Heather Greenis, author of the sweeping, romantic saga, The Natasha Series, is my guest (and victim) today. So settle on in for a bodice-ripping good time.
*What’s up, Heather? Okay, in a nut-shell, explain The Natasha Series.
Saga, Stuart. Saga. It’s a saga. The four books make up one story. Words that will fit into a nut-shell. Okay. How about Greed. Compassion and Sacrifice. Those fit. If you give me a little wiggle room, try this. ‘Empowerment shatters traditions and lives. Can greed and power overrule compassion and sacrifice? Will Natasha’s dream for her legacy survive an uncertain future?’
*It’s hard to hang a genre on your book, Heather. Romance? Sweeping epic? Tragedy? Maybe even a hint of fantasy (close to science fiction)? I like your kitchen sink approach. I use it, too. But how do you categorize the series?
I don’t try to. It isn’t a romance, but has a romance component to it. The story is a saga. It’s a story that spans generations, following the life of a character and that character’s family. It has elements of time travel, paranormal, but it’s realistic. Hopefully, it makes you chuckle but also has you sitting on the edge of your seat, at least during parts of it.
*True confession time, I’ve only read the first book in your saga, Natasha’s Dream. As a testament to your storytelling, I must say I felt cheated by the ending. I wanted to know what happened next. But I got a cliffhanger for my page-turning efforts! I say, “Guilty!” What say you in your defense?
Woohoo! Gotcha. I’m smiling. I have your attention. You are 1/4 of the way through a book. How many books have you read that reveal all the answers 1/4 of the way into the story? I know, that’s mean, but it’s true. Keep on reading.
*There’s an interesting parallel tale running through the book. There’s Natasha’s past, doomed romance and a current tale regarding Keeghan and her husband, Will. Now, so far, I can’t see the connection between the storylines and it threw me a little. Please tell me all will be explained. No cop-outs allowed (I’m looking at you, TV show “Lost.”).
Patience my friend. Patience. My characters aren’t lost. They know exactly where they are. You the reader is in limbo, but be thankful. All four books have launched. My original readers had to wait 6 months to read book 2 and then they had to wait again. Now that was nasty. Blame my publisher for that one. Eventually, I promise, all questions are answered. People that have read all four enjoyed the ending.
*In my limited understanding of the romance genre, these tales usually end when the two protagonists get together. This didn’t happen here, even though I sorta’ expected it. Yay. It was refreshing they (gasp! Scandalous!) consummated their love midway through the book. I thought where’s Heather gonna’ go from here? But it just became more compelling. So…what IS the most important element of this book to you? The romance? Or are you building to something bigger (which methinks you are)?
They did what? Tsk tsk. The romance is important, but it’s not the end all. That’s why I don’t categorize Natasha Saga as a romance. The story has a moral. We are put on this earth for a reason. Why? Loaded question, I know. I’d like to think we leave this world a slightly better place. Wishful thinking, I admit that. I’d like to leave a bit of a footprint behind. I was here. My characters are attempting to do that in a very small way.
As for the romance, up until joining the ‘museitup family’ I’d never read a romance. No desire to. I have read some since and enjoyed them, but I admit, but it is not my genre of choice. I like something with a bit of grit. Something that makes me think and stays with me. For a break, I like something fun and light. Something that makes me chuckle.
*I found it interesting you never stated a specific time or place for Natasha’s portion of the tale. Now, by the way you cleverly sprinkled clues through-out (an early telephone), I’m guessing the late 1800’s. How off am I (um, be careful how you answer that!)? As far as geographic location? No clue.
Shame on you, Stuart. You missed that? Tsk tsk. Pg 40. Canada’s Confederation. In all honesty, it’s mentioned very briefly. I want readers to have a general time frame but not exact. It isn’t that important. I do not expect readers to research the meeting that took place in Prince Edward Island. As for the location, later in the saga I give some general hints.
*Okay, my favorite part of the book? An extremely suspenseful and well-done sequence near the end (because, well, I like suspense). I was on the edge of the sofa. It takes a lot to dig me out of the sofa. As a dog-lover, it was excruciating. And the way you wrote Goldie (the Donovan’s dog) as a fully defined character makes me believe you’re also a dog lover. Tell me there won’t be any evil cats in the rest of the series.
No cats, promise. I love dogs. I was raised with a dog and hubby and I are on our second dog. Spoiled little fluffball. There is a picture of her on my website. No pic of my hubby. Shows where my priorities are. When people ask, I say it’s because the dog is cute. Will and Keeghan have a dog and the Donovan’s have a dog. I can see critters as a staple in my books. Must have Dogs.
I’m glad you enjoyed that section. There is a scene in the second book that takes a reader by surprise. My editor sent me an email blasting me on the scene and then congratulated me on it. She didn’t see it coming. There is a bit of a nail biter in the third book. I wouldn’t classify the saga as a thriller, but I do enjoy being caught on the edge of my seat as well.
*Heather, fascinatingly, you have the ability to manipulate the outcome of dreams. Wish I did. Mine usually end in pure horror (naked in high school, etc). Tell us a little about that and how if formed your series.
Manipulate the outcome. Not the entire dream. Yes, I can relate to the horror within a dream. There is a reason I don’t sleep in the nude. I would be nude in my dreams. Yikes. The one that worries me is when I’m searching for a place to go pee. God help me if I find someplace decent. I don’t trust mother nature. That would be so disgusting at my age. I’m too old and too young for that.
*I’m curious as to what works inspired your series. Generally, I hate these types of questions, but I am genuinely curious. I smelled some Shakespeare. In a good odiferous way.
Like my character Keeghan, I dream, a lot. I combine anything and everything together. I had a dream about this woman. Natasha. She and Stewart were together, but is wasn’t a mushy romance. My subconscious isn’t that kind to me. Waking, I couldn’t get Natasha and Stewart out of my mind. That’s when my overactive imagination took over. I concocted a story around their lives.The story grew and grew and grew.
Stuart, I can’t tell you that. Well, I could but the I would have to muzzle you. Duct tape. That simply wouldn’t be fair to your friends and family. You are too comical to be kept quiet. Nope. Not going to do it. Keep reading my friend.
*What can we expect in future installments (because I want spoilers)?
Hmmm, let me think. Well, I introduce more characters. The reader will get better, no cross that out, they will become acquainted with different characters from Natasha’s Dream. You will get better insight into Stewart’s character in Natasha’s Diary.
*Hot seat question time (or my “I’m being a jerk of the week question”)! Why in the world is the word “loud” italicized every time?
OMG - I did not know that. I had to go back and search. Not good. That must have been a formatting issue that wasn’t caught. Crap. I remember when I was given my galley. None of my italics worked. I had to go back to my edited version and search for them. Pain in the backside. Obviously, I was so busy searching for the ones that were missing, I did not notice these ones show. That’s almost embarrassing. You are the first person to comment on that. You just earned a new title. Vulture eyes - in for the kill.
*As a 53-year-old male, romance just isn’t my bag. Yet I enjoyed the book, Heather. Please explain to the other 53-year-old males out there reading this (um, not that I have a large 53-year-old male following or anything), why this series is for them.
Pay attention! This SAGA is not a romance, and not a fluff read. It isn’t full of blood and guts, almost none, but isn’t full of mush either. It has messages of family, love and giving. I hope it leave readers feeling they know the family. Some of my better reviews have come from male readers. My husband, who likes a good spy type book really enjoyed it. It’s a good thing. I made the poor guy read it a few times.
There's Heather, lads and lassies. Like her books, a lotta' fun. Go have at her books and read a rip-roarin' yarn.
Buy The Natasha Saga Here!