Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Thank you for having me on your blog, Tina. My name is Natasza Waters. Hello from north of the border. I’m blessed to live on the west coast of British Columbia on a small hobby farm. Before starting on this crazy journey of writing novels, I spent thirty-four years with the Coast Guard. A far cry from romance, but plenty of action and suspense.
What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?
Romantic Suspense is at the top of the list. Military Romance gives me the opportunity to drop in a few plot points from my past life. Every sub-genre is a challenge in the romance world. No matter what you write, the trick is making something old sound new again.
How do you make time to write?
Being retired helps. I’m a night owl and usually write until three in the morning. I have no idea how I managed to pen several books before I left the Guard. I have the utmost respect for writers who still hold a job and manage to pound out 85,000 words while juggling life. Not to mention taking care of a family at the same time.
What are your current projects?
Back in 2011 I wrote my first contemporary novel, mostly as a lark. A sexy little Las Vegas story that a small press picked up. I switched to military romance, which surprisingly ended up as a best seller and award-winner.
Even though I’d heard the paranormal market was saturated, the idea posed a challenge. A new twist on an old trope. And the Vyro Creek series was created. “Arizona Lightning” introduces readers to the characters and the background of the Connelly brothers from Ireland that run the biggest cattle ranch in Arizona. They’re Biological Vrykolakas more commonly known as vampires. Born half human and half immortal. Unlike the Second Bloods, who are created by the process of exsanguination and hate the Biologicals. It’s not your average neck-biter romance. When three young women move to Saguaro Gulch to start a new life and buy a dilapidated ranch next to Vyro Creek, they never expect to be caught in a vampire rebellion. This is more of a saga than a series. Each book will take the readers deeper into the mystery and thickening suspense. The second book in the series “Arizona Thunder” was released on the 18th of August.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Definitely! I haven’t had too many blocks that can’t be overcome by writing a lot of garbage and then turfing the draft. But it gets the wheels greased and the words turning. If I’m seriously stuck, I sit down with the hubs and talk about the plot. He’s a great sounding board. Doesn’t take long before an idea pops out. Nowadays, I think many authors give up writing not because of writer’s block but the other pitfalls like book pirates and the need to spend more time marketing than actually writing. But if you really love the craft, you’ll keep churning out the novels.
How are you publishing your most recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, small press)
I’m an Indie author by choice. I’ve gone the route of small press before, but I find deadlines curb the creative juices. My faithful readers thump the table saying write faster. (Grin) I wish I could, but they know I want to give them a story with depth rather than a transparent tale. Traditional publishing has extremely long turnarounds. I’ll never say never to Trad publishing, but as an Indie, I can create my own timelines.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I have extreme admiration for extroverts. My tendency is to lean toward introvert. Both have benefits. Extroverts do very well at marketing and conferences. As an introvert, I can spend hours behind the keyboard without feeling deprived not seeing a soul for days. For anyone to write a book, you need to experience the world outside of your bubble. Even sitting in a coffee shop watching two people at the next table can cue an idea when you ask “What if?”
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
When perseverance and creativity cross swords a book is born. First step is to write the book. Know your subject matter i.e. if you’re writing a medical thriller, you better know something about the field or readers will call you out. Grow broad shoulders. That first one star review calling your work a pile of dog poop is gonna hurt. But just know that not all books resonate with every reader, especially in the romance world.
Many authors don’t read their reviews. There’s some validity in that, I suppose. But if a reviewer takes the time to actually write their thoughts, and you see several reviews reflecting the same comments, an author may want to take a closer look. On the other hand, readers will often plop a star rating in Goodreads, especially a poor rating, but never explain why. That doesn’t help authors. Finally, and most importantly for a new writer, don’t compare your work to others. You have a voice and it will be different. Don’t be jealous of other author’s work. Strive to make your own manuscript shine. Readers are looking for new and exciting voices to read. Books are the oregano on the pizza of life. There’s no such thing as too many books…or pizza.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
This month if readers sign up for my newsletter, they’ll have a chance to win a Vyro Creek gift pack. https://nataszawaters.com/
Follow me on Amazon https://amzn.to/2EmE93v
Facebook author’s site https://www.facebook.com/Natasza-Waters-311286078885026/
Youtube book trailers https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
For sure! Here’s a snippet from Arizona Thunder.
Facing off with fifty vampires, which equated to one hundred sharp fangs, well…that changed a woman’s priorities forever.
Ari stood behind Connell’s six-foot-six frame and Clara took cover behind Cian. With the moon shining down on the desert plain, Ari could barely see the dark mass of the vamp army. One of them stepped forward, while the other Second Bloods remained at a distance.
