LT: Love & Homegrown Magic is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a fantasy, science fiction, and spirituality as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
PB: Organically, for sure! The working title of the novel was “Daughters of the Bride” but as the protagonist’s character began to take shape, and as secondary characters stepped into the moonlight, the story itself blossomed into a play on ancestral patterns, traditions, and folk-magic, and the true name of the book revealed itself.
LT: What is one thing that you hope the reader takes away from Love & Homegrown Magic?
PB: As human beings, we all look for ways to get us successfully through our day. Some take a practical approach; some go for the spiritual route; others choose a balancing act.
Love & Homegrown Magic is a glimpse into how one woman incorporates faith, tradition, and supernatural practices into a daily collection of rituals, like prayer, candle lighting, and new moon intentions, to produce the winning attitude she needs to succeed.
Maggie, protagonist extraordinaire, puts the weight of her faith into mundane activity and infuses it with a magic that is all her own—I hope that readers of my new novel choose to give every-day tasks a magical twist too, recognizing that it does wonders for our outlook.
There is magic in a smile, a song, a spontaneous hug, or the preparing of a meal, we just have to believe it.
LT: When creating Maggie did you have a plan for development and character traits, or did it grow organically as you were writing the story?
PB: The novel, which is based on a handful of real events, began with starry traits; I knew where in the zodiac Maggie and her daughters sprung from.
As the story unfolded and of their own volition, the characters’ personalities developed to work through and reshape ancestral patterns.
LT: What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be published?
PB: The coming months will be a different kind of hectic for me, as I won’t be writing a new novel. Instead, I will be translating book 1 of the Faerie Legacy Series, Faery Sight, into Spanish!
My goal is to start on December 1st. If it turns out that translating is quicker than writing a new manuscript, I might have translation of the whole trilogy, Cradle Gift and Nahia, completed by 2022!
Patricia Bossano’s Love and Homegrown Magic is a coming of age novel that encompasses the life of Maggie, a woman caught between the folk magic she was raised with and the Catholic teachings instilled in her during her formative teenage years. The story is told in chronological order, beginning with Maggie’s rustic youth years in Ecuador, continuing with her journey into marriage and motherhood, and culminating with her golden years as a matriarch.
The character development is strong from the onset. Maggie is depicted as a determined and ambitious woman driven by her values. These characteristics make her a natural matriarch once she enters marriage and motherhood. Even when confronted with life-altering changes, she has a knack for making the best out of any circumstance. Her three daughters, Kelly, Lizzy, and Marie, have distinct personalities that are apparent from the time they are young girls. Their individuality is best reflected in the unique floral symbols that both define and connect all three women with their mother – and with the magic that serves as a fixture in the lives.
Bossano does an incredible job at using these floral symbols to depict the strong bond between Maggie and her daughters. This connection is both ethereal and dynamic, changing as each of the four women age and enter different stages in their lives. The floral symbols continue to remind them of not only their love for each other, but their ties to Mother Superior.
Alonzo’s role in the story – and Maggie’s reaction to the idea of him – is particularly interesting. He ultimately serves as a litmus test for her readiness to reconcile with the past. Her persistent decision to lock his letters away and ignore the thought of him is driven by her Catholicism-fueled devotion to her husband, Angelo. Only with Angelo’s passing and her daughters’ persistence that she let happiness in is Maggie able to come face-to-face with the man she left behind for so many years. It is at this crucial point that the story also comes full circle.
Overall, I enjoyed this read. A text does not need to be long to be impactful, magical or give readers a sense of completion. Love & Homegrown Magic is a page-turning tale that blends love, magic, family, womanhood, and purpose.
Pages: 322 | ASIN: B08HYDMDXV
Seven Ghostly Spins is a collection of paranormal stories written by you and Kelsey E. Gerard. What were some decisions that went into picking the stories for this collection?
Three of the stories; Carolina Blue, 205 ½ 25th Street and Alison, date back to the years I spent in Northern Utah. They were originally published in 2012-2014 as part of the Tales from Beyond anthologies, compiled by D. Hattingh. Ever since that project was completed, I began thinking of a collection of my own—to be based not only on true legends, but paranormal experiences as well.
At around the middle of 2017 the title for the new collection came to me; Seven Ghostly Spins, prompting me to remaster the original three and identify the other four.
