Angela is the creator, author and illustrator of the well-known Petalwink book series for children (www.Petalwink.com) sold to bookstores, retail outlets, libraries, and schools throughout the country. She also writes the highly popular “flog” [fictional blog] chapter book series for tweens, the Fifties Chix, about the friendship of five time-traveling teen girls (www.thefiftieschix.com) and is working on multiple book series projects for children, teens and adults.
Bianca: Did you always aspire to be a writer?
Angela: I remember the very moment my mom, sitting with me at the kitchen table, taught me to hold a pencil; I had to be about 3 years old and I remember it because it was momentous, this feeling of great accomplishment and possibility. I wanted to literally “write” and I haven’t stopped wanting to write or draw since. I wrote stories throughout my entire childhood, always about someone with a unique perspective (in one instance, gave my tennis shoe the opportunity to relate what it was like to spend a day at the State Fair).
Bianca: What inspired you to write the Petalwink series?
Angela: Along with my desire to write, I’ve always been an avid reader. My aunt was a children’s librarian and always encouraged my brother and I to read, supplying us with unique and amazing books. One of my invisible childhood friends was Suzy Sunshine; our relationship was enriched by the stories I read that fed my imagination. I always felt that with SS there was a secret little someone in my pocket to share adventures with. All these things, along with a stint doing fairy murals for the clients of my art business, culminated in the concept of Petalwink. I wanted children to have the same special feeling I’ve always had that anything is possible when you believe in yourself and the greater good. Petalwink is the incarnation of that childlike sweetness and innocence and wonder.
Bianca: What made you pick a fairy for your main character?
Angela: I didn’t have a choice, she picked me! It was natural for us to team up; I think Suzy Sunshine is a mutual friend and sent Petalwink to me. Apart from that, a fairy has a great perspective (even better than a tennis shoe), and has that magical childlike wonder to bring to a story. She’s also really fun to draw, especially with that periwinkle hair.
Bianca: What do you think is the most important lesson that a young reader can take away from this series?
Angela: I hope that readers will embrace their childlike sweetness and wonder and never let it go. Learning lessons like being kind, thoughtful and persistent help us stay childlike; the cynicism or materialism sometimes associated with adulthood don’t really help us “grow up” or progress. But the youthful sense of creativity, possibility and affection for good actually benefits civilization as a whole. So ultimately, I hope readers of all ages come away with a sense of how special they are and how much they have to give.
Bianca: Should we expect to see another published book from you soon?
Angela: I’ve just finished writing and illustrating the fifth and sixth books in the Petalwink series and am starting on the seventh. Those books will go to print soon; as they are being published, I will be continuing to work on three or four other series I’m excited about (one for kids, one for teens and two for adults).
Bianca: Which books do you think influenced you the most during your childhood years?
Angela: So many books! But my favorites are
“Rain Makes Applesauce” by Julian Scheer (and illustrated by Marvin Bileck);
“An invitation to the Butterfly Ball” by Jane Yolen (and illustrated by Jane Breskin Zalben);
any and all Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter;
“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett;
“Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell;
And of course, any and all Judy Blume!
Bianca: Do you have a special place that you like to be while you write?
Angela: I like to write almost anywhere, but I usually end up in my art studio. The most productive place for me to write is on a plane! I just wrote the seventh Petalwink book on our patio on a lovely sunny day.
Bianca: Is there a perfect time in the day where your creative juices flow more readily?
Angela: After two or three o’clock in the afternoon I really work well and by nine o’clock at night, things are really clicking!
Bianca: What are you doing when you are not writing books?
Angela: I love to read, read, read, paint, and work in the garden. I also love watching movies (more stories!) with my husband, Whit.
Bianca: Any last words?
Angela: Everything I’ve written in the Petalwink stories I’ve had to put into practice in my own life; so while they are hopefully fun and entertaining stories, they also have an applicable lesson. I’ve found myself often going back to the first book and reviewing Petalwink’s message, “I’m glad to be me!”
Read what others have to say about Angela Sage Larsen’s Petalwink the Fairy series.
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