How long have you been writing, Patti?Since I was twelve. I remember the day distinctly--I was raised on hard core science fiction and fantasy thanks to my book loving father. I had just finished reading a Nancy Drew novel (one of the first young adult books I'd been exposed to) and thought to myself, "Wow, that story was so simple. I could write it." When I told my parents, my mother laughed, but my dad bought me a typewriter.
Wow, your father sure had foresight! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Fresco?I teach a structure and business course for writers. During my first class, I came up with a fake story outline as an example for my students and Fresco was the result. I never, ever, throw anything away, not even an idea that isn't meant to be one. I'm so glad I pursued it! :)
What sets Fresco apart from other books in the same genre?Every book has merits, so it's really hard to say. When I set out to write the Diamond City Trilogy (of which Fresco is the first novel), I had no idea how deep down the dark rabbit hole I was headed. The original idea was a blonde boy (Fresco) rescuing a girl from drug addiction, used to control her psychic power, but it evolved into so much more. I don't tend to write to trends, but neither do I back away from tough topics. In Fresco and it's sequels I explore the damaging world of drug addiction, corporate power and betrayal, even death. But it's mostly about finding yourself (in Fresco's case, himself), brotherhood and redemption.
As an author, Patti, what is your writing process?I have a very detailed process, actually, one that rules me. With training both in journalism and screen writing, I find I'm influenced by all aspects of my creativity. The voices in my head are incredibly loud, so I find I need to be tightly organized and structure my writing or I get horribly lost. I do an in depth, chapter by chapter breakdown of each book in a series before I even start writing the first one. I find it solidifies the idea and helps me let go of the process and focus on the voice of the characters and the writing. I then set a daily schedule when I'm working on a new book, breaking it up by chapter. I tend to start and finish each book quite quickly because I'm so organized. And though I know it's not for everyone, I find I have to work this way. The words tend to pour out of me so fast I'd be running in circles, frustrated, if I didn't. I know from experience!
Sounds like a great process, especially if you’re a writer (like me) working on a series. How long did it take for you to start and finish Fresco?From outline until the first draft was complete was about three weeks. Fresco had a story to tell and he wasn't holding back. Fortunately, I'd done most of my content edits in outline, so when my editor and I sat down with it, we only had to do three rounds of edits before it went to proof.
Do you have any advice for other writers, Patti?So much advice. SO MUCH. Okay, three things or I'll go on and on forever:
1) Learn the business as much as the craft. Writing is business--not the writing. That part is creativity. But writing, as a career, is. So learn your business--find out what's current in the industry, what changes are pending. Make decisions based on what you learn, not what you think you know. It's a wild, wild world out there in publishing right now. Get educated, and fast. You'll be way ahead of the game. And always remember to ask yourself before you talk to someone you think wants something from you--what can you do for me I can't do for myself? Typically, the answer is nothing.2) Never take criticism personally. Ever. Even the really nasty, snarky, angry stuff. You know why? Because the critic isn't really attacking your work--they are jealous you're writing and they aren't. So feel sorry for them and carry on.
3) Whatever you do, no matter what happens, have some fun already! This is supposed to be fun, you know. It's okay to think of it that way and not take everything so seriously. Enjoy it as much as you can and it will go so much easier for you!
Wonderful advice! What’s next for Patti Larsen the author?Honestly, I'm always working on something! I have two continuing series I'm still putting out, (The Hayle Coven series and a steampunk prequel saga of the same) a dystopian trilogy I'm writing at the moment as well as polishing a short screenplay based on my YA Paranormal novel, Family Magic, for filming this summer. I'm also co-writing and directing a web series based on a wacky one-eyed piranha while prepping another short film about a street fairy out to save humanity. All while running my own little publishing company and trying to find time for my husband and four cats. It's nuts, but it's my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. This is the dream of the twelve-year-old me and I'm happy to finally follow her advice.
Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series – If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?This is so hard! I can't believe I have to choose... I studied history in university, my favorite topic! I used to adore Medieval times, but the truth is I hate being dirty and my practical side screams hygiene... I also love the period in France just before the revolution. There's something so tragic about the nobility's decadence... and ancient Egypt is also attractive. Rome... oh dear. I did mention I'd have a hard time picking, didn't I?
Fresco Book BlurbSeventeen-year-old Fresco Conte is an ordinary All-American kid from an upper middle-class family. He plays football. His girlfriend is a cheerleader. Life is good. Until unexplained things, scary things, start to take him over. Like surviving an accident that should have killed him. Or hearing the thoughts of the people around him whether he wants to or not. When the men in the dark blue coveralls come for him, Fresco is forced into addiction to the blue joy known as Wasteland and set free on the street, with no answers and only his hunger to keep him company.
Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Fresco-Diamond-City-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B007LTW0PQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332903334&sr=8-1About the Author: Patti Larsen has a serious passion for YA paranormal and thrillers. Now with multiple series in happy publication, she lives on the East Coast of Canada with her patient husband and four massive cats.
You can find her:On her website www.pattilarsen.com
On Facebook www.facebook.com/pattilarsenauthorOn Twitter www.twitter.com/#!/PattiLarsen
On Amazon.com and Goodreads