Interview & Contest with Natasha Larry

Jen: Our spotlight on YA fiction continues with welcoming Natasha Larry to the blog. Natasha, will you please share a short bio with us?

Natasha: I live in Huntsville, Alabama with my daughter and fiance. I graduated from Tusculum College with a B.A. in History and am working on my teaching certificate. Other than writing, I am a hopeless comic book nerd.

Jen: Tell us about Darwin’s Children and where is can be purchased.

Natasha: The book I am here promoting is Darwin’s Children, published in May of 2011 by Penumbra Publishing. You can find this book on Amazon, at the publisher’s site, Barnes and Noble and SmashWords.

Here is a brief blurb:

Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black 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!

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Natasha: I started writing around the age of eight. I started by turning my favorite books into plays, most notably: Superfudge by Judy Blume. It was performed during recess by my class, so that was pretty cool. My first book was published in 2007 it was a memoir, then of course, my baby Darwin’s Children in 2011.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Natasha: Sharpies, a notebook, coffee and a few comic book action figures. LoL, for some reason, I always write my first draft in sharpie marker. It helps the story flow more easily for some reason.

Jen: Do you struggle with deadlines? How do you deal with the pressure?

Natasha: Oh yeah. I’m probably the most unorganized person you’ve ever met, luckily I have family members to help me organize and keep me in check.

Jen: Would you still write novels even if you didn’t get paid?

Natasha: Now that I’ve found my niche, oh yes.

Jen: What is it about the YA genre that appeals to you?

Natasha: Actually, this is the last genre I’d ever thought I’d be writing in. This series started as an adult series but for some reason I couldn’t make the characters work. When I reduced the age of everyone the stories just spilled out onto the page. I think I like YA because of the excitement that comes with discovery. I think everyone can relate to the teenager that never really leaves our hearts and to trying to find who you are.

Jen: How much influence does the editor have over the story or characters?

Natasha: In my personal experience, the editor fills in holes that the author is not very likely to notice, being to close to the story. My editor didn’t change much of my story, but she did help flesh out two of my characters.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Natasha: Oh, that’s a hard one because I love them all so much. The character I’m most proud of is Haylee Mitchell, I just think she’s so incredibly brave. I think her friendship with Jaycie is very insipiring.

Jen: What five authors or people, past or present, have been important to your writing? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?

Natasha: Well, my writing is more influenced by my family and friends than by authors. But my five favorite are: Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Judy Blume, Chuck Palahniuk, and recently Alexander Hammond. I’ve also been inspired by Jamie Magee and Thomas Amo-two incredible indie authors. I’d probably just want to thank them and ask how they managed to rock out in their writing so much. =)

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?

Natasha: The most interesting comment I’ve gotten so far about this book was from a reader. She told me she had a crush on Allison Young-that made me smile. I think I have a crush on her too =)

Jen: What’s next for you?

Natasha: Well, right now I’m revising the second novel of the Darwin’s Children series entitled: Blood Magic (working title) so that I can hand it in to my editor. I’ve also started a new series I haven’t yet titled, but my muse is the liminal goddess Hectate, and so far its been pretty fun to write. I’m also nearly finished with the fourth novel of Darwin’s Children, not yet titled.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Natasha: My personal website is: www.natashalarry.com; Twitter: @natashalarry
And my blog: www.paranormalwire.blogspot.com

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Natasha: If you could have any super power, what would it be?

  • The prize is 2 ecopies of Darwin’s Children.
  • The contest is open to anyone over the age of 13.
  • You must leave a comment for entry.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to that email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, June 19

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