Greetings, booknerds! I have a special treat for you today: I'm hosting another blog tour! This time it's for Ms. Natasha D. Lane, author of several books, but most recently, "The Pariah Child and the Ever-Giving Stone". I am currently reading the book right now, and will have my review ready on the 22nd, the day of the books official release. But until then, I have an interview for you from the author herself plus all the information you could ever want on the book. Be sure to add this one to your TBR pile!
About the book:
When Sarah was four, she promised her mother she would be a good girl -- a proper young lady in their small country town -- and that she would ignore the creatures who appeared to her and whispered in her ear of things unknown. But like all creatures of myth and legend, they won’t be ignored forever.
Now thirteen, Sarah is attacked by a wolf with poisonous black fur and strange, human-looking eyes. With the help of a few unexpected friends, she manages to survive the attack but soon discovers the creatures have returned. They want Sarah to find a powerful gemstone and bring it to them in Lyrica, their magical homeworld.
Her new friends urge caution, however. There may be more monsters like the black wolf. And the creatures themselves are frightening. Can Sarah trust them? Stuck between reality and imagination, her mother’s wishes and her own desires, Sarah faces an impossible choice – break her promise or do nothing to save a world in peril.
Interview with Natasha:
How do you start writing a story?
Sometimes I start with an outline but, more often than not, I just start writing and see
where the story takes me. This makes editing more of a pain but each story doesn’t come
to me as clearly as others. I guess I’m more of a prancer than a plotter. However, I’ve
noticed the older I’ve become the more plotting/outlining I’ve started doing. My favorite
thing to do is combine the plotter and prancer sides of me. It’s an odd mix but it works for
What part of a story is the hardest for you to write?
The middle! Definitely the middle. It’s the section of a story where so much happens, so it pulls a lot out of me as a writer. It kind of forces me out of the comfort zone I fall into when I’m writing the beginning. Additionally, the middle is usually where the main conflict starts to unfold. Not the easiest scenes to write I’d say.
How do you know when a story is finished?
When every character is where they need to be and each conflict has been settled as best it can, I know a book/series is over. It’s also kind of a feeling. You know when you’ve written that last line because it just feels solid and complete.
If you had to describe your writing style, what words come to mind?
Lengthy and descriptive. I love describing scenery and physical sensations. Sometimes
this love can cause me to write long paragraphs whose portions get cut out in editing. I
don’t necessarily think being long-winded is a bad thing but there’s a time and place. I
also know it’s not necessary to describe everything, so I keep that in mind, too.
How many words do you aim to write in a day? Do you have specific writing days?
Besides the weekend, every day is a writing day for me. I set my week up like that
because you never know when life will happen and you miss a day. I prefer keeping
it open for any sudden changes.
In terms of word count, I aim for 2000 a day in the beginning of a story. Then, near the
end when the story is wrapping up, I cut it down to 1000 a day.
Are you one of those writers who’s immune to writer’s block? If not, what do you do to combat it?
Those people actually exist? I thought they were like unicorns and leprechauns. :)
Like any writer, I get writer’s block. Usually, it’s because I’m stressed. The stress doesn’t
even have to be about writing but I know “the block” is a sign I need to step back and
relax. Once I get my mind cleared over a few days, I come back to the story feeling fresh.
Thanks for your time, Natasha! If you want to check out Natasha's work for yourself, be sure to check out her book on Amazon, follow her on Goodreads, or like her on Facebook. But in case you need more from this talented author right now, I've got her bio all ready for you!
Natasha Lane enjoys reading a wide variety of genres, but fantasy has always been dear to her heart. After a brief stint in romance, Natasha’s returned to fantasy and currently has two works in the making. She plans on releasing her first fantasy novel “The Pariah Child & the Ever-Giving Stone” March 22, 2018.
Natasha hopes one day to be a well known published author, whose writing informs as well as entertains her reader.
Besides being a bookworm, Natasha is a documentary junkie, rom-com addict, health advocate, entrepreneur, and chef (in her own way).
She currently resides in Baltimore, MD. Despite where life may take her, one thing is certain. Natasha will always keep writing.
