Interview with Phylicia Bozzi

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm reading, watching movies, playing video games or computer games, volunteering, working.
Depending on if I'm in school, then doing homework/studying. Although a lot of those classes involve writing, but not all, like math. Ew.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember if it was the FIRST story, but I remember in day care always reading "Left Foot, Right Foot" by Dr. Seuss. I don't know why I enjoyed it so much, but I did. Ask my mom.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My first favorite is "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank because she's an inspiration about how even though life can be such a pain, you can always overcome the obstacles in the end. She argued with her family and yet, they still were able to get along.
My second favorite is "Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern because I like the supernatural aspects to it. Although, there are some things I dislike, such as how Prospero treated Celia, but because of how he treated her, she was able to learn from her experience.
My third favorite is "My Life as a Ten Year Old Boy" by Nancy Cartwright. I like it because of all the interesting things she has to do as a voice over actress and how hard and yet fun it can be. Especially how she talked about the beginning of the Simpsons and talked about the process of designing them. At the bottom right corner of the page, it looks like a flip book, of Bart jumping out of a gift box, high-fiving her.
My forth favorite is "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks. I have a tendency to compare movies and books, almost always I enjoy the movies more. I think the thing I like most about the book is the letters Noah and Allie wrote to or about each other. I also think it's interesting about how we don't find out Allie's name until page 19.
My fifth favorite is "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell. For starters, I love the whole title "365 days, 524 recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. How One Girl Risked her Marriage, Job and Her Sanity to master the Art of French Cooking". (Long, but awesome). I also like how I learned a lot of french words. I probably won't remember what they mean, but still. Ditto with the food. I also enjoy how she likes the same things I do or did. Buffy for example. There's some X rated things in there that I prefer not to mention on here, but there are, but yeah.
What do you read for pleasure?
It varies
Supernatural (Tattoo and Fate series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes)
Time Travel (Back to the Future type of stuff, which also goes hand in hand with Sci Fi)
Thriller (Secret Window, Secret Garden--aka Secret Window starring Johnny Depp)
Historical fiction (The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne)
Mystery (Nancy Drew, awesome computer games)
Psychology (I read a few books about Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly Multiple Personality Disorder)
Romance (Nicholas Sparks books, Twilight, Jodi Picoult)
Sci-Fi (Star Wars all the way)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I've only had a Nook, so that.
Describe your desk at the moment
At the moment, I have post it notes all over.
"Show, Don't Tell" Show is underlined twice.
"Look for Jobs in the Schaumburg area)
"To do: Draw, Read, Write, Research)

A drawing a friend did of me years ago, of me as an angel. It says "To Phi. May Angels watch over you. Bri"
There's a clock radio I got YEARS ago from my grandparents, it reads 11:50 pm.
The book "Alien Taste by Wen Spencer". She has awesome writing ideas. I love her website. I hadn't started it yet.
The computer game "Dark fall: Lights Out.
"The Book Lover's Journal" I HIGHLY recommend purchasing it if you love reading as much as I do.
A pencil holder with random parts welded together to make a person in a chair, with a pencil in her hand, a book and a computer screen connected. Looks just like me. My brother gave it to me years ago.
In the pencil holder are obviously pens and pencils, mechanical and regular pencils. A compass. The thing with the pencil, and it rotates so you can make a perfect circle.
Note pad, Staedtler Pigment Liner Pens on top and a stapler on top of that.
A stencil with many circles to use when I need to draw perfect circles.
Strawberry chap sticks.
The book "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell. I'm only on page 80. Good so far.
Papers all over:
Drawing ideas (not going to get into detail with those).
Eraser.
Obviously my computer screen
Cup of water to the right of it.
What are you working on next?
My sequel. "Sisters Exposed".
I think the title is pretty self explanatory, not like "Sisters with a Secret". That can be anything..
I was debating whether I should write a sequel, because I will miss "my girls". The main characters in the first story and I will still miss them when Sisters Exposed is over. I might not write a third (make a trilogy) because once they're exposed, they're kind of screwed.
We'll see. I don't intend to write a third one.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Work, so money.
Volunteering, helping people who need it.
Other than just going about my regular day, nothing else "inspires me" to get up.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I discovered something called:
www.mymediamall.net
It's a phenomenal website that I think is only for people in various areas and various libraries.
Obviously it's for ebooks, Kindles, Nooks, etc.
Just to let you know though, you have to download Adobe Digital Editions to get it started.
You can also use that like a PDF, especially since my Adobe Reader is being a pain sometimes.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, but I do remember in junior high, I randomly wrote a story about a person in a castle and there was a monster in the attic and she wished for something bad. I don't remember what, but I remember calling it, "Be Careful What You Wish For". Not very clever, but I didn't care.
Have you gotten any other things published?
Yes, I got a poem published in the 2012, "Famous Poets of the Heartlands" book.
I wrote it for a school assignment. The first half of the semester was poetry and the rest writing fiction.
I thought writing poetry was stupid and I'm still not that much of a fan, but I think the way the teacher assigned it made it pretty fun.
It's called "Just Another Friday Night" that mostly revolves around karaoke.
I LOVE going Karaoke, so I just used that as inspiration.
Do you attend writer's groups?
Yes.
I don't know why, but I remember in one of my writing classes asking my teacher where I could find writer's groups.
He suggested I look at my library and sure enough, there is one.
I don't go anymore because I don't like the way they're set up.
Members can only read 2 pages per meeting and there are SO many members, we're lucky if we get to everyone.
They only have the room from 10 to 2. That's a long time, so it's really sad that the group can't get everyone's stuff critiqued in that time. You only get a minute or two to write down your comments before it's your turn to verbally speak what you want to say and the comments have to be short to get to everyone.