In keeping with the “Haunted Ogden” theme, Kelsey E. Gerard submitted She Caught a Ride, fulfilling the based-on-true-legends requirement. That left me with the paranormal experience requirement, and for those I turned to my own memories and wrote By the Iron Gate and A Curse Lifted. Abiku is the novella among the short stories—the base idea for this thriller came from an ancient Yoruba belief and it includes supernatural and paranormal elements that I thought would make a proper central piece for this collection.
My favorite stories from the collection is ‘Alison’ and Gerard’s ‘She Caught a Ride’. What was your favorite story from this book?
Thank you! I am so pleased to hear you enjoyed these tales. I love each story equally though for different reasons. If I must pick a favorite, I would say Carolina Blue is my special, tragic friend.
Each story was intriguing and well developed. Where do you turn for inspiration for writing?
Two of the stories are rooted on personal experiences, while the others came to me through reading, and research. I found inspiration in a vivid nightmare and a real walk in the moonlight. In my godmother’s parting gift, and in assignments to explore Ogden’s haunted, colorful history. In the case of Abiku, all it took was an image—an illustration caught my eye and the short lines describing it spawned all the characters and circumstances in the novella.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next project is a philosophical fiction/comedy entitled Daughters of the Bride, slated for publication on Mother’s Day 2020.
To recover from the unexpected death of their father, the ‘weird sisters’ cling to one another and to their widowed mother; the ‘head witch.’ However, no traditional mourning rituals await them.
Blindsided by the love their mother claims to have found, mere months after the death of her husband of 50+ years, the three women flex their powers and embark on a distressing journey of reflection; to know themselves and the mother they thought they knew.
Amid the hilarity of the head witch’s disconcerting return to a youthful attitude, difficult questions must be asked. Genetic memories must be acknowledged and banished. Painful feelings must be expressed, and life-altering decisions will be made because, at the end of their journey, their new reality must be embraced by all.
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Patricia Bossano and Kelsey Gerard’s Seven Ghostly Spins is an amazing collection of paranormal stories, some based on true events. Each of Bossano’s stories takes on a life of its own and features vivid characters engrossed in intricate story lines with the perfect blend of suspense and mystique. Featuring varying story lengths, Seven Ghostly Spins contains seven stories ranging from the story of a little girl who dies tragically in a theater during its construction phase to the more lengthy tale of a young man torn between helping a friend beat a drug induced mania and the fear of further enraging him. Each with its own unique set of characters, Bossano’s stories never fail to engross readers and transport them directly into the setting.
Perhaps the most touching tale in Bossano’s collection is that of “Alison.” Bossano tenderly relates the story of Alison’s fall from the scaffolding where her father is working to build the Egyptian Movie Palace in 1924. The first-person account is moving while at the same time beautifully tragic. Alison sees her own death, and readers are offered a look at the events leading up to her final moments through the little girl’s eyes. Bossano’s conclusion to the short story is especially lovely considering the present-day accounts of sightings of the little girl’s by theater patrons.
The short story entitled “Abiku” is the longest in Bossano’s collection of ghostly tales and is woven from an entirely different fabric than the others. Featuring more of a paranormal vibe, the status of main character seems to fluctuate between Matthew and Sophie. Matthew is a tragic figure who is not strong enough to stand up to the friend who is slowly but surely losing control of his morals. Sophie, the ultimate heroine in the tale, is burdened by the gift of visions. Bossano succeeds in making both Matthew and Sophie highly relatable characters despite their unique situations.
Gerard’s “She Caught a Ride,” is frightening in many aspects. The idea of initiating freshmen members of a volleyball team by forcing them into facing the ghost of a fifteen-year-old girl is one that chills readers to the bone. The fear of each one of the girls is palpable as each is eliminated from the task and a single girl is left standing to face the grave in the headlights. Gerard taps into that overwhelming sense of terror and manages artfully to grab the reader by hand and jerk them headlong into that dark and ominous graveyard scene.
Patricia Bossano has done it again. Her writing always takes hold of the reader and forces them into realms from the first paragraph. Gerard, an author previously unknown to me, has definitely captured my attention. The team of Bossano and Gerard cannot be beaten; their works tap into the dark side of one’s imagination and leave the reader hungry for more. I highly recommend Seven Ghostly Spins to any fan of the paranormal and, especially, readers looking for tidbits of ghostly truths.
