Monday, June 27, 2011

Author Interview: Tessa Gratton

Tessa Gratton, author of BLOOD MAGIC, has agreed to sit down with me and answer a few questions. Awesome, right?

A little bit more about Tessa from her website:

Born in Okinawa, Japan while my Dad was on duty with the US Navy, I moved around throughout my childhood and traveled even more. Reading and theater were the two things that got me through it all.

After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2003 with a degree in Gender Studies, I went on to graduate school for a Master’s in the same. Halfway through, I ditched my advisor in favor of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic epic poetry, because the blood, tragedy, and violence were much more civilized than academic in-fighting. I don’t have a graduate degree, but I did translate my own version of Beowulf!

Despite having traveled all over the world, I settled in Kansas (where the flying monkeys live) with my partner, two cats, and a mutant mutt named Grendel.

1) Who/What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always told stories, and been writing since I was about 8 years old. My inspiration comes from within!

2) Why did you choose to write about teens?

I love to read YA, and so many of my favorite books are books I read for the first time when I was 13-17ish years old. I want my writing to connect with that unbelievable passion I had for book then. Teens have crazy passion, which is amazing to write about.

3) What part of writing/publishing is your favorite? What part can't you wait to get to?

Cracking open a book that I wrote is pretty intense! I was just at the American Library Association’s annual conference, and seeing my book on display with so many other amazing books, and talking to people who’d read it… it’s so surreal, and incredible. I can’t wait to have a whole shelf all to myself.

4) What was the hardest part of writing Blood Magic?

I had to take something out that I loved loved loved – but it was the best thing for the story so it had to happen. That was gut-wrenching.

5) What was it like when your agent told you your book had an offer?

I was dizzy. Just had to sit down, then stand up, then sit down, then stand up… then drink champagne.

6) Was there a time you didn't want to be a writer?

I went through phases where I wanted to be other things – a ballerina, a paleontologist, an actor, a wizard (I still want to be a wizard) – but writing was always part of the equation somehow.

7) At the end of Blood Magic, Nick and Silla are planning on going to Chicago. Will they ever see Yaleylah again?

Maaaaybe. LOL. Silla does own a house there, after all.

8) Is there anything you can tell us about the next book, the Blood Keeper?

It’s a companion novel that takes place in Kansas, 5 years after BLOOD MAGIC, and deals with a lot of the fallout from the first book. Many original characters make an appearance, though the narrators are both brand new.

Thanks for having me! :D

Thanks for coming down! Remember, Tessa's debut novel BLOOD MAGIC is on sale now, and her second book THE BLOOD KEEPER will be out summer 2012.

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