Natasha Hoar is the author of The Stubborn Dead, a Carina Press release that knocked my socks off. I loved the pacing, the suspense, and the protagonist, so when Natasha agreed to drop by and chat for a while, I was geeked. Check out what she has to say about her urban fantasy series.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less:
[Natasha Hoar] A cartoon loving tea-aholic that writes whooey-whooey fiction.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about The Stubborn Dead?
[Natasha Hoar] The Stubborn Dead is a novella that centers around rescue medium Rachel Miller’s race to save a man trapped in the form of a violent wraith.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Natasha Hoar] They were developed during a short story course presented by RWA Online. I had been reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and ‘The girl without hands’ triggered an idea. That original idea became Rachel’s back story. I honestly don’t recall the minutiae of how I came up with the final product – it was a fairly organic process that happened during the various stages of the course (read – I’m a pantser/plotter hybrid).
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?
[Natasha Hoar] Combining just the right amount of pacing, detail, and back story, given the word count. (I know, I know – I was pretty skimpy on back story, but it was for the greater good, I promise!)
[Manga Maniac Café] What’s up next for Rachel? Can you share a little about her next adventure?
[Natasha Hoar] As Rachel begins helping Kit to master his rodach abilities Vancouver is besieged by a soul-devouring creature called a reaper. If taking out the reaper wasn’t challenging enough, she has to protect an enigmatic man named Luke whom the reaper seems intent on snacking on and she is also threatened by a shade necromancer.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are the three things Rachel would never have in her purse?
[Natasha Hoar] Rachel doesn’t carry a purse. She’s like Kate Beckett in Castle, or Olivia Dunham in Fringe, who somehow manage to get away with only carrying a wallet (and a weapon). Let’s just say the only time I’ve seen Rachel come close to a purse in a story idea was when she was invited to a gala, and she had a tiny clutch that basically held her debit card, driver’s licenses, medical aid info, lip gloss/lipstick, and maybe some mascara. Anything else – forgetaboutit!
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you enjoy most about urban fantasy? Why do you read them and what prompted you to try writing your own?
[Natasha Hoar] I’ve been a fan of fantasy as a whole for as long as I can remember. I enjoy being able to find characters and experiences I can relate to in stories with fantastic elements – after all, we all laugh, cry, hurt, desire, change and hopefully love.
Regarding why I tried to write an urban fantasy, it just sort of happened! *laugh* I had been trying to piece together a paranormal romance novel when I started the RWAO course. I decided to start with a fresh story for the course, but I didn’t want to stray too far from the paranormal genre. It just so happened that the story I wound up with turned out to be an urban fantasy.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Natasha Hoar] Another tough question! I’m influenced by things that I enjoy, and things that make me feel something. If a show, movie or story is enjoyable, I try and figure out what exactly made me think that. Likewise, if a program, news report, or even someone’s actions inspires a significant emotion in me, I want to know why, and how they did it. All these things, I feel, are important to good story telling.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Natasha Hoar] My iPod, free access to (Tetley orange pekoe or Numi honeybush) tea and a comfortable chair!
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Natasha Hoar] It’s simply not possible to pick a book, so I’ll give credit to a person, instead. My dad read to my sister and I from the time we were old enough to sit up by ourselves, and that habit naturally encouraged a love of reading and a love of stories.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Natasha Hoar] I read, draw, sleep (I’m a BIG fan of napping. It’s a fantastic way to overcome story ‘speedbumps’). I have three My Little Ponies in various stages of customization that I work on as the mood strikes. Before my desktop computer died on me I thoroughly enjoyed playing DC Universe Online (as a hero. Being a villain was too stressful). I occasionally play a really neat flash-based online multiplayer game called Glitch. (It has fairly addictive game play, so I to try limit my exposure. I have to make time to write, after all!)
[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!
I asked Natasha to share her favorite My Little Pony from her collection. Here’s her favorite customized Pony. I think it’s pretty cool, and I love the doll, too!
Here’s what Natasha had to say about her favorite Pony –
I couldn’t pick a favourite out of my ‘stock’ (original, unmodified) herd, so I took a photo of my favourite customised pony. Pictured is ‘Hoodoo’, by an artist called Morosan. (For anyone familiar with the 80s MLP range, Hoodoo’s base pony is a Tootsie.) She was the very first custom pony I ever bought. I think she’s utterly adorable.
The Stubborn Dead is available now! You can purchase it by clicking the link below: