Wife of a workaholic, perfectionist, amusing and altogether too sexy husband. Mother of three, and let me tell you this is not easy seeing as they are seventeen, fifteen, and eleven. Not to mention, the owner of a large, occasionally ill-mannered Rottweiler called Caine, lastly, I am an indie author.
Born in New Zealand, I moved to Australia the year I turned eight. Growing up with a younger brother and two loving parents, it wasn't long before I realized my love of reading, creative writing, all things rock 'n' roll, concerts, ripped jeans and vintage heavy metal T-shirts.
With the support of my family, I was able to make one of my dreams come true by publishing the first book in the Devil's Spawn MC series, Burnt, in early 2015. Now, with seven books wrapping up the Devil's Spawn series, a further seven in the Vengeance MC series, and two others, the Patricks' Brothers and Forever After novella series well under way, I'm looking forward to my next project. Which knowing me, isn't too far away.
And, on with the interview...
ME: What is your favorite childhood book?
NATASHA: There’s a Hippopotamus on my roof.
ME: What is the first book that made you cry?
NATASHA: Show the Fire ~ Susan Fanetti.
ME: Is writing your primary 'job' or do you have another source of income?
NATASHA: This is my primary source of income. I couldn’t think of a better job in the world.
ME: Do people around you know you write romance/erotica and what do they think about it?
NATASHA: Absolutely. The reactions are mixed, but most of the time, it’s positive. People are inquisitive by nature so I get a lot of questions about exactly what I write and how dirty it is.
ME: Do you believe in writer’s block? If not why not? And if so what suggestions do you have to start the juices flowing again.
NATASHA: Yes and no. For me it’s not about the ideas not flowing, it’s more like I have to be in the mood to write. With 3 kids, 2 of which have special needs, there are endless doctors appointments, school interviews, and chauffeuring, which can be extremely draining. By the time I get home and can sit down to focus on writing, sometimes all I want to do is take a rock star nap.
ME: Sounds exhausting. You're a hero mum though. So let's talk about your writing process for a bit. Are you a plotter or fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer?
NATASHA: Pantser 100%. I like to see where my characters take me, not limit their voice by sticking to a preconceived plan.
ME: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
NATASHA: I use multiple different tools for research but I’ve found the most effective can be simply having conversations with people who are in or have been in the situations my characters are. That said, I do thorough research on places, names, and geographical markers before beginning a book. It can take up to 2-3 weeks depending on the length of book, hence the detail contained in it, but usually, for me research takes place simultaneously while I’m writing.
ME: Would you rather write standalones, standalones with connections to your other works, or multi book series with no true conclusion until the very end?
NATASHA: I’m a big one for writing standalones, but I do love to interconnect my series in some way, no matter how small that connection may be.
ME: Where do your story ideas come from?
NATASHA: This is probably the hardest question I could have been asked because the answer isn’t one a lot of people like ;) … A very small part of my inspiration comes from my real life experiences, however, the majority of my ideas quite literally appear out of thin air. Funnily enough, usually while I’m in the shower which can prove challenging since the only surface to write notes on is the steamed up glass.
ME: LOL, I think you need a waterproof voice recorder. Do you ever base your characters, events or locations on real people, events or places?
NATASHA: Characters' personalities, yes, but otherwise, no. When it comes to events and locations that’s harder to answer, though. Yes, I have mentioned events such as the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July, but not often.
When it comes to places, I do set the book in a particular state of the US and mention landmarks, major cities and towns, but I have also invented locations as well. I have to say it can be a lot easier when a place is fictional, not real.
ME: Is there a character in one of your books loosely based off yourself?
NATASHA: Not really, but I do put a little piece of my personality into each of my leading females because I just can’t help myself.
ME: What process do you use for selecting the names of your characters?
NATASHA: A lot of the time their names just fit the storyline building in my head, but on the odd occasion, I have to assess their physical attributes and personalities before finding one that fits them.
ME: Who has been your most difficult character to write so far?
NATASHA: Most definitely, Adelyn from Captive - book 4 in the Devil’s Spawn MC series. Her situation and the trials and tribulations she’s been through are the most like my own, so not only was it hard to give that a voice, but I desperately wanted to make sure I did the book and her justice.
ME: Have you ever killed off someone who pissed you off in one of your books?
NATASHA: Oh God, all the time. That’s one of the main reasons I love writing MC romance.
ME: What was your hardest scene to write?
NATASHA: Sex scenes. All of the sex scenes. I’ve been nominated for awards for them but I always struggle with breaking the act down into all its moving parts and dissecting it clinically. A lot of people don’t know this, but it’s not as easy as you think to successfully write about something as intimate as sex. You can’t simply say tab A goes into slot B, magic happens and you’re done; there’s a lot more to it than that.
ME: Does writing energize or exhaust you, and why?
NATASHA: The majority of the time I find it exciting and all-consuming, which energises me beyond belief, but then I get to the end of writing a book and all I want to do is sleep for a month.
ME: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal, and why?
NATASHA: A Tiger. I like to be solitary while I write, I’m intensely focused, and I love a challenge.
ME: I love tigers, so majestic and graceful. Time for a little advice to the budding novelists out there. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
NATASHA: Don’t be so critical of yourself. Not everything has to be perfect the first time around or the tenth, in fact, it may not ever be perfect. And...there is no way to please everyone who reads one of your books, so don’t be disenchanted if you receive unfavourable comments or reviews.
ME: What are common traps for aspiring writers?
NATASHA: Reading reviews, not understanding the importance of social media and self-promotion, and not doing enough research as to what is already out there in the marketplace.
ME: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
NATASHA: A good quality laptop. My logo - because branding is everything. Table space at events, and the awesome swag to take to them.
ME: Thanks so much Natasha, looking forward to seeing you at RTC2018!