As a little girl, S.A. Larsen believed her closet held secret passageways to magical worlds brimming with all sorts of creepy creatures – her favorite kind. Sheri never did find a ghoul or a goblin in her closet, only a half-eaten fluffernutter that her brother repurposed as a hockey puck. Her debut novel MOTLEY EDUCATION (former Leap Books, 2016) was released as a second edition by Ellysian Press, 2019. The book is an international multiple award-winning, fantasy-adventure for middle grade readers; this is the first book in the series. She's also the author of MARKED BEAUTY (Ellysian Press, 2017), a contemporary-fantasy romance for young adults - also an award-winning novel. Her other published works can be found in young adult anthologies, community interest newspapers, and sports magazines (youth athletes/actors). Giving back to her writing community is important to her, and she does so as a @MixedUpFiles interview & giveaway coordinator, #MGLitchat co-host, and writing mentor for First Five Pages under Adventures in YA Publishing. She's also part of the #SpookyMG crew over on spookymiddlegrade.com, where she partakes in a #SpookySkypePanel that visits classrooms around the world to chat about reading, writing, books, and more! When she’s not chasing her characters around a cemetery or antagonizing them with the wonders of young love, she can be found in the land of lobsters and snowy winters with her husband and four children (yes, they all play hockey), a playful German Shepherd, and three kittens.
As a child . . .
There are so many, but a fav has to be Where The Wild Things Are and Charlotte's Web. And then I loved Anne of Green Gables so much I have a porcelain doll of her. Although, now that I'm an adult that doll gives me the creeps.
Favorite thing to do outside
Climb trees or ride my bike.
I had an extra-gentle beagle pup, Sandy, when I was age seven, and then Casey (another beagle) when I was in high school.
Born - March 3
Year - Guess, but be nice or I just might write you into my next book. ;)
Where - Waterville, Maine
Is that a big place? Bahhh!!!
Where else have you lived?
Gorham, Portland, Fairfield, & Winslow - all in Maine. I am a world traveler.
Favorite Holiday as a child.
What jobs have you had?
I've been a babysitter, insurance clerk assistant, ice cream scooper, pharmacy clerk, grocery store cashier, waitress, bookkeeper, dental assistant, stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, and an author.
Job you'd like to do.
Being an interior designer would be fun. Think about it: I get to spend someone else's money being creative. How fun!
How many kids do you have?
Too many. Haha! No, just kidding. I have four amazing kids.
Do they think you're cool because you're a writer?
No. I'm Mom to them.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Probably Greece or Rome. I love mythology, architecture, and the Arts.
Ice Hockey all the way!
Dog or cat person?
Oooh...now that's a hard one. I've always been a dog person until we adopted two precious kittens a few years ago. Now I think I'm both.
What scares you?
Can't tell you. ;)
Five less known things about you.
I'm older sister to my brother Scott. When our dad was in a hurry, he used to get our names confused and call me scary.
I was a major movie buff as a kid. Loved to pick apart stories, adding scenes and changing endings.
Until a few years ago, I was a Monday Night Hottie - a group of ladies, ranging from ages 24 to 60+, who dance and perform onstage. They were my angels of sanity.
Forever and always a Zepp-girl.
Not a reader as a child. #shame #shame But when I caught the literary bug as an adult, I devoured eight 350+ page YA novels in ten weeks all while jugging four young kids. #supermom ... with a tattered cape
What made you want to become an Author?
I’m a dreamer by nature. I’ve always loved make believe and how it can apply to real life. Being a movie buff as a tween/teen, I used to deconstruct films scene by scene and then add my preferences or touches. Life moved on, and I married. My love for storytelling gained new breath, when I had my kids. They grew and kept me more than busy. But about four years ago, I decided it was time to do more. Thus – the birth to becoming an author was born.
When did you start writing?
I grew up creating make believe worlds beneath my fort made of bedsheets. I then moved on to storytelling by writing quirky poetry in elementary school (illustrations, too), which morphed much deeper and darker in high school. (My teenage therapy.)
How do you come up with the ideas for your stories?
I walk through life with my eyes wide open, paying attention to details in nature and the world in general. People are the most interesting. Also, living with four children gives me plenty of material, not to mention all their friends hanging out at our house.
What author influenced you the most?
I know this may sound old school, but without a doubt ~ Jane Austen. And not just because of her writing and storytelling ability. It’s her life and determination to share her stories in a time when it wasn’t easy to be a woman ~ and a business woman at that. She truly is a master at character development and story telling.
What type of books give you the most enjoyment?
For YA I’m definitely a love sap, so romances are high on my list. And to satisfy my love for middle grade, I enjoy fantasy and urban with a flare of the 'odd', but both have to have silly humor! I also like it when parents or a guardian are involved in the MGer's life. I love anything paranormal, wacky, or a bit out of the box and unexpected. But all must have passion in element, plot, characters, and all emotions. I enjoy strong characters, even those who are unsure of themselves. Some of my favorite authors are Jane Austen, Stephen King, LJ Smith, Melissa Marr, Dr. Suess, TCornelia Funke, Meg Cabot, and Rick Riordan.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love that I can work from absolutely anywhere - a coffee shop, home, the park, the library, and even my car! But mostly, I enjoy meeting kids and hearing what they have to say about my stories, life, and their writing/reading journeys.
MOTLEY EDUCATION: The Urd Saga
FIRST PLACE WINNER, CHILDREN'S CATEGORY, 2016 NEW ENGLAND BOOK FESTIVAL!
2017 Bronze Award Winner - Feathered Quill Book Awards for Best Juvenile/YA Fiction
2017 Honorable Mention - Purple Dragonfly Awards; ebook
2017 Gold Medal Award Winner - Literary Classics Book Awards, Grade School Fantasy*
2017 Gold Medal Winner - Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, Children's Fantasy/Sci-Fi
2017 New England Book Festival Runner-Up, Young Adult Category
2018 Silver Medal - Literary Classics International Book Awards
2018 American Fiction Awards Finalist; Young Adult Category
2018 Readers' Favorite Finalist in the Young Adult - Fantasy - General genre
2018 Maine Romance Writers 'Strut Your Stuff' Grand Prize Winner - Readers Choice
2018 Maine Romance Writers Readers' Choice; YA/NA category
What advice would you give to others that want to become an Author?
Read, study and hone the craft, write every day, and NEVER give up.
What are three pieces of advice you think is important for kids today.
Be true to yourself.
Choose your friends wisely, before the wrong ones choose you.
Make every moment count & be grateful.
What I'd Say. Favorite...
Candy - Sugar Babies
Show - Game of Thrones
Board Game - Clue
Book - Pride and Prejudice (I might have already mentioned that one.)
Music - I love all sorts of music, but my ear tends to lean to alternative rock.
Place to write - my office listening to classical or instrumental music. (Helps me focus.)
Quote - A mistake is never a mistake unless you don't learn from it.