel, see the world, and be close to nature.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I working on getting them completed and edited as soon as possible.
Where can people find you on the web?
Any final thoughts?
Heartbound is a fantasy so it’s littered with elements that are out of this world (literally). But at its core, it’s 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.