Life is less scary when you have a friend.
I was beyond humbled when over 65 friends and readers came together to attend my official book launch for The Evolved Ones, Awakening.
To say my heart was beating fast would be an understatement, but Alex helped to keep me focused with quick wit and guidance.
A special thanks to Alex Domone who braved the center stage with me as the Moderator of the day. She kept me focused and calm!
Thanks to all those who attended and for helping to make the day unforgettable.
For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a brief excerpt of the questions and answers.
|Alex||So, the women in the trailer we just watched is your main character, Rox. What’s going on with her? [Watch 30-sec trailer here.]|
|Natasha||Well, Rox is a woman in transition. She wakes up 4 years ago without memory and is on a quest to uncover her true identity. She’s on the run from a man she thought she was in love with, a man she considered family. Now she’s out of options. She feels like she’s at the end of the road, and the book starts off with what she feels like is her last option.|
|Alex||Is she based off of someone you know?|
|Natasha||Well, no. She’s completely made up. But I truly hope that everyone can relate to her because she’s a character in transition, and regardless of where we are at in our lives, I think that’s something we all know about. She’s lacking confidence. She’s feeling like a failure because she’s been on the run for 18 months and still hasn’t gotten any closer to finding out who she truly is. She’s broke. Living off of charity and out of garbage bags, so, while I hope none of us can relate to being homeless per se, I think she represents that part of us when things don’t turn out the way we originally planned them to. And we’re left floundering, you know. We’re left searching for the right path forward again. At her heart, she’s a metaphor for transitioning. And for me at the time, it was motherhood. I was adjusting to being a mother of two and failing at it—or at least feeling like I was failing at it. My child wouldn’t sleep, and I was losing my mind, and so I just wrote what I knew, and what I knew was being lost with nowhere to go but forward.|
|Alex||And she’s a healer? Why a healer?|
|Natasha||Good question. I thought long and hard about her ability. Believe it or not I have other manuscripts with main characters who are prototypes of Rox. Their abilities were fire or something aggressive like that, but the more I wrote those manuscripts, and the more I settled into myself and felt comfortable with the story that I wanted to tell, the more I realized that my character wasn’t going to have physical prowess. Her strength was going to have to come from within. I didn’t want her to be strong in combat, I wanted her to be strong in heart. And to me, that’s what a healer is.|
|Alex||I asked you once who your favourite character was, and I was surprised when you told me it wasn’t Rox. So, who is your favourite character?|
|Natasha||Katherine Louise Cheung. Without a doubt. |
Katherine represents the immigrant’s story. I mean, I didn’t write her like that on purpose. But she just came out that way.
Katherine is tough. She’s smart. But what people don’t see, and probably won’t see until Book 2, Sacrifice is that she has a heart of gold. And once you’re on her side, she’ll do anything to protect you. She’s loyal. She’s loving. But you don’t cross her. Because she’ll kill you. She’s no-nonsense like that, and I respect her a lot for it.
|Alex||Shaira! The wolf. Is she evolved?|
|Natasha||Hmm, you know I’ve not decided yet. Her story is so wrapped up into Sam’s story, that sometimes I am like yes, yet others I’m like no. I did a little bit of research with wolves, and they’re really smart animals. I mean, I anthropomorphized her. But I have to say that I was shocked to learn that with the proper training, you could pretty much make a wolf an excellent killing partner.|
|Alex||And that brings us to Sam.|
|Natasha||My poor Sam. More of Sam’s story comes out in Book 2, Sacrifice, but yeah, he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he’s just holding on. |
He’s a good man. An honest man that has had to do some bad things for all the right reasons. Life’s not been easy to him. He was married and his wife and him had tried to have a baby a few times, but they had a series of miscarriages. And then when they had stopped trying she became pregnant. But then she delivered the baby early, and it died after 2 hours and 11 minutes, then shortly after his wife committed suicide, and so he’s just holding on. He’s thought a lot about suicide, but his mother died when he was a teenager and he can’t do that to his father…. So yeah, he’s a bit reckless. Drinks more than he should, but trying to keep it under control. He’s a good guy though… He’s just… tired. Emotionally spent.
|Alex||And I can’t ask you about Sam, and not ask about Josh. We’re first introduced to him as the bad guy. The man she’s running from. But then you quickly give him a back story, and without revealing too much, we realize there’s more to him than what we see from Rox’s point of view.|
|Natasha||Yeah. He loves her. He really does, and that’s why I secretly keep rooting for him. He’s done some awful things to her. He’s made some bad, selfish choices, but he loves her. And I see that. I mean, as the writer, I feel that. He’d sacrifice himself for her. But does that excuse his actions? Does that mean he should get her? I don’t know.|
|Alex||No story’s complete without a villain. Dr Clifford Tusk. Tell us about him.|
|Natasha||It’d be so easy to make Tusk a simple, mad scientist. But in Book 2, Sacrifice, we get to see more of him. |
He’s bad. I don’t think there’s any denying that. I mean after what he does to Rox in Awakening, he’s solidly in the bad-guy camp. But more about him is revealed, and while you don’t have to agree with his choices, you realize that he’s not just two-dimensional. He’s a man about a mission, and it’s up to you, the reader, to decide to what degree you can support his mission.