Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Author's Slambook: Natasha Ngan, author of The Elites

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Author Bio:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Natasha Ngan was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and spent her childhood in both the UK and Malaysia, where the Chinese side of her family is from. She also spent it living in two other worlds - reality, and her imagination. As an only child, books were her best friends, and though she now has real, physical, human friends, books are still every bit as important to her.

Natasha has always (only) wanted to be an author. THE ELITES is her first novel, and she regularly blogs about her experiences of being a debut author. Outside of writing YA fiction, Natasha works as a freelance social media consultant and runs a fashion and photography blog with her boyfriend Callum (www.girlinthelens.com). Follow Natasha at: http://natashangan.com or on Twitter: @girlinthelens
1. What is your favorite color? Red.
2. Favorite food? TOO MANY TO CHOOSE. The list includes - tempura prawns, bangers and mash, my mum's pork belly, chocolate, popcorn and blueberries.
3. Favorite movie of all time? Anything Baz Luhrmann.
4. Favorite song? At the moment I can't stop listening to Treasure by Bruno Mars.
5. Favorite book of all time? The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originated?
I've always loved books and stories. My mum still has some of my early writings - they were suspiciously similar to the books I was enjoying at the time. I have written fiction and non-fiction since young, and some of my jobs have been to do with writing, but it's really been the last few years where characters have just invaded my brain and refuse to leave until I get their stories out on paper.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
At the moment I have three jobs, one of which is writing, so it's a bit crazy trying to find the time to get it done! But I still aim to get each novel done in around 4-5 months. I think it's all about time management really, and forcing yourself to write even when it's the last thing you want to do. I usually get most of my writing done in the evenings, mainly because it's quiet and I feel like I've got enough of everything else done. I'm so easily distracted when I write, so I find it easier to write after I've done things, rather than before, when I can feel them hanging over me!

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
A little bit of both, but more of the just write. Most of my stories start with a core idea - a world, characters, a cool concept I want to explore. Or even just a scene that's flashed into my mind. Then I flesh them out a little, letting them develop in my mind while I'm working on other things, and a plot usually evolves in that time. When I come to write, I tend to just have a few scenes here and there, and then as I write the characters take over and start linking everything up for me. I don't like to outline too much as I like to keep it natural and more adaptable.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
The hardest part to write in The Elites was all the linky stuff - the parts that kept both narratives in line (the book follows two teens from the Elites and two kids from the slums, and their stories intertwine). It came pretty naturally, but trying to make sure everything fit properly across both narratives was more of a structural job, and not as fun or quick to write. The easiest were the action scenes - they play out like a film in my mind, and I just write as quick as I can to get it all down.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Reading, thinking about my writing, running, eating, more eating, seeing friends, walking, exploring. Those sorts of things. I'm easily pleased. If I've got a book in my hands and food in my mouth, I'm one happy girl.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is reality has boring things like forms and taxes.
2. Research is what I'm doing when a story is developing in my mind, and I'm building the world around it.
3. I can write better when I stop worrying about what I'm going to write (which rarely happens).
4. Sleep is an excellent way to dream.
5. A room without a book is lonely -every single room in my house has at least one book in it.
Title: The Elites
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia,
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date Published: September 5, 2013
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’

Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension.

Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.

Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, The Elites is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.
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