Pages: 175 | ASIN: B07GGRNMT7
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Nahia follows the turbulent efforts of a faery princess as she tries to lure her human obsession into the faery realm to maintain her relationship with him. What was your inspiration for this book’s direction and plot?
When I finished writing Cradle Gift (book 2) I knew I’d have to tell Nahia’s story to explain in detail Maité’s discovery at the end of Cradle Gift—that the woman Anahí in her family tree was actually Nahia.
When we met her in Faery Sight, we learned she was a willful creature whose heart, thankfully, was in the right place. It seems that throughout her youth, the motto ‘better to ask for forgiveness than permission’ was the driving force behind her actions.
Nahia is my full-fledged faery and as such she embodies the whole gamut of faery traits; she’s selfish, she holds grudges, she steals human babies, she arranges things in her mind whichever way suits her best. But she is also passionate, determined, courageous and has a great capacity to learn and to love.
The books in this series span several generations and move through time very quickly. Was this a reflection of the faery’s life or was it necessary to tell the story you wanted?
I think Nahia fits in a philosophical fiction genre (is there such a thing?) and because of that it is geared toward a more mature audience (the other 2 books in the series are YA). I wanted to describe the evolution of Nahia’s heart and mind in detail, it was important to me to put her through the motions of going after her own desires, disregarding those around her, then realize that that kind of behavior only begets heartache or a passing satisfaction at best, so that in the end she considers and actually chooses to expand her heart and embrace a greater purpose, even if it involves sacrifice.
Your books are always highly imaginative and wonderfully descriptive. What is your writing process like?
From a procedural standpoint, here’s what I do:
Chapter Outline/Synopsis; this is where ideas fly through my brain—imagination is in high gear.
First Draft and First Round of Editing done by me; this is stage where characters usually crop up in my dreams to make suggestions and poke me with reminders or corrections. I make all kinds of sleepy notes that I have to decipher the next day.
Second Draft and 1-2 Rounds with Critique Group; this is where I bite my nails waiting to hear back from a handful of friends/family who’ve kindly offered to read my work.
Produce and send out Advance Review Copies;
Third Draft, Second Round of Editing done by me, Fourth Draft to Pro Editor; this is the most feverish portion of the process. I can feel the end is near so I apply flattening-strength pressure on myself.
Then comes the sigh of relief when the Final MSS finally leaves my hands.
Nahia is book three in the Faerie Legacy series. Do you plan to continue the series with book four or will you be writing a new book?
Nahia ends with a Summer Solstice Celebration during which the hybrid faery-human family is reunited. In that reunion, Maité’s daughter is not yet 2 years old, so I’m considering a book about the baby Aintza; she could only see her mother in dreams and in person once per year. This went on during the first 7 years of her life.
I’m also considering a series of picture books featuring the adventures of my hybrid faery-human family in the Faerie Realm.
As far as unrelated projects go, I have the 7 Ghostly Spins, a collection of seven paranormal tales based on true ghost legends and nightmares come true. Coming on All Souls Day, 2018.
Daughters of the Bride; is another philosophical fiction project I’m working on. After the death of their father, three women embark on a distressing journey of reflection; to know themselves and the mother they thought they knew. No publication date yet.
A rebellious faery princess struggles with satisfying her own desires over what’s best for her loved ones. Following her heart in pursuit of the human she loves, Nahia hides her faery identity in order to enter the human dimension.
After giving birth to a daughter, Nahia’s secret is revealed, as is the realization that she has forever altered the genetic human footprint. Faced with death, Nahia returns to the faerie realm only to have its dormant weight thrust upon her after the demise of its magical keeper.
To save her home and renew ties with both her human and faerie family, Nahia must find a way to reawaken the realm, become the new Faery Queen, and provide a royal descendant for the new Keeper of the Forest.
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Cradle Gift follows Maité as she discovers the origins of her gift and the meaning behind her ability to move in and out of dreams. What were some new ideas you wanted to expand on in the second book in the series that you didn’t, or couldn’t, get to in the first book?
Here are a few of the things I wanted to explore with Cradle Gift:
- I’ve always been fascinated with Lucid Dreaming, so to continue expanding my knowledge on that subject was very satisfying. Although I put it to my readers as acradle-giftedability, Lucid Dreaming is something you can develop and perfect through practice… maybe not to the astral projection level Maité achieves, but it’s as close to having wings or gills as we can get.
