Sunday 22 June 2008
This week I am very lucky to have author Natasha Rhodes here at Amberkatze's Book blog! Natasha hit the urban paranormal scene with Dante's Girl and the sequel 'Last Angel' is due out in July. Not only has she taken the time to answer some questions but she has also offered a prize! So read through the interview and enter the contest when you get to the bottom!


Amber - First I want to thank you again for supporting Amberkatze's Book Blog and answering the following questions! I hope the experience is a good one ;)

Natasha - Thanks Amber.Fire away!

Amber - I read 'Dante's Girl' way back when it was released and now the second 'Kayla Steele' book is due for release in July. Could you tell us a little bit about Kayla and the series so far?

Natasha - I'll give you the Blurb from Amazon. com.
Imagine this read out loud in a deep, mysterious 'Movie-Preview-Guy'-type voice:

“When Kayla Steel's fiancé, Karrel Dante, is found mauled to death, she thinks it's the end of her world. But when Karrel shockingly returns from the dead, Kayla is stunned to find out that everything she knew about the man she loved was a lie. Part of an underground network of supernatural hit-men, Karrel had secretly dedicated his life to exterminating the dangerous supernatural entities that stalk the streets of Los Angeles. Now Kayla is on a mission to learn the Dark Arts so she can avenge Karrel's death – or die trying."

Amber - What can readers expect from the second book 'The Last Angel'? Of course I know what is in it but maybe there is some little tidbits you don't mind telling my readers?

Natasha - In ‘The Last Angel’, Kayla and the gang face a new threat – foiling a deadly attack on Mankind by none other than Avenging Angels. When an angel is found murdered on the streets of Sunset Boulevard, all hell breaks loose. To the media gossip mongers, it’s the biggest story ever. To the Hunters, an underground network of supernatural hit-men, it’s just another case of ‘whodunnit’. But to others with far more sinister purposes, it is a means to destroy the human race, exploiting an ancient Biblical loophole which calls Warrior Angels to earth to avenge the angels’ murder.
If Kayla is to stop the onset of Armageddon, she must enlist the help of her most hated enemies, the werewolves…

Amber - In 'Dante's Girl' there were vampires and werewolves. In 'The Last Angel', as the title suggests, there is an angel involved.
Why an Angel? Why not something else like Zombies, Elves etc?

Natasha - I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of angels. Almost every religion on earth features angels in some form or guise, so the concept of angels must be fundamentally important to us as a species, which intrigues me a great deal. As a devout Atheist, the idea that we are constantly being watched over by these immortal heavenly beings has always been a little creepy to me - as is the idea that they could somehow ‘intervene’ to save us if our lives are in danger. I mean, do they watch us ALL the time? And if they can really save our lives, why do they choose to save some people, but not others?

This book is aimed at the people who put little cuddly stone cherubs all round their houses and gardens, to remind us that far from being cute and fluffy, angels – in their true biblical sense – are actually quite terrifying. In ‘The Last Angel,’ angels are portrayed as beautiful, powerful, and deadly creatures, endowed with all of God’s wisdom and full knowledge of all future earthly events. They are neither good nor evil, in the same sense as a hydrogen bomb is not inherently evil, until they are put to use. And if one got into the wrong hands…. just imagine what a terrible weapon an angel could be.
I’ll say no more!

Amber - Do you and Kayla have a lot in common?

Natasha - It’s funny you should ask that! People are always asking me if I’m Kayla, or vice-versa. I think that when people write a book, their heroes or heroines become an idealized version of themselves, and by solving their heroes’ problems in the book, writers can often solve their own problems in real-life. Kayla is a lot like me in many ways. For one thing, she’s hopelessly stubborn and idealistic, and she refuses to admit she is wrong, even when she’s ass-deep in vampires. She’s also very loyal and dedicated to the man she loves, and is not afraid to fight for her values and stand up for what she believes is right, come hell or high water.

But on the negative side, she often chooses to run from her problems – whether they be demons, vampires, or even just paying the next rent bill. A big part of Kayla’s growing-up over this series of books will be her learning to stand on her own two feet and fight her own battles, rather than running away or relying on someone else to protect her. I think that’s a struggle we all go through when we hit adulthood, and it’s something we must all learn to do if we are going to survive in the big bad world.

Amber - Where did the idea for the series come from and how much research do you do for your books?

Natasha - The pitch for this series was simply “Patrick Swayze’s ‘Ghost’ – with vampires.” I think that about sums it up. I have always loved this film, as the themes of lost love and revenge are so universal. So when my editor Christian Dunn suggested that I pitch a story based on those kinds of themes, I jumped at the chance.

