Q & A with Alexandra Sokoloff

May 30, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Featured Author, Featured This Week

Alexandra Sokoloff is in the house!!  She’s giving away 3 FREE copies of The Harrowing, so be sure to ENTER TO WIN!


Thanks so much for being here, Alex!  You have an interesting background as a screenwriter in Hollywood.  How has that experience helped you transition into novel writing?


Hah.  First of all, the experience of screenwriting provided that burning sense of rage that is just so helpful in getting a book written.   I wrote The Harrowing while I was on the film assignment from hell, and getting that page or paragraph or even just one sentence written on the book at night was what kept me from killing myself or others at the time.

But on the less homicidal front, there’s no question that working as a screenwriter for 10 years taught me whole worlds about  how to tell a story, and about character and dialogue and theme and suspense.  In fact, I’m now asked to teach workshops all over the country on how to use screen techniques to craft bigger, better novels, and have written a workbook on the subject to go with my blog: Screenwriting Tricks For Authors (and Screenwriters!)


Your books  have supernatural elements to them which heighten the suspense dramatically.  How difficult is it to go into these dark places to write with so much suspense?


If you’re asking if it’s difficult emotionally, it’s not, really.  What it is is hard work because you have to be very scrupulous and honest about the experience you’re trying to give your reader (in my case, the very sensual thrill of that supernatural terror can be), which means living through the experience you’re trying to create so that you can put all of those senses on the page for a reader to live through.  I want my readers to be scared, but the kind of scared that keeps you coming back for more.  So I have to act it out from every character’s point of view and make sure I’m delivering a complete, multisensory experience.

But the only book I’ve written that was truly difficult emotionally is The Price, which does go to such dark places–more in the human psyche than in a supernatural sense –  that getting that right was very wearing on me.


Have you had experiences with the supernatural that you’d care to share with us?


My otherworldly experiences tend to be more what happens in my dreams than in the waking world.   But I did have a poltergeist experience when I was sixteen that became the basis for The Harrowing.

I was the kind of Goth girl who was always doing things like playing around with séances in cemeteries (because it’s not enough just to have a séance or to spend the night in a cemetery, oh, no – you have to have the entire multidimensional experience all at once!) and one night I and a group of friends were doing something like that with a Ouija board, and we were talking to a -whatever – that called itself Zachary, the not-so-nice spirit that the students conjure in The Harrowing. It was scary, disturbing. At a particularly tense point of the séance a glass candlestick holder suddenly shattered in front of us. I never believed there was an actual entity present, but it did make me think that poltergeist researchers are right, that the hyped-up hormonal energy of teenagers can sometimes cause random movements or breakages of objects. And it started a real obsession for me with the question of whether paranormal experiences are supernatural or psychological or perhaps a combination of both.

And the mansion I used for the poltergeist house in The Unseen is most definitely haunted, as far as that goes.   All kinds of things are imprinted there.   Some scary, some sexy.   I used both kinds in the book.

Beyond ghosts, there are certain experiences that we have that have a heaviness – an import, a hyper-clarity – even a time-slowing-down quality. And it seems to me – and it’s said by spiritual teachers – that if we all paid more attention all the time to these insights, synchronicities, we’d be able to see the signs all the time.

That’s what I believe. That there’s a million layers to reality, and it’s all out there in front of us – and if we pay more attention to the signs, there’s no telling what we might discover.


Very interesting– and creepy…

Are there plans to make any of your books into movies?


I’ve had most of them optioned.   After that, you wait for the stars to align, literally and figuratively.


What’s your current project?  We’d love to know what’s coming up for Alex Sokoloff!


Book of Shadows comes out June 25 and it’s definitely my favorite book so far, about a very male, very rational (he thinks) Boston homicide detective who catches a case that looks like a Satanic killing, and reluctantly must team up with an irrational, very female, and completely untrustworthy witch from Salem who insists that there are previous murders and more to come and that the killer is trying to summon a real demon.   Another is-it-or-is-it-not supernatural thriller, and lots of chemistry in this one.

And I’ve got my very first paranormal coming out from Harlequin Nocturne this October:  Shifters, the second book of a trilogy called The Keepers, with Heather Graham writing the first and Deborah LeBlanc writing the third.  It’s about three sisters in New Orleans who are charged with keeping the peace between the human and supernatural (vampire, shapeshifter, werewolf) communities of the city.   So much sex in those paranormals, I’m worn out!


Visit Alex at her web site for more information about all of her amazing books!

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Anthony and Bram Stoker award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE and THE UNSEEN, and a Thriller Award winner for Best Short Fiction for her story “The Edge of Seventeen”.

As a screenwriter she has sold original suspense and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios;  her adaptation of Sabine Deitmer’s psychological thriller COLD KISSES was filmed in Germany.

She is also the author of SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS (AND SCREENWRITERS!), a workbook based on her internationally acclaimed blog and workshops.

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One Response to “Q & A with Alexandra Sokoloff”
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