Today, I want to introduce you to another one of my fellow Creativia authors, Natalie J Case. Hello, Natalie, and welcome to my blog.
So, let’s get started by telling us about your latest work? When will it be released and what is the title?
My next release is coming out on February 10th. It is a contemporary fantasy titled Through Shade and Shadow.
What is the story about?
The story takes place in the United States, circa 2015 and as it opens a serial killer is caught and discovered to be a Shade, a sort of paranormal being that have a few similarities to vampires. The discovery plays into the already contentious political scene and sets the country on the path to civil war.
Who is the main character?
There are two in this first book. Mason Jerah is just turning eighteen as the story opens, and he lives with his grandmother hidden away in the north California mountains. He is a Shade himself, raised away from society by his grandmother who was afraid of being discovered.
Alaric Lambrecht is the second. He’s a little older, living in a suburb of Sacramento when we meet him. He is an empath, part of a tribe of people with various psychic gifts. His father works for the local city government, and Alaric works as his aide.
What inspired this tale?
That’s a good question. Sometimes I really can’t chase down the inspiration. I’m a collector of characters and ideas and sometimes they just all mush together in my head until a story pops out. I do know it started with the idea of the Shades. It’s well known I’m a lover of vampire lore and I love playing with traditional vampire lore and exploring the origins or the myths before twisting them into something new. That’s where the idea of Shades began.
Of course, they don’t really resemble vampires anymore. But that’s part of creating something new!
How did the story come to you?
It started with characters this time. The first was Mason, because he was my Shade. He’s changed a good amount since I first started fleshing out the idea. Alaric was next, with the intent of the relationship that would develop between them.
The basic idea of the story came with having those two characters as a foundation. It helps that the actual political climate around me mirrored what I had already started to create in the book.
Did you have to research for this novel and if so, why?
I had to do a fair amount of geographical research. The locations were challenging, trying to find the right geographical features to fit the story. Over the course of writing, some of the places changed multiple times to get it right.
Do you relate to your character?
I relate to Alaric a lot. As an empath, it can be difficult for him to be in large crowds, a problem I relate to very much. I’m agoraphobic, and fairly sensitive to the emotions of others. The two combined can make crowds a nightmare for me.
With Mason, I relate to his naiveté. I wasn’t quite as sheltered as he was, but I wasn’t very world-wise when I was 18 and I think his desire to do the right thing is a part of what makes me who I am.
Is your protagonist anything like you personally?
Neither of them are a lot like me. I’m sure they have elements of my personality in some ways, but the similarities are small. In the second book of the series we will meet a couple of characters that are a lot more like me. I think in Alaric and Mason I was exploring beyond myself. The protagonist in my first book, Forever was in many ways a mirror of who I am. I wanted this book and these characters to be something I hadn’t done before.
What made you write this character; what made them important to you or made you want to tell their story?
The story in a lot of ways echoes the current political climate, with a spreading sense of xenophobia aimed at those who are “different” and in Mason, I can climb into that “different” in a way a middle class, white woman can’t in the real world. I think that’s an important thing to do, to find a way to see ourselves from that perspective.
Mason is a young man just coming into adulthood in that world and he finds himself the target of unjustified hatred. How he reacts leads us into the story.
Is there anything specific you want readers to know about this piece of work?
This is the first in a series of at least three books. It focuses on Alaric and Mason and the start of the conflict the other books will explore. As the story progresses we will meet other Shades, Shapeshifters, psychics and even magic users. It’s a diverse cast in other ways as well.
Checking on Amazon, I see your book is already available for purchase. Just click on the book cover to read an excerpt or to buy your copy today.
Okay, let’s learn more about you, as a writer Who is Natalie J Case?
Hi, I’m Natalie, I’m a Virgo and I like bonfires and beaches and good books.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always told stories, ever since I can remember. My love of reading began before I could actually read, and I think writing my own stories was a natural extension of that. I don’t think I realized it was actually possible until I discovered the universe of science fiction and fantasy.
What is your favorite book you have written and why
Forever will always hold a special place in my heart. It started as a short story when I was sixteen, and I put a lot of myself into it. Amara, the main character and the voice of the story, lived inside me for years.
I am very proud of Through Shade and Shadow though too.
When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge?
I like creative pursuits. I’m a semi-pro photographer, I crochet and knit, and I like to cook/bake. I try to also make sure I get some exercise, particularly when I’m hitting walls with writing. I am also very capable of sitting on the couch mainlining entire seasons of television shows on Netflix.
Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house?
As a Creativia author, I get the best of both worlds, I think. I write what I want, what I like and would want to read. But all by myself, I kind of suck at self-promotion. I’m working at getting better at it, but as part of my agoraphobia I sometimes have trouble getting past my anxiety and the roadblocks my brain puts in place. For example, I really want to have a book release party for Through Shade and Shadow, but actually talking to a coffee house or book store to make it happen has so far proven to be beyond my ability to do.
Do you read books within the genres you write?
Not while I’m writing in that genre. I don’t want to accidently borrow from someone else without realizing it. Currently, I’m writing contemporary fantasy/paranormal thriller, and I’m mostly reading hard science fiction and non-fiction.
Besides being an author, do you have a second job?.
Yeah, and in my second job I’m an author. LOL. Actually, I’m a technical writer for a software company in San Francisco. It’s a great job and I love my company and my coworkers.
What do you enjoy most about being an author?.
I think it keeps me sane, to be honest. Brain, my muse, rolls out images and characters and words at a breakneck pace. If I couldn’t capture some of it on paper, I think she’d drive me out of my mind…or maybe she already has because I’ve named her and talk to her?
Anyway, I love creating new worlds and painting them with believable characters that make people think, feel, react. Even if no one were ever to read a word of it, I write to make me happy and that means that as long as I’m writing, life is pretty awesome.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me. So, how can your readers connect with you?
Blog / website: http://nataliejcase.com
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/nataliejcase