There's also a website called "meetup.com". Sounds like a dating site, I know. I was apprehensive about it too, but it's just a group of people with the same interest as you. Although there might be some dating groups on there, I'm not sure. But just go to that site, on the top left corner where it says "Find", type in what you want to find, like "writers groups" or "writing" and your location, then you may or may not find one.
If you don't, then maybe you can start one of your own. They're not cheap (I know it's stupid you have to pay for their services, but whatever). They manage things online, but people physically meet up at locations.

So anyway, there was a writers group years ago there I attended, I don't remember what it's called, but the organizer bailed, so that idea was out. I don't remember what location that was.

Now I attend this one, also through meetup.com and they're held at Barnes and Noble.
This one, you can post up to 3000 words, which is, if I'm not mistaken around 10 pages. I also like that, unlike the library, you don't have to rush. You can print it out and read it at your leisure. I've recently learned that I can read and critique the pages on my computer and email it to people so I don't need to waste ink, paper and gas driving there.
However, some people don't like to email things back to me, so I have to physically go there and get my comments.

But yeah, I attend the groups.
Do you find writer's groups beneficial?
Yes.

There are some people who are so rude and blunt, but I try to tell myself, "I can't please everybody" and that will make me feel less offended or want to cry.
If you don't want people to get ticked, tell them, "I'll take it into consideration", whether you do or don't.

You can't take people's comments too seriously, and besides, it's your writing.
You don't have to take their comments and change your story.
What made you decide to write this story?
I love supernatural stories, especially shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed.
Actually, my very first draft was having the main girls as grade school kids, maybe forth grade or so.
But I figured, I don't have the mind set of kids that young, so I figured teenagers.
From what my parents say, I still act like a teenager, which can be a bad thing, but for my story, it's a good thing.
Did you have to do any research while writing this story?
A little bit.
I had original drafts that involved going to occult shops (I might use that in the next book) so I had to look at what occult shops look like. Ditto with Tattoo Parlors.
I guess it would be better if I physically went to these things.

I knew I wanted to use time travel, so I had to look up the rules of time travel, some of which Back to the Future does not mention.

I had to look up info about a Pentagram (I hope I researched it correctly, otherwise I'm screwed).

There's also the elements. I know that the horoscopes have some sort of elements in them.
I know a Leo is fire and Sinead's a Leo, so I had her powers somewhat fire-like with the fireballs.
What made you write in 4 different point of views?
Honestly, I don't remember.

All I remember is sitting there and figuring out how it could be done.
I wasn't sure, so I consulted Kathryn Stockett's "The Help" and looked at how she wrote her story in 3 point of views. Totally helpful.
Did you mean to write this in first person?
Actually, no.
The first draft I did where the girls are little, was in third person.
I wanted to see what it would be like to write in first.
Not as easy as I thought.
While being in third person, you can move around the world like God and you will know what happened to someone from state to state. While in first person, you're in just the one character's mind.
Like real life, unless you're being told what happened, you won't know. Unless you're a mind reader, but even then, you wouldn't know what happened to someone in another state unless you're being told by phone or whatever.
How did you come up with the spells?
It wasn't easy.

I had to think about what message I wanted to send to the readers.
Obviously, with the one about the girls summoning their mom, I knew I wanted to state her name somehow.

And of course there's rhyming.

