What inspired you to write this book?
Great stories, I think, are all about putting a character in an untenable situation, then seeing what happens when you turn up the heat. With Guardian, the situation was simple: Maggie’s being bullied by Serge. Then Serge dies. Problem solved, right?
Well…Maggie can see the dead and now Serge is haunting her. She has a choice: admit she can see his ghost and help him cross over, or be haunted by him forever…problem is, helping him means dealing with him—and it also means dealing with the murderer, who certainly doesn’t want to be caught…oh, and did I mention there’s a third spirit, one that seems to have a vested interest in Maggie and Serge, and if Maggie doesn’t help, she may very well end up on the other side of the veil?
You can view the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBldlLwbLp4
How did you come up with the title?
It’s a nod to some of the things that Maggie and Serge will discover about themselves, each other, and the people around them.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?
Guardian is my sixth or seventh full-length novel. If we count published and unpublished books, then I think I’ve written at least a dozen novels.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Certainly, I had a message in my novel about forgiveness, social justice, and how to best turn your hair into a weapon…but the fun thing about any story is that it’s individual to the reader. I hope readers enjoy the literary ride, I hope they’re love the roller coaster of emotion, the suspense, and mystery, and I hope they walk away with the message that best suits them.
How much of the book is realistic?
A lot of the bullying scenes, the run-ins with teachers, and the relationship with Maggie and her dad have a basis in reality, and were inspired by things that happened to me or people I know.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Serge’s journey was inspired by my grandfather, a man who made mistakes and sought redemption in his grandchildren (the full story can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVafwmzTQ9U). But the actual plot, action, and creepy goings-on of the story were the product of my very active imagination.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Ha! I suspect every writer would answer, “yes!” to that question. I can always think of ways to change my book—an altered word here, a different description there…but truly, I’m satisfied and very proud to have my name on Guardian.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for reading!
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
Everything!! I love the excitement of the new idea, powering through the writing, getting the edits finished, and for sure, I love seeing my book in print!
What is your favourite theme/genre to write?
Really, anything that catches my imagination!
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Gosh, that’s a great question…at this point, I haven’t come across an idea that I had to set down.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished Carrie Mac’s The Way Back and Caroline B. Cooney’s Night School. Both are great reads!
Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely! And I feel really lucky to be one of those fortunate people whose job and passion mesh.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Finally winning the good spot on the couch from the dogs & cats!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Everything! The idea that doesn’t work, all the long nights/days trying to form the idea into a book, edits…writing is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but there’s nothing else I’d rather do.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Every book I’ve ever written, I can’t stand drafts 1-8. Only at the 9th draft do I actually start enjoying the story, and start seeing that the idea on my head is actually coming true on the page.
What book do you wish you had written?
Ha! Too many to mention!
What is your best marketing tip?
When it comes to promotion and marketing, be true to yourself.
What genre is your next project? What is it about?
My next release is Burned, a fast-paced, action-suspense about a girl who sees a corrupt cop slaughter her family, then teams up with a set of outlaw teens in order to get her retribution.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Josie (Jo) Smith’s life went up in smoke. Literally. Everyone and everything she ever loved burned in a fire—one set by a crooked cop. To survive, Jo’s been living under the radar as a homeless kid. For the last two years, she’s been trying to find a way to knock the cop off her hero’s pedestal and put her on the other side of the prison bars. But time’s running out. A gang member’s got his eye on Josie and if she doesn’t get off the streets soon, she’ll be the one brought down. Her salvation and the key to the cop’s undoing seems to lie in a girl urban climber and a privileged rich boy. Trust and teamwork isn’t come easily—in fact, it’s not coming at all—but if Jo can’t find a way to make the team work and find justice for her family, it won’t just burn her. It’ll scorch her.
For interviews, trailers, and juicy tidbits, head to: http://www.natashadeen.com/retribution-burned
How do we find your books, blog and bio?
I’m also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/natasha.deen.9),
& Twitter (@natasha_deen)
Thanks for the interview, Mandy!