I do a lot of research for each book, usually far more than I need to, partly because I get so involved with each subject I choose to research, but mainly because it’s such a good way of putting off actually writing the book! Why break a sweat starting a new chapter when it’s far more fun to go down the library and research the reasons why Lucifer was cast out of Heaven, the exact temperature needed to completely destroy a human body, or the muzzle velocity of the Army-issue 1943 Mosin Nagent bolt-action rifle? Hours of entertainment.

Amber - What is next? I hope Kayla will be back (especially with that ending!) any news on the future? Any other projects that you are working on?

Natasha - I’m hoping to write a third Kayla Steele book after this one to wrap up all the storylines from books 1 and 2, and to launch the series in a new and hopefully unexpected direction. Believe me, despite the ending of ‘The Last Angel,’ you ain’t seen the end of Kayla yet! I’ve also just had the pleasure of signing up with my very first literary agent, the wonderful John Jarrold. Right now we’re brainstorming ideas for new books, both based in Kayla’s world and beyond.
So watch this space!

Amber - I know why I left the UK but what is an English gal doing in the States? ;)

Natasha - I came to California four years ago on holiday, and liked it out here so much I decided to stay. The weather is the best thing about LA – where else can you sit on the beach in a bikini in the middle of February? It’s wonderful to be able to wear flip-flops and short skirts eleven months out of the year, and not have to wear an overcoat and six pairs of socks in bed to fight the cold!

I also have a very wonderful boyfriend out here who is now my main reason for staying in LA, despite the US Immigrations’ frequent and usually misguided attempts to kick me out of the country. He’s the bassist in a popular Motley Crue tribute band called ‘True 2 Crue’ (www. true2crue. com). We’ve been dating for over a year now, and he’s the inspiration behind a lot of my writing. :-)

Amber - Are you a full time writer? Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start writing?

Natasha - Right now I’m writing full time, but I don’t recommend it as a career for anyone unless you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for. Making a living as a writer is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I think people have an incredibly romantic vision of the life of a writer. They picture the working author sitting around in French Cafés all day, eating buttery crumpets and sipping fine teas and occasionally adding a line or two to the latest masterpiece on their notepad in front of them.

The reality is far different. Writing books is a business, involving contracts, woefully short deadlines and a great deal of frustration. It can take tens of thousands of hours of hard work to write a decent-length novel, but if you truly love what you’re doing, it’s worth it in the end. If you don’t love writing, then don’t be a writer. That’s all I can say.

My best advice to any aspiring Authors out there is to write the book you most desperately want to read. That’s the secret. Don’t write what you think you should write, or what someone else wants you to write, or what you think will sell. It won’t work. Write what YOU want to read, and I guarantee you that other people will want to read it, too.

I’ve recently started a blog in order to share some of what I’ve learned about writing and getting published. You can view my blog, ‘Chicks Can’t Write Horror – Right?’ at http://natasharhodes. blogspot. com.

Amber - What are you listening to and watching lately?

Natasha - I’m a big fan of 80’s Rock and Metal, and dating a guy who plays in a tribute band has meant that I’ve been listening to a lot of Motley Crue recently. I think ‘The Crue’ are a great band, and you’ll certainly see their influence in Book 4 of the ‘Kayla Steel’ series, which (among other things) features a vampire tribute band, and a very interesting take on the Hollywood music industry.

I’ve also just joined Netflix, and am catching up on all the TV shows I missed writing my last couple of books. Right now I’m addicted to ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ – I love cooking, but seeing what goes on it the kitchen of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants has pretty much killed any desire I ever had to be a master chef! You can’t help but respect the guy, but I think I’ll stay behind my computer keyboard, thanks all the same!

Amber - Do you need any particular music, food, environment while you are writing?

Natasha - There is an old saying that a woman needs money and a place of her own in order to write a book. All I need to write is a door that closes.

Amber - What books/authors do you read?

Natasha - Right now I’m hooked on Dan Brown – he has this knack of keeping the reader turning the pages, unable to put the book down right till the end. I read ‘Digital Fortress’ on a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles, and missed a bus and two trains on the way to the airport, and nearly missed my flight. His stories pull you in and keep you guessing until the very last page, which is the mark of a true craftsman.
I also own everything ever written by Terry Pratchett, who writes the bestselling ‘Discworld’ novels. His recent announcement that he has Alzheimer's came as a big shock to me, as I’m sure it did to all his fans. He recently donated $1 million to the Alzheimer's Research Trust to help find a cure, and a fan site has been set up to match his donation by asking all his fans to donate a dollar to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. So all you Pratchett fans out there – get your asses to the Match It for Pratchett site at www. matchitforpratchett. org. Or you can donate directly to the Trust at www. alzheimers-research. org. uk.

