Today I have the amazing Natasha Ngan on my blog. She was kind enough to answer a few questions. Her novel THE MEMORY KEEPERS was a 3 star read for me. I really enjoyed it.
1. Where did you come up with the idea for the Memory Keepers?
I was on holiday with my parents in Seville, Spain, wandering along the river one evening, and I had one of those moments when the world just seems so beautiful that you wish you can capture it and save it somehow to always have to revisit. Then I got thinking – what if technology advanced to a level where this was possible? And suddenly the character of Seven fell into my head, this boy who steals memories to sell on the black market. I kept thinking about the story over the rest of the holiday and wrote the first chapter – which is the same as it is now – while in the airport waiting for our plane home!
2. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just keep writing, and believing! There’s no sure-fire recipe for success when it comes to the publishing industry, so you’ve got to be confident enough in yourself and your writing to keep going no matter the pitfalls. So write what you love and create the stories you want to read! And remember, especially during the long slog of the first draft, all of us writers have those days when the words aren’t coming easily and we feel like we’ll never be able to get it done. I have this feeling more days than not. But that’s part of being an author – caring about the words, caring about the story.
3. What is your ultimate writing goal?
To keep having books published. Of course making the bestseller’s list and having a film deal rank pretty highly too!
4. Who is your favourite character in the Memory Keepers?
It would have to be Seven and Alba, and for similar reasons. They’re very different characters, but what they have in common is that they’re both stuck in a life they don’t want, and, together, they are both brave enough to fight to escape.
5. What was the hardest part of the publishing process?
It’s actually life after publication that’s the difficult part! Before I was published I saw getting a book deal as the end goal – a dream come true. And it was! But the hardest part comes after, with getting subsequent book deals and finding the time and energy to write when you’re trying to promote your current books, do school visits etc, and keep money coming in with a day job or two!
6. What genres do you like to read?
I read all genres! I tend to have phases where I read lots in a single genre, or books that have the same kinds of themes. For example, I recently went on a big crime thriller binge, then moved on to YA historical novels, and I’ve also been reading lots of books set in or inspired by Asian cultures.
7. What are you working on at the moment?
I’m writing a oriental-inspired fantasy novel with a lesbian love story. It’s been so much fun to write as it’s very different from my other books. It will hopefully be the start of a series.
8. Do you have a literary agent? What was your process in obtaining one?
I do have one. Most authors do, at least in the UK, as not many publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts anymore. I got an agent the traditional way, by querying. It was a complete surprise when agents started getting back to me asking to see my full novel in just a day or two! So if you’re planning on querying agents be ready for things to move quickly.