Natasha Troop author of the Lakebridge Cycle book is on today. Two of the four books in the series are out and I’ve read them both along with a teaser that she kindly sent me for the third book.
Lakebridge Spring and Summer are two of my top books read this year. I enjoyed them so much and they have made me a mad crazy Natasha fans. If I could I’d camp out in front of her house waiting for the next book okay that and some woobie cookies that she and Marni make. Ohhhh good stuff the ones with filling are yummeh! Kriss the Cabin Goddess introduced me to her and I must say I am grateful for the new friend and great read that have come my way.
I’m glad Natasha agreed to be on as I love interviews I think it’s a great way to find out about an author and I for one was wanting to hear all about her so here she is Natasha Troop.
Please tell me about yourself
I was born in close proximity to Disneyland, which I believe will come in handy when the Disney Corporation declares the area around Disneyland to be a sovereign nation, I will be a natural citizen of Disneyland and get a lifetime pass to the park. Perhaps I could also work for my homeland as an imagineer. Some time soon after being born, I was removed from my homeland and raised mostly in the San Fernando Valley, more commonly known as “The Valley”. You may live in “a” valley, but you do not live in “The” Valley. We have an accent and everything. My spouse gets very angry at me when my Valley comes out. Speaking of accents, I also lived in New Jersey for four years as a child. Fortunately, I was able to escape before it did any lasting damage. After growing up some, going to colleges and working professionally in the theatre and film industry, I found an amazing spouse, we had children and now live in the Phoenix area of Arizona where I am employed as a high school Theatre Arts teacher who can teach English as well and is occasionally called upon to do so which gives me the opportunity to assign my books as independent reading. Phoenix is also in a valley, sometimes called “The Valley of the Sun” because of its close proximity to the Sun. You may not have known this, but due to an unexplained topographical anomaly, Southern Arizona is actually closer to the Sun than anywhere else in the country. There are a few other parts of the world that suffer as we do and strangely, people keep living in all of them.
Some favorite authors and books –
I have many and I hate to leave any of them out in case they are reading this and feel hurt at the fact that they haven’t been included. My favorite author of all time is Marni L.B. Troop, author of Tir Na n’Og, but I’m married to her so the bias is understandable. My favorite book is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I’m also a fan of the British Modernists such as Woolf and Joyce, Mrs. Dalloway being very influential on my work. I also love Lovecraft and my favorite author when I was young was Stephen King. I could really go on here for a great while and name check books and authors. My B.A. is in Comparative Literature for a reason. I do love reading.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Sandcastle and Other Stories by Justin Bog. The Cabin Goddess was nice enough to gift it to me because she thought I would like it and she was right. The writing is dense and lovely. I look forward to reading more of Bog’s work.
What is your writing routine and work space like?
When I write, I try to produce around 2000 words per session. While I wish I could write every day, I have to find time in between raising kids, working and taking classes for the current degree I’m working on. I prefer to write in a coffee place like Starbucks simply because the atmosphere suits me and there are less distractions than at home. I wish I could say I had the discipline to tune everything out, but, alas, I need to find comfort in coffee and places that sell it.
Have you always written or is this a recent passion for you?
I’ve been writing for around 30 years now. I was an editor on my high school’s literary magazine back in the day and have always felt a calling to make words dance for me.
Most people don’t want/like surgery you however had one recently that you very much wanted. Congrats on the new vagina by they way. How has being transgender affected your writing if at all? Do you view things character view points for example differently having lived as a man and woman?
I wouldn’t say so much wanted as needed the same way one needs to have a tumor removed. But thank you. Life is a whole lot more livable now that mind and body are properly aligned. I’m not sure if being a trans woman has impacted my writing to a great degree. I don’t currently nor do I ever plan on writing trans related fiction. It doesn’t interest me to read and less so to write.
But your last question is much more relevant to my writing because I have lived life on both sides and even though my perspective was never truly male, I know what it is to live as a man and can relate to that experience in my writing. While my experience living as a woman is more limited in time, I know pretty much how different things are for women than they are for men, both in the way we think and the way we are treated by others in the world. I hope that when people read my work, which is intensely character driven, they feel that both the female and male characters read as authentic. But I also hope the moose and Ivy and Mr. Whiskers also read as authentic, and I have no experience as an animal.
What was the inspiration for the Lakebridge series?
I used to have dreams of being a screenwriter and along with some friends, started a production company. Lakebridge was initially the product of a late night brainstorming session with my friends. It was a lot different at that point..much more absurd and less what you might call horror than a dramedy of sorts. I tried for a few years to make it work as a screenplay, but it never quite did. But what I had was a point-by-point outline for Spring that then sat in one of my many notebooks gathering dust. Then I read a few books when I was finishing my B.A. that inspired me to take those notes and write them as a novel. I wrote the first chapter in a weekend and my spouse and my friend and fellow novelist, Becca C. Smith, author of the Riser series, read the chapter and demanded more.
I thank you for the early bit of Autumn I feel super lucky to have read it. You’re writing it a bit different than Spring and Summer why?
Each book in the series is meant to have its own flavor.Summer is more of a work of science fiction horror than Spring, which is what you might call literary horror…or something more akin to psychological horror. Autumn will be more of a work of fantasy horror and Winter will be Gothic horror. Aside from that, I want to surprise my readers a bit more and challenge myself as an author to take risks with this particular work. I may fail spectacularly, but I want to push the boundaries of what I can do with this story. Trust me, what you’ve seen so far is tame compared to where this book is going.
Do you have other stories that you are or plan to work on or are you solely focused on the Lakebridge Cycle right now?
I do. Occasionally my mind travels to the desert of Arizona where the next book will be set, although still within the same universe as Stansbury and Lakebridge. But I’m not going to tell you what it is just yet.
When do we get more Lakebridge?
I have given myself a deadline of March 23, 2013, my birthday next year, to finish the first draft. I hope that it will be in print by the following May.
Last but not least what is your favorite Woobie’s flavor?
It was the caramel brûlée. I say was because we had to close up shop on the cookie company. As good as they were, we were not getting enough orders to pay for all the things that one must to keep a food business going. We’re just going to focus on our books and our kids for the time being.