- I wanted to establish the 200-year gap between Celeste and Maité, and plant the seed of curiosity over what happened with the family during those 2 centuries.
- I wanted to highlight “adaptability” without denying the suffering and struggle it takes a person to achieve it. I agree with Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Maité is strong, intelligent, adaptable and therefore, a survivor.
You were able to craft a world that was equally as beautiful as in book one. What were some lessons learned in book one that helped you write book two?
Book 1 was my first full-length novel and through its production I learned a great deal about the technical aspects of publishing, but more than anything, that is where I began to develop “my voice.” Faery Sight became my go-to document for Cradle Gift because locales had been established there along with coordinates for the Faerie Realm—I was so glad that I kept my drafts, maps, and notes! I took with me a briefcase stuffed with all my papers when I traveled to San Sebastián, Spain. I stayed there for one whole blustery week in March to round up my research.
Maité continues to be a dynamic and intriguing character. I find that authors are sometimes exploring their characters when writing just as much as readers are when reading. Do you find this to be true? What kind of exploration did you do with Maité’s character in this book?
The women and girls in my family are the inspiration behind my stories—the series really is a family affair.
The girl on the cover of Cradle Gift is my niece (my older sister’s first born), some of her character traits and astrological attributes account for a big part of Maité’s personality.
FYI: My younger sister’s first born is on the cover of Faery Sight, and my daughter is on the cover of Nahia.
Nahia is the third book in your Faerie Legacy series. Where can readers expect the story to go in the next installment?
Nahia is a common denominator whose story covers the 200-year gap between books 1 and 2.
I consider this novel is a philosophical-fiction of sorts because it is about Nahia’s journey to know herself, to find her place in the world. She’s willful and stubborn, she’d rather ask for forgiveness (grudgingly) than permission, but when the weight of the realm is thrust upon her, Nahia, accepts the challenge, realizing that the time for her to grow up is at hand.
Her strengths and weaknesses lead her to change the genetic footprint of humanity, and to a bitter sweet victory.
At seventeen, Maité’s mortal world is torn apart with the tragic loss of her parents. Uprooted from the only home she’s ever known and isolated in a foreign country, the young woman struggles to make sense of her new life. But the conflict in the realm of Faerie is about to bleed over into Maité’s reality. She finds herself in the middle of an ancient struggle between Nahia and the Beautiful One as they furiously clash for control over the realm.
Through her Cradle Gift, Maité uncovers the extent of the Faerie Realm’s involvement in her life, and in her quest to come to terms with it, Maité has the help of best friend Emily, and David; a young man whose interest in genetics illuminates possibilities that will change her identity forever.
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Faery Sight follows a young woman raised among faeries as she is confronted with the tragedy surrounding her birth. What was your inspiration for this book and how did that help you begin your Faery Legacy series?
I come from a family where women are more numerous than the men, and over generations, our alpha-females have effectively organized us into a matriarchy. In my mind, I’ve likened us to Faeries, as they are the ultimate matriarchal society and in that light, I might say my series fits the ‘autobiographical fiction’ genre.
The women in my family—their spirit and beauty, our strengths and weakness, how we manage our relationships, inspired the magic in Faery Sight and the others.
When I set out to write Faery Sight, my intent wasn’t to produce a full length novel, much less a series. I just wanted to entertain people in my family with a short story, a novella at best.
Indeed, the original manuscript went through multiple revisions, and not only that, its first working title; Once Upon a Faery, changed fleetingly to Ersatz, until at last, close to launch date, Faery Sight revealed itself to me.
Celeste’s discovery of her love for Etienne, a human destined to marry another woman, is a captivating relationship. What were some things that were important for you when writing their relationship?
Celeste and Etienne have a very special place in my heart; they came out of my imagination with such genuine attitudes it was impossible not to cheer for their beautiful love story. She is impulsive and free, he is trapped in a traditional life-style. When they meet, Etienne’s heart skips a beat and he finds the courage to defy tradition.
Over the years, various members of my family, myself included, have been a Celeste or an Etienne, at one point or another, and it is my hope that whenever choices come up, we will always follow our hearts, just like Celeste and Etienne.
I enjoyed Celeste’s character, and it seemed she became multilayered as the story progressed. What were some obstacles you felt were important to her character’s development?
