Author Interview: Patti Larsen
Welcome to the Family Magic Birthday Bash Extravaganza! Family Magic, the first book in Patti Larsen’s epic 20-book Hayle Coven young adult series, is having its second anniversary–and we’re bringing the magic, fun, and awesomeness to this birthday celebration!
Join author Patti Larsen and Badass Marketing for a week of fun, contests, giveaways, never-before-shared deleted scenes, and a kick-ass scavenger hunt that will have you looking for magic in unexpected places!
Get the skinny on young adult author extraordinaire, Patti Larsen! How did she grow up? What inspires her? How has Family Magic made her who she is?
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I was a nerdy, geekgirl with a terrible self esteem. I lived in my head, with my characters from such a young age, it was more real to write and engage with the people of my imaginings than those in the real world.
With two extrovert sisters and a very charismatic mother, it was hard to be the quiet, melancholy one. Though I am very grateful for my geekiness now. And, as they say, trial and pain make better writing. I’m just glad the dark stuff is behind me, if not the nerdadge.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I had never read any young adult books before, raised on hard-core sci-fi and fantasy thanks to my father. But when a friend handed me a Nancy Drew mystery, I read it in two hours. Literally closed the book, looked up from it and told my parents I was going to write a book of my own.
What inspires you to write and why?
My husband always tries to shush me when I say this out loud, but I ignore him. I don’t care if it sounds nuts: I hear voices. Loud and clear, badgering me almost constantly to tell their stories. Teenagers, mostly. Bossy bunch. But I wouldn’t give them up for anything.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I have some adult and middle grade books in the pipeline, but for some reason my inner teenagers are the loudest. And until they decide their stories are told, I’ll be focusing on them.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I had just finished the last book of the Harry Potter series, coming to the realization I needed to be writing novels again after many years dabbling in screenwriting and other forms of creativity. I asked the Universe—basically my subconscious—for an idea. And I woke in the middle of the night, about 2:30 am, with a girl’s voice in my head. She prodded me to get up and wouldn’t let me rest until I did. She had me write the following: My mom’s a witch, my dad’s a demon and I just want to be ordinary. I’ve been writing about Sydlynn Hayle and her crazy family ever since.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons in my youth, starting at about age nine. So living/breathing/dreaming in the worlds my father and others built around our characters was a huge influence. I also found a great deal of inspiration from reading about history, taking classics courses, studying ancient Greece and Egypt.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
None of it. I love what I do so much. From finding the core idea to developing an outline, writing and editing and all the things in between. Just. Awesome.
Did writing Family Magic teach you anything and what was it?
That I was good enough. I’d always doubted, was told I wasn’t ready. But when I wrote Family Magic, when I heard Syd so clearly and the book poured out of me as though she was writing it, not me, I knew then I’d finally reached the point I could do this for a living.
Check out Part 2 of this interview on October 14 at Cozie Corner!
About Family Magic
I batted at the curl of smoke drifting off the tip of my candle and tried not to sneeze. My heavy velvet cloak fell in oppressive, suffocating folds in the closed space of the ceremony chamber, the cowl trapping the annoying bits of puff I missed. I hated the way my eyes burned and teared, an almost constant distraction. Not that I didn’t welcome the distraction, to be honest. Anything to take my mind from what went on around me.
Being part of a demon raising is way less exciting than it sounds.
Sydlynn Hayle’s life couldn’t be more complicated. Trying to please her coven, starting over in a new town, and fending off a bully cheerleader who hates her are just the beginning of her troubles. What to do when delicious football hero Brad Peters–boyfriend of her cheer nemesis–shows interest? If only the darkly yummy witch, Quaid Moromond, didn’t make it so difficult for her to focus on fitting in with the normal kids. Add to that her crazy grandmother’s constant escapes driving her family to the brink and Syd’s between a rock and a coven site. Forced to take on power she doesn’t want to protect a coven who blames her for everything, only she can save her family’s magic.
If her family’s distrust doesn’t destroy her first.