Patti and I don’t go way back, but we go back. She was mentioned to me by an author, friend and peach of a crit partner, Elizabeth Sogard. When Patti and I ran into each other via Facebook chat, I was almost too intimidated to ask for her advice. Luckily, I’m too vain to be cowardly for long, so I chatted her up. It didn’t take long for her to get back with me, but when she graciously offered her crit services I nearly fell out of my chair. She gushed over my work in a way that made me feel very rock star and coming from an author of her caliber that was a true compliment. I chose to do this interview a bit different because I love to mix things up; what kind of author would I be if I didn’t, right?
Now, on with the show! LOL
Patti, what is your favorite part of the writing process and why?
Thank you so much for having me, Jennifer! It’s a real honor. I adore visiting blogs and talking about my all time most beloved subject—writing. I can’t believe you’re making me choose! Honestly, I love every single thing about it. If I had to pick, it’s the conflict building and outlining process I’ve developed. I follow it for every novel. There’s something about sitting down with pencil and paper, a triple stack of index cards and only my imagination to guide me… I love the development, the plotting of horrible things (yes, I’m nasty like that!) and making all of the connections from front to back. It’s incredibly satisfying, and I feel very close to the story when I’m working by hand. While I know outlining isn’t for everyone, I adore it.
Picking on thing to love most about writing is hard. I’m glad I am the one asking the questions not answering them. My next question follows suit. What is your least favorite part of the writing process? Why?
Okay, I really do love every part. But again, if I had to decide, I’d pick formatting my ebooks. Not because it’s difficult—it really isn’t—but because it’s the least creative part of the process. Pretty tedious in comparison. But on that note, it’s also very cool to put the book together with cover, snippet from the next book… sorry. This is supposed to be least favorite!
My least favorite part, so far, is connecting things together in an outline vs. actual manuscript. When I am writing, just going with the flow, things turn out, but sometimes when I submerge myself to heavily into the plot I find myself worrying about whether I actually connected everything, and correctly,or if I wrote myself some Grand Canyon like holes, but I digress. Back to the questions. There are a lot of thoughts, both negative and positive, on prologues these days. Why don’t you tells us a few you’ve heard? Do you agree? Disagree? Why?
I don’t mind prologues to be honest. Each book in my all-time favorite series, The Belgariad by David Eddings, starts with a prologue. That being said, like any tool in our writerly arsenal prologues need to be used properly to be affective. I understand the argument that prologues can be an excuse to info dump on readers and that often this information could be revealed by the writer probably through dialogue or action, but when done well a prologue only enhances the reader’s experience.
I agree with your thoughts, but my opinion is this: if you are using a prologue to info dump, at least keep it short. Nobody wants to read paragraph upon paragraph of boring facts. Since that was a bit of brutal, Jennifer Starks honesty, tell me; how do you feel about candid, and not always great, feedback?
I love honest feedback positive or not. Every opinion is valid and deserves to be heard. We all have more to learn no matter how far along we are. As long as that feedback is well-intentioned and not malicious, I welcome it.
Tell me about your WIP (work in progress) and can we get a blurb?
I’m working on a YA dystopian trilogy called the Clone Series. In book one, Clone Three, a teenaged girl wakes in a post-apocalyptic Earth with no knowledge why she is there or what she’s supposed to do. The official logline: The fate of the world lies in the hands of a clone who can’t remember anything…
Occasionally, I’ve been known to have a crappy, I-didn’t-meet-my-word-count or I-met-my-word-count-and-they-all-sucked day. Getting out of, or running away from, that funk can be hard. When you’re having a bad writing day, what comforts you most? Food? TV? Sleep? Large quantities of booze? Friends? critiquing my, er, I mean somebody elses’ WIP? LOL
I need a bad day to do all of the above? LOL I can’t remember the last time I had a bad writing day. Unless it was a day I couldn’t write because life was in the way for one reason or another. I know I might sound cliché, but I’ve spent my entire existence waiting for the chance to write for a living and I’m finally doing it. Every day is an amazing day.
Okay, this question came to me while I was watch Vampire Diaries. What villanous character from these three categories would you love to be in charge of writing: TV, Movie, Book.
A) TV series – this is tough! I tend to watch procedural shows like CSI and Criminal Minds OR House Hunters International on HGTV. Quite the range, right? The only villain I can think of really isn’t much of one–Nikola Tesla on Sanctuary. He’s not necessarily a bad guy per se but can be very bad when he wants to be while having a fun and snarky nature which appeals to me very much.
B) Movie – I hate scary movies and am attracted to them at the same time. And while they don’t have dialogue to write, I’d love to try my hand at a version of Alien. Just gave myself the shivers.
C) Book – might be cliché, but Severus Snape. I’d love a chance to explore his background and the reasons for the choices he made. And while I know he was never truly a bad guy, as was proven in the end of the Harry Potter series, he was portrayed that way. He has so much depth unplumbed…
Alright, Patti. It’s free hour. The blog is yours. Discuss whatever you care to discuss no matter how taboo. LOL.
I’m honestly so excited about the next six months I could just burst. I recently gained back the rights to a series I had with a publisher. I’m thrilled as they haven’t seen the light of day since I signed the contracts and could have been kept in the dark for several years. All three in The Diamond City Trilogy, about a normal teen boy hooked on a drug to control his psychic abilities, will be coming out in March.
In the meantime, I’m working on the further adventures of characters already out in the world: Syd Hayle of the Hayle Coven series and her great great great grandmother Auburdeen whose first tale, the Blood and Gold Trilogy, is out this month. I have fans begging me to continue while the two ladies themselves insist I keep going so I will do so until they tell me to stop.
I continue to learn and grow and meet fantastic people while actually getting paid to have the best job ever. How awesome is that?
About the Author: 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 also out now. Her YA steampunk series, Blood and Gold, can be found on Amazon. Her YA paranormal novel, Best Friends Forever, and The Diamond City Trilogy are due in March 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.
You can find her literally everywhere:
On her website http://www.pattilarsen.com
On Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pattilarsenauthor
Her blog http://www.pattilarsen.blogspot.com
On Twitter http://www.twitter.com/#!/PattiLarsen
On Amazon.com and Goodreads
It was so fantastic of Patti to take time out of her busy schedule to talk to little ole me on this little ole blog. If you stop by, make sure you leave a comment so she knows I actually have readers. LOL.