My dear friend Natasha sits down and tells us about blackberry ice cream and her love of fantasy and romance.
Where are you originally from?
I am from a small town in Northern California named Nevada City.Tall evergreens, rolling mountains and fresh air, it’s my favorite place to visit. I used to walk down the road from my house and go blackberry picking for blackberry ice cream in the summer. Mmmmm.
What inspired you to become a writer?
Other writers are my inspiration. There is nothing more magical than being transported into another person’s life. I love experiencing another time and circumstance. It still amazes me how joy, fear or passion, are easily transferred from prose. I have always enjoyed writing, but my inspiration has come from authors and writers who force me to forget the laundry, making dinner or doing my work just to read one more chapter. I strive to do that for my own readers.
How did you decide on your book's genre?
I absolutely love reading fantasy & romance. In the last ten years or so, the young adult genre has created a huge following. I love reading all of the above, so it was natural for me to combine them, when creating my new series.
What is/are your favorite genre(s)?
Growing up, I was never without a book. I am an only child, so they were the perfect companion. I’ve gone through different phases, as a young child my parents read The Hobbit to me in bed. Some of my favorite book related memories are begging my mom and dad to keep reading. Then as a teen I discovered classic romance novels by Austen, Bronte and Fitzgerald. When I moved out of my childhood home, I couldn’t put down fantasy and sci-fi novels. Now it has progressed into young adult and middle grade fantasy. I can’t turn down a good urban fantasy that has great character development, action and romance.
Are you currently reading anything?
Because I am a busy mother, writer and web/design contractor, I haven’t had the opportunity to start a book for myself recently, but I am in the middle of reading one of the Sister’s Grimm books to my kids. It’s a fun, and imaginative middle grade book, which entices imaginative minds.
Who or what is the driving force that keeps you going?
The excitement for my story keeps me moving. I love my characters and their world, so my passion for them is what keeps me writing.
How do you balance your personal life with your writing career?
I wish I could say I was a full time writer, but I’m not. The reality is, I’m a busy mother, vice-president of the PTA, a web developer and designer. These elements keep me very occupied, but I try to carve out time in my days to write. While I write this interview, I am waiting for some muffins to finish in the oven for my daughter, who is home sick. It is a tricky balance, but I do my best.
Tell us about your book.
Fledgling is the first book in a series called, The Shapeshifter Chronicles. It is a young adult urban fantasy or I suppose it can be classified as a paranormal romance as well.
Set apart from other eighteen year olds, Ana Hughes knows she is different. A life threatening heart condition smothers her future and she yearns to feel normal. Her hopes are pinned on a fresh start in a remote town far from her native Colorado. Among the locker filled hallways in Clark Bend High, Ana keeps to the shadows, not wanting to draw attention to her violet tinged lips and wilted silhouette. And she almost succeeds, until she meets Chance Morgan.
Struggling to keep up appearances, she soon suspects Chance is hiding something as well. His animal-like senses, miraculous healing ability and peculiar reaction to her Thunderbird necklace compels Ana to question if there’s more to the stories about his Navajo ancestry. Without any other explanation, she fears he is playing tricks on her. But the truth may prove too much for Ana’s delicate heart…
How do you create your characters?
My own daughter inspired this books lead protagonist, Ana. My daughter was born with heart defects and my characters were created with that in mind. I think readers relate better to people who are imperfect. Creating a multi-faceted character is important when you want the reader to care about who is on the page. It is a fun challenge that I enjoy.
Do you have any upcoming events or book promotions?
I recently added a lost chapter to my website- www.theshapeshifterchronicles.com for readers who have downloaded my book from Amazon. There is a special code at the back of the book, which unlocks the chapter, The Prom.
Where can people find you and your work on the web?
I currently have it listed on Amazon
Natasha as always you are a wonderful person to work with and I Thank You so much for being here with us!