Author Insider

Get to know Natasha, what makes her tick, and the inspiration behind her stories.

  • Author Insider,  Making Of,  Revision,  Writing,  Writing Craft

    First Novel Journey – First Chapter Down!

    I’m stoked! Stoked I tell you! This week I finished the first draft of the first chapter of my first novel! I pushed past my inner critic and got it done. I’d been in a bit of a writing funk late summer to early fall when I got a tweet from a reader who had read my story, “The Road to Fjallmark” in Wyngraf Magazine. It was so positive and encouraging and it lit such a fire within me to keep writing. So readers, if you found an author’s work enjoyable, let them know! That positive tweet or message might be just the thing needed to keep them going on…

  • Personal Miscellaneous

    Chicago: A Few Short Impressions

    The past week, my family and I found ourselves fortunate enough to visit Chicago for the first time in our lives. My husband has a relative up there who invited us out, and so myself, my husband, our two kids, and my in-laws flew up. Now, I have a LOT more to say about our trip, but I want to write down a brief overview before I forget. After a short delay due to bad weather at O’Hare, we landed and were met by my husband’s cousin, Lois. She’s an older woman, originally from Kansas, who moved to Chicago 34 years ago to continue her work at Sears in the…

  • Personal Miscellaneous,  Scouting,  Self-Reliance

    Scouting, Preparedness, and Self-Reliance

    I’m not talking about writing today. I’ve been in a bit of a slump, a mix of post-Covid tiredness, burnout, and taking care of my kids 24/7 that has made it difficult to summon any effort towards writing. But I’m not worried. I’ll be working intently on my novel once the school year starts up, and until then I’ll keep up my journaling and writing exercises. Today I want to jot down a few things that have been on my mind lately. A few goals. I’m sure most people would agree that the last few years have been an eye opening experience. I know I’ve lived my life up until…

  • Author Insider,  Making Of,  Websites,  Writing Books,  Writing Resources

    First Novel Journey: Making a Bookmap

    As the novel I’m working on is a middle grade fantasy, I wanted to add to my writer’s library a book about writing for children and adolescents. By far the best book on this I have found is Cheryl Klein’s book The Magic Words. Cheryl Klein is an editor of children’s and YA books as well as an author of children’s picture books. She has an excellent website with a number of resources useful to any writer with an interest in writing for children. One of the most useful concepts in The Magic Words is that of the bookmap. As she says, “a bookmap, in its simplest form, is a…