Friday 22 July 2011

The Big Break with Tessa Gratton

I am pleased to be able to interview Tessa Gratton today, debut author of 'Blood Magic' which I reviewed here. 

I read that you previously wanted a career as either a palaeontologist or a wizard! When did you finally decide on a career in writing instead?
I’ve been writing since I was about 8, and although I definitely went through different phases, writing was always a part of my plan. I finally decided when I left graduate school that I was going to make writing novels and getting them published my goal.

How long did it take you to write your debut novel ‘Blood Magic’?
I wrote the first draft in about 6-8 weeks, then spent months and months revising – on my own, with my critique partners, with my agent, and with my editor. It was published about 3 years after I started writing it!

How did you come up with the idea for the book?
I was walking my dog around the park and the idea just hit me! I slowly developed it over days and weeks of research, brainstorming, and writing.

What was your first reaction when you found out that your book was to be published?
I was so excited I got dizzy.

Who did you tell first?
My partner, of course!

How long did it take for your book to reach publication after the initial agreement?
We sold it in September 2009, and it was published a little less than two years later, in May of 2011.

What was happening to your manuscript during this time?
It was going through many stages – revision with my editor, several rounds of copy editing with a few different copy editors, and then the book designers had it and then it was a real book!

How have you kept yourself occupied as you wait for publication day?
I’ve written two and a half more books since then! I always keep writing – and of course, reading, traveling, and watching crime dramas on TV.

How did you celebrate on publication day?
I stayed in for a relaxing day with my partner, then had drinks and Wii Golf with some friends that evening. It was very laid back.

Can you tell us a little about your next writing project?
The companion novel is called THE BLOOD KEEPER, and takes place 5 years later, dealing with fall out from the first book. It’s got crows, wild magic, homunculi, Marines, and kissing.

Tell us what a typical writing day would be like?
I get up and drink coffee while I read my email and blogs. Then I get to work, chatting the whole time with my critique partner Maggie Stiefvater. I occasionally take breaks for walking my dog or impromptu dance parties in my living room.

What advice would you give to aspiring and unpublished authors?
HAVE ADVENTURES! Excitement and new things will teach you about yourself and other people, and will always give you creative fuel!

Thank you Tessa for giving us that insight into how you got your publishing deal. Blood Magic is available to buy from all major book shops now.  To find out more about Tessa, please click here.


  1. Ah, so that's the lady behind the book eh? I don't think I've seen a photo of Tessa before.

    What on earth is a palaeontologist? It sounds like something to do with scary medical stuff. lol.

    I'm looking forward to reading Blood Magic soon as I received a copy this week which I won in a giveaway!

  2. A wizard? What a great alternative career choice. I've heard lots of good things about this book, some saying it's quite magical.

  3. Lol! I love that you wanted to be a wizard, that is just cool. I just wanted to be Indiana Jones or a ballerina ;)

  4. Great post! It always amazes me how long it takes a book to get to publication. If I could only get my thoughts on paper, I'd at least have a start. Lol.

  5. I am reading this book just now and I love it. What a great interview, you are so laid back and take everything in your stride. I love your attitude x

  6. Great interview!

    I really want to read this book!:)

  7. Oh what an interesting review! I really loved Blood Magic and it's interesting to hear more about the author and news of a new book!


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