13 Day's of Halloween Madness: Guest Post by Alexis Donkin + Character Interview

Welcome to Book Flame's 13 days of Halloween Madness! 

I am pleased to welcome Alexis Donkin Author of  The Brothers here today on Book Flame 

For many people, holidays are an important time. Memories wrapped in smells, colors, and seasons are rich during holidays. No autumn holiday does this more than Halloween. Perhaps it is the hayrides, the messy orange pumpkin carving, the roasting of pumpkin seeds, or the thick face paint required for trick-or-treating along with a flamboyant costume that makes the day special. All these things combined form strong memories dredging up past Halloweens. But nothing about a human experience with Halloween comes close to the experience of Samhain for an Otherworlder.

I was lucky enough to catch up with seventeen year old Khloe Alwell, an important princess of the Otherworld, to chat about the importance of the holiday. Sitting in a locally owned coffee shop in her favorite tiny New England town, we sipped hot beverages while the rotting leaves blew around the cold outside.

Me: So Khloe, what is so special about Halloween for an Otherworlder?

Khloe: Well, in some ways it's a lot like the human holiday. We do dress up, have parties, and eat apples...
She paused as she blushes deeply. I took a drink delicately from my hot cider to let her collect herself.

Me: Clearly there's more to eating apples than just eating.

Khloe: Uh, yeah. We also have bonfires and sing songs. But there are some other things that are maybe a little different. We use turnips instead of pumpkins for luminaries, for example.

Me: Oh really?

Khloe: Yes, that is actually the old human tradition. I guess Otherworlders just liked it, and we don't change very much. We tend to stick to our ways a bit more than humans. She flashes me a gorgeous smile.

Me: That's right. But the holiday has some differences for you, does it not? Why do Otherworlders celebrate it at all?

Khloe: Originally, it was our holiday. Humans used to live close to Otherworlders. You adopted the holiday from us. As you know, there are veils – different planes of existence. Halloween, or Samhain, is our New Year. It is the promise of things to come – the movement of the year from light into darkness. But even though it's going from light to dark, it is hopeful. It is a time of transition and because of that, the veils become thin. If you have any second sight, you may be able to sense some of the things that are behind the veil.

Me: Now that reminds me, doesn't half your family live beyond the veil?

Khloe: Yes. My father's side is Sidhe. They live on another plane - another veil. My mother's side, are Seelie, and they live in plain sight – with humans.

Me: How is it that no one knows you're there?

Khloe: It's not like we're broadcasting our abilities to move wind and water around. There's no reason to freak you guys out!

Me: No, I agree. I heard that Halloween has a special significance for you. Is that true?
She grins broadly at me.

Khloe: Well, it is my birthday. I was born at exactly midnight between October 31 and November 1.

Me: Is there anything special about that?

Khloe: It's a very special time to be born. There are stories going back thousands of years about children born on Samhain. Some are even human legends – children being born with magical abilities and leading important and charmed lives. Of course, those children were at least part Otherworlder, likely part Seelie.

Me: So then you have a charmed life to look forward to? She rolls her eyes.

Khloe: Not really. It is a crazy one though – I can't tell you too much. But I do have a destiny and it's a big one. The world has to change – or there's going to be a huge war. I will tell you this – the Seelie and Sidhe are going to reunite. One way or another it will happen.

Me: Sounds intense!

Khloe: It is. But you'll have to read my full story to find out more.

Me: Deal! Speaking of stories, there's a rumor going around that you have a new man in your life. Tell me about him.
She blushes furiously, averting her eyes.

Khloe: Uh, there is a boy, but I don't want to say more now. We're only sort of seeing each other.

Me: Is he an Otherworlder?

Khloe: I have a few different friends that are boys. Most of my friends are Otherworlders. That's all I can say right now.

Me: But a few of them are hotties.
She smiles widely.

Khloe: Constantine and Freyr are both pretty cute in their own ways. Constantine is my best friend, and he's definitely a child of the Apollo Arcana tribe.

