Thursday, January 7, 2010

Guest: Alyxandra Harvey

Welcome Alyxandra Harvey to VampChix today!  She's the author of the recent young adult release, HEARTS AT STAKE.              

I'm a vegetarian. I don't like gory horror movies. And I have low iron so I can't spare any blood.  Plus, with the number of dogs roaming my house I'm probably more of a werewolf girl than a vampire girl; even if vampires don't shed which is a bonus. (And only if the werewolves turn into actual wolves and not some gross, lumpy monster version.)
            And yet, here I am, happily writing vampire novels.
            On the outside, I blame Tanya Huff's Blood Price series that my best friend and I devoured in high school. I think it might be all her fault.
            Follow that with Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer in university and I was hooked.

            But what really keeps me coming back, more than the current trend of undead hotness, is the idea of being able to see that much history, to gather that many stories. The vampire genre combines so many of my favourite things: historical fiction, atmosphere, corsets and, above all, snark.
            Snark, to my mind, is as irresistible as the proverbial seductive vampire gaze, as bloodlust, and a really good black velvet cape.
            I also love a good fairy tale, girls who kick butt, and best friends.
             These are some of the things I wanted to bring to the genre with The Drake Chronicles series, beginning with "Hearts At Stake" ("My Love Lies Bleeding" in the UK). And Young Adult fiction is such a great vehicle for fairy tales; all that transformation and angst and the need to find your own way. It's such a rite of passage, which is something we've sadly lost in our current society. Fairy tales and YA speak to that and can, sometimes, help clear a path through those dark woods. And Snow White lends itself especially well to all of that, so my heroine began her own journey of transformation, albeit a little less internal. And a little more bloody.
             I also wanted my teen vampires to be actual teens, so I played a little with the tradition. The Drake family has a rare genetic mutation which turns them into vampires on their sixteenth birthday---if they don't die first. Sunlight won't kill them but it will weaken them so they are vulnerable to attack. Garlic and crucifixes don't hurt, but a wooden stake to the heart sure does. And the Hel-Blar are especially nasty vampires; I named them after an old Norse word for "death-blue", that I found during my research. Throw in a prophecy, an undead queen with vanity issues, and some apples, and Snow White, or in this case Solange Drake, gathers vampires to her instead of animals.
            In "Blood Feud", book 2 in the Drake Chronicles, I explore the more magical aspects of vampirism. And I get to indulge in a little historical fiction with Isabeau's memories of the French Revolution. Book 3 takes a look at the vampire world from the outside looking in. And I've had so much fun writing this series and have had so many requests for more Lucy (Solange's human best friend) that I'm now working on a fourth book told mostly from Lucy's perspective and that of her cousin.
            So, happily, I blame Tanya Huff.
            And Joss Whedon.
            And, of course, the bloodsucking undead.

Visit Alyxandra at her website
Follow her on Twitter
Check out her blog at Livejournal
Become a fan of The Drake Chronicles on Facebook and also My Love Lies Bleeding on FB


Melissa said...

These sound SO good!
I'm always on the look out for new Vamp books for my daughter...who strangely enough has almost the same name as you. Her name is Alyxandria ~~ and I've only seen that spelling a VERY few times. How cool that your name is spelled similar!!
I'm so gettint The Drake Chronicles!

Sarah said...

I love the sound of this series - I do hate the way we get different titles for books over here though, it does make things confusing lol! Will def be picking this book up though :o)

Veronia said...

YES. I love snark. That's why my favorite vampire on Buffy was always Spike. Even though his heart was evil (in the beginning), how could you not help but want to cuddle with him because of his snarky sense of humor? Will be reading these books for sure.

RKCharron said...

Hi Alyxandra :)
Thank you for the great post. I really enjoyed learning the backstory to HEARTS AT STAKE. I've got it on my Get&Read list when I get paid.
(Yay BookDepository)
Here's to a stupendous 2010!

Anonymous said...

Well, I've read this book and am anxiously awaiting book 2!!! What a fabulous and speedy romp through a whole new Vampire world. Not just for Young Adults either...a must read! Kate

Elie said...

I am so anxious to read it. I tried to buy it the other day but couldn't find it. I will check again soon.

x_-_Lauren_-_x said...

O.M.G i read 'My Love Lies Bleeding' and i fell in love with it !!! i love Nicholas Drake he sounds soooooo cute !! and he is soo kind lol !! i can't w8 4 d nxt book 'Blood Feud' Me nd my friends are obsessed wiv Nicholas =] I was thinkin that someone should soooo make it into a movie i would deffinetly go and c it !! I was readin it a couple of days ago and i was only goin 2 read another 2 or 3 chapters and i ended up finishing the book !!! The Best book i hav ever read anyway dats 4 sure !! =] =p ..x