Write Here, Write Now: Lifted by Patti Larsen
In Season 2 of Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast, host Erica Wagner interviews winners of the Vocal+ Fiction Awards
The spookiness of a dim, overcrowded antique shop packed to the brim with bric-a-brac can scarcely be denied. Add some malicious magic into the equation, and you’ve arrived at the setting of Patti Larsen’s “Lifted.” This is a curiosity shop best visited during daylight hours.
What was the impetus for your winning story? Walk us through your initial act of creation.
I'm one of those writers who hears voices, so I don't often get the opportunity to dictate what I write about. When Jenny came to me with her tale to tell, I didn't have time in my schedule as a full-time author to write the trilogy she informed me would flesh out the entirety of her experience. So, in order to get the idea out before it could be lost, I agreed to write the short, "Lifted", as a means to connect to her voice so I could make time for her down the road.
Honestly, her story creeped me out and still does, though now she's knocking on the glass of the curio case, begging me to free her. I might have to make time before she drives me nuts.
What does it take for a story to grab you? How do you grab your audience?
I'm both a plot and character-driven creator, though it's usually the voice of the protagonist that comes to me first. Authentic emotional connection is vital to my storytelling and if I can't connect to the character, I will typically set them aside until they either come through in a way I can translate for them or let them go. I've been asked on many occasions to write other people's ideas and have always had to say no. Without that visceral tie to the heart of the character, even an excellent story isn't enough to hold me.
Who are your favorite writers and why? Do you have any favorite Vocal Creators?
I'm kind of old school when it comes to this question. I learned to write from classic sci-fi and fantasy authors, like Isaac Asimov, Anne McCaffery, Andre Norton and David Eddings. My passion for character connection comes from the horror master himself, Stephen King. No one drops you into the horrible, heartbreaking and uncomfortable truth of the human condition like him. Epic storytelling has always drawn me in and each of the writers I adored as a child (and read far too young!) fed my need to create on a grand scale, even in short-form writing.
I'm still exploring Vocal from a reader's perspective and have enjoyed many tales, but haven't found a favorite yet--a good thing, honestly, since I enjoy a wide range of genres and styles. But I'll keep you posted!
How has sharing your writing in life and on Vocal affected you as a Creator?
I've always wanted to be a full-time writer, caught the bug at the age of twelve, and have never let go of the dream despite what felt like insurmountable odds. Through a variety of careers (everything from journalist to hairstylist to filmmaker), writing books has always called me home. Twelve years ago, I made this my life and I'm honestly delighted and so fortunate to be able to make a living creating. Taking that leap has changed everything.
Finding Vocal has been a joy! I grew up on the traditional path to publication, a path that often eliminated the dreams of those I truly believe would have benefited from this new digital era our industry now enjoys--people like my father, who passed twenty-two years ago and never had the chance to see either his own dream of being a published author come to pass or my journey evolve into this magical life I get to live. Having outlets like Vocal where creators can share their work in a format that encourages rather than gatekeeps can only be a good thing. We need more creators in this world to simply make for the happiness of it while encouraging others to do so, too.
What advice do you have for other Creators?
The best way to learn to write is to write. Not critique, not devolve, not endlessly edit and examine. Write. Yes, learn from mistakes, take to heart the necessary skills required, but write until you don't have to think when you create. That's the golden zone, the center of creation and it's a beautiful and delicious place to spend your time.
And, don't let anyone interfere with your spark. Skills can be taught, learned, but the spark can't. If you're driven to write, keep doing it and have fun, most of all, because this is fun and meant to be. Love what you make, trust your intuition and never, ever stop.
Stay tuned for new episodes of Write Here, Write Now Season 2 launching weekly.
About the Creator
Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast
Sex, death, relationships, nature, families... If you like to stop, think and consider things a little differently, join host Erica Wagner as she introduces a new Vocal creator’s story each week.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Please a new to this stuff Please can you put me through how to work it? Please I just saw it online being published by someone I literally don't know Can you please put me through?
This is so cool! Love it!