Posted on 12/30/2015 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Among the first recommendations when we opened up our author Q&A series to reader submissions was middle-grade/young-adult author Patti Larsen.
The fact that she’d just released her 70th indie novel certainly drew us in, and once we got to know more about her, we were glad we’d taken the bait.
Before she began writing her award-winning paranormal novels, she’d conquered a variety of endeavors: improv theater, film making, TV writing, singing in a band, and running a hair salon.
And now that she’s found literary success, she offers online courses to other aspiring authors, thanks to popular demand (literally).
Larsen took time away from telling others’ stories to tell us a little bit about her own.
SADYE: Did you pursue a traditional publishing contract or go indie right away?
PATTI: I pursued the dream of traditional publishing for so long it was actually hard to let go of it. In fact, it took me almost a year and a half after deciding to write full time to pursue self-publishing as an option. ...
In that eighteen months I did sign with two publishers. But I realized that despite the fact I had a history as a small-business owner, I'd been looking for a boss all over again by chasing a contract. So, I decided to crowdfund for my first independent series and see what happened.
While I've tried contracts with a few publishers since, I seem to end up back here, on my own (with an amazing indie team I adore and can't live without) and excited for the future.
SADYE: Another prolific author includes the phrase “ ‘She writes so many novels! Are they any good?’ The answer is ... YES” in her bio — do you feel like you face similar judgment?
PATTI: I've never had anyone come out and ask me if my books are terrible because I'm fast. Maybe the question is out there, but I don't hear it because it ultimately doesn't matter.
The only people who do matter are the readers who love my work. They're the ones who deserve my time and devotion.
SADYE: Which series is your favorite?
PATTI: The Hayle Coven novels.
When I decided to try writing books one more time before making a decision to leave my home and move to the big city to find a job writing for television, I had a young woman wake me in the middle of the night. She insisted I get up and write this down: my mom's a witch, my dad's a demon and I just want to be ordinary.
Sydlynn Hayle has badgered, pestered and prodded me for the past seven years, and I've grown to love her and her crazy family as much as if they were real. With thirty-nine books now published in her Universe, there's no end in sight.
SADYE: What has been the best move you’ve made to build a fan base?
PATTI: A number of things, but I think the biggest benefit I've found was making Family Magic, the first volume of the Hayle Coven novels, free.
I've been able to reach so many readers with Syd's story through that choice. It's led to some amazing online connections and the building of my own reader family.
While doing so might not be for everyone, and, I admit, was initially a hard decision to make, I'm immensely grateful now I did.
SADYE: If you could go back in time, would you tell your younger self to go straight to novelist as a career?
PATTI: I thought I wanted it. I dreamed of being a writer since I was twelve years old, so I think it was my destiny to find it eventually, to get to this place. But I would have missed out on so much if I'd managed to dive into publishing before I did. ...
I'm the right person now to handle this. The writer I was wouldn't have been so balanced, might have quit at some point or become a crazy recluse. Not that the crazy recluse thing won't kick in at some point.
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Categories: Author Interview