Name Patti Larsen
Where are you from
I was born and raised (and still live!) in beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada, home of the famous novel Anne of Green Gables.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I knew at a young age I wanted to be a writer, so most of my early education focused on English, right into university. I also studied journalism in college and screenwriting all as options for careers in the writing field, but being a novelist has always been my first passion.
I grew up in a family of readers, so it’s no surprise, I suppose, I still count reading as one of my favorite pastimes. I am the youngest of three, with two amazing and talented older sisters, both entrepreneurs in their own fields.
I’m co-creator of The Lovely Witches Club, teach improv theater in my co-founded company, WITTY Mama, sculpt, sing, and as many other creative things as I possibly can. My patient husband of twenty-one years and multitude of pets keep me grounded.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m currently running a Kindle Scout campaign through Amazon with my latest book, Eve. It’s the first in a six volume series and, if my thirty day campaign is successful, could be signed with Kindle Press. I’m pretty excited about that.
Otherwise, I’m constantly involved in something. My creative partner, Renee Laprise, and I are waiting for word from funders whether our webseries, The Lovely Witches Club, will receive the grant we’ve been asking for. And I’m getting excited about my pending trip to Utopia Con in Nashville in June.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Growing up in books not really meant for a child—my dad’s library consisted of hard core sci-fi and fantasy—I learned quickly about story structure and characters who made me wish they were real. But until I read my first true YA novel—a Nancy Drew mystery—at the age of twelve, I had no idea I wanted to write myself. For some reason, devouring that simpler story line triggered a voice in my head that told me maybe I could do this, too. When I told my parents about my desire to write, my father dug my mom’s old typewriter from the closet and taught me how to use it. I’ve been writing ever since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always identified with being a writer, from that moment at twelve when I realized I wanted to write. But it’s always been tagged to something else. As in, I’m a student and a writer, I’m a hair stylist and a writer, I’m a… and a writer. But, six years ago when I finally decided to pitch my hat in the ring and do this full time, I finally had the chance to not be an “and”. I’m a writer first now. It’s fantastic.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The first YA book I wrote came to me in 2009 after I read Harry Potter for the first time and discovered the world of young adult books. The voice of a teen girl, Sydlynn Hayle, woke me in the early hours of the morning and insisted I get up and write her story down. The daughter of a coven leader and a demon who only wanted to be ordinary took me places I never expected and has led to over forty books in that one Universe alone with more to come. I’m so grateful she chose me!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure, though I am according to my amazing editor, Annetta Ribken, more a character driven writer than plot. I do make sure there is balance and refuse to skimp on story, but the emotional attachment to characters is what drives me. As for style, I find each of the voices has a unique perspective and personality, so the only limitations there are in sharing their tales is my own skills and abilities. Which I push constantly to make sure I do them justice.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For Family Magic, it was a logical choice. The entire book (and the entire Hayle Coven Universe) centers around family and their magic, specifically Syd and the Hayle coven. For Eve, my current title, it’s the name of the main character, the daughter of Life and Death. I love titles and rarely have difficulty coming up with names.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I try not to write messages, only because I don’t want to influence my characters in any way. This is their story, after all, and I’m just the hands on the keyboard. But I do tend to write a great deal of empowering work, strong female characters faced with impossible odds who, while flawed in their own ways, do what’s right to the best of their ability. In the words of Sydlynn Hayle, it’s about Happily Right Now. Ever After can take care of itself.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I have only based characters on people I know a few times, and for specific purposes. For example, I ran an Indegogo campaign when I first started writing to raise funds to publish a series on my own. Funders could pay a certain amount to be in the books I was writing. It was fun, but I do prefer to allow the voices to tell me about the people they interact with. As for realism, it all feels very real to me, no matter how out there. That sense of normal to the main character, I find, is the part that helps draw the reader in. Suspension of disbelief goes a long way when the character you’re reading about truly believes their world is the normal world.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
My favorite series of all time is The Belgariad by David Eddings, followed by The Melloreon (the five book series sequel). I have read them at least a hundred times and go back to them every other year to read about the boy Garion whose first memory is the kitchen at Faldor’s farm. And now I have to go read them again…
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Catie Rhodes and her Peri Jean Mace series. Book one, Forever Road, is fantastic. Her writing is solid, Peri Jean is a mess of paranormal frustration and angst and I can’t wait for every book to come out.
I also love Lux and Dmytry Karpov Kinrade (the writing duo known as Karpov Kinrade) and all their work, especially the Forbidden series and their new Court of Nightfall and The Shattered Islands works.
There are so many amazing writers out there, especially in the indie world, I struggle to list the ones I adore. As for my favorite, I’ll say JK Rowling, but not just because of Harry Potter. Because of who she is and the awesomeness that is the woman behind the brand. She’s a powerhouse of inspiration to all writers as well as an incredible business woman. I adore the crap out of her.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve found huge support and kindness from friends I’ve developed in the indie writing community. Some of my closest kinships happen long distance with people I’ve never met in person. Thanks for that, Facebook.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, absolutely. I’ve been doing it full time for six years now. At last.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, not at all. Aside from a few details I’m going to clean up after I hear from Kindle Press, I adore Eve and her story and can’t wait to see what readers think.
