Welcome everyone! Come on in to my home by the sea. *Totally in my imagination!* While it might be a little crowded in here, it is cozy with friends. Today I have my Canadian partner in crime, Natasha Bennett. She's wonderfully witty and has been patient with me when I've e-mail her and said, "Dude! I don't know what's wrong with my website! HELP!!!" Then we discover it's something dumb that I did. LOL
RR-What's you favorite read & series?
NB-I really did like the Dragonlance series when I was a kid. I also was a fan of the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King, but some of the books were kind of a let-down, so it’s not exactly my favourite anymore.
LOL You'd get along great with my husband!
RR-What/who got you reading?
NB-Can’t remember. The very first book I can recall reading, and liking, was a Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I read that in sixth grade.
RR-You’re a web designer so it’s safe to say you’re a multi-layered creative person. What’s the hardest part, for you, when it comes to weaving your stories?
NB-A year or two ago it used to be writing descriptive language, although that has improved over time. I think it is still difficult for me to write transition scenes, because they can be boring sometimes.
Aaagggg, transition scenes can give you nightmares!
RR-Too organized Plotter or Maniac Panster?NB-It’s really somewhere in between. Usually a few general story ideas will form in my head. A few days later I normally take a walk to the store or somewhere like that, and even more story ideas will develop along the way.
I picture Canada too cold to walk anywhere at anytime of year! Of course, I've had people say that about Massachusetts. :)
Walking and opening your mind to your surroundings is a wonderful way to get your creative juices flowing. I did it last night with the cretins. (kids)
RR-Is there anything we all would be shocked to know about you?
NB-Wow, good question! When I was a kid, I was as dorky as someone could possibly be--frizzy hair, crooked teeth, glasses, asthma, and a stutter (yep the bullies sure loved me those years). And, I loved every single piece of science fiction and horror I could get my hands on. People might read this and think that I’m some girl hiding in a cave with a laptop. But at the same time, I’ve done a lot of physical activity over the years, gone travelling, partying, clubbing, and I’ve made a lot of friends along the way. In other words, I’m still a dork, but I’m a very social and active dork. When I have less things to do (which isn’t going to happen anytime soon) I would love to spend more time doing community or volunteer work.
I don't think you were/are a dork at all. Heck, you'd fit right in with my dorky friends--Lorettajo.
RR-How about being a gamer. How did that come about and what’s your favorite one?
NB-I always loved playing video games, ever since I was a kid. There are loads of great ones out there, but my all-time personal favourite is a game called ‘Condemned Criminal Origins’. It had some really great elements of horror in it not easily found in video games, such as one scene in an empty department store. The player turns around, and there is suddenly a row of mannequins behind him. He turns around again, and there is another row suddenly in front of him, blocking him. Definitely a freaky game!
Creepy! My husband, Mark, is a huge gamer and collects old game systems. Me? I get mad and throw the controllers. Pretty much I'm banned from everything except WII bowling. ;)
Red & sexy or Black & mysterious?
Red & sexy or Black & mysterious?
Can I take the plain and obvious option? No? Okay, then, black and mysterious.
Wine with cheese or Beer with TV?
Cheese with ciders. And TV.
Paperback or ebooks?
As much as I like ebooks, I would love to see my books in paperback, someday. That is really a dream for me.
Independent kitty cat or adoring lovable dog?
I’ve grown up with both over the years. While I would like to have a dog, most apartments won’t let me have one, so it’s usually adoring loving kitties.
Great cook or master at ordering take out?
I am a master at take-out! Actually, I tend to buy the same meals (usually pasta) every single week. I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t driven my boyfriend crazy. Still, I just got a slowcooker and I’ll figure out how to use it…eventually.
I have some great recipes since that's the only thing I can cook good with. Let me know what you like!
Back to Work
RR-Are you insanely organized or are there notes written on everything?
NB-I think it’s safe to say I’m about 70% organized. When it comes to my day job, I have to remember so many details that writing things down is a necessity. When it comes to writing however, most of that is in my head. I might write down a scene or two in my notebook and refer back to it later.
The only thing running through my head right now, "Wow, that girl has a lot of storage in her brain!"
RR-What's the biggest misconception people have about you & your writing?
NB-I think the biggest shock I gave one of my reviewers was that I didn’t give my characters a happy ending in one of my books. Really, I think having an element of horror gives my characters a lot more freedom to work with. The best character interactions can come from the most horrible of circumstances.
RR-Do you ever get so overwhelmed you want to quit?
NB-A few years ago I was juggling too many jobs at one point, and I did have to stop pursuing web design as a serious career choice. In order to retake it I would have to probably spend around eight thousand dollars on programs and courses.
I still feel overwhelmed occasionally, but it is incredibly rare that I would ever consider quitting writing. I only tried to do that once in my lifetime and that didn’t work too well. Fortunately.
RR-What part of writing makes you want to pull your hair out and scream like a banshee? NB-Unfortunately there are many times when I can’t control my creative energy and it comes out, usually in situations where I can’t sit down and write. So, for example, I might be standing in a crowded room, and a thousand story ideas suddenly decide to try and crash in my head. It can be a little distracting. And of course, there are days when I want to write, but I suffer a huge writer’s block and I come up blank. I’m sure every writer goes through this from time to time.
Finally, there are also the times when I do have the creative vibe, I do have time to sit down and write…but I don’t have a pen or notebook anywhere. That is the worst out of the three!
RR-What's the pet-peeve that makes you want to beat something?
NB-Eh, generally I’m a pretty forgiving person when it comes to pet-peeves.
Really? There must be something. You're stories are too dark for you to not have anything. Hhmmm...come on readers! We need to come up with something!
RR-You’re novels have had some wonderful reviews, what was the moment like when you realized, “Yes! I’m a published author!”
NB-That probably happened right after having my first novel published. It was a great feeling, especially since I had a story acceptance about ten minutes later. However, just because I’m published does not mean the workload gets any easier. If anything, it gets harder, because now I have to worry about editing and marketing!
Love editing...marketing is rough.
RR-Any advice for aspiring writers?
NB-Be patient. You’re not going to the best writer in the universe from day one. It takes a lot of practice, along with great ideas. Also, be prepared to deal with harsh critique. It happens to every writer, and you can sometimes gain some valuable insight from those reviews.
Now, a little teaser for Natasha Bennett's latest book.
The past will destroy the future.
The new spaceship Vigilant is in bad shape. Although plagued by constant malfunctions and no supplies, the ship's captain, Renolds Osirus, has reason to celebrate. They have located the survivors of the first Vigilant...and have discovered a way to destroy the enemy Soulites.
But to use it, Renolds might have to sacrifice the lives of his crew.
At the same time, the program in Marcus Collingway's mind is breaking down, letting his dark side loose to reveal buried secrets. As his two personalities clash, his answers might lie with Elizabeth Dawson. But his troubled love for her might not survive the changes he's going through -- or what's happening to her.
Thank you so much for being here, Natasha. It's always fun catching up with you. Join me next week when Rachel Brimble stops in to play.
Have a Sparkling Day!