Monday, July 25, 2011

Interview with Alyxandra Harvey, author of Haunting Violet

This interview was originally supposed to be part of the blog tour for this book, unfortunately I received the answers after the tour was already over.

Here is a summary of this book if you haven't heard of it before, and you can also read my review.

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

What inspired you to write a historical fantasy after writing only contemporary set books before?

I love historical fiction and historical fantasy so it was a real pleasure to write Haunting Violet. I actually wrote it before Drake Chronicles. I’ve always felt more comfortable writing historical fantasy than modern-day...but now my favourite is definitely a combination of the two! (Like in Blood Feud)

If you could have a supernatural ability, what would it be? Would you like to have Violet's abilities, or something else?

I would like to be a time traveler. I’m not sure if that counts as a supernatural creature but I’d just really like to visit different periods in history (Regency, Victorian, Ancient Egypt, Iron Age Celts, Middle Ages...) but still come home for my hot shower and ice cream.

What kind of research did you do for the historical aspects of the book?

Proper historical research was mostly done through books. I used recent forays into Victorian society and séances and also the irreplaceable “Mrs. Beetons”.

We also invited a medium to have a sitting for us, which was fascinating. And a friend let me play with her set of Victorian camisoles, corset, gloves and parasol. I was able to admire tiny stitches and the thin white cotton and ribbon details. And having never been to Highgate Cemetery myself, I found YouTube videos surprisingly helpful!

Can you tell us anything about your next book?

I have an urban Faery YA novel coming out in May 2012 called “Stolen Away” which I’m very excited about! I think it has my yummiest and most angsty couple to date.

And, of course, “Bleeding Hearts”, #4 in the Drake Chronicles (US/NA Jan 2012, UK Oct2011)

What are some of your own favorite books and authors?

I love Jane Austen, Mary Oliver, Susanna Kearsley, Holly Black, Terri Windling, Charles de Lint, Patricia McKillip...

When you are not writing, how do you enjoy spending your time?

Walking with my dogs, watching movies with my husband, going to cafes and bookstores, making jewelry...

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