Today I’m delighted to welcome fellow Carina UK author, Natasha Hardy, to my blog. Natasha’s novel, Water, a thrilling paranormal YA adventure, is due for release on 16th August.
Natasha Hardy began writing when the adventure of her life had turned dark and gloomy, as all adventures must at some point, if they are to be classified as a true adventure. It was in the depths of the winter of her adventure that she found a way, through writing, to escape into the sun.
Like most escapes it turned into an adventure all of its own, where characters have their own problems to solve, albeit far more complex problems involving mythical creatures that aren’t meant to exist, and expect far more than they reasonably should.
Her escapes, for there are many still to come, are sparked by the adventures she has had in the wildly beautiful South African bush, seasoned with the true stories of the explorers who make up her ancestry, and woven through with the intrigue, and sometimes sheer madness, of living in Africa.
She now spends most of her time-happily- in a world of words, and the rest trying to keep up with her part time rock star, full time doctor husband and their two gorgeously mischievous little boys.
Natasha, many thanks for dropping by!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and what you do when you’re not writing?
I was born in Zimbabwe but moved to South Africa when I was two years old with my parents. My twitter profile gives a glimpse – apart from being an author- is “runner, drummer, reader, dreamer, wife and mum for fun and passionate South African”
When I’m not writing I’m normally running after my two little boys and trying to keep up with my very energetic husband. To relax I read, play the drums and spend time with friends and family.
Where did the idea for ‘Water’ come from?
When I was ten years old I went on a camping trip with my two best friends into the Injisuthi mountains. We spent the night in a cave there and discovered these amazing pools of turquoise blue water- as clean and pure and sweet as can be. The concept for Water was sparked from memories of this trip.
How long did it take you to write?
It has taken me three years to write Water.
Is the book stand-alone or part of a series?
It is part of a series.
Can you describe your journey to signing a contract for this your 1st novel?
I initially wrote Water as entertainment for myself, and it took my husband and my sister to push me to send it to literary agents and publishers.
Writing the query letter was really tough, my story seemed insubstantial and odd all squashed up like that.
Then one day – I was waiting for my car tyres to be changed- I happened to come across Carina UK website. I sent my three chapters and query letter through that afternoon and then completely forgot about them. When they asked for the full manuscript I sent it through, and again didn’t think much else would happen and then…
An e-mail popped up in my erratically working inbox – I have a love hate relationship with my pc- from a lovely lady at Carina who wanted to chat to me over the phone.
A little squirm of excitement began only to be quenched as I struggled to get through to her. When I did finally manage to speak to her, she told me she really liked my writing and Carina wanted to sign me as an author.
I tried so hard to sound like an adult but on the inside was simply squealing with amazed delight.
The journey with Carina UK has been really awesome and every phase of the publishing process has been incredible.
What are you currently working on?
On paper -the sequel to Water. In my head, another two or three stories, each of them fighting for attention.
What’s your writing routine? Do you write every day? And what’s your usual daily word count?
I try to write every day- weekends are a bit of a struggle as are school holidays. Word count really depends on whether I have other things to do as well…groceries can be a very irritating distraction, but I suspect my family would revolt if I didn’t buy them.
What is your favourite genre to read and write?
I love beautifully written stories where the characters and their location come richly to life.
Some fun questions.
If you had to choose just one…
It would be a rock song “Fear” by Odium (it’s the sound track for Water too)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Lord of the Rings
Jack Daniels and lime.
Great answers, Natasha. Your description of the mountains and the cave is amazing. Here’s a brief taster of ‘Water.’
Surrender to the power of the water…
Alex knows she is different. She’s plagued by nightmares that feel shockingly real and an intense restlessness she cannot explain. As the long hot summer holidays stretch before her, Alex seeks out adventure in the rugged mountains of Injisuthi. But during a camping trip to the mystic jade pools, Alex meets Merrick, a boy who tells her the shocking truth about herself, and Alex’s nightmare is about to become reality. Because Alex is no ordinary teenager…she is a half-mermaid and her adventures are only just beginning. –
You can find out more about Natasha and her book here: