Tessa Gratton has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. Alas, she turned out too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for a someone to teach her magic. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in Gender Studies, then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog. She now spends her days staring at the sky and telling lots of stories about magic.
Her debut novel, BLOOD MAGIC will be published by Random House in April 2011.
1. Magic and blood are a unique combination. What was the inspiration to write about them?
I adore magic, but believe that it has to come with consequences. It has to be HARD. So I wanted my magic to require sacrifice. Blood has an important place in mythology – it gives life, resurrects, that sort of thing. (Vampires, Jesus, for example.) They’re a natural pair in lots of folk magic, and even in less “magical” seeming rituals, like blood brothers, or things like that that we believe in when we’re kids. Also I like gross things. :D
2. In what ways do you relate to Nick and Silla?
I was a theater geek in high school just like Silla, and very melodramatic – Silla has a tendency to go there. Nick? Well, I’m obnoxious and contrary just like him. So I always knew exactly what he’d do – usually the opposite of what he should.
3. If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three books would you want with you?
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. BEAUTY by Robin McKinley. And, ok, probably THE HERO AND THE CROWN also by Robin McKinley.
4. On your website you mentioned traveling a lot, what has been your favorite destination?
Budapest. It was incredible! This amalgam of Eastern/Western architecture and culture… we were supposed to be there for a day and spent three days there because we just couldn’t leave. The castle! The Danube! The hidden labyrinth under the castle! The Opera House! The Bastion!
Seriously, if you ever get the chance to go, GO! We got lost so many times (on purpose, it’s the best way to see a city).
(I am also incredibly fond of Sydney, Australia and a little town in Wales called Betws-y-Coed.)
5. Is there a specific message you hope to leave readers of Blood Magic with?
Not a specific message, no. But in my head, BLOOD MAGIC is having a conversation about these things: loss, parental guilt, sacrifice, secrets/masks. Like, if I were to write study questions (without spoilers, which is HARD), they might be things like this: How do our sacrifices make us who we are? How do our parents’ decisions define us? What different kinds of power can we find in masking or unmaking ourselves?
Oh, wait, I thought of a message: “Kissing in cemeteries is incredibly sexy.”
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