Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Into the Confessional: Natasha McNeely

Today's trip into the Confessional we have author Natasha McNeely, who is an epic author and a friend of mine! I adore her and was so glad that she sat down to answer some questions for me and take a trip inside the Confessional here at CoaB :)  Also, look out for her guest post coming soon, along with a give away of her book.

1.       You’ve lived in the Netherlands and Germany, have these places had an influence on your writing?
They have had an influence on my writing, but not directly. Living in different countries spurred my love for culture and languages, so I’ve focused on studying both of those more, in and outside of my education. Because of that, culture and different languages often find their way into my writing, so my cast of characters is often diverse and from all over the world.
2.       Making the jump from the USA to the Netherlands at such an early age, what sort of impact did this have on your life? Was it more like an adventure since you were only seven?
To be fair, I don’t remember much about what I thought about it at the time. I do remember that when we moved to the Netherlands, I knew only two words in Dutch. No and grandma; nee and oma, respectively.
Once we were there, I immediately started at a Dutch school without any help of extra courses to improve my language skills. Six months later, I spoke it fluently and aced more Dutch tests than my Dutch classmates! In that respect, moving at such a young age was less of an adventure and more a way to learn things I never would before.
3.       Your first self-published book, A Glimpse of the Dark, is a collection of short stories. Why did you choose to go with this collection as a first publication piece?
I felt that it would be a good way for readers to see a broader variety of the stories I write in a compact and easy-to-read form. I could have started with a full-length novel, but as I am also working on being published traditionally, I want to save any major novels for that.
“Worst” case scenario, they’ll be joining my self-published collection.
4.       From your blog, I see that you have two works currently in progress, can you give us a glimpse into how you get your writing done?
I tend to focus on one project at a time, even if my blog states multiple projects. The Forbidden Series is a series that consists of four novels. The first is finished. Werewolf’s Lair is the first book in The Hunted Trilogy and is currently underway. It is my main project and, once the first book is completed, depending on where my inspiration takes me, I will work on book two of one of the two series.
More on that when I finish Werewolf’s Lair; its deadline is set for August 31st.
5.       Do you have any quirks that somehow find their way into your writing?
Oddly enough, I’ve never considered this question before. Quirks. I tend to run my hand through my hair, or tuck strands of hair behind my ears a lot. Now that I think about it, I’ve been struggling to limit the amount of my characters who do that. It’s a habit of sorts for me. Having long hair just calls for it to happen, especially since I always wear my hair down.
That aside, I have a habit of making my main characters fond of books. I should change that, even if it is a habit that everyone should have.
6.       What are some sources you draw inspiration from for your writing?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Books, music, television shows, movies – even things as simple as snippets of conversations that I catch when I’m walking down the street, or getting groceries.
Music is wonderful as inspiration. The melody and the lyrics paint a picture and we all know that a picture’s worth a thousand words. Video game soundtracks in particular are my favorite songs to listen to while writing. No lyrics. Just the music to guide me through whatever scene I’m writing.
Books talk for themselves. Not only are they a great source of inspiration, but reading also shows writers different ways to write – different perspectives, tenses, and so many other things. The more you read, the more you can write.
7.       Now, for a fun question, if you could meet one historical figure who would it be and what one question would you ask them?
My choice is a bit peculiar, but I would choose to use my question for Amenhotep IV, also known as Akhenaten, former pharaoh of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Ancient Egyptian mythology is easily my favorite mythology that I have studied so far, with so many gods and goddesses, each representing a different aspect of nature and of life. I would ask him: Why did you, in vain, turn Egypt’s religion into monotheism?

I love the old Egyptian religion with all its gods and all its myths. He changed it so there was only one god: Aten. When the pharaoh died, Tutankhaten, his son, changed his name to one we are all more familiar with: Tutankhamun.
This was an act of defiance against the monotheistic religion, rejecting the god Aten and instead restoring power to the old god, Amun, and all other gods. He returned the polytheistic religion to Egypt.

In the end, I want to know what Akhenaten’s thoughts were and what the reasoning behind his decision was.


  1. Thanks for letting me visit your blog! It's an honor to be here.

  2. Great interview. Nice to find out more about you. Do you ever include your Ancient Egyptian knowledge in your writing?

    1. I do intend to, yes. I have two projects that I'll work on sometime in the future, each that have to do with Ancient Egyptian mythology - one of which that will, in part, take place in Ancient Egypt.