When I was little, there was only one thing I wanted to be: a superhero. Then I realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and my super weakness for anything bright and shiny meant a magpie with self-control could easily defeat me in a battle of wills.
What was a superhero in training to do?
I turned to writing young adult, urban fantasy, and romance as a way to sharpen my mental super-hero skills, and as a way to bide my time until I can hone my klutzy nature into a superpower. I don’t get to orbit the earth in a space station (and thank God, because I get sick on merry go round), but I do get to say things like: “Stand aside! This is a job for Writing Girl!!”
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
For the last two years, human Aponi Runningbear has been training to be part of Grime, the magical police division tasked with protecting humanity from SOAP terrorists. But things aren’t going well. She’s barely keeping up with her studies, failing the physical component, and her Generalized Anxiety Disorder is making her bad days even worse. When her team is given the chance to find a missing coworker and stop SOAP from producing a DNA-altering drug that’s killing humans, Aponi grabs hold of the chance to show she’s meant for Grime. But as the investigation heats up, she’s forced to deal with the tormentor from her past, dead bodies, and the certainty that SOAP’s going to win this battle. Humanity’s dying, Grime’s in trouble, and she’s failing…does a foster kid really have what it takes to save the world and herself?
It’s the second novel in the True Grime series…Aponi’s looking for a place to belong, a spot to call home. I work with a lot of adults & teens who are looking for that same thing, and they definitely inspired the tone and texture of the story.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other?
I use both. When I’m writing down the ideas and doodling, I use paper and pen, but when the outline is done & it’s time to write, then I hit the computer because I can type faster than I can write.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?
My style’s become more eclectic. I’m writing everything from inspirational to spicy comedies, to YA. When I first started out, it was straight romance. Plus, when I first began, if I could do two pages in a day, I was proud of myself. Today, it’s got to be at least five before I call it a day…
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
Ack. I’ve become HORRIBLE at reading for fun. I find it very hard to disengage the student side of my writing brain and just read for reading’s sake. If I don’t like the voice, character or plot, I put the book down. These days, for reading to be fun, it also has to inspire my writing side.
What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?
It wasn’t the strangest question but it was an alarming statement. I once had a parent tell me they liked the premise of my stories but couldn’t buy them because their son wouldn’t read stories with female leads, and I admit, I was stunned by this.
The person obviously loved their child but I found it astonishing that they would blithely go along with this…I mean, let’s face it, if their kid had said, “Forget it, Mom/Dad, I won’t read any stories with black leads,” I’m sure the parent’s reaction would have been vastly different.
It’s sad to me that in 2012, women are still considered so The Other that readers (and certain agents/editors/publishers) won’t take the story if it’s a girl lead…but on the other side, it’s exactly why I write strong, female leads. I like funny, smart, courageous women—heck, I see them every time I step out my door. Why wouldn’t I write and celebrate their lives?
What is your favorite junk food vice?
Oi. Rice Krispy squares.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
I’m exceedingly fond of rubbing the furry bellies of my two dogs and two cats, and cuddling in with them and my husband for a night of television watching.
We all have our little things when it comes to reading, is there anything that bugs you when you read a novel? What is it?
I can handle a lot of things, but inconsistent characters—women who are supposed to be strong but sound shrill, men who are supposed to be alphas but are abusive—take the cheese out of my sandwiches. I can’t stand poorly written characters.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why?
I have to listen to my music with headphones, because I find I get very into one song and will listen to it over and over…which is great if you live alone, but (as the police explained) is considered a form of torture when your husband is home. :P
Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason?
This is from my dedication page:
I knew a girl in junior high who was a foster kid. She had this amazing ability to smile and chat and make you laugh, while at the same time, keeping you at arm’s length because she wasn’t sure you’d be there when morning came…with her history of being shuttled from one school to the next, heck, she wasn’t sure she’d be there when morning came.
One day, I came to school and she was gone.
I never saw her again.
I think about her often and wonder where life took her and how she’s doing. I hope she’s doing well—I hope she’s doing more than well. I hope she’s doing fantastic and in her adult life, she’s been able to find the happiness she searched for in childhood.
Angel Maker by Natasha Deen
Genre: Urban-Fantasy, YA,
Publisher: Blueberry Hill Press
Paperback (302 pages)
For the last two years, human Aponi Runningbear has been training to be part of Grime, the magical police division tasked with protecting humanity from SOAP terrorists. But things aren't going well. She's barely keeping up with her studies, failing the physical component, and her Generalized Anxiety Disorder is making her bad days even worse. When her team is given the chance to find a missing coworker and stop SOAP from producing a DNA-altering drug that's killing humans, Aponi grabs hold of the chance to show she's meant for Grime. But as the investigation heats up, she's forced to deal with the tormentor from her past, dead bodies, and the certainty that SOAP's going to win this battle. Humanity's dying, Grime's in trouble, and she's failing...does a foster kid really have what it takes to save the world and herself?
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