“As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.”
― Andre Norton
I am elated to introduce you to Author Of The Week and acclaimed middle grade and young adult author Patti Larsen.Patti has written many books about the paranormal over the years, yet she admits (over at her Goodreads page) to be afraid of the dark. Read our interview to find out her worst nightmare, if she counts her chickens before they hatch, and discover her novels by heading over to her social media links below. It is no surprise readers far and wide seek Patti’s books and eat them up!
Before we go any further. Leave a comment below, and you could win the first 4 Hayle Coven novels in the e-format of your choice just by leaving us a comment or two! 🙂
How would you describe yourself in using 5 adjectives?
Determined. Persistent. Loyal. Driven. Kooky.
Tell us your latest news? What are your current projects?
I always have something new on the go! At the moment I’m prepping the two sequels to my newest release, Clone Three, for publication. The YA post-apocalyptic series follows a young woman, a clone, across an illness ravaged US in search of her memories and the fulfillment of a task she can’t recall. Clone Two(#2) and Clone One(#3) will be released within the next few weeks.
But in the meantime, to the delight and frustration of my fans, I’m working on Divided Heart, book nine of my popular Hayle Coven Novels, about teen witch Sydlynn Hayle whose mom is the leader of her coven, her dad is a demon and she wants to be ordinary. I adore this series, as do my readers. Despite me telling them #9 won’t be out until October, I still get emails and messages asking for the next one. It makes me giggle.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I told my parents at the tender age of twelve I was going to write a book. I’ve thought of myself as a writer ever since then, though always with a caveat—I was a writer who was a journalist, a writer who made movies, a writer who owned a hair salon… etc. It wasn’t until two and a half years ago when I committed to writing full time I was finally able to drop the ‘and a’.
You have many books under your belt, what keeps the “muse” going?
I hear voices. No joke, though when I tell people they usually giggle as though I’m kidding. But I’m not. Teen voices are the loudest, crowding my brain, telling me it’s their turn. The one with the clearest and most captivating voice gets my attention next.
Crackpot, yes. Guilty.
Where does your interest in the mysterious and paranormal come from?
My father’s family are all a little… you know. Gifted. My grandmother heard and saw things; my dad’s house was haunted when he was little. I grew up with those stories, from my great uncles and then my older cousins. My middle sister is an actress, always was, and did her best to scare the bleep-bleep out of me when we were young. Not to mention I grew up next door to my best friend whose house I’m sure had spirits in it.
An over active imagination and some ‘gifts’ of my own haven’t really given me a choice in the matter.
What is your favorite children’s/teen book?
I didn’t get to read kid’s books when I was young. I grew up in a family of hard-core sci-fi and fantasy fanatics with the exception of my romance-reading mother. So it wasn’t until I was about twelve I read my first young adult. That being said, I found one YA novel in my father’s extensive collection—The Prince Commands by the queen of fantasy, Andre Norton, about a teen boy raised in the US who finds out he’s the heir to a small European kingdom. When my father passed away, my sister cleared out most of his library and I lost track of that book. But I’m happy to say I stumbled on it recently and it’s safely stored away on my Kindle.
Where does the inspiration for your amazing book covers come from?
Aren’t they gorgeous? I’m in awe of the talents of the three designers I use. Stephanie Mooney is the creator of the Hunted and Hayle Coven books (among others). It’s so fun to work with her—we’ve done so many covers together by now it’s like she knows exactly what I’m looking for without me having to ask. And even when I’m stumped, she never is, coming up with brilliant designs. I typically supply her with the blurb for the book and maybe a suggestion of topic and away she goes. Gorgeous.
I have two new designers I work with now, too—one a cartoonist and author herself, Christina G Gaudet. She created specific characters for my new middle grade series, Guardians of the Edge, as well as my super hero based novel, The Hercules Project.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
So much. There’s too much to say here, it’s not even funny, but I’ll keep it to three points:
- Be a professional. Do your homework, educate yourself, carry yourself with dignity and treat others in your profession with respect, including you. Treat the business stuff like business and the creative stuff like creative stuff. Never the two shall meet. Don’t take anything personally—it’s business. And always give your work the best you can afford—covers, editing, proofing, interiors, formatting. Always. It’s your name out there.
- Be grateful for your readers. All of them, no matter their reaction to your work. They took the time to read what you wrote, spent precious hours devouring your words, your story. Go out of your way to welcome them when they join your fanpage, send you fanmail. Without them, you’d probably still write, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun as having others to talk about your books with.
- Have fun already! Too often we forget this is the most fun we’ve EVER had and should always be. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong. That goes for writing, editing, all of it. FUN. I love what I do so much, I can barely stand it.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
A very dear friend and talented author, Joseph Paul Haines, knew me before I decided to turn to indie publishing, back when I was still pursuing agents and publishing houses. I’ve owned my own businesses for about ten years, so when we finally met face-to-face and were able to talk, he basically took me and shook me. Asked me what I was thinking, a businesswoman like me in the publishing age we’re in now, looking for a boss.
He was so right. Thanks to him, I decided to open my own press, Patti Larsen Books, and the rest is history. A year and twenty-five book’s worth of history, at any rate.
What is the last book you read?
A delightful read, called Witch Song by Amber Argyle. I write about witches myself, so I’m always curious to see what other authors come up with—I adored this book and can’t wait to read the sequel.
Describe your worst nightmare or fear:
Honestly? Zombies. I dream about zombies a LOT. Being chased by them, having friends turn into them, even zombies just floating around in the background while my regular dream goes on. I despise them, but have a sick fascination too. I can’t watch zombie movies or TV shows, even tried reading the Walking Dead comics and ended up having to stop.
Seriously. If I shake my husband awake in the middle of the night one more time because I’m sure there are zombies coming to get me, he’s going to start sleeping in the guest room.
Do you love or hate surprises? Why?
I love surprises so much! There’s nothing like feeling the person surprising you cares enough to take the time to think of you, to do something really special and keep it a secret.
But I need to know who the perpetrator of the surprise is—for example, I received a bouquet of beautiful flowers the other day, totally out of the blue, from a person who chose to remain nameless. Now every time I look at them it drives me nuts!
Do you tend to count your chickens before they are hatched?
It’s a constant battle, actually, especially when I’m writing—I’m always scheduling ahead, planning the next book before the last one is written, usually two or three in advance. I have such an aggressive publishing schedule, I have to!
But yes, those poor chickens sometimes are slower hatching than I expect…
Where can we buy your fabulous novels?
I’m everywhere! Find them on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, the iBookstore… you name it.
Patti Larsen is an award-winning middle grade and young adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. Book one of that series, RUN, is a recent recipient of the 2012 PEI Book Awards for Fiction. Eight books of her very popular Hayle Coven Novels, beginning with Family Magic, are also out now. Her YA steampunk series, Blood and Gold, can be found on Amazon, along with her YA paranormal novel, Best Friends Forever, and The Diamond City Trilogy. Her middle grade novel, The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House (Acorn Press), is available now. She is a full time writer and a part time teacher of her Get Your Book Done program. Patti lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.
As long as you are NOT a Zombie, you can HAUNT Patti Larsen:
On her website
On Amazon.com and Goodreads