I was so excited to be invited by the lovely people at Bloomsbury to the Alyxandra Harvey meet and greet yesterday held at the Bloomsbury offices. I arrived, a bit overheated but right on time (I got a bit waylaid on Oxford Street and found myself having to rush!) to find a fabulous group of bloggers already there. I met the lovely Carly from Writing From the Tub Karen from Teenage Fiction For All Ages and Sammee from I Want To Read That. We were whisked upstairs to meet Alyxandra who is, quite frankly, one of the most inspirational young adult writers I've met.
Here we all are with a copy of her latest book, Haunting Violet.
From left to right: Sammee, Karen, Alyxandra, Carly and me. Massive thanks to Carly for this photo.
I knew Haunting Violet would be right up my street and I'm already a quarter of the way through having started it on the train home last night. Alyxandra said yesterday that she loves research so much that she sometimes gets carried away and could forget to write the actual book. This is so apparent in Haunting Violet and she gets the Victorian tone so right. One of my favourite authors is Sarah Waters and I'm getting exactly the same feel of authentic setting alongside a strong thread of the supernatural in this book. Anyway, I'll save this for the review and giveaway at the end of June!
We were lucky enough to have Alyxandra all to ourselves and asked a whole load of questions about her writing, the books she has planned and the upcoming next book in the Drake Chronicles. I was struck by just how hard Alyxandra has worked for her success. She began writing at fourteen and had written a massive twenty-six books before she landed an agent. Ironically it is Haunting Violet that got her her agent but the Drake Chronicles were published first (Bleeding Hearts, the fourth in the series is out in October in the UK by the way).
I was struck by just how passionate Alyxandra is about her fans. She obviously thoroughly enjoys interacting with them and discussing their ideas and thoughts. We all chatted for a while about her books, writing habits (an average size novel normally takes her around three months to complete) and interests (historical fiction from Egyptian to Regency and beyond and the paranormal genre). I think we could have happily talked to her for hours. To celebrate the upcoming Haunting Violet release there was an amazing cake which we all admired before devouring.
Haunting Violet is released on 4th July in the UK and, as I mentioned, MFB will be doing a giveaway at the end of June to celebrate. Alyxandra is currently doing a tour of the UK, details of which can be found here.