Natasha F. Betts is the author of Tasha’ s Magic Pine Tree: here is a link to her website:
Q: What is Tasha’ s Magic Pine Tree about?
A: It is semi autobiographical in the basic fact that when I was growing up Ilived next door to my grandad’s house in Nesbit, MS . He built a tree house in his front yard for my brother an I . The vivid memories of my childhood came through when I was writing because I believe in being true to yourself and emobroidering your past and present is a great way to layer a story without having to deal with writers fog or block. I rememeber the majesty of the tree and how I looked forward to climbing to the top and just letting my imagination run wild. Tasha’s Magic Pine tree is about a girl who goes out to the front yard to find that the old pine tree has been struck and hollowed out after a lightning storm and she looks up into the bottom crawlspace of the tree to discover zero gravity like you would find in space. She starts floating into the inner universe where their are other planets. I guess to sum it up its about space and time travel. This is book one in what will be a series of compilation short stories to be bound as a volume.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
A: I wanted to let my memories of that time in the tree house in my grandad’s yard shine through the storytelling. I fond memories of time spent thinking in the tree house.
Q: What do you like about Amazon self publishing?
A: I love publishing on the Kindle platform with Amazon foremost because its free and yet you get to set your royalty share and price per. Country for your books. The fact that you can becoome a global bookseller in a couple off clicks after putting in tax information for the IRS is just a simple one time process once your account is established your good to upload your book in Pdf or docx format.(there are other formats but I mostly use the aforementioned.
Q: What would you change about it?
A: I would make changes to cover creator which let’s you chose one of there covers or upload your own photo. The only complaint I have is that it won’t print the Title of your book across your photo that you upload yourself. So if you have a photo you want to use you have to figure out how to fit your title on the picture before upload. I usually end up using cover creator.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your writing?
A: I work in securtiy in a guard booth before that I worked in healthcare where I was constantly burned out. I usually just work weekends and if no trucks come through with freight I pick up my phone and open documents in my google drive app and write until me shift ends. I usually work alone so the only noise is the music from the computer. My employer doesn’t have a problem because if there aren’t any trucks flowing the the gates I have a lot of free time to pass. It is has been good for me because I get to work and still hone my craft and still do my job. I still get to meet people as opposed to when I used to isolate myself from people to write which wasn’t good for my creativity.
Q: Who are some of your writing influences?
A: I read a lot of Beverly Cleary growing up. I also look to JK Rowling’s story of how she struggled before breaking through with her writing. I also enjoyed the classic writers Poe, Hemmingway, Faulkner, Eudora Welty. I am not necessarily a fan of horror , but I enjoy the storytelling of Stephen King how he can take a story about nothing and go from simple to complex .
Q: Who are some of your favorite ebook authors?
A: L.T. Vargus and Chris Baine wrote a fresh take on Zombies .I am not usually into zombies, but when you start to read The Scattered and the Dead you don’t realize that its going to turn into a zombie story. Just for the sake of full disclosure I met L.T. Vargus (female writer) through twitter and read her and Chris Baine’s work from there .I also like Rayne Hall, Chris Keane, and romance novelist Kimberly blalock and the Bella saga is excellent writing and marketing. She is not writing your usual novella stuff.
Q: What is the most effective thing you have done to promote your book?
A: I would think scoring this interview with you tops my prior achievement of having a sucessful book signing at the local library. I have advertised on facebook and have tweeted and shared promotions on Twitter as well.
Q: What is the worst piece of advice anyone has ever given you about writing?
A: I have had some people say they I should be writng about was popular at the moment instead of coming up with my own original concepts in order to sell books or that I should have a longer word count. I feel that wordsmithing just for the sake of word count can sometimes take away from quality storytelling. Quantity of words does not necessarily mean quality book. I try to explain that while making profit from books would be great be its hard for people who do not write to understand the joy I get and the creative release.
Q: What is the best reason for a child to escape into the world of Tasha’s Magic Pine Tree?
A: I would have to say because when I was growing up space shuttle launches were still a big deal and use to be nationally televised before we got all of these cable channels and technology which has taken our mind off of space. Children need to return back to innocence through the imagination and escape to distant planets and that is what books were for me growing up in Mississippi . Through discovery of dreaming and reading you can travel anywhere and create your own world.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.