Amber - If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you have to have with you?

Natasha - Hmm… I think I’d take a pair of ice-skates, a soggy USP package and a volleyball called Wilfred… oh wait, that one’s already been done. I think if I had to choose, I’d take a box of pencils, a large blank notepad, and my conveniently-solar-powered IPod. That way, at least I wouldn’t miss my next book deadline….
not that I’ve ever done such a terrible thing in the past …*ahem*…

Amber - Thanks for the interview! Maybe we will do another one for the next book...

Natasha - Thanks you Amber! ‘The Last Angel’ will be released on July 29th, 2008, and the book is now available for pre-order it on Amazon. com.

Visit Natasha's MySpace

Read my review of The Last Angel

Would you like your own signed copy of 'Dante's Girl'? Well if you do you better enter this contest because Natasha has a copy up for grabs and she will sign it for the lucky winner!

How to enter

Post a comment on this thread telling us what TV shows you are watching lately! If you don't mention any programmes you won't be entered!

The contest will close on Sunday the 29th of June and the winner will be chosen by Raffle King.

So enter now!

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posted by Unknown at Sunday, June 22, 2008 |


At 22 June 2008 at 15:42, Anonymous Anonymous

Loved the interview. I can't wait to get my hands on Dante's Girl now and then Last Angel. You keep adding to my TBR list, Amber, when am I ever going to get to all of these books!?

Let's see, what am I watching at the moment....Top Chef Chicago (which just ended) and Dr. Who. Those are really the only two I try to watch weekly. Oh! And of course, the Daily Show with John Stewart and The Colbert Report. Love those shows..


At 22 June 2008 at 15:50, Blogger Princess Allie

Right now I'm catching up on Boston Legal and Lost. Guilty pleasure are The Girls Next Door.


At 22 June 2008 at 16:00, Blogger Night critter

Great interview. This is a new a author for me; thanks Amber, I can alway rely on you to add to my TBR list.

At the moment I am watching Supernatural and The Closer.


At 22 June 2008 at 16:30, Blogger tetewa

Thanks for the interview Amber and introducing me to another new author. My favorite genre to read is Paranormal and this series sounds great. My favorite two shows are Lost and Supernatural.


At 22 June 2008 at 17:20, Blogger Tez Miller

Sunday is my favourite night for television, because it has Family Guy, American Dad! and Flight of the Conchords.

Have a lovely day! :-)


At 22 June 2008 at 19:38, Blogger Bunny B

I love all the CSIs: Vegas, NY and Miami. I catch the back to back episodes :P


At 23 June 2008 at 06:36, Blogger Kathy

This one is a tuffy for me cause I don't really watch TV. I tend to buy the boxed season sets and then watch a show straight through. Right now I'm watching the second season of "Ghost Whisper" at home and the last season of "Gilmore Girls" during lunchtime at work.


At 23 June 2008 at 09:35, Blogger Liviania

I don't really watch much TV. I've actually watched this season of the Bachelorette. It's a terrible show and I don't like reality TV, but at the same time it's a little relaxing.


At 23 June 2008 at 10:57, Blogger Carmen R

I read more than I watch tv, but there are some shows I like o watch like, CSI, without a trace, ghost hunters and Dexter.


At 23 June 2008 at 12:05, Blogger Wendy

Hi, Natasha! love the cover of Dante's Girl, especially how jarring the blood is against the white, very nice!

Lately, I've been watching NCIS, and I admit, Gossip Girl reruns, I can't help myself!


At 23 June 2008 at 14:17, Blogger flip

Tasha, I am looking forward to The Last Angel. I loved Dante's Girl.

It is summer time. I live in the mountains and our summers are short. So I don't watch much tv beside cubs games. However I love Burn Notice, so I will be watching it when it starts its new season as well as Pysch.
During the cold winter months, I watched Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who, and Medium. Gotta love tivo, it enables us to watch Samantha Who, and then watch House.


At 23 June 2008 at 14:24, Anonymous Anonymous

i love the interview and the advise for a writer. anyway dante's girl was a book i couldn't put down.

yet the t.v programs i've been watching is "Smallville", i dont know why though, and "top chef".. i'm learning how to cook so it's helpful.. although i dont watch much because i'm actually writing 2books so i just listen to linkin park, disturb, and some other bands which help me focus.


At 23 June 2008 at 15:30, Blogger Patricia Altner

What a great interview! Excellent questions and answers. Natasha, I have to read your books.

As for my TV viewing pleasure, I watch Medium, CSI (Las Vegas), and Battlestar Galactica (which will not continue until Feb.2009! That is very hard to live with.).


