Interview and an Excerpt is a weekly feature that explores the process of writing and indie publishing through interviews with self published authors. The aim is to demystify the process for those who are aspiring to become indie publishers themselves. This week’s guest is Natasha Larry.
1.) How long have you been an indie author?
Well, I was first published in 2007 by a vanity press I’d rather not mention, blech. My newest title has been out for about a week now. So, I’ll go with a week =)
2.) How many books have you self published?
Technically, I’m not self-published. I signed with a independent, royalty paying e-publisher. I have a lot of the same challenges as self-published authors have.
3.) Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I actually have no idea what that means. LoL.
4.) Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? Feel free to be as detailed as you like, this stuff is fascinating.
Hmmm, well. Darwin’s Children started with a cup of coffee, a journal, and a daydream. Usually when I write, I sit down and have coffee, and then I set out my action figures (well, my daughter’s, but hey) and my sharpie markers. Then I’ll put on something good on TV, usually Monty Python of the X-men, and start writing. There have to be sharpies…I have no idea why. I know I can’t write on the computer, it makes the process longer than it has to be, but when you have something that works, you stick to it.
5.) What is the best writing advice you’ve ever come across?
Whatever you’re writing about, be passionate, lack of passion is easily detected in readers.
6.) If you were going to mentor a new writer through the publishing process, what pitfalls would you warn them against?
I would not let them go out there without having someone other than the author edit the manuscript. This is my biggest downfall and something I quickly had to get over. You will miss something, in my case, several something’s… Revise more than once. Always.
7.) Are you currently earning a living with your writing?
I do some ghostwriting and freelance, so I do okay. I wouldn’t call it a living, if my fiancé didn’t work, we’d be in the poor house probably, LoL. Still, I’m looking for good opportunities to pop up in the near future.
8.) What are your writing must haves? Music? A quiet table at a coffee shop?
Coffee, ipod, sharpies and my muse.
9.) What tools or software do you use to write?
Good ole Microsoft Word. I’ve also started to utilize goggle docs. Wonderful invention.
10.) What kind of promotion have you tried? What do you find to be the most effective?
Umm, not many as of yet. I use face book and sometimes twitter (I’m still learning twitter). Mostly word of mouth. Next mouth I’m touring with the fantastic Book Loving Bitches, so that’s exciting.
11.) About how long from start to finish did it take you to finish your books? About how many hours a day do you spend writing/editing?
I’ve written four books in the Darwin’s Children series, each took about three weeks. I spend a lot of time editing because I don’t pay any attention to any kind of rules of grammar during the first draft, it’s all about the story. So I spend the bulk of my time re-writing. In terms of daily hours, it ranges from the “in the zone” twelve hour day to the slightly less manic 2-4 hour day.
12.) How much of the process did you do yourself and what did you pay someone else to do?
I didn’t pay anything for the publishing process. I did pay to book my blog tour.
13.) Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Sure, here is a brief blurb:
Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!
Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.
As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of…
Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!
14.) Do you mind sharing a little bit about what you’re working on right now?
Right now I am in my third round of revisions for the second title in my current series. The Working title is Blood Magic, but I don’t think it will stick. I’m also toying around with the idea of starting a new series…my muse is the goddess Hectate, because she rocks.
You can find Natasha online here:
Enjoy this excerpt from Darwin’s Children:
From the other side of the glass, Mason Lerner watched Haylee Mitchell circle the monster like an aerial hunter while Sasha Gray stood like a statue, waiting. The revulsion Haylee felt was visible in the air around her. Mason had to stop himself from going in there and killing the man himself – his perverted and cowardly thoughts were sickening.
Mason watched Haylee’s mouth move. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving. She leaned over the man who’d stolen her very soul and whispered something that filled his face and thoughts with terror. Then silence filled the room. Mason could tell that Haylee had said everything she needed to say. He stuck his head in and met her eyes. There was something there he couldn’t place … something that worried him. “Haylee,” he entreated, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I don’t think…”
Haylee glared him to silence. He already knew she wanted to be there in the room when it happened. He hesitated until he saw the need in her mind. She had to do this her way. It was her battle to fight.
He nodded to Sasha Gray and retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. He watched her move with an unsettling grace, like an undead ballerina preparing for the hunt. Her alien blue eyes flashed with thirst.
Sasha gave Haylee one last questioning look. Haylee nodded, and Sasha went to her victim. It looked as if the vampire was simply giving him an intimate kiss, but Mason could hear her razor-sharp teeth ripping the flesh away from his neck. Mason had deliberately shut himself off from the man’s mind, but he could still see the utter agony in his eyes. Being burned alive by his own daughter would have been a serene death compared to this. Mason knew the pain accompanying a vampire’s bite was so incomprehensible that the living world held no equivalent to it. No one had even given voice to it. It was the physical equivalent to Haylee’s internal pain. Possibly even worse.
The man’s face twisted in agony and, despite his psychic defense, Mason still heard a whisper of the scream inside his head that never escaped his lips. His body offered no relief. The pain was trapped inside. He couldn’t go into shock or pass out. He felt every ounce of his blood being sucked out of him. His organs gave out, one by one, and he quickly went mad from the pain.
The dying man looked up at Haylee smiling down at him sadistically. As his body fell to the floor with a dull thud, he finally understood Haylee’s pain. His body was drained, and his life was over.