Me: What is that?

Khloe: Arcana are the Mediterranean Otherworlders. Each of the twelve Olympian gods you've heard of were actually just really famous Otherworlders. They split off into tribes when the Seelie and Sidhe separated.

Me: Sounds like there's a major story there.

Khloe: You'll have to read the book.

Me: Okay, so what about Freyr?
Khloe:Freyr is – definitely a Norse god. She sighs and laughs. I don't know what's happening there.

Me: And I heard you just recently met someone at your father's palace.

Khloe: Oh Alexis, you're jumping way ahead of yourself. There's no one worth mentioning at Mac Darragh. I do have some friends there, but that's still pretty new. She smiles slyly.

Me: There are rumors about you getting apples from one or more boys this year. What does that mean and who can we expect to hand over the goods?

Khloe: I plead the fifth! I'm not saying yes or no to anyone yet! There's a story that goes with apples, and why they're used the way they are. Apples are a fruit of promise in a season of darkness – it's the perfect symbol for the Otherworlder New Year, Samhain. But an apple is more than just a symbol for Samhain. It is also a promise you make to a person. If a boy gives a girl an apple, it's kind of like giving her a ring.

Me: You mean, Otherworlders give fruit instead of rocks?

Khloe: Uh, well, sometimes they do both. But, yes.

Me: Weird.

Khloe: Hey, rings are human symbols of a prospective husband's ability to provide for a wife and any children. Otherworlders don't really need to worry about that. They can get whatever they need whenever they need it, even the “poorest” Otherworlder is pretty well set. We can make plants grow out of season and we mostly live in nature – well anyone who lives under the veil does anyway. So who needs money?

Me: Must be pretty nice! So, are you expecting anything special this Halloween?

Khloe: I think I'm probably going to dress up as a pixie again.

Me: Pretty ironic.

Khloe: Yeah. I might even carry a wand this year.

Me: Any trick-or-treating? She smiles wickedly. 

Khloe: Ha! Sidhe do have a reputation for tricking. I'm going to plead the fifth. Who knows who or what you'll see crossing through the veils this Halloween? Just keep your eyes open. It's safer that way – if you're human.

The Brothers
"Khloe Alwell is about to turn sixteen, find her first real friends, fall in love, learn every legend is true, discover her parents are living a lie, and one more thing. She's not human.

Moving from town to town with her mother who is absent six months out of the year and an mousy academic stepfather, Khloe Alwell never had time to make friends or fit in. Everything changes the September before her sixteenth birthday, when Khloe finds herself in a small New England town starting yet another new school. There she befriends three strange brothers who introduce her to a world where human myth and legend are fictionalized histories of an older more powerful race divided. Drawn to Khloe, the brothers and their childhood friends will help her uncover her parents' complicated past, come to terms with ugly truths that plague all people, as well as discover Khloe's true identity, abilities, and her importance in the world under the veil.

Dive into the first installment of Khloe's adventures in a hidden world where things are more than what they appear, and people are the same, no matter who they are.

About the Author 
I've grown up all over the place, gone to art school, college, graduate school and traveled around the US and the world.  I've written and performed music, studied and sold my art, been a youth pastor, consulted for non-profits, and clawed halfway up corporate ladders.

The one constant in my life has been my need to write. During 2010 I completed my first manuscript - a young adult urban fantasy, The Brothers.  I am currently working on putting that book into print on demand (look for that soon!). The sequel, Lovers and Rivals is in editing, while I am writing the prequel/sequel Lilith and Ammon. Expect Lovers and Rivals by December 2011 and Lilith and Ammon in early 2012! On top of that, I have joined a science-fiction project, The Apex, which will be a seven part series of novels, graphic novels, and movies. Look for Legion in 2012! It's an exciting time for my writing and I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Beyond this, my life so far has been a variety show, sometimes a sitcom, and frequently a movie plot. It seems my writing is meant to be as well.  So enjoy.  I hope it makes you laugh and rethink things, or notice something new you hadn't before.

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