Author Natasja Eby
Natasja is a new author for us. She joined in the fun of doing an author interview from a promotion we did. Judging by her picture and her bio, she has fun with life. Personally, I’m inspired by her writing space and her cup.
Natasja is a librarian and the self-published author of My Best Friend’s Brother/The Summer I Turned into a Girl (2012), a 2011 National Novel Writing Month winner, Knockout Girl (2018), and Standup Guy (2019). She is an avid fan and participant of NaNoWriMo and has completed several novels over the past few Novembers. Her newest novel, My Brother’s Best Friend/Learning to Sing Like a Girl was published in June 2019.
In 2019, Natasja received two Indie Original awards for Knockout Girl, one for Best New Author and the other for Best Young Adult Novel.
When she’s not working on her many unfinished novels, she can be found playing video games with her husband and two kids, singing, or curled up with a good book.
Natasja lives just outside of Toronto – close enough for good shopping and far enough to avoid the traffic.
Let’s get right into the question, shall we?
Interview conducted by Sherry Terry
TNR: What drew you to write young adult novels?
Natasja: To be honest, that’s what I enjoy reading the most. I find YA has the most dynamic mix of casts, coming of age stories, and epic storylines. There’s a little something for everyone, even if you haven’t been a young adult yourself in quite a while.
TNR: How long on average does it take you to write a young adult book?
Natasja: It used to take me forever (years) to finish a book, but I’ve narrowed down my method, and now I can write a good book in a month or two. The shortest time it ever took me to write a YA novel was 12 days.
TNR: Wow! 12 days is impressive. It still takes me years to get a story the way it should be given to the world. Let me ask you. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Natasja: Write! There is really no better advice than this. To be a writer, you have to write. Write a little every morning if that’ll help get your creative juices going for the rest of the day.
TNR: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Natasja: My characters are fully formed in my mind before I start writing. I would even say they are the story. But they still learn and grow as the story progresses and sometimes they even surprise me!
TNR: That’s a good idea. I do a basic profile for them and let them all fly. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Natasja: As a librarian, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that covers play a huge role in the buying (and borrowing) process! Your cover is your first impression, your first introduction to the reader. Want them to flip your book over and read that blurb? Invest in a good cover.
TNR: I agree 100%. The Naked Reviewers do judge a book by its cover. Along with the blurb, the formatting, and the sample writing with the “look inside” feature on Amazon. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Natasja: Have you ever heard that expression “no credit is worse than bad credit”? I feel that way about reviews. Sure, no one likes getting a bad review, but it’s honestly worse to get no reviews. No reviews can signal to buyers that your book wasn’t even worth trying. Also, a bad review can let the author know what they can do differently next time, even if it is a tough pill to swallow. Of course, good reviews are nice to get, too, so if you really enjoyed a book, you should absolutely leave a review for it.
TNR: I agree with leaving a review for sure. And I will add that having all great reviews is suspicious. Every single writer who is published should have a few bad reviews mixed in. Do you read your reviews?
Natasja: I read them, I screenshot them, I share them to my social media, and I take the time to thank whoever left the review (if I’m able to). That’s how much reviews mean to me!
TNR: What do you think of “trailers” for books, and will you create one for your work?
Natasja: I think book trailers are a lot of fun! There are so many good and creative ones out there. Being self-published, I haven’t had the time or resources to devote to making one, but I’d love to someday.
TNR: Yep. I want to do them for my personal books too. Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?
Natasja: I remember my mom reading “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” to me and really loving that story as a kid. To this day, I still have my childhood copy and I read it to my kids and do funny voices.
TNR: Aww. How sweet! What is your favorite way to avoid writing?
Natasja: “Oh, the kids want to play video games with me, I guess I can’t write today!”
TNR: What an awesome review! Thanks for dropping by and giving us a peek into your life.
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