What a way to start off August!!!!! This is so exciting!!!! Molly, my partner in Partners In Crime Tours, is stopping by today to introduce us all to today’s guest as she the tells us about her latest book, and if that isn’t enough, there is a chance to win a copy of her book. So grab a chair, sit and stay a while and let’s chat with Ms. Natasha Deen!!!
The Crimson line of The Wild Rose Press was looking for stories that centered around a jewel. I wanted to do something funny and as a nod to 1984’s Romancing the Stone. So, I took a heroine who, whenever she tries to do anything remotely take charge, has everything go wrong—but who, in the end, always perseveres and gets the job done.
*What kind of research did you do for the book?
I did a lot of internal research (by which I mean, napped a lot and called it work). When I wasn’t “internally meditating and drafting” I talked to police contacts to make sure the story, while a fictional take on police procedure, was still within the realm of possibility. And I touched base with friends who live in Las Vegas to make sure the roads I mentioned (and the casinos) were geographically correct.
*Does you feel that research is important or is the majority of the book based on your thoughts and creativity?
I think research is important—depending on the kind of genre you’re writing. If I’m doing a contemporary (like in Sneakers, Sandals & Stillettoes: Fairy-Tales for the Well-Heeled Princess), then I only need enough information to create a sense of place and time.
But if I’m doing something else—historical or fantasy (like the upcoming True Grime), then I need to spend time making sure my facts are right.
At the end of the day, a book is written for the entertainment of the reader. If my reader is always saying, “Hey, wait a minute, Columbus didn’t sail in 1962,” or “Wait. On page three, she said fairies are immortal, but on page forty-three, she’s saying they can die” then I ruin the experience for that person.
I did my best to make What Happens in Vegas realistic, but I also took a lot of artistic license ( I mean, the chances of anyone ever having a chalet-style home in Vegas are pretty slim).
*Because it is in ebook format….what are your thoughts as a rising author and the new era of publishing? Does you feel that indie authors now have a better chance of recognition via virtual tours and indie publishing?
I think we’re in a very exciting time with publishing. Back in the day (think Jefferson—Thomas, not George), everything was about individual initiative. You’d print off your thoughts, then sell the papers/books yourself. In fact, I read that there were more newspapers during Jefferson’s day than now.
Right now, publishing companies are just trying to survive, which means they have to be ruthless about who they take. So, it’s fantastic for those authors whose writing is a little off the beaten path to have options to create and distribute on their own, and to take advantage of virtual tours.
I like virtual touring. It’s kind on the environment, allows me to stay home, and let’s me reach a wider audience than I would in a brick and mortar bookstore.
*Does you prefer ebook or print?
I like both—print when I’m home, and e-books when I travel.
*Writing in general…do you have a certain spot for writing? Need solace or background noise?
I’m very eclectic in how I work. Usually, I write in my office, with music going. During those times when I really need to listen to my inner voice, though, I shut off the music, and on days when I’m feeling bored (or need to edit) I go into the living room to give myself a change of environment.
*What about interruptions?
I have two dogs, two cats, and my husband also works from home…I don’t call it interruptions, I call it “spontaneous breaks in the day.” I actually get up extra early because I’m never sure what will happen in my day. So, if I give myself a couple of extra hours, then if the day goes sideways then I’m still okay with my schedule.
*Do you have have bouts of writer’s block and how do you handle it?
I’ve found my writer’s block is usually when I’m trying to write and edit at the same time. Writing is writing. You shouldn’t try to edit and polish at the same time that you’re trying to get words on the page. That’s like trying to lay the foundation of your house and at the exact same time, you’re trying to install the decorative curtains. One thing at a time. Write first. Edit later.
When Natasha was little, there was only one thing she wanted to be: a superhero. Unfortunately, being a klutz isn’t a super-power. She turned to writing because it allows her to be anything she wants, including a caped crusader. When not writing, she is an instructor and editor.