Today I am proud to introduce you to fellow Creativia Author Natalie Case. Natalie Case was born telling stories, or so she says when asked. Words were her first love and she grew up finding new ways to put words together to tell stories. Known to occasionally commit random acts of poetry, Natalie primarily dabbles in worlds where magic exists, where vampires and shape-shifters share page time with gods and demons and characters that are born inside her head find themselves struggling in a world made real through the magic of words.
Refusing to be confined to a single genre, Natalie’s current works in progress span, and sometimes combine, horror, fantasy, sci-fi and more.
Hi Natalie 🙂 Please Introduce us to your Blog. What is it all about? What sorts of posts do you lean towards?
I actually have *several* blogs. I’m a compartmentalizer. I like to organize things. My primary blog today is my author’s blog. I write about writing and reading. I write about my process, my inspiration. I introduce characters from my current work. I am working toward doing book reviews mixed with author interviews, but I haven’t decided exactly what that will look like.
I also have a weight-loss blog that I post to sporadically, documenting my journey from 320 pounds down to wherever I end up, somewhere south of 200 is the plan. Add to that a poetry blog and my general blog that is where I tend to talk about current events, or other things that are weighing on my mind. That’s where you’ll find my thoughts on the political world, religion and other weighty subjects.
What Inspires and stirs your creativity?
Almost anything. I like to people watch, and a lot of my stories begin with a character. Sometimes that character is inspired by a person I know or have seen…sometimes it is an amalgamation of multiple people. I also like “what if” scenarios….given this character in this situation, what would happen if….
As an empath, I am also drawn to emotional scenarios. I like to explore emotion, even the darker emotions. Different people experience emotions differently, which is how two people who live through the same horror can come out completely differently, with different memories of the event, and different feelings about it.
Psychology intrigues me as well, when it comes to characters. I like to explore the psychological responses of different types of characters to stimuli.
This is why my work is largely character driven.
Conversely, what do you find difficult to write about?
I don’t think I really have any topics I would shy away from, I’d just make certain it goes in the right place. You won’t see politics on my author’s blog, unless it’s the politics of the world I am crafting. On My Weight in Words though? Pretty much anything goes.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t difficult subjects, but I believe in delving into the difficult things and figuring out why they are difficult.
What Message, if any, do you hope to Share through your blog/posts?
I hope that any of my blogs present who I am as a person…what I believe and why.
I hope that people see me as a kindness spreading, equality supporting defender of the innocent and vulnerable who knows that she can only change the world by changing herself…someone who gives you permission to exist exactly as you are, but expects you to take responsibility for yourself, what you believe and how you live that belief.
How has your blog helped you as a writer/Indie Author? What things have you learned along the way that you never anticipated?
Something I told myself when I started to blog was that what I wrote there was for me, and that it didn’t matter if no one ever read it. That’s a lesson I learned early in my life. If I write for me, and my work makes me happy, that is what matters. Anyone else enjoying it is just icing on the cake. I don’t get a lot of feedback on any of my blogs, and that’s okay. When I do, I find that it’s mostly people who agree with me, and there’s not a lot to be learned from that, you know?
Tell us about your book(s):
My first book is Forever. It is a story that began when I was only 16 years old. It took me more than 20 years to bring to fruition, and another 10 to find its way into the world. It is the story of a half vampire, and her attempt to reconcile her human half with the monster within.
My second book, Through Shade and Shadow is the first in a series that was originally envisioned as a trilogy, but may end up being more. It is a paranormal thriller, set in America with a political climate not unlike today’s America. It tells the story of four tribes of men with extra-human power and the world that seeks to destroy them.
The next book in that series, In Gathering Shade, is currently with my editor and the third is sitting at just shy of 50K words on my laptop.
What Inspired you to write your book?
It began with the first of the four tribes, the Shades. Anyone who knows me know I love vampire lore, and I always look to find a way to remain true to that lore while also working to make my vampires my own. That’s where Shades started. The political part of the story, well, I didn’t need to look far for that. Of course, when the story first started to be written, more than 5 years ago, the political situation was nothing like what it is today. In fact, that was why I set the story aside back then, it wasn’t realistic. I didn’t think I could make it believable.
Last year I realized that reality had outstripped my fantasy completely, so I pulled it back out.
From what Point of View do you prefer to write? Is there a reason?
That depends on the story. Forever is written in the first person. I felt it necessary to tell Amara’s story in her voice. There is also a lot of me in Amara, so it felt natural.
But Through Shade and Shadow is third person, and that is in part due to the fact that I needed many voices to tell the story. In the course of the series we see the story unfold from the point of view of several of the characters, starting with Mason and Alaric in the first book, and moving into the rest of the cast in the second.
How would you describe your “Voice” or Style of writing?
Hmm…I’m not sure I have any one voice. If you look at Forever, it is a very different style from Through Shade and Shadow. And my short stories all have their own voice, their own style. I think I find a voice that suits the story.
In truth, I often challenge myself to try new voices, new styles. I don’t want to fall into a place where my writing is predictable, yet I still want it to be recognizable as mine.
What genre do you prefer to write or are you truly eclectic?
