Telling Our Stories: SUCCEED

Patti Larsen, award-winning Young Adult author

Being woken up in the middle of the night by a voice saying, “my Mom is a witch, my Dad is a demon and I just want to be normal” would be scary for some. For Patti Larsen, however, it turned out to be one of the best and most important moments of her life.

Up until that moment, Patti owned and operated a popular hair salon, but when Sydlynn Hayle spoke to her that night, she knew what she had to do: she needed to tell Syd’s story.

Now, seven years and twenty books later in the Family Magic series, Patti is an award-winning Young Adult author with her sights set on world domination and finding joy in everything.

Raised on science fiction books and playing dungeons and dragons, Patti knew from age 12 that she wanted to write. Over the years, she has tried her hand at a variety of professions including journalism, improv and independent filmmaking, but nothing was ever a perfect fit. “If you’re not having fun, why are you doing it?” she asks.

Having worked with a variety of publishers, including a long-standing relationship with Acorn Press, what has worked best for her has been the fast-paced world of independent publishing and being in control of her business. Patti usually publishes one to two books a month! How in the world does she do it? “Writing is a job, 9-5 just like anything else,” she says. “I can write 3000 words an hour and a book is typically 70,000 words.”

A very structured person, she has developed a system that is a combination of what she learned in journalism school, university English courses and screenwriting for film and television. Before she writes a word, she has already planned out the entire series and knows how it will end.

When she releases book one in a series, she is already working on book three with her editor. Patti is always planning at least six months in advance; it should come as no great shock that she is a big believer in writing everything down. Everything goes in the day planner including how many pages she is going to write each day.

To date, Patti has released 70 books and has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Syd would never let her.

"When you focus on what makes other people’s things wrong, you can never actually be happy yourself."