At 23 June 2008 at 17:58, Blogger Kimberly Swan

Fabulous interview! :) I haven't gotten to read Dante's Girl (Amber - I know you're

I'm not a TV person, so Ghost Hunters & Ghost Hunters International are about it for me. I'm looking forward to True Blood. :)


At 23 June 2008 at 23:57, Blogger LadyVampire2u

I really enjoyed the interview and this series sounds great. Wish I had heard about it long before this.
As for TV shows, I watch CSI, Ghost Hunters, Medium, Hell's Kitchen and Ghost Whisperer.


At 24 June 2008 at 06:45, Blogger Daelith

Great interview...thank you.

As for what I'm watching. Well since I no longer have Moonlight or Blood Ties *grumble, grumle* and Supernautral is doing reruns right now, I've been watching reality shows. Which is unusual for me. I've gotten caught up in Nashville Star and So You Think You Can Dance.
Looking forward to the new season of Eureka...the last SciFi channel series I'm still watching.


At 24 June 2008 at 18:55, Anonymous Anonymous

Thanks for the great interview!

I watch all the CSI's, House, NCIS, Cold Case, Without a Trace, Dancing with the Stars and American Idol.

I also watch the following animes: Naruto, Bleach, Death Note and Yu-Gi-Oh GX.

Terri W.


At 25 June 2008 at 14:47, Blogger Unknown

well my first time watcing DARK ANGEL, NCIS, BONES, like the A&E channel. CSI, SUPERNATURAL

please enter me!


At 26 June 2008 at 02:00, Anonymous Anonymous

Does the Euro 2008 count because that's merely what I've been watching lately. Buuuut of course I also have some favorite TV SHows. I just finished watching 24 Season 5 on DVD and am about to watch Heroes Season 1. I also started watching all seasons of The 4400.
Gilmoew Girls is ok, but not the latest seasons. Buffy is an all time favotite and so is Friends, and Sex and the City and Ally McBeal (Seasons 1-4). But those are all long gone shows...


At 26 June 2008 at 04:20, Anonymous Anonymous

I'd love to participate in the draw, Amber!

Lately I've been watching the fourth season of Doctor Who, which is shaping up as one of the best so far. At least some episodes have been extraordinary and the upcoming one is going to feature four Doctor Companions and the Torchwood gang! I'm so looking forward to it.

I've also been watching the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica, which is one of the best shows out there.


At 26 June 2008 at 22:03, Anonymous Anonymous

Great interview! I've never heard of this author but I'd love to read this book. Hmm tv shows? Well the 'must watch' show for me *was* "New Amsterdam" but that got cancelled. Since then, nothing's really grabbed me... I watch reruns of "One Tree Hill", and I've taped a whole season's worth of E.R. that I need to find time to watch!


At 27 June 2008 at 04:15, Anonymous Anonymous

For the moment watching "Cold Case" and "E.R." as during summer time they don't have most of the shows I use to watch...
Was a great interview about the book ;-)


At 27 June 2008 at 05:00, Anonymous Anonymous

The book sounds great.

The shows I am addicted to right now are the Starter Wife and Medium.


At 27 June 2008 at 10:42, Blogger Jami

i would really like to get a copy of this book. it sounds like a great read! i love Ghost Hunters thats on Scifi and also Twilight Zone.


At 28 June 2008 at 15:15, Blogger Breanna

Hmm recently I've been watching nothing new considering there are no new episodes of anything that I watch on right now. I saw the first Rescue Me minisode this week. I'm so sad there won't be full length episodes this year! I can't wait another full year!

I watch Gilmore Girls pretty much daily still. I love all the repeats. I don't think I'll ever get sick of that show, lol. Hmm, lets see. I recently saw Season 3 of Weeds on DVD. I wonder how they'll start off the fourth season now. So crazy.

Please enter me in the contest!



At 28 June 2008 at 16:03, Blogger Pamk

sounds like a great book. You keep adding to my tbb list.
I don't watch much tv love the hgtv and tlc. i like to watch hidden potential. I also like all the law and order series.


At 28 June 2008 at 16:17, Blogger rjs4444us

I have been watching Rescue Me - there is nothing better than a group of hott sweaty firemen! mmmmm



At 28 June 2008 at 17:10, Blogger -.-

Sounds like a good book, please enter me. As for what show I've been watching, that would have to be So you think you can dance. I love the dancing and I'm hoping the pairs I like stay till the end.


At 4 January 2010 at 00:25, Anonymous Anonymous

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


At 7 March 2012 at 00:06, Blogger Siar

Thanks. I've learned a lot from the interview.

flipbook maker


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