Hey there, you lovely booknerds! So I participated in a fun little exercise with another author, who's books I will be reviewing and featuring once I read them (hopefully soon). But, in the meantime, he featured a character interview with Rosslyn on his site and in his newsletter! You can check it out here, or just peruse his site as he has a lot of sci-fi and horror books you may find interesting. BUT! I didn't want any of you to miss out on the interview, either. And don't worry, the interview is spoiler free just in case you haven't read any of the books yet (though I'd love it if you did). So here it is! Enjoy and I'd love to hear what you think. Does this interview change your opinion of Rosslyn if you've read the books? And if not, does it make you interested to find out more (I hope it does)?
Hi readers! Today we’re talking to Rosslyn, best friend to Tallis, who is one of the main characters in “The Monster of Selkirk”! Rosslyn, if you wouldn’t mind, can you introduce yourself to people who don’t know you?
That’s a bit weird, isn’t it? Introducing myself… Well, I’m Rosslyn, or Roz, or Rozy to my friends. I live in Kincardine with my mum and pop and my little brother. My mum cooks in the baron’s big house, and my pop’s a proper laborer, and occasional muscle for the taverns when they want a big bloke outside to scare away the no-good piss-artists. Sometimes I go with my pop to work, but most the time I’m with Tallis, getting into trouble.
Sounds like Kincardine’s a lively place--
Oi now, I wouldn’t call it lively. Not like I’d visit the place if I didn’t live there. Kincardine’s a little village beholden to a bigger city. It’s a place for poor sods with barely more than two coppers to rub together. You don’t have that, well, then things can turn from bad to worse right quick. It’s why things like the Bride Block are so popular. You sell a daughter to the highest bidder and get a bit of coin in order to survive.
No, lively isn’t how I’d describe Kincardine. But it’s a decent place if you want to be left alone, forgotten, or ignored by the king and queen. But it’s a muddy piss-hole if you’re hoping to build a life for yourself. That’s why Tallis hates it so much.
I see… Ok, well, in that case, tell us more about your friends.
Well, there’s really just Tallis. I have acquaintances that’re good for one of two things: a good drink or good lay. But Tallis is different. She’s a right proper friend. Always up to try and scam a couple coppers out of the nobs that have too much to begin with, or the sods who won’t know it’s gone. Tallis is always there for you in a pinch, no questions asked.
Funny thing is, first time we met I tried to rob her. Didn’t turn out all that well. Now we’re inseparable. I’m sure that cousin of hers, Donovan, would wish it were otherwise, and Tomas wishes he were as close to Tallis as I am, but that’s tough shite for those two. Donovan is a bit too righteous for my tastes, but he’s grand if you need a big man to wield a big sword on your behalf. And Tomas, well, Tomas is too good for the likes of us, but don’t tell him I said that. He’s too smart and kind for a poor place like Kincardine. Reckon he’s too good for most places in Selkirk, but that boy won’t go anywhere without Tallis, so there’s that.
Well, Tallis sounds like a true friend, if nothing else. Where do you two like to spend time together, and why?
Oi, that’s easy: The Lonely Tavern. Selene has this potent ale she makes there out back. It’ll knock you flat on your arse if you’re not careful. Tallis can’t hold her liquor, so it’s always a sight when she’s had a spot too much. Which usually happens once she’s done dancing for the blokes who stop by. Plus, Selene’s a great lady. She does all she can to help the poor girls in town with no better—or other—options, and you’ve got to respect that. She gave Tallis a job when no one else would, after all.
You mentioned you were here with your family. Care to tell us more about them?
Well, there’s my mum, Akira, and my pop, Tyree, and my little brother Loren. We all live together. My brother Munro is back with our old clan and his… sweetheart. But it’s fine! I can take care of Loren fine by myself. He needs a lot of tending to. It’s why my pop isn’t as steadily employed as my mum, someone needs to stay with Loren at all times. When they’re both busy, I look after him. I’ll always be there to protect him.
You care about Loren a great deal, which is sweet, but what happened to him?
