Hello Natalia and thank you for visiting The Phil Factor. For my readers who don’t know her, Natalia is the author of the January 2013 release Humanity Revisited. The book is a collection of short stories that capture an important day or a life altering moment in time in the lives of her characters.
PT: Natalia, you’ve published short stories previously in a variety of periodicals, how is publishing a book of your stories different?
NC: The first huge difference is that this is the first thing ever that I self-publish other than my blog. Having no editor or publisher taking care of the details is a little more stressful. Also, when you publish in a magazine, there is a built-in audience. This is the first time I have to attempt to do my own marketing. I am learning a lot, but it is not without its stumbles. I love that this book showcases more of my talent and range than one short story might. It’s been a journey.
PT: You grew up in South America and have moved several times since you came to the States and you travel abroad regularly. Has your experiences living and visiting different parts of the country and world had an influence on your writing?
NC: Absolutely. I think you can only see the culture you live in fully when you see it from the outside. When you are inside and you have not experienced anything else, it’s hard to get what foreigners pick up on immediately. Also, having spent time in different towns and states has given me a good idea of the depth of cultural differences, which serve me well when creating characters and thinking about the setting for my stories. I don’t know what it is, but being on a trip always inspires me. I’m a born voyeur. I love people watching and listening in on random conversations. You can do a lot of that when you travel.
PT: Who would win in a fight, Wonder Woman or Bat Girl?
NC: Wonder woman does not have enough clothes on her body to be comfortable enough to fight. I am surprised she has not had more Janet Jackson moments thus far. I have to go with Bat Girl.
PT: I ask everyone this, if you were to be stranded on a desert island and could choose only four books to read forever, which ones do you choose?
NC: I’d take my favorite book: We Need to Talk About Kevin, and then, I would select the three largest collection of one of each: short stories, famous essays, and cultural and media studies articles, just so I can have a little bit of everything I love.
PT: Of all the characters you’ve created in your stories, which has the most of you in her or him?
NC: Maybe Lexie Townsend. She’s a no-nonsense professional girl with a heart of gold and a lifestyle some people don’t get. She has some growing to do, but she’s someone I’d love to hang out with.
PT: If you could give some advice for other new indie authors from your publishing experience, what would you say?
NC: Make good friends with other authors. Few people in your life could ever come close to understanding what it’s like to write and publish. Other authors will keep you sane and they are a great sounding board for ideas. Writer forums are also a wealth of knowledge but beware the inevitable encounters with trolls who love to hate and preach. Learn your craft. Study up on the publishing world. Give your all to each story, but know when to stop writing the story and just set it free. Take criticism well, but trust your own instinct as well. Enjoy the ride.
PT: In addition to your fiction collection you’ve also published some academic papers. What type of writing do you enjoy more?
NC: Choosing one is like choosing one of your children. They both do different things for me. Writing fiction is like breathing and I don’t even think about it. It happens all the time. People talk to each other in my head. Academic stuff is more methodical, but it challenges a different part of me, and I am forced to research and ground my ideas, which is a great exercise. I wouldn’t want to give up either. But if I had to, I guess I’d give up academic writing, only because I still get to talk about these things in class.
PT: What can fans of your writing look for next?
NC: I will be rel-aunching Humanity Revisited since it was only available on Amazon until now. I will also be publishing my novels soon. In the meantime, read my blog for little bits of me.