I’m extremely excited to introduce my special guest today. She holds a special place in my heart.
I remember the first time that I held her book in my hands, I had this thought. “Finally, someone wrote a book that I’ve been dying to read.” I read it. And I loved it so much that I bought everything else that this author’s ever written. I love her ability to combine dark writing with humor and suspense.
Kicking off this week’s Trick-or-Treat Chronicles is the amazing Tessa Gratton, one of the most fantastic dark authors around! She’s the author of Blood Magic and The Blood Keepers and many more! Let’s start!
Hi Tessa. Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of the Trick-Or-Treat Chronicles. Let’s get started, shall we? What inspired your amazing YA paranormal books in The Blood Journals series (Blood Magic and The Blood Keeper)?
Thank you! Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to be a wizard – I love magic, and not just any magic, but the intricate, rule-laden kind you spend years studying until you’re so powerful you get a tower and your own army of orcs. I read books about witches (fiction and nonfiction), did all kinds of research on medieval witchcraft as well as folklore about witches in many different countries. I loved the idea of witches living in the modern Midwest, and I knew the magic had to have major consequences. That’s what led me to blood.
In short: I was excited about intimate, bloody American witchcraft, and I so waited for the right characters to find the story.
I love it! I’m a huge fan of your intimate, bloody American witchcraft tales. Hehe. Now, you have several novels and anthologies out right now. Which has been your favorite to write and why?
Ohhh what a difficult question. I have to say THE LOST SUN was my favorite, because it was the most painless, and it was a huge, exciting world to play in. I loved almost every moment of it, even the challenges. It was fun, and I was a full-time writer. It was basically a dream come true to focus all my professional time on a project I loved. That said, I feel the most proud of THE STRANGE MAID, partly because it was incredibly difficult to get right.
Nice. Good to know. So speaking of working hard to get things right, what is your writing process like? Tea? Cookies? Music? Silence?
Once I sit down to work (post coffee, exercise, email, tumblr) I don’t have a real process, other than re-reading what I worked on the previous day, and trying to get down 2,000 words before the end of the day. I like to listen to a playlist, if the scene or story works for it, but sometimes I need silence. I’ve worked really hard to be able to write anywhere – my office, my parent’s sofa, a coffee shop, an airplane… I don’t want to make too firm a process, in the fear that I’d falter if the process fell apart.
So, I have to ask. You write such lovely dark novels, does this mean you believe in ghosts?
I want to, but I’ve never experienced anything that made me think they’re real. I believe in the possibility of them!
Nice. You’ve got an open mind, I like that. Have you ever had a real-life spooky encounter?
I wish! Please let me stay in your very haunted house, if you know of one!
Hahaha. Well, I lived in a haunted house when I was younger and have some very interesting stories we can swap. So, what is your favorite scary movie?
“The Others” with Nicole Kidman. The atmosphere is amazing, and the writing, too.
Looks like I’ll have to re-watch it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I remember really liking it. Now that Halloween draws closer, what is the best thing you’ve ever been for Halloween?
I love going as a witch, of course!
Who would have thought? What is your favorite scary, spooky, or fall read?
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. It is so creepy, lush, full of history and a very scary, very intriguing ghost named Lasher.
I’ve never read it! I’ll definitely need to change this. I love interesting ghosts. Now, who is your favorite book or movie villain and why?
I love Cansrel, the villainous father of Lady Fire in Fire by Kristin Cashore. He is so complicated, interesting, and frightening – yet Cashore managed to make me love him a little bit, through Fire’s eyes.
And here’s another one that I haven’t read! Dang. Looks like my to-read list just keeps getting longer. As you know this is called the Trick-Or-Treat Chronicles. What’s your favorite Halloween drink or treat?
Nerds! I love that candy, and I only have it at Halloween.
What’s your favorite Halloween soundtrack or song?
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” of course. Is there any better?
I’ve got three novellas coming out in November in the United States of Asgard world, and the third book in the series comes in April. I’ve written a few YA Fantasy stand-alones, and they’re currently on submission!’
Yay! Oh I can’t wait to check them out in November. You wouldn’t happen to have a time traveling device so that I can have them now, do you?
Huge thank you for being here today Tessa, I know you’re very busy and I really appreciate you taking the time to check in with your readers and have a little bit of spooky fun.
About Tessa Gratton
Born in Okinawa, Japan while her Dad was on duty with the US Navy, Tessa moved around throughout her childhood and traveled even more. She’s lived in Japan, California, Kansas, and England, and visited 4 countries.
After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2003 with a degree in Genre Studies, she went on to graduate school for a Master’s in the same. Halfway through, she ditched the program in favor of the blood, violence, and drama of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic epic poetry and to focus on her writing. Tessa doesn’t have a graduate degree, but she did translate her own version of Beowulf!
Despite having traveled all over the world, she settled in Kansas where the sunsets are all in Technicolor, with her partner, two cats, and a mutant mutt named Grandel.
Stay tuned for Friday’s next Trick-or-Treat stop. We will be having the lovely Jus Accardo! In case you missed last week’s with Judith Graves, check it out here.
Huge thank you again to Tessa for making this possible!