I tend toward the eclectic. I obviously favor fantasy and I’m working on my sci-fi chops…but I also like to blend genres. I’ve written horror and romance, mystery (which I’m not very good at), sci fi, urban fantasy, paranormal and political pieces. Again, I like to challenge myself.
I don’t see myself dipping my toe back into the romance genre, mostly because it isn’t something I’m interested in reading, and I probably won’t try mystery again. I’m happy to try most anything else.
Do you painstakingly plot out your story; are you a discovery writer or a bit of both? Why?
Hmmm…somewhere in the middle I guess. Most of my stories begin with a character or a scene and I work out the general plot from there, but I don’t sit down and outline the story at any point. It’s more of I have these scenes that I know are where I am going, and I might know how it ends…but the journey is often a mystery to me until the words come out of my fingers.
Which is why I sometimes find pieces I’ve started living in some notebook or file on my computer and I don’t even remember writing them.
The last time I sat down and plotted out an entire story, then tried to write that story, I lost interest two chapters in…because I already knew what happened, so there was no joy in the journey.
Do you have a favourite or least favourite character? And Why?
Yeah, I think I develop favorites. Amara will always have a very big place in my heart. In my current work, I have developed a very devoted love to one of my most difficult characters. She’s a belligerent teenager with a broken past and a sharp tongue and a talent for getting what she wants.
I have a handful of characters that I’ve been holding on to for a long time, and soon I will get to tell their stories, and they are precious to me. But I’ll keep holding on to them until the time is right.
Share an insight or secret about your book(s).
Forever: I had a lot of people correct me when Amara named her daughter Francis, because that is the male version of the name. The truth is Amara wouldn’t care about that. She named the girl for her father, and in her mind Francis was the way that he spelled it, so she would do the same.
TSAS: At one time, I knew how the series ended. Now I’m not so sure.
What do you feel is your best advice to share with other aspiring authors?
Write. Write every day. Write your truth. Write what matters to you. Write the story you want to read.
Don’t be afraid of the editor. Find yourself an editor who doesn’t coddle you. Find a writer’s group that will bleed all over your page. Learn from them. It will make you a better writer.
Would you like to share an excerpt from the book or a poem or two to give readers an idea what you offer?
From the beginning of Forever:
I am comfortable in the dark, when the moon slumbers and clouds dim the stars and the smell of the earth rises in the still air. Perhaps that still moment is the only place I am comfortable. My years have been long and have seen me travel nearly all of this world, often alone. I have given life and dealt death, but I offer no regret. Regret is a waste of effort when justice brings the guilty no peace. I will see justice in the end, I am certain of that, for all that I have done, and all I have not.
So much has gone now and I am ill at ease with the time, the waiting, here at the end of my life. The ancient game is played out and three souls, born together in the lost pages of time are as they were meant to be…but to tell that story, my story, I must go back to the beginning, before I came to be, before any of us had come to be.
It begins near to the birth of time, or man’s keeping of it, when three brothers entered into an unholy bond, bound by blood to the night, trading the daylight for eternal life. The stories tell of their calling, the slaughter of their mortal families, and the beginning of what would be called The Family. The middle brother, a brutish man named Crenoral, chose my mother to be his first bride. She had been a farmer’s wife, and was pregnant, only barely so, when Crenoral came and called her into the night. She followed him, bringing me with her, and leaving behind a mortal family of two sons to mourn her. It was some time after that when I came to be born.
Our existence and all of its dark burden was new to us then. There were no rules to our existence, save for the drinking of blood and the death that rose with each sunrise. The Family was small, those three brothers, their brides and the occasional other whom they adopted along the way. In all there were no more than twelve in my earliest memories, aside from Crenoral and his brothers.
Now lets learn about YOU. If you had to describe yourself to someone who has never met you, what might you say?
My brief bio on my blog says, “An overweight, underpaid, opinionated anomaly with internet access- Pagan, Poet, Photographer, Author, Daughter of Morrigan, Lover of Ravens, Healer, Shaman, Friend” but I don’t think that is all of it anymore.
I am many things. I am me.
If you could meet one person from the past, who might it be and why?
Mary Shelley. She was a woman who managed to write in a time and place when women weren’t embraced as authors and her work is still mesmerizing to this day. I would love to talk to her about her inspiration, about the world she lived in.
When you are NOT writing, what is your favourite pastime?
As I said above, I am many things, and I have many hobbies. I’m a semi-pro photographer and I do craftwork, crochet mostly, but knitting and clay and other fun things. I am a music hound. I love live music and will travel great distances to see bands that I love. And travel itself. I love to just get in the car and go.
Describe Your Dream Getaway Destination. Have you ever been there? What makes this place Irresistible to you?
So many places, for so many different reasons. Currently at the top of my wish list is Rome. I am drawn to history, and Roman history is something that fascinates me.
Do you have a Mantra?
What “Charity” or “Cause” do you feel passionately about & Why?
I have a few that are important to me. The top of that list is Equality. I believe, and will fight for, equality for all, regardless of skin color, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. We all deserve to have the same rights and privileges, the same duty and responsibility without regard to things we cannot change.
Thanks so much for sharing your insights and writing with BnV today Natalie 🙂 I hope readers will pop by your blogs and say hello 🙂