WHO ARE THE KINDLE ALL-STARS?
A series of 20+ short interviews with the team behind the Kindle All-Stars short story anthology ‘Resistance Front’ posted daily in the run up to its publication.
Please be sure to check any relevant images and links for each individual at the end of their interview.
Today I’m talking with Natasha Whearity
FS: How did you come to hear about the Kindle All-Stars project?
Natasha: I heard about it through my mum’s friend’s mum. She is a friend of Bernard’s and suggested that I give it a shot as it was for a really beneficial cause and my mum knew how fond I was of writing.
FS: What’s your contribution called?
Natasha: The Endgame (cue dramatic music.)
FS: And without giving too much away, what’s it about?
Natasha: It’s about a school shooting. Loads of people have been like ‘WOAH’ when I told them because it’s quite a ‘unique’ subject to base a short story on. My friend Jos even made a big point of asking ‘WHY?’ I would write something about that, but I think it’s a really interesting thing to write about. It’s a very tragic thing for many reasons and I wanted to capture that in this story. Plus, apparently I’m good at writing depressing stories. Not sure why…
FS: What was the main inspiration behind it?
Natasha: I don’t think I could just pin it down to one thing. I’ve never written a short story before this one so I didn’t know what I needed to include. I researched some information and found that twists and hooks were really important. The song ‘I don’t like Mondays’ by The Boomtown Rats (Bob Geldoff is a God in my opinion) was my biggest inspiration. As was my best friend Ellen who introduced me to that song.
FS: Did you write it specifically for the Kindle All-Stars, or was it written prior?
Natasha: I wrote it specifically for the Kindle All Stars.
FS: Obviously the primary goal behind this anthology is to make some money for disadvantaged and abused children. But secondary to that, it is to promote fresh, new writing talent – the punk rock of literature – and show that Indie writers are out there, dedicated and working hard to produce Class-A work.
If people take notice of what you’ve written for this anthology, what do you hope the outcome is of that attention?
Natasha: I love how this is to promote ‘Indie’ writers. That’s so cool. I just hope that people like my writing and everyone else’s because it’s supporting such a worthy cause. I hope that people want to buy more of my work in the future. I’ve always said that my dream in life is to be sitting on a bus or a train whilst I hear people talking about my books and wanting to know what comes next. That would be just plain awesome!
FS: How do you write? Are you a plotter? Do you fly by the seat of your pants? When do you write, and where? I write at night, at the dining table, when the kids are in bed and the place is finally peaceful and quiet. And I work everything out on paper before I sit down to write. What have you found works best for you?
Natasha: Lots of writers have patterns and rituals when they write, but honestly, I just write when I feel like it. There are some days when I can’t think of anything to write. I will literally sit there with a blank document in front of me screaming at myself and my writer’s block and there are other times that I lock myself away in my room for hours on end, even to the point where I consider pulling an all-nighter or missing meals (and everyone knows how much I LOVE food and my sleep.) I tend to write in my room because it’s the only place I can get peace and quiet and be myself. I have a broken chair that I sit in. I should really get a new one but I’m fairly superstitious and I’ve been putting it off for a pretty long time now in case the chair is the source of my writing powers! It has only been recently that I’ve acquired the act of planning, thanks to my English Literature teacher who stressed how important it was in planning essays. Since then, I always plan stuff before I write, even if I just write a rough plot down on a saved text message in my phone. Planning is everything!
FS: How did you find the editing process with Bernard? I found it to be like a smack in the mouth and a pat on the head at the same time, saying “I like this” at one point, to a specific sentence, and then “You need to stay in Active Voice!” the next. I learned a lot, and I think I have a much stronger piece of writing now than I did when I submitted it. What was your personal experience?
Natasha: It was exactly that! Bernard’s been brill. Seriously. I don’t know how you can be both critical and encouraging at the same time, but he manages to do it. And in a good way too!
FS: Is there anyone in particular who’s contributed to the anthology that you’re excited to be included alongside?
Natasha: Honestly, I’m excited to be included alongside everyone in this anthology! I’ve read loads of Kindle All Star’s excerpts and I’m already so excited to read what they’ve written! It’s an honour to just be published full stop.
FS: We know that there will be a KAS 2 at some point. Plans are already afoot. Is there a dream name you’d like to see involved in it the next time around? Me personally, getting published in a book that includes a story by Alan Dean Foster is one of those “Wouldn’t it be great if one day…” things that I can now tick off of the list.
Natasha: Yes, it’s an honour to be published alongside so many talented writers. I would love to appear in an anthology with J.K Rowling or Jodi Picoult as they’re my two favourite authors! I know that would be very unlikely as they’re both pretty famous and all, but that would be…. Well, words can’t describe it!
FS: So when you’re not helping to fight evil, what do you get up to in real life?
Natasha: Helping to fight evil. Love that. I’m a superhero by day too. No, only joking. I love writing and doing school work – as geeky as that sounds. I desperately want to go to Warwick University next year, so I’m hoping all of my hard work will pay off! I love drama and being a drama student, because there’s just something about drama kids that makes us different from everyone else. I love playing guitar too. I love my music – Muse, Led Zep, Van Halen are all phenomenal. Matt Belamy is my God. As are Slash and Bono. I love hanging out with my not quite normal friends because they’re just bonkers and hilarious and they make me laugh. I love watching Friends. That programme is the definition of awesomeness.
FS: Are you working on anything now? Anything you’d like everyone to know about?
Natasha: I’m always working on something – the problem is, I never end up finishing anything! That’s why I loved writing this short story because it was short and intense and it meant that I could focus on five pages and not an entire novel. However, my aim is to write a book about a teenager or multiple teenager’s lives at university as I feel there is an open market for that sort of book and plus it is an experience I will be going through next year! I’ve also always wanted to write a story for children – something of an adventure genre would be fun!
FS: And to your readers – both potential and existing – is there anything you would like to say? They might be reading this months after Resistance Front has landed, wanting to know more about you. What would you like to say to them?
Natasha: Hello! And um, buy this book. And um, I hope you’ll look out for me and other Kindle All Star’s in the future, because you should.
FS: Thats it! Time’s up! Hopefully we’ll the chance for a much more in-depth chat at some point in the near future when KAS is out on sale!