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Interview with Natalia Ava

A Little Something About Natalia Ava:

Natalia Ava is a 22-year-old college student and part-time writer. A proud Arab girl, originally from Canada now living abroad – she has many facets to her aspirations, but one thing is for sure, she's astute and shows great promise. She enjoys recording podcasts, baking, creating digital and traditional art, and she loves reading romance novels. Her dreams are vast, and she hopes to reach her goals of opening her my own café, own her own publishing company, and become a culinary teacher. After all, a dream is a wish your heart makes. If Cinderella kept dreaming to marry a prince, then surely, she can make her dreams come true.

Natalia began her writing journey on Inkitt and Wattpad between 2018 – 2022. One day, she hopes to tackle the platform Episode. This is an app where she would code her story and bring it to life.

Questions and Answers:

1. What made you want to be an author?

You know how sometimes people say things and it just sticks in your brain? Yes, exactly that. I remember when I was is in Year five (Grade five for the Americans) my teacher used to love my writing and said to me “I hope I see your work published one day. You are going to have a bright future.” She said those to me, and it is what kept me going with writing. My writing before wanting to write romance all had to do with depression and whatever else comes with it. Until I still stared to read romance and realized it is what I want to write. But in general, writing is a personal thing for me, it isn’t something I can just stop doing, even if I have no idea what I am writing.

2. Typically, what was the timeframe it took you to write your books?

Good question, my book ’48 Hours’ took me almost six months to write. My book ‘Broken Hearts Rekindled’ has four chapters in a month. But really, it just depends on how the flow is going in my head to put the writing on paper. However, let us just say it takes me around six months roughly for each book.

3. Are you a planner or pantser?

A bit of both really. I don’t plan much in my writing or in my everyday life. I sort of go with the flow. Sometimes I plan a scene and it just doesn’t fit in the moment, so I would either write it differently or create an entirely different scene to follow the original plan. I feel like planning limits me. Like if I plan something, I will feel as if I am obligated to go through it whether I like it or not.

4. What would you say is your unique writing style?

I have no idea if I am being honest. But what I try to do is write things in first person and to be descriptive as much as I can. That way, it allows me to write up emotions and feelings without getting confused as a writer.

5. Whether it be traditional, self, or story book apps. How did you find the publishing process?

I like the fact that I can publish chapter by chapter or my book all at once while using Wattpad and Inkitt. However, I do wish that these writing platforms would let us make some agreement and whatnot, some people and websites steal work without even acknowledging the writer.

6. How much of your process includes doing research into your subject matter or plot?

It depends on the topic, but not so much. It is quite wrong to say that I enjoy writing in my comfort zone. I like to write about things I already know and share that with people. If I do, however, feel like I need to look into something, I will do that. So, let’s say 20% could go into research of things. Does talking to your friends about it count as research?

7. How old were you when you first discovered your passion for writing?

I can confidently say it was at the age of 10. I loved writing my journals and personal diary. When I discovered that I could write short stories, it was like you took a kid to a candy shop. My first ever work was called “The Magic Box in the Garden”. Pretty cliché name but cut me some slack I was only 10 turning 11 at that time.

8. When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing with your time?

It would be reading, painting, drawing, baking, and learning crafts. I don’t like doing nothing in my life. My mind is always thinking of something, even if I was staring at a wall. I enjoy learning techniques in everything, when being a visual and a hands-on learner, you really just want to try everything. I like to plan podcasts as well, it isn’t a major thing in my life, but it is something I enjoy doing, sharing things with people.

9. Is your family supportive?

My family doesn’t really know about my writing. They do know I love writing in general, but the romance?! I think we would need more than holy water to wipe their innocent eyes from the language and scenes I write. They aren’t supportive when it comes to this specific genre. So, I keep it all to myself. Like my small safe haven.

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?

Oh, here is a funny one. So, you know how people write down maybe small notes for their plot? This girl over here acts the scene out. To see if I played the right emotions in a specific scene. *Spoiler alert to my own book* there is a scene where my character needs to threaten another character, so I needed to come up with the perfect words and atmosphere in my mind to put it in my character.

It is something I tend to do a lot. If I cannot act out the scene with my teddy bears, while I am doing the dishes, I play that dialogue in my head, along with the scene to create the perfect emotions, scenes, feelings and whatever else.

What I realized also, is that most of my characters are actually based on someone in the real world. It could be the way they talk, or their words, or their actions. It could be anything. But there is always going to be an element of someone in my books. In my book that I am currently writing, almost all my characters are based on someone I know.

11. What is your favorite component about the genre you write?

Surprisingly, it isn’t those sexy or steamy scenes. It is actually those intimate scenes where it makes me cry when I am writing it. It could be a confession or just one character listening to the other. But mostly confessions. However, I did cry when I wrote a pregnancy scene.

12. What advice would you give to help others become writers?

You are writing for yourself before anyone else. Don’t let other people's comments get you down.

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I do get the opportunity where readers message me about the book. But keep an open mind that your writing isn’t for everyone, so don’t take things too much to heart. I get comments that they enjoyed the read and loved certain things or loved how the two main characters got something they wanted.

Then you have people who try to put you down by hating on a character and specific scenes. Like I am sorry the topic abortion triggers you? I place disclaimers and you chose to read it; you shouldn’t come and attack me for it.

Some people feel offended if something happens to a character. But I learned to block the negative comments in my mind, because I remind myself not every book is someone’s cup of tea. And most importantly, I write for myself before any other soul. I want to see myself improve and what kind of storyline I am capable of writing.

14. Do you like to create books for your target audience?

I create books for young adults and whoever else wishes to read it. My books tend to have mature themes; examples like, depression, suicide attempts, death, eating disorders, abortion, rape…etc. I write about the realistic things. I write about things that either happened to be or were about to happen. It is why my books always feel realistic. I get comments like “This scene felt so real.” Yeah, it is because I wrote about something I went through in my own fictional way. But more or less, my target audience is always 18+.

15. What pulls you in about a book? Do you read a book based on the cover or the summary?

The blurb or summary some call it. But thanks to bookstagram and booktok, I am finding books through those small scenes they promote. Covers do play a role, but sometimes there are covers that have nothing to do with the book. And I am talking about those men who have abs that are lick worthy, and then you find out the book is very normal. But at the end of the day, I am reading a book because of the summary.

16. How do you handle writer's block and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?

To me, writers block isn’t about lack of ideas. It is about putting those emotions down in a proper way. It is why sometimes it takes me longer to publish a chapter. But when I feel this way, I just read a book and get inspired by the way an author described something, so that motivates me.

And you lovely authors, if you ever go through it. Don’t hate yourself or blame yourself. It is a very normal thing and what is important, is to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through. Because non-writing people don’t understand the struggle. People who aren’t writers think our ideas flow like the Nile River. When in reality it could take us weeks to come up with just one scene. But never stress yourself. Ever.

Final Note:

Natalia Ava is a young woman I have been blessed with getting to know. She's imaginative, enthusiastic, and very goal orientated. I have yet to experience her story telling but I am sure if she expresses herself outside of her writing the same way in her books, she is on her way to be successful. And that's just not only in her writing, that's in life in general. She's got lofty plans, she's a dreamer who wants to bring her dreams to life. That's as commendable as you can get in a young lady today.

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