[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Natasha Ngan. Be sure to check out Natasha’s new YA novel ‘Girls of Paper and Fire‘]
What is the most exciting part about being a part of Miami Book Fair and meeting fans?
Writing for me is usually such an isolated activity, so it’s always amazing to come to book fairs and get to enjoy bookish chat and excitement with other writers and readers! Especially here in the US, where the fairs are so big! Because I’m my worst critic and never feel satisfied with what I write, hearing from readers who’ve loved GIRLS is incredibly uplifting and meaningful to me. I love chatting with them and fangirling over other books we love, and hearing about their own writing!
I read your most recent book and loved it! Is there a favorite character that stood out for you that was intriguing and fun to write?
Thank you so much! I loved writing Wren, and I know she’s a fan favourite too. Knowing her secrets made writing her a lot of fun, as I understood why she was acting the way she was but still had to write from Lei’s perspective. Lei obviously doesn’t really get Wren’s behavior for a long time, so it was an enjoyable challenge to explore her interactions with Wren while watching on, being like, ha! If only you knew!
As an author, how do you best prepare for your next writing assignment? Any advice on inspiration?
I’m scared every time I write! I think it’s good to remember that most authors feel this way, no matter how many books are under their belts. It’s always incredibly difficult and stressful for me. However the pleasure of everything slowly falling into place, the joy of the discovery, whether it be a beautiful turn of phrase or a plot twist you yourself weren’t predicting … those moments are magical, and make it all worth it. As for inspiration – don’t wait for it to come to you. It will, certainly, and it’s wonderful when it happens, but if you want to write for a living you have to treat it as work. It’s all about discipline. Whether you write every day or just dedicate yourself to thinking about your story every day, it establishes a routine that will help you keep going throughout the many months and often years of work each book takes.
Who is your favorite YA author currently and why and how do they inspire your writing style?
I’m constantly inspired by Laini Taylor. Not just her dreamy, lyrical writing, but her skill with crafting worlds. She can weave the strangest, most bizarre concepts together in a way that is just so effortless and fresh. It’s incredible. I also love how heartfelt her romances are. Her words brim with emotion, and that’s something I always try to bring into my own writing too.
Any advice for fans looking to write as well and get their big writing break?
Keep going! This is an industry where you’ll have to face rejection of all kinds, over and over, and it’s so damn hard. But all authors go through it. Even once you published, there’ll be all sorts of new rejections and setbacks to face. So keep writing, keep experimenting, keep learning and developing your style. Finish books, then start new ones. You’ll learn from every word you write, so nothing is wasted, even if you have to write an entirely new draft from scratch. And never stop believing in you and your stories!