Celeste has a stubborn streak, a highly competitive nature (although not as nuclear as Nahia) and she is also impulsive. Therefore her character development needed to involve attaining a degree of maturity, while staying true to her heart.
As her story progressed, any inherent negativity in those traits were flushed out of her, painfully, as was the case with the death of her mother, but also blissfully, like when she realized that Etienne loved her too, and that Nahia’s bad temper had been due to her fears that Celeste might trade their special “sisterhood” for a man!
Where does the story take readers in book 2, Cradle Gift?
Whereas Faery Sight was set in the 1800’s, Cradle Gift is a contemporary tale where we meet Celeste’s latest descendant, Maité. She is born in 1992.
She knows nothing of the connection her family had with the Faerie Realm, and she’s clueless as to the Cradle Gift Nahia gives her on the day of her birth. From there… A journey, a manuscript, and a family tree unlock the mystery behind Maité’s lucid dreaming ability.
At seventeen, the realm of faerie is the only world Celeste knows, and she aspires to become as close to a faery as a human may. But daunting revelations made by her dying mother knock her plans off course. Orphaned and anxious to establish where she fits in, Celeste’s convictions waver.
Is she the human princess her mother raised her to be, or is she the human faery she longs to become? Is she to avenge the wrongs done to her parents by an evil sorceress?
Is she to honor a betrothal she’s known nothing about? Or should she keep at the side of the true love that recently walked into her life?
Celeste chooses to be the avenger of her parents, even if it means having to acknowledge her rightful place in the human dimension.
Urged by the faery, Nahia, and championed by the faerie court and her true love, Celeste sets out to expose the deceitful sorceress, Arantxa. She trusts that nothing can keep her from returning to the realm of faerie, nothing that is, until the identity of her betrothed becomes known.
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Nahia, by Patricia Bossano, chronicles the turbulent efforts of the faery princess, Nahia, as she attempts to lure Calisto, her human obsession, into the faery realm and then maintain her relationship with him. This is the third installment of the Faerie Legacy Series and focuses on the tragically severed relationship between the human and faery realms–damage caused by Nahia herself. When she impulsively chooses to kidnap newborn Calisto, Nahia ultimately brings the wrath of his mother, Alaia, and a decision to ban Nahia from visiting the human descendants of her beloved companion, Celeste. Nahia’s swift and careless choice leave the faery realm in the tragic position of being cut completely from the lives of their human friends after an eighty-seven year connection with them.
Having read the first two Faerie Legacy books, I was most interested to see how Bossano would incorporate her characters into a book that solely focused on the faery, Nahia. As with the jump from Book One to Book Two, the author spans several generations and moves through time very quickly. Book Three takes many steps back into the 1900s to visit again with Celeste’s children even though Book Two was set primarily in the present. As confusing as the order of the books’ settings may sound, it totally works. Bossano is a master at providing clear explanations regarding her full line of characters, and readers are able to follow and appreciate the storyline without having read the series in order. The character are all standouts.
Quotes don’t often strike me in fantasy novels, but Bossano writes some truly beautiful lines. I could not help but be taken with the line she presents as a memory to Nahia as she begins to dwell and stress over what would have been and could be with her faery companion, Sendoa. As she frets away in the first moments of the new life she has concocted with Calisto, Nahia recalls her mother’s words, “Be done with the past and be present.” I truly love that line.
The ties between Nahia and Celeste, from Book One, are clear and present in this book. Nahia and Celeste–faery and human–were as close as two can be without being sisters. Nahia’s undying love for her human friend is evident and touching throughout Book Three. Nahia’s insistence that only a female descendant of Celeste and Etienne’s marriage should be the heir to their possession and estate further shows her love for Celeste and beautifully weaves Book Two into the plotline of Nahia.
Nahia was a favored character of mine from the first book in Bossano’s series, but in this installment, she truly shines. Her fickle ways and her, pardon the pun, flighty ways make her an incredibly enjoyable character to follow. Bossano has succeeded in creating and, more importantly, maintaining a rich and well-developed character in Nahia.
Nahia is easily my favorite of the three Faerie Legacy books. I recommend it to any fan of the fantasy genre and to any reader curious about breaking into the faery realm themselves. Bossano’s tales are highly readable, beyond imaginative, and wonderfully spun.
Pages: 296 | ASIN: B0767D6X5Q
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