He, uh, he had an accident. We had this run in with a tremp—I mean, one of them feral elves. Anyway, physically, he’s fine. Cutest little boy you ever did see. But his mind… his mind’s just not there. He can’t feed himself or wash himself properly. Doesn’t speak, either. But he remembers faces. He knows his family. He’s glad to have us around.
A feral elf? How scary! What did you do?
Yes, well, I didn’t really do anything. You never need to do anything when those nasty beasts are involved. We were out in the forest and the vile creature surprised us, tried to snatch Loren up and do Wodan knows what to him…. Oi, does it matter? The tremp didn’t take him and the damage’s been done and can’t be undone. Leave it at that.
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. But feral elves… it must be tricky living with a threat like that. Especially as you came from the clans, without the protection of even a poor town like Kincardine. What was that like?
The tremps are bloody awful! What were you expecting? Some noble being who plays a lute with a pair of big ears? Ha! They do have the pointy ears, though. Our elves…. Well, those plonkers like to steal children, and they eat whomever they can get their grubby talons on. I reckon it’s better in the cities, they at least have proper walls.
Places like Kincardine have to use the Clearing every four years to drive the monsters back, and it don’t always work. The clans have no such precautions. We just keep moving and hope for the best. The tremps have been acting strangely lately, though. Well, stranger than usual according to Munro. Like you can feel them getting ready for something.
It’s downright spooky…. But nothing’s worked to get rid of the blighted creatures completely. Not yet, anyway. Oi! Can we talk about something a bit more pleasant? No one likes talking about the evil elves.
Of course! You mentioned your older brother was back with your clan? Is that why you and your parents aren’t back with him? Loren’s accident?
Guess you can say that, but that’s putting it nicely. You see, the Sipsi clans live out in the woods surrounding the towns and cities of Selkirk. Keeps us free of the king, duke, and baron’s pesky laws and the brothers in the monastery who insist we live by no code but Wodan’s—our god. But it makes us vulnerable to the feral elves. We’ve got to keep moving to avoid the monsters or they could wipe out a whole clan.
After Loren’s… accident, we didn’t know the damage that’d been inflicted, not immediately anyway. But when it was clear he wasn’t going to recover, our clan leaders said my mum and pop would need to, well, end his misery. He’d endanger the whole clan’s safety if he couldn’t keep up or know when to keep quiet if danger was about. Instead of killing their baby, my parents decided to leave the clan life and take Loren to a town where proper healers could help us. I could’ve stayed with the clan, but after what happened to Loren on my watch…. I couldn’t leave him again, you understand?
I do, Rosslyn. So, why didn’t your older brother come with you guys?
A girl. Simple as that. Munro fell in love and his lass wouldn’t leave the clan life. So he stayed behind with her. Next question.
Another sore point I see, but ok. What do you miss most about the clans?
That’s easy, too: the freedom. Sipsi clans live by no one’s laws but our own. Sure, our leader’s word must be obeyed when it comes to clan safety, but otherwise you can do as you like. Live as you like, love who you like, marry them or just have a tumble without judgement. You’re completely free to live the life you want, and do what makes you happy. In towns like Kincardine that’s not how people live. It’s awful.
Will you ever go back?
Probably not. Not unless they let Loren come back and they wouldn’t do that. Especially not while the elves are feral and like to eat people. My chances of going back are as good as the tremps getting their minds back. Just won’t happen.
So, what’s next for you and Tallis?
Well, Tallis is hitting a bit of a rough patch. Her pop is a proper bastard and has it in his mind to sell her on the Bride Block. So I’ve been helping her earn coin to avoid that, and her cousin, Donovan, he’s been helping in his own way, too. Reckon we’ll have to get out of Kincardine soon to keep her from being sold like chattel. If that happens, I’ll ask my parents to come with us so we can all start over somewhere else. Donovan seems to want to take his sweetheart away from Kincardine, too, and who knows? Maybe that Tomas lad will decide to give up monastery life and come with us. Either way, we’re aiming to have a proper adventure! If the elves don’t get in the way, that is.
Well, that’s it! Thanks, Rosslyn, for your time!