Today I’m excited to host an interview with Patti Larsen, author of Family Magic! And look at that cover! Isn’t it gorgeous? I just love that color and all of the different elements to it.
About Family Magic : Sixteen-year-old Sydlynn Hayle is the daughter of a powerful witch and a demon lord of the seventh plane. The trouble is, she just wants to be ordinary. Syd struggles to survive the minefield of her new high school while being torn between her attraction to football hero Brad Peters and the darkly mysterious Quaid Moromond. When her coven comes under attack, Syd is forced to face the fact only her power can save her family’s magic.
Without further ado, let’s get to the questions!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I had never read any young adult 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.
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.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m presently writing book eighteen of the Hayle Coven Novels, Enforcer. Syd begins her journey in Family Magic as a sixteen-year-old who just wants out of the family coven. To live her life like an ordinary teenager. By the end of the series, she’s a force to be reckoned with, a powerful being with the universe in the palm of her hand who still screws up, has a fun sense of humor and feels so much for others it’s constantly getting her in trouble.
What books have most influenced your life? I grew up on hard-core fantasy and science fiction, so my biggest influences come from those genres. The Belgariad by David Eddings, the Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffery. Anything by Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, JRR Tolkien, Isaac Asimov. The list is long and all of the authors on it left a mark on my spirit.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? Trust the Universe, Mike Dooley. I have it tatooed on my right foot. Because it is the only thing you need to know. Trust. Then leap.
What is your favorite food? I have to pick one? Chocolatepizzaburgerbutterchickenfries.
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.
What is your favorite color? Blue. All shades. There’s just something amazing about it, like it’s soul color.
About Patti Larsen: You’re not looking for my polished bio, huh? You sure you want more? The real dirty, down deep, nitty gritty? Fair enough. Here goes: I’m a card-carrying nerd. It’s taken years to admit it. I’m also a hermit in a writing basement who prefers solitude to people (cats always welcome). I’m a writing fiend who hears the voices of teenagers and blushes at the S-E-X parts. I don’t sleep very well. Ever. My mind is too busy. I am a feline loving married woman who could easily end up a crazy cat lady if my husband would let me. I am a paradigm shifter, a believer in self and my own personal power. I see everything in black and white until the gray is explained to me. I am a fiercely loyal friend, a confidant and a Tarot card reader and intuitive. I am a proud roller derby girl, a total dweeb and can’t dance to save my soul. I am terrified of heights and challenge that fear every chance I get. Oh, and I’m the Creator. The Queen of my own Destiny. I love that.