Natasja Hellenthal explores new worlds. Isn’t that what writing is all about? I would like to thank her for taking the time to answer five questions for me. This part of my blog delves into just what keeps writers plugging away at their stories. Welcome Natasha.
1 Please tell me something about your past that gave you a clue you might want to write.
I’ve always had a good sense of imagination, but it all started with my dreams. They were very vivid and I started to write them down. I also loved to draw and create magical worlds. All of this was the real start and inspiration of my writing career.
2 Did you ever have a setback that you overcame in the move to become a writer?
Well yes, for my first book ‘The Queen’s Curse’ I’ve only hired 1 editor, thinking very stupidly that he would be able to correct all the grammar and punctuation mistakes. I was new in the self -publishing field and on a budget! So I didn’t check and naturally received a lot of bad reviews because of that. I’ve hired 2 editors and a couple of proof readers since then and they have made the right annotations, so my debut novel has been updated since those first reviews.
Unfortunately the negative reviews are still there, but I’ve received some wonderful positive reviews since then and my initial mistake has been pushed to the background where it belongs!
3 Tell me something warm about someone who supported (or supports) your writing effort?
During all of my writing hours, my partner has stood by me and also helped me edit my second novel, ‘Call Off The Search’ to prevent me from making the same mistake.
Writing is a very lonely job and I do it in complete silence and withdrawal from the world, mainly in the evenings. So not much time for just the two of us, but I do try to limit my writing to 3-4 evenings a week. She also can be critical and asks me questions which is good and it helps me look at a story from a different angle. And of course without her belief in me and constant love, it would be very lonely indeed.
4 Give aspiring Indie writers one piece of advice.
Write and re-write. Always keep on polishing until in your eyes it’s good enough for the rest of the world to see. Send it to editors who can work on the grammar and punctuation and then the beta readers who can give their honest opinion and where needed delete or add a few things to clarify things. Then let it go. It has to be strong enough to be able to stand on its own (with the right genre and tags attached to it for people to find it,crucial!)
5 I am drawn to your writing because you are an incurable romantic and so am I. Why is love so important to you in your writing?
Love is the driving force in many people, if not all. And for me as well. This can be romantic love, but also love for your parents, children or your friends and pets. If I look into my children’s’ eyes my heart overflows. Even things in nature, such as a sunset is such a spiritual moment and at those times I feel a love so intense for all living beings; a love in my heart that just needs to be shared. Because love that is not expressed or self-love is wasted. If you love, you live.
Join Natasja on her blog: natasjahellenthal.wordpress.com