“Guardians of the Spirit realm hear and guide our plea
When the witching hour rings true, bring our mother to see
Other souls who hear our call are not welcome in this place
Only the one known as Sally Putnam may enter our sacred space.”

For this, I knew I wanted to have it so the Putnams and Delias had to be friends and of course there's the aspects of the elements.

“These are the words of the witch’s coven
And the gifts you have been given
That holds the greatest of elements
Passed down from your descendants
The powers of the witches rise
We will witness before our very eyes
When the most unlikely become friends
The greater the power transcends.”
How did you come up with the characters?
I created a "Character Profile Sheet"
It changed, some were lengthy and some short.
The short ones involved the basics:

Full Name: Sinead Delia
Nickname: N/A
Married/Children: No
Age: 17
Address: 261 Kingsport Dr, Schaumburg, IL
Occupation: Hot Topic Cashier
School: Schaumburg High School
Earliest Memory: watch parents argue and dad hit mom
Personality Traits: courageous, ambitious, rude, enthusiastic, decisive, ill-will, sometimes arrogant, sometimes uncaring
Greatest Achievement: have powers to help accomplish some of her goals, have an awesome boyfriend she cares about
Color Hair/Eyes: (Dyed) black hair/brown eyes
Build/Weight/Height: average/ 130 lbs/ 5” 3’
Religious Beliefs: Christian/ Wiccan
Fears: Loss of powers
Biggest Secret: She’s a witch
Favorite Color: Black and red
Favorite Type of Movie: Horror mostly and anything with Goth people or witches
Favorite Food: Italian and Japanese
Strongest Personal Relationship: Goth friends, sometimes her sister, eventually Putnam’s
Weakest Personal Relationship: at first everyone, except for her friends
Powers: Sensing/ Pyrokinesis/ molecular combustion/ and telepathy
Likes/School: Art/ History/ and Anatomy
Dislikes/School: P.E.
Books: by Tolstoy, Dante, Byron, Poe, and Stephen King
Movies: The Crow, Beetlejuice, Addams Family, The Craft, Practical Magic, Interview with a Vampire, anything horror
Clothes: Dark, Corsets, Chokers, Piercing, Tattoos, Crucifix
Birthday/Element: July 28, 1989—Leo—Fire (Salamander)
Likes/Art: Medieval
Dislikes/Art: Graffiti
Likes/Music: Evanescence, The Cult, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Seether, Rock, Metal
Dislike/Music: Pop, Country, Rap, Oldies
Favorite TV Show: Buffy, Charmed, South Park
Hang Out At: Alton Museum of History and Art, Woodfield (mall)
Shop At: Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters, Spencers, Hollister, Best Buy, Illuminations
Dating: Alex David
Goals: Be an artist or a director or doctor; pull a prank (pretend to be possessed by the devil)
Think of When Characterizing: Nancy (The Craft)
Hobbies/Interest: pyrotechnics, drawing, filming movies with friends
Favorite Witchcraft Thing: Using her powers, voodoo dolls
Quirks/Mannerisms: swear too much, running tongue ring against top of her teeth
Allergies/Diseases: depression
Idea in a Potential Lover: personality, passion, common interest, sense of humor, respect, honesty, loyalty
Treasured Possession: Wicca stuff
Strengths: doesn’t care what people think about her
Weaknesses: gets mad easily, alcohol, drugs, depression, disorganized
Significant Characteristics: tongue stud and triquetra on heart

The other talks about the type of car she drives, her blood type (which is very significant to the next story), if there are any opportunities she missed, if she can swim, her physicality like her race, how she walks, if she has piercings, type of laugh, her personality.

Questions responding with "why".
Example:
Can the character keep a secret: Depends
Why: Depends on who the teller is and what the secret is

And it goes on and on. But I find that very effective.
How do you outline your story?
I don't have one specific outline, but my recent favorite is on EXCEL

Each chapter is color coordinated by character's POV.
Faith is Yellow
Veronica is Orange
Skyler is Pink
Sinead is Blue

One column says:
Chapter:
one
two

Another says:
Date:
4/3/2006. Monday

Another
Character:
Faith
Sinead

Another
Scene Name(s)
Cemetery
Nightmare
The Shed

Another
Day/Night
Day
Night
Night

Word Count:
However many words are in that scene

POV is however many chapters each girl's total.
Faith: 5
Veronica: 4
Skyler: 4
Sinead: 3

I try to equal it out as much as I can.

And finally Notes to self
Add more magic

I'm not able to do it correctly on here, so I'd like to think that description works, if not, I'm sorry, but I don't know how else to explain it.
Published 2014-05-26.
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