Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.


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Blog Overhaul: Do you see what I see?

The new year brought with it some changes for my blog! Most of them are small changes, but I figured I’d let you know about them, regardless.

This little guy ate all the stuff that vanished from my blog!

This little guy ate all the stuff that vanished from my blog!

  1. Tales of The Forbidden, Chapter One is now online and ready for reading! If you’re curious about how the novel starts or just my writing in general, that’s a great place to begin!
  2. The previously untitled dark fantasy novel that you wonderful people helped me create during my Halloween Stream project now has a (tentative) title! You can now read about Waning Moonlight! The first chapter will come as soon as it undergoes some editing. Furthermore, it’s now the first novella in a trilogy!
  3. The page for The Hunted Trilogy has been temporarily taken offline. The series needs to undergo some serious thought and plotting and until I get all that done, I figured it would be best to remove it from my website. A new header should replace the current one in the near future, as well.
  4. In the nifty sidebar to the right, you’ll see not only a progress bar for Tales of The Forbidden, but also for Waning Moonlight! Keep an eye on those to track my progress.
  5. My side-project, Survival, does not have its own page or progress bar at this point. I want to keep my website focused on my main projects. However, feel free to ask how it’s progressing!

I think that’s all the changes I’ve made so far. If I make any major changes, I’ll let you all know! Until then, enjoy the new year! I hope everything goes the way you want it to.

Is there any other information you’d like to see on my blog? Comment with your suggestions!

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Change Of Pace: Writing + Holidays!

This weekend, I took what was a very welcome weekend off. Why did I take time off, you might ask? Because on Thursday, the 6th of December, I finished the first draft of my Dark Fantasy Novella. It feels great to have finished the first stage of a project! I decided to spend this weekend away from it and tomorrow, Monday, I’m going to start editing.

A mock-cover created by Nakaya de Jong.

A mock-cover created by Nakaya de Jong.

The goal I have in mind is to finish editing in December/early January, and send the manuscript to beta readers by mid-January.

I spent the weekend mostly just relaxing. I went shopping with my parents and aside from that, spent some time relaxing by playing video games and other such things. There’s nothing like playing an RPG to help inspire you! As of tomorrow, editing of the novella will start and rewriting Tales of The Forbidden will resume.

That’s the current state of affairs in regards to my writing, for anyone who was interested.

Packages from amazon have started arriving. Two this week and another two are scheduled to arrive around Wednesday. After that, it’s just packages from family we’re waiting on. I still need to send my Christmas cards, which I intend to do this week at some point.

How are your holiday preparations going? Let me know in the comments!


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Blog & Writing: Upcoming Changes

Hