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Author Interview : Tessa Gratton

I've admired Tessa Gratton long before she even has a book out. I remember back in 2009 when she first announced that her debut book BLOOD MAGIC will be released in 2011, I thought how far away that date seemed. Well, it's been a while since BLOOD MAGIC came out while it's companion novel THE BLOOD KEEPER was released at the end of August 2012. Her latest book THE LOST SUN just came out. Congrats, Tessa!

Here's a quick bio of Tessa in her own words:

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a wizard or a paleontologist. But since I couldn't find anyone to teach me how to turn my neighbor into a frog and there isn't much call for dinosaur handlers these days, I just write about magic and monsters instead!

So let's welcome Tessa.

1. What were you like as a child?
I was brilliant, of course. ;) In elementary school, I think I was a bit of a bully, and forced my imagination on others (like the time I wouldn’t let this girl sit on the swing next to me because there was an invisible dragon sitting there. One of my finer moments. Or not.) I read constantly, drew pictures of mermaids, and wrote sequels to THE HERO AND THE CROWN and Robin Hood stories. Played “escape from the orphanage” with the neighbor boys.

2. Do you remember the book that made you want to become a writer?
Oh, no, I don’t think there was any one book. BEAUTY by Robin McKinley made me want to live in a fairy tale and have magic… but also when I was a kid I wanted to be about ten different things (writer, ballerina, paleontologist, marine biologist/dolphin trainer, animator) and the top wish was always changing.

3. Can you please share a little on how the idea for Blood Magic came about.
WELL, I’d written a rather boring story about a brother and sister with magical powers, and Maggie and Brenna (my crit partners) told me I needed monsters. So I thought, “how can I make this magic less boring? OH I KNOW BLOOD. Blood makes everything better.” I’ve been obsessed with 18th century body-snatching and the quest for immortality for a long time, and those things just sort of… made their way into the story. Plus kissing in cemeteries – where can you go wrong with that?

4. What’s your writing ritual like?
I get up at 5:15, push the coffee button, brush my teeth, then sit down to check my email. Then I write-write-write until I get hungry. I love sunrise, and writing at that time of day is perfect for me.

5. What’s your favorite aspect about writing and what don’t you like?
I had to skip this question and come back, because it’s really complicated. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to narrow down my absolute favorite part… but I think it would have to be that moment where a reader lets me know that she GOT what I was writing. Like, proof that I managed to communicate exactly what I was trying to communicate. Because that’s what writing is really about for me: using stories to communicate some truth.

I don’t like all the waiting. Waiting is a given in the writing world, and it pretty much sucks.

6. What are the hardest scenes for you to write and which are the easiest e.g. action scenes, love scenes, etc? How do you overcome the hard scenes?
Action scenes – they’re very hard technically. To get everything down in a cohesive narrative that makes sense…. It’s tough. I just push through, read them out loud, and occasionally draw diagrams and maps.

It’s also hard to write intensely emotional scenes, but I also love it. I love trying to find the right words to communicate the hardest emotions (grief, love, fury). It’s a challenge, and I love that.

(Actually, I adore writing “love” scenes. By which I mean sexy tense kissing or non-kissing scenes. There are two in Blood Magic that almost killed me they were so much fun to write.)

7. Of all the books that’s been published which book(s) did you wish you had written and why?
Harry Potter – because then I’d be rich. ;)

8. Looking back on your journey as a writer, what advice would you give yourself when you were starting out?
Trust yourself.

9. How has your life changed pre and post Merry Sisters Of Fate?
Hooking up with Maggie and Brenna and starting Merry Fates changed the way I write in almost every way. Nothing else has made my writing tighter, my ideas sharper… I would not be where I am without Merry Fates.

10. How would you like people to see you as an author?
Fascinating! I want to fascinate people!

11. Can you please give us your writing mantra in 15 words or less.
“I am mad, but I choose this madness.” – Gloria Anzaldua

Thanks so much for stopping by Tessa. If you want to find out more about Tessa Gratton and BLOOD MAGIC you can visit her at tessagratton


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Great interview! I can't wait to read BLOOD MAGIC. It sounds awesome.
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the interview Maggie. Good luck on your deadline for TAINTED FROST!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )