Q&A with Alexandra
Kim: How would you describe Halo?
Alexandra: Halo has been described as Supernatural meets Gossip Girl meets Romeo and Juliet. It's a supernatural romance about three angels that come to earth. Ivy, Bethany, and Gabrielle come to conteract the negativity, all the things you see on the news, work of demons. Bethany, youngest, goes to high school in the form of a teenage girl and falls in love with the hero of the book, Xavier Woods.
Kim: Halo has a lot of spiritual issues. Did you have to do much research?
Alex: The Biblical framework for Halo was not really intentional. I was raised Christian, and it just seemed a really natural way for me to tell the story. The angels are fairly traditional. It’s been described as clean. I wanted to get away from sex and violence like in vampire novels. I studied the subject of religion and society, so there are themes of faith and redemption, and there ideas are part of the story, but hopefully not in an overpowering way. The religion aspect is there, but it’s really an underlying theme. We have angels and demons, good vs. evil, plus the romance of Bethany and Xavier and regular high school stuff like getting ready for the prom. Hades, book two, comes out in Fall 2011, and part of it is set in hell, so I had to do lots of research, plus come up with my own concept of hell. Jake Thorne comes back with a vengeance and comes after Xavier.
Kim: Halo is actually your fourth book. Your first, The Shadow Thief, was published when you were 14. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
Alex: Both of my parents are English teachers, so I was interested in writing at a young age. But I decided I wanted to be an author when I was 13 and on school holiday and really, really bored because all my friends were gone, so I wrote my fist book.
Kim: How did you get your first book deal?
Alex: My first novel was published by HarperCollins Australia. I was really young, so I didn’t want to get an agent. I put a lot of effort in writing a cover letter, making me sound more mature than I really was. When they rang me and I answered, "Hi I’m Alex!" in this high-pitched teen-age voice, at first they thought they’d rung the wrong number. But they jumped right on board with the age thing and used it as a marketing tool. After that I got an agent for Halo.
Kim: You describe yourself as a country music fan and a voracious reader. Can you share some of your favorite book and tunes?
Alex: I’m a die-hard country music fan, and I really love old school country songs, which my friends find quite weird, but I’ve always loved it. Some of my favorites are Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, George Straight, and Johnny Cash. Some books that have inspired me are classics like Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights. I also love Peter Pan, Louis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, and Roald Dahl.
Kim: Will your book be turned into a movie?
Alex: There’s been some interest and I’m very hopeful, but it’s still in early developments so fingers crossed!
Since this interview, Alexandra has completed the Halo trilogy and become a best-selling author.
The Halo Trilogy
In Halo, the first of a trilogy, three angels come to Venus Cove, a ho-hum beach town which doesn't seem like much but has become a hot spot of spiritual warfare. This mission is the first for Bethany, the youngest of the three angels. Her older counterparts Gabriel and Ivy are "concerned" about Bethany's trusting nature and curiosity of humans. Which--sure enough--lands her in trouble. Bethany attends high school as a teenage girl. Despite warnings, she falls in love with Xavior Woods, a boy who has experienced his fare share of troubles but managed to keep his head straight. Despite being a good guy, Xavior's relationship with Bethany jeopardizes the mission--just as demonic forces gather strength. But Bethany was hand-picked by God for a reason.
Halo is truly a fabulous, refreshing good versus evil tale that I couldn't put down. It's refreshing in that it passes over the sterotypical angel-comes-to-earth plot scenario. Written for teens by a teen, the main characters experience teen life while avoiding blood, gore, and sexual tension.