Natasha Bennett speaks to The Bandwagon about her writing process.
Natasha Bennett is a Canadian author who lives in the mild climate of Vancouver Island, BC. In her spare time she likes to watch horror movies and help other authors on the road to publishing. She also loves to spend time with her husband, James, and her two cats. When she is not writing, she loves to spend time filming videos or learning how to design video games.
What inspired you to start writing?
My mother was a non-fiction author, so you could say it ran in the family. Ever since I was a kid, writing has been a part of me. I want to write when I hear a good song. I want to write after I see a movie. If I decide not to write, what usually happens is that the creative energy just builds up, and I have the weirdest dreams as a results. And then I want to write again based on what I saw in the dream. It’s a never-ending cycle.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
The one [piece of] advice I would give to authors is to research your publisher. I have seen many fellow authors who have fallen for vanity presses, or they signed a clause in their contract which they regret later. I know it’s really exciting to have your first book published, but this is a crucial step. You can literally sign away the rights to your next book without realizing it. Absolutewrite.com is a great resource for this, or Predators and Editors. Also, your writing will always improve with practice. Your next book will always be better than the one before. Don’t expect your first book to be perfect, even if it is accepted by a publisher.
What do you wish you had known about the publishing process?
I had done a great deal of research beforehand, so I was able to avoid some mistakes such as applying to the vanity presses. Oddly, though, I was under the impression that publishing houses were in general a well-oiled machine. What I didn’t realize though was that every publisher is unique and have their own set of strength of weaknesses. I’ve dealt with publishers that have been completely professional and responsive. Others, not so much. In addition to that, the contracts between different publishers are really night and day in some cases. Some want potential movie rights, others want the first dibs on your next book, others want nothing at all. It’s pretty interesting how the inner workings of a publisher is very different from one another. My best advise is to research them first just to understand what you are getting yourself into.
What are you currently reading?
I host a book review site where I give honest, free reviews on horror books. At the time of this interview, I have just finished reading ‘The House that Death Built’, by Michaelbrent Collings. Typically I read a few e-books a month.
What authors inspire you the most? Which of them would you love to meet?
My answer is a bit of a popular one, but Stephen King really inspired me to write horror. Would I want to meet him? Surprisingly, my answer would be probably not. No doubt Stephen King has been approached by thousands of fans before at dozens of conventions. Rather than spend thirty seconds with someone who will likely forget me in the next minute, I think I would prefer reaching out to new authors who have yet to be established. That would seem more fun, and more real.
D.R.E.X Blackout by Natasha Bennett was published earlier this month by Belfire Press and is a great Halloween read. It’s available to buy now.