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PsP Week, Day Six: Author Interview with Alyxandra Harvey

December 17, 2010

It wasn’t until fairly recently that I discovered Alyxandra Harvey’s Drake Chronicles. Let’s just say that I was a little weary of the teen vampire scene. Also, though I love stories featuring families burdened with brothers, they too have been overdone. The tipping point in favor of the Drake Chronicles was, I’m ashamed to admit, that I thought they were English. And I’m a terrible anglophile. It turns out that Alyxandra Harvey’s actually a Canadian author, but by the time I figured that out, I was already sucked in to the series and swooning over the cadre of Drake brothers.  I nearly expired from joy when I found out that the third Drake book, Out for Blood, was going to hit three important high notes: it was about my favorite of the brothers, it was going to be a private school paranormal, and it was going to be released around the same time as this event. The Drake Chronicles books are fun reads, and a perfect antidote to the sometimes overly angsty paranormal stuff I wade through. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, angsty story…but sometimes I like to have a read that doesn’t squeeze my heart. Think Kierstan White’s Paranormalcy. The lightness doesn’t detract from the story. It makes it. But enough gushing. It’s time for the good stuff, the meat and potatoes, the grist for the mill. Aka, my interview with Alyx. For those curious about these things, my review of Out for Blood will be in a separate post, along with the giveaway contest of an ARC copy of the book.

  • 1. I’m obsessed with names and your characters have pretty unusual ones. How did you decide on them?

I love names and tend to collect them. Sometimes the characters stroll on stage with their name already picked out and other times I go through baby-name books to find the right one. Occasionally, once the book is written a character’s name just doesn’t fit and has to be changed. I also steal last names from movie credits.

  • 2. Will each Drake brother have his own book?

That’s the current plan though Sebastian’s story will very likely be a subplot. There are a lot of stories, characters and plot lines to resolve already and it’s getting rather crowded!

  • 3. Can you give us a short, three-word description of each of the Drake brothers?

Nicholas: protective, sweet, sarcastic
Logan: romantic, gothic, strong
Quinn: charming, hot, wicked
Connor: amiable, geeky, brave
Duncan: anti-social, gruff, confident
Marcus: shy, smart, flustered
Sebastian: quiet, perceptive, loyal

  • 4. I’m so excited about Out for Blood because Quinn is my favorite Drake brother. Okay, one of my favorite Drake brothers. What are three random (but juicy) things that Quinn says during the course of the book?

I can give you one: “I left him to his machinations and went downstairs, trying to remember who Karen was and why she’d sent me a sonnet about my hair.”

  • 5. I know it’s a hard decision (because, as Hunter says, being with the Drake brothers is like being in a “room full of Johnny Depps”) but won’t you tell us which one’s your favorite anyway?

I really don’t have a true favourite since they live inside my head and might get jealous. 😉 I tend to have the squee for whichever brother I am currently writing about.

  • 6. I’m a freshman in my first year at the Helios-Ra Academy. What courses am I taking?

Aside from your basic maths, history, literature and science, you are also being run off your feet with martial arts training, crossbow practice and the History of the Helios Ra. The History of Vampires and How to Recognize Them is also on the curriculum along with Paranormal Studies and Weapons and Tech Class.

  • 7. Does the Helios-Ra Academy have a motto?

Yes, but it’s a secret. 😉

  • 8. Hunter Wild is another in a growing list of kick-butt heroines that you include in your books. Even Lucy has her sequined stakes. Who are your favorite kick-butt literary heroines?

I adore Elizabeth Bennet, who kicks butt in her own snarky clever way, without ever throwing a punch.

  • 9. So, the Drake children become vampires at sixteen. Does that mean they stop aging at sixteen, too?

As one of the rare ancient vampire families, the process is different for the Drakes than it is for regular vampires. They age much slower and tend to hover at appearing in their early to mid-twenties. Uncle Geoffrey would tell you it’s so they always look to be at their peak strength to fend off predators.
Quinn would tell you it’s so they’re always pretty.

  • 10. I assume Lucy’s parents never let her have Barbies while she was growing up. What kind of toys did they give her to play with instead?

Lucy had a lot of stuffed animals of endangered species and whatever toys she could steal off the Drake brothers.

  • 11. What kinds of text messages might Lucy be sending to Nicholas these days?

They are equally divided between loving ones and threatening ones. 😉

  • 12. I have to ask because I’m always looking for new prospects: what books are you looking forward to in 2011?

There’s a new Patricia McKillip book that just came out which I’m excited to read. Ditto for Charles de Lint and Francesca Lia Block.


Thank you so much to Alyxandra Harvey for agreeing to participate in PsP Week. Check back soon for my review of Out for Blood. Oh, yeah, and the giveaway contest.

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