Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Family Magic by Patti Larsen

Welcome to Author Patti Larsen

Patti Larsen is a middle grade, young adult and adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. The first four books of The Hayle Coven series, Family Magic, Witch Hunt, Demon Child and The Wild are out now. Her YA paranormal novel, Best Friends Forever, and steampunk series, Blood and Gold, are due early in 2012. 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.

Writing Blog
Book Blog

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Actually, I’d only invite one. My dad passed away before I figured this whole writing thing out and never got to hold one of my books in his hands. He was a passionate supporter of my ability and always pushed me to succeed. I’d love to spend one more hour with him and fill him in on everything I’ve done since he left us.

What is one book everyone should read?
On Writing, by Stephen King. Writers, readers, everyone should pick up a copy of this amazing book. Whether you’re a fan of King’s or not, it offers real insight into not only the technique of writing but what the industry used to be like, how writers go about their work and how important it is that we keep doing what we do–both reading and writing–as much as we possibly can.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Teen angst, romance and magic–the perfect combination!

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I always have more books in the works! My day planner is already plotted out for projects until the end of 2012, a mix of YA steampunk, paranormal and dystopia, with a YA fairy tale adaptation in there for good measure. I’m the queen of organization, have to be or I get nothing done!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I had a reader contact me to tell me she wasn’t a fan of first person (Family Magic’s point of view) and that she typically put down a book if she found out it was in first person, even if the author was hugely famous and she was a fan. But she said for some reason Syd’s voice spoke to her and now she’s a confirmed addict. I can’t tell you how much that makes me smile.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world… which would it be?
I would definitely live in Syd’s world, but only if I could be her! I spent my teen years as a geeky fangirl of Dungeons and Dragons and anything paranormal so the idea of having powers blows my mind and makes me all nerdy again.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
It was a series of books written by David Eddings, called The Belgariad, about a boy named Garion who thought he was ordinary but ended up the ruler of a kingdom. The characters are so bright and real, the story told so well, I reread them even now, at least once a year. And every time I reach the end of the last book, I cry when they are over.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Don’t ever stop. Not for anyone, not for any reason. The gift, the calling, can’t be taught but technique can. If you are compelled to write, write. Take some classes, read more, learn more, but write. Don’t let it go to waste.

How did you know you should become an author?
I just knew. One day when I was twelve, I finished a book, set it aside and thought to myself, “I could do that.” It took me a long time to trust that girl I was. She knew the truth. I had to finally just let go of my insecurities and listen to her.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Definitely in Syd. And yes, bits and pieces of me live in all of my characters. But when they speak to me, they feel separate, like their essence lives inside me for the sole purpose of telling their stories. Like friends coming to visit and fill me in on their lives. Writers are told to write what we know. But I think it’s more write what we feel. What we understand. I know nothing really about magic or vampires because (sadly) those things aren’t real. But they are to my characters.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
I’ve been a business woman for many years, owning a small production company and a hair salon. I know my career is mine to control. But when I finally dove into the publishing world, I succumbed to the same dream as everyone else–to find the perfect agent, the right editor, the perfect contract, write the best selling book–all hinged on other people. A very dear friend of mine challenged me when I began to sell my work. He asked me why I was giving up my power, why, as a business woman and entrepreneur, I was willing to release control over my creativity to others. It was the best advice I’ve ever received and a total wake up call. I turn down contracts now, because I see how much more I can accomplish for myself.

How do you react to a bad review?
They still make me stop for a moment and wonder if I’m doing it right. Even when I’m getting mostly five stars, the occasional two or three star will pop up. One reviewer mentioned for example my book was full of teen angst and that bothered her. My initial reaction was, “Well, I wrote it for teens!” Then my inner business woman emerges again. This is business. Not everyone will love my work. That’s okay. It’s not personal. Finally, I think of Stephanie Meyer and how much success she’s had. And how many haters there are out there for her books. It’s a powerful reality check.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
I usually get up around 8am, grab a quick breakfast then head down to check my email and social networks. I try to fit in 5-10 minute intervals of some kind of exercise throughout the day though it doesn’t always happen. I spend the morning writing blog posts, catching up on marketing and answering emails. After lunch, I settle down to write for the afternoon–either outlining a new novel/series or actually tackling chapters of my latest. I’m pretty fast, so I usually get in at least three or more chapters before I wrap it up around 6pm for dinner. I find myself migrating back to the computer after supper to chat with my friends on the other side of the globe, play a video game or with my cats. A hot bath and a book are a fantastic day ender when I pour myself into bed at around midnight. Usually I’m up a few times before morning, either with an idea or because my over active imagination is telling me there are zombies in my closet. Then I wake up and do it all over again.

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate…… omnomnom.

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 she is a witch and only her power can save her family’s magic.

Tomorrow’s Blog Tour Stop will be at:

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of Family Magic
Open to US & Canada
Ends 2/8/12