I had NO idea what this was until the Roller Derby Queen herself explained it to me. It was great fun getting to know Patti through this wonderful idea. Patti is the author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House and Henry: A Short Story. She is currently running a writer marathon with herself to have seven books on the market by January 2012!! Check out this Roller Derby Woman who plans to dominate the literary world.
Without further ado, I give you, Queen Patti. Oh, and thanks for being here, Patti!
Who is Patti Larsen? Of course, I am talking about the woman that the public doesn’t know as “Prolifically Gifted.” Describe yourself in 1500 words or less (Keep in mind we are limited on space here. *ahem*)
Patti Larsen is a 39-year-old novelist and independent filmmaker. A writer of fiction and screenplays, she began her writing career… eep! You’re not looking for my polished bio, huh? You sure you want more? The real dirty, down deep, nitty gritty? Fair enough. Here goes: I’m a card-carrying nerd. It’s taken years to admit it. I’m also a hermit in a writing basement who prefers solitude to people (cats always welcome). I’m a writing fiend who hears the voices of teenagers and blushes at the S-E-X parts. I don’t sleep very well. Ever. My mind is too busy. I am a feline loving married woman who could easily end up a crazy cat lady if my husband would let me. I am a paradigm shifter, a believer in self and my own personal power. I see everything in black and white until the gray is explained to me. I am a fiercely loyal friend, a confidant and a Tarot card reader and intuitive. I am a proud roller derby girl, a total dweeb and can’t dance to save my soul. I am terrified of heights and challenge that fear every chance I get. Oh, and I’m the Creator. The Queen of my own Destiny. I love that.
Explain why you have a tomato between your eyes, please. Is that a new fashion statement? Have you seen many people wearing them?
Some writer I know has a thing for tomatoes. She threw them originally and I’ve been so busy writing I haven’t had time to grab a shower to wash them off (what day is this? Dear God… I’ve been lost in my WIP for HOW long?) Good part? Built in snack. Halogen bulb-dried tomatoes. Bad part? I stink. And my hair is orange. Sigh. I really need to go upstairs at some point but I’m glued to the chair by tomato juice… and the voices.
Are you a jammer, pivot, or a blocker? Ha! You didn’t know I knew what those were! Actually never thought to research roller derby until you had the brilliant idea to make an appearance in my net. (For which I am grateful?) Do you aspire to play different roles in the rink? What is your goal with roller derby?
I’m actually coaching right now. I broke my tailbone and my arm in training so I’m off skates until September. But I’m definitely a blocker—and probably will end up a pivot. I have a big mouth. And I’m bossy. I can’t imagine taking orders in the pack and not giving them. But I’m really digging coaching, too. The girls and I have a love/hate relationship. I’m so cheerful when I coach they don’t realize until they are worn to a nub at the end of practice that I’ve thoroughly thrashed their asses. I also give out candy. J Ultimately, I want to be Queen of the Roller Derby. Natch. Go big or stay home. I have super short blonde hair and am toying with the name Fannie Lennox.
You write…A LOT. How is that possible? I mean, don’t you have roller derby practice and tours and stuff? Seriously, what is your state of mind when you sit down to write?
I’m an alien. Crap, did I say that out loud? Just kidding… (maybe). This is so funny to me. I’ve heard it said so many times it’s about getting your ass in the seat and just writing. And honestly, I wish I had a different answer. Cause, you know, I hate conforming. But it’s the truth. I sit down every day and write. Seven days a week. Eight hours (or more) a day. Yes, I take days off. But not often. The voices won’t let me. (My husband keeps telling me I need to stop telling people I let the voices dictate my life. I think he worries about me.)
State of mind… are you really sure you want to open that Pandora’s box? I suffer from acute mind control by a pack of unruly teenagers who insist THEIR story needs to be told next, thank you very much. I don’t sleep well. In fact, just the other night I had one wake me up and start telling me her story. She made me get up and write down the first six sentences before she’d let me go back to bed. True story. So state of mind is forced order chaos at any given moment. I have to outline my work or I’d be insane. Nutzilla. And I schedule ALL of my writing. In fact, I’ve done so to the end of the year. So some of the voices are quieter knowing they are in the queue but the rest are in the background, grumbling they have to wait until 2012. I’d fire the lot of them if they’d let me. Sigh. No wonder I don’t have kids.
Your four cats must keep you on your toes. Do they get jealous of your laptop?
I am surrounded by pampered felines as we speak. Nowhere is forbidden to them. Like I could forbid them. I exist at their whimsy and pleasure. They are very inspiring to me though, I must say. In fact, my butterscotch tabby Peanut is the reason I wrote my Middle Grade novelCatCity. But I digress. Please excuse me a moment while I cater to my masters. From the claws in my legs I’m assuming they are hungry.
One more question and I will put you out of your misery. What is your best life? (Deep one, eh?)
My best life is the one I’m living. Writing every day. Taking charge of my career. Trusting my instincts. I love being in control of what I’m doing. When I was chasing the falsehood of the old dream, that of agented and Big Six success, I was unhappy, nervous and always doubting myself. Now that I’ve committed to small, independent publishing in conjunction with self-publishing, I feel fantastic. I know I’m a good writer. Two publishers agree with me. So the whole fear of self-publishing has vanished. I want to do some myself so I retain control. And others I’m happy to have a publisher’s name on. It’s a sad fact that we still need a certain level of credibility before we’re called authors.
Tied into that best life? Making people laugh, cry, scream and throw my book across the room only to scramble to retrieve it… and have them asking for more, more, more. Saying yes to my muse each and every time without fear or worry. Making enough money to not have to think about money.
Any life that lets me do what I do for a living and fill me up so much is the best.
What torturous plans do you have for the literary world once you achieve domination?
MWAHAHAHAHA!!!! FIRE AND DEATH AND UNWORLDLY TORMENT WHILE MY SUBJECTS WORSHIP AT MY FEET—hmmm? Did you ask a question?
Household name. I wants it. The ability to help other writers with scholarships and grants. I needs it. Making movies from my work. I has to have it. A shining palace of spun glass built in my honor and crowds of worshiping readers who hang on my every word while unicorns and fairies bathing my toes in rainbow rose water and a chorus of cherubic angels whispering endless story ideas in my ears…
I have two sides. Dark usually wins. Just read my books. You’ll see.
Patti writes a lot of middle grade and YA paranormal books for someone who is afraid of the dark. And she wonders why she has to sleep with the lights on. Sometimes life is a teenaged B horror movie and she’s the one who investigates when the scary music is playing. But the voices are calling and resistance is… Yes. She is a Star Trek geek, too. And a fan of RPG’s. With a slight coolness factor since she plays roller derby when she’s not breaking bones. At least, she likes to think she’s cool...
Make your own decisions at:
@PattiLarsen on Twitter