And, as for the last one I published, the final book of the Hayle Coven Destinies and #40 in Syd’s world has been in my head and written in my heart for about a year. So I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s exactly how she meant it to be.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! I’m writing book two of my YA sci-fi Western series, Didi and the Gunslinger. Titled (aptly!) Didi and the Gunslinger Save the World, she and her cyborg pal, along with handsome thief Bo Rylen and her cybermodified crow, Pip, are stranded on a planet after being dumped there by a captain previously paid to take her to her mother. Naturally, Didi and her friends are looking for ways off planet when they become embroiled in a plot that will change the galaxy—for the better? Only one way to find out!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
No, not really. I love everything about what I do, from initial idea generation to outlining to writing, cover design consultation and branding, editing… you name it.
If I had to complain about one thing, it’s not being a faster typist. I can cover about 3200 words an hour, but I still can’t keep up with my brain no matter how much I try.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Some, and I love doing it! I’m in Nashville for Utopia Con in June and Once Upon A Book in Michigan in August. I’m also invited to ChapterCon in London in 2017 as a panelist, so I’m pretty excited about that.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I use two different designers, depending on the project, but my main designer is Valerie Bellamy at Dog-Ear Book Design. She’s fantastic, talented and detail oriented, just like me, so we’re a great fit. I also use Christina Gaudet for illustrations. I adore her and her work—she’s a writer, too!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I always juggle time. Because I work from home and have other creative endeavors on the go, it’s a bit of a scheduling nightmare at times. I always get the job done, but I am just as addicted to Netflix as the next person.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn something from every character I write. Loyalty, family strength, courage, compassion, empathy… I love the teens who talk to me, love their stories and the way they manage to figure things out. It helps me understand my problems—what small problems I have—are truly pointless. That happiness, ultimately, is the only thing I should be worried about. I’m pretty blessed.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
This is so hard to answer! I’d actually love to see a brand-new actress build her performance chops tackling Sydlynn Hayle, though there’s a secret longing inside me to have Sandra Bullock play her mother, Miriam… and the delicious Luke Evans her father, Harry. But, with a twenty book series to begin with, Hollywood will likely have to fill roles with folks who don’t have other massive commitments.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
So much advice. I love this question. Here goes!
- Be professional, always. In social media, in emails, in your interactions with others. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to be mad or hurt. But, you’re a writer, a brand. And airing your dirty laundry—no matter how justified it seems to you—in public never looks good. Never. Find a friend in real life, go have a drink or a pizza and dump your heart out then get back at it.
- Do your research. What works for others won’t necessarily work for you so don’t quit if you hit a roadblock. And don’t let others dictate to you what you need to do to succeed. It’s up to you, not them. You’re ultimately responsible for the choices you make.
- Have fun already! This is the best job ever. Ever. If you’re not enjoying every single minute, why are you doing it? And what’s stopping you from leaping out of bed every morning to empty your creative energy onto the page or computer keyboard?
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love you so much. Thank you for taking your time and money and investing them (and your hearts) in the people I write about. You mean more to me than you will ever know and I tear up when I think about how amazing you are.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
You caught me between books. I just finished reading ARI by S. M. Boyce and am starting Vampire Girl by Karpov Kinrade.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Well, read to me. It was The Hobbit and I was barely old enough to understand the story, but I loved it, anyway. Though the nightmares about spiders lasted for years.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I try to laugh as often as possible. Animals, like my silly pug, Jelly Bean, make me laugh regularly. I can also cry at the drop of a hat, including at dog-food commercials and inspirational quotes that touch my heart. I’m a faucet, basically.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
JK Rowling, please. Can you arrange that? I’d love to hug her and tell her she’s amazing, though I’m sure she knows it already. And the cast of Dr. Who, all of them. Especially David Tennant. Ten is my Doctor.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
She was happy. Because I truly believe happiness is the only thing that matters. Goals come and go, hurts and joys pass us by eventually. But being happy is the reason for everything.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I sing in a girl band, mostly traditional tunes, and I perform and teach improve with my co-founded company, WITTY Mama. I have an Etsy store, Monstrous Magic, because I adore making things with my hands. I’m also the co-founder of The Lovely Witches Club, as I mentioned, and am screenwriting and co-producing the webseries based on the real life club. I also have an amazing horse I adore who adores me back and I love, of course, to read.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
As long as the characters hook me immediately, I’ll watch anything. I’m a huge fan of Supernatural, Gilmore Girls, White Collar, Midsomer Murders, Doctor Who,
Daredevil, Scott and Bailey, Orphan Black, Firefly… you name it, I’ve probably seen it. Though the darker shows (such as House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad) I just can’t watch. My overactive imagination won’t allow it.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
We have this amazing festival on PEI in April called Burger Love and I anticipate it every year. 73 restaurants are participating in vying for who can create the best burger. I’m so burgered out by April 30th, but it’s totally worth it.
That being said, I also adore chocolate because chocolate. Favorite colors are black (clothes) and blue (everything else). And I listen to everything from classical to metal to genre pop.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’ve already had so many careers, but honestly if I had to give up writing I’d become a horse trainer. I’ve always had a passion for them and after spending a week in California at a specialty program I’d love to make that happen.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do! You can find me and my view on the world at www.pattilarsen.com.
Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/Patti-Larsen/e/B005H8I3KO
Patti Larsen is an award-winning author with a passion for the paranormal. Now with over seventy books in happy publication, she lives in beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada, with her patient husband and multitude of pets.
Thank you so much for having me!