Wednesday, 18 September 2013

DYSTOPIAN DELIGHTS – DISCUSSIONS, INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS (7)

INTRODUCTION - 
For those of you who don’t know I’ve been planning this special/feature of posts for the month of September all related to or about Dystopian fiction. There were two reasons why i decided to do this: 1) Is that I’m going back to school tomorrow and starting Year Ten, and my timetable is is soooooo full this year that I won’t be able to post as often. Though I’ll try for at least two posts every seven days. 2) It was just an idea I had that I thought would be really fun to get different people (authors, and bloggers) involved.

Even though this took a bit of planning and adjusting it was really fun and I just want to thank everyone who contributed and helped make this possible! :D

Welcome back, to another Dystopian Delights post. I have had the pleasure of interviewing the author of ‘The Elites’ Natasha Ngan! She very kindly answered my questions, so here they are!

Interview with Natasha Ngan
1) Hi Natasha! Unfortunately I haven’t gotten round to reading your book, ‘The Elites’, so can you give me a little overview of the books and what was it like writing it? 
The Elites is a futuristic YA novel set in a city where no one ever enters, and no one leaves. The story follows Silver, one of the privileged Elites – the guard of the city’s leaders – as she does the unthinkable and leaves the city, discovering in turn the secrets it keeps hidden both inside and outside its walls. The Elites was the first novel I’ve ever written, and it was a lot of fun! A lot of hard work too and sleepless nights, but it was amazing to see how naturally and instinctive a story unfolds as you write it, and its characters are very close to my heart.

2) So, I know you run a fashion blog, being an author seems like a pretty big transition, how did you feel when you had finished the first draft?
 It was overwhelming! I think because I’d been going and going, working and working on getting it done, and then suddenly I stopped and it was over, and a million feelings just flooded me – happiness, disbelief, sadness, exhaustion. I was proud too, that I’d finished writing it and I was happy with how it turned out.
 
3) What was your journey to publication like? Was it a relief, or just another step to having your book introduced  to the public? 
 It was a complete whirlwind – it all happened so fast. After the first draft, I had a read through and did a few minor changes then sent out the first three chapters to agents. I was expecting them to take ages to reply, so thought I could edit the book properly in the meantime, but I had an offer of representation the very next day! I then met with a few agents and decided on the wonderful Nicola Barr at Greene & Heaton – she just got my book, and got my writing. Then we polished it up and sent it out to publishers, and a few days later Hot Key put in an offer! I have always wanted to be a published author, so it’s a dream come true. It’s a fantastic feeling, knowing there are people out there who’ve read and enjoyed The Elites.
 
4) Are you planning on writing anymore books, unrelated to ‘The Elites’? 
 I am! My second novel for Hot Key, The Memory Keepers, is out next year. It’s another YA sci-fi/fantasy, this time set in London. In a future where memories are traded as commodities, one boy – Seven – and his unlikely companion Alba discover a memory about him that reveals a past he never knew he had, and together, they try and figure out what it all means before Seven is discovered by those who want his secret for themselves. I’m enjoying writing it so much and can’t wait for readers to meet Seven and Alba. Then after that, I have a YA urban fantasy series, and so many more books I want to write. It’s neverending!
 
5) QUICKFIRE - 
                         Ketchup or Mayonnaise? Ketchup!
                         Rice Krispies or Cherrios? Rise Krispies. It’s like my daily breakfast.
                         Heels or Flats? Flats! (Loses all fashion blogger credentials)
                         Flash-fiction or Poetry? Poetry! I like my stories meaty.
 
6)  Okay, lets talk a little about fashion – what’s your favorite collection, and season? If we’re talking high-end designer, then I love anything by Helmut Lang and Isabel Marant. Since my budget doesn’t really stretch that far though, my high-street favourites would have to be Topshop for clothes and Zara for shoes. 
 
7) Your pictures, on your fashion blog, always look so amazing, can you tell me a bit about who takes them? It’s my boyfriend Callum! He’s an incredible photographer, though he doesn’t do it professionally (I always tell him he should). We set up Girl in the Lens as a creative outlet and project for the two of us, and it’s grown into a little business now. Taking photos with Callum is pretty funny. It usually consists of me failing to pose and him moaning about how stupid I look when I try!
 
8) And, lastly, how do you balance everything? From running a fashion blog, a book blog, ‘The Elites’, and the rest of your life? It’s difficult – having three jobs, two of which (writing and blogging) are more lifestyle choices as they never stop. It takes a lot of dedication and hard-work. I always think though that if you really love something, you’ll put in the effort to make it work. Life is too short not to.

Hope you like them sweetie!

Natasha x

Thank You So Much for that Natasha! It was great hearing/reading your answers!
You can check out Natasha’s book ‘The Elites on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16070141-the-elites?from_search=true

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