Completely out of context, a scene from the third “Lord of the Rings” movie sprinted into her brain. With thousands of snarling, merciless Uruk-hai and Orcs gathered at the gates of Helms Deep with nothing but absolute annihilation on their minds, Ari suddenly understood what a Hobbit felt like.
Clara stood to Ari’s right, her hands clasped in prayer. “Heavenly Father, I am your humble servant. I come before you today in need of hope. I feel helpless. I feel weak. Some say the sky is at its darkest just before the light. I pray this is true, for all seems dark.”
Cian, hearing her voice barely above a whisper, turned and faced Clara. He drew a silver blade from his boot and gently gripped her right wrist.
“I…I can’t. That’s murder.”
His blue eyes gazed down at her while he placed the knife handle in her palm and curled her fingers around the weapon. “If I go down, you fight like hell, angel. Show them no mercy.”
To Ari’s complete amazement, he tenderly brushed a strand of brunette hair from Clara’s cheek. The young woman gave a tentative nod of agreement.
“That’s my girl.”
Ari did a double-take when Cian smiled. He fucking smiled at Clara!
Clara’s small hand gripped his long, thick fingers. “God have mercy on you!”
Ari didn’t have to be a vampire to feel the fear wafting off the woman.
Her words of grace caused Cian’s brow to crease. “I don’t deserve mercy, angel. But I’ll fight to the death to make sure you see another day.”
Easy for him to say, Ari thought. Being stuck in the middle of a vampire war was one thing. Knowing Quinn was free should terrify her, but at the same time Ari’s skin twitched. Like restless leg syndrome, but all over. Anxious. Sweaty. Just plain weird. At first she thought it had something to do with the baby, but she was starting to have her doubts.
A lone vampire strolled up to their circle.
Padraig! Of course. The queen stepped out two paces.
“Greetings, Lady Connelly.”
The queen raised her hand. Ari didn’t know if it was a signal to her family and Romanis, or a motion for Padraig to stuff his greetings.
Claudette’s lush blonde hair was pulled back in a long braid, reaching the sway of her back. “You present yourself with fifty copies, unannounced on my land. Make your explanation brief.”
Padraig stood nearly as tall as the Connelly brothers but nowhere near the same weight class. He was scarecrow thin in his dark leather jacket and pants. “I have a request. One that I believe is in your best interest, and you will endorse.”
The queen’s braid slid up her back a couple inches, which meant her chin lowered, and Ari bet she wasn’t smiling.
“Get to the point, Akáthartos.”
Padraig stepped closer, placing himself ten feet from the queen. The Connelly brothers tensed. Ari squeezed the polished handle of the Colt and did a quick shoulder check. No one in the circle moved a muscle.
The only sign of good faith Claudette showed was resting her arms at her sides, instead of gripping the silver blade that hung at her hip.
In a sarcastic drawl, Padraig said, “Your Majesty. We don’t need to fight. Just give me Ariana and we’ll leave without spilling a drop of your family’s blue blood.”
Like hell she was going anywhere with the scarecrow, beady-eyed bastard.
Cian and his brothers chuckled quietly. She’d forgotten that not just Quinn, but any vampire, could read her mind if they wanted. Ari still sucked ass at veiling her thoughts.
The queen of the Vrykolakas didn’t mince words. “For what purpose?”
Padraig shrugged. A fake smile stretched the pale skin across his elongated jaw. “Beg your pardon, your holiness—”
What a dick! Ari hoped she’d get a chance to blow his ass into dust pellets.
Padraig’s green eyes swerved and met Ari’s. “If my information is correct, that human female is carrying a Biological offspring.” He paused, the edges of his smile withering. “We want her and the return of my child, Ellie.”
Hellfire would have to rain from the sky before they’d allow Ellie near the sadistic jerk. And how the heck did he know Ari was pregnant? Were Second Bloods spying on them?
The queen’s right hand rose and rested on the handle of her blade. “You will get neither, Padraig Lyons. Leave my land.”
“Au contraire, Lady Connelly. You and your reign, are over. If you won’t willingly give me the human, then I’ll take her.”
“Aw, shit,” Connell spouted. “Incoming!”
Arizona Lightning buy links
Amazon US https://amzn.to/3fBlE9t
Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2OCEhhb
Amazon AU https://amzn.to/391xJlI
Amazon Canada https://amzn.to/393ZmdW
Arizona Thunder buy links
Amazon US https://amzn.to/348bTfV
Amazon UK https://amzn.to/3iPn6pR
Amazon AU https://amzn.to/3ay8HeQ
Amazon Canada https://amzn.to/3kTu9j3