Welcome Natasha D. Lane to Introvert Problems! The Baltimore, MD resident enjoys reading a wide variety of genres, but fantasy has always been dear to her heart. After a brief stint in romance, Natasha returned to fantasy with hopes to both entertain and inform readers. Natasha is also a documentary junkie, rom-com addict, and health advocate. Read on to learn about her first fantasy novel THE PARIAH CHILD & THE EVER-GIVING STONE.

1. Congratulations on the upcoming release of THE PARIAH CHILD AND THE EVER-GIVING STONE! Describe your road to publication.

Like many writers, I’ve been writing since I was young. I was first published my junior year in college, but it didn’t really go the way I wanted it to. Initially, I took the traditional route of publication and was rejected by several publishers and agents. Finally, I got accepted by one small publishing house in Washington, except they didn’t want to publish the fantasy novel I had submitted. They wanted me to write for them, but in the romance genre.

Long story short, I published several works with them but never really forgot about my fantasy novel (I had been working on it since middle school). I didn’t mind writing romance but it wasn’t what I wanted. I also didn’t feel like I was getting the support I needed. I learned the hard way that publishing houses do not do your marketing for you! So, after several years of getting nowhere with romance I decided to re-brand and strike out on my own. Now, here I am.

Pariah Child - Final Cover - front cover only - ebook rgb2. What inspired THE PARIAH CHILD AND THE EVER-GIVING STONE?

As a kid, I loved watching movies and would beg my grandmother to take me, even if my brother and cousins weren’t interested. When “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” came out, I was ecstatic. My grandmother took me and I remember sitting in the theater in awe of the story, the characters (Aslan!), and of course, the amazing graphics.

About a year after that I saw the movie “Eragon.” It was a horrible remake of the book, but middle-school me was totally entranced. After leaving the theater, I remember thinking, “I want to write a story like that.” Basically, I wanted to write a story about adventure. Everything else would come second to the feeling of adventure in the story.

3. What are your book’s themes? What voices are you amplifying through your work?

In THE PARIAH CHILD AND THE EVER-GIVING STONE, I express self-acceptance, the significance of founded families, courage (of course), and the power of imagination. In terms of amplified voices, I’d say some of myself is in the story. My main character Sarah is bullied at her school. I was also bullied as a child, so I knew I wanted that concept to be placed in the book. Other characters who are also extensions of myself in one way or another.

I’m the oldest sibling, so I’m usually taking care of others vs. being taken care of. I think that’s why I made the character Alexander as protective as he is. He always has Sarah’s back and takes his protection of her very seriously. Then, there’s Serwa who is this beautiful, black, and natural haired powerful witch. As a kid, I didn’t find a lot of fantasy novels with characters of color, so I wrote my own!
4. What’s next on your TBR?

My TBR list is forever growing. I think the next book I plan on reading is “Life Is Like A Walking Safari” by Jill Paris. I bought it on a kindle discount day and I’m all about inspirational travel stories. If not that, probably “I Am Not Myself These Days” by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.AUthor Photo B&W

5. What’s next for you?

THE PARIAH CHILD AND THE EVER-GIVING STONE can be preordered on February 22, 2018. Follow me on social media or subscribe to my newsletter to get the alert. Also follow this hashtag on Twitter/Instagram: #PCEGS. After this novel is published, I’m going to take a little break to prepare for my second novel. I’m already in the middle of writing it and, if things go the way I want them to, it’ll be finished before the end of February. It’s tentatively titled THE WOMAN IN THE TREE and is an Arthurian legend retelling about how Arthur came to be king. Fingers-crossed!

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Imani Josey

Imani is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating Howard University in Washington, DC, Imani received her Masters from Northwestern University. Sometime during all of that studying, she danced professionally for the Chicago Bulls as a (Luvabulls) cheerleader, and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Read her short story “North” in the forthcoming Hidden Youth anthology, out November 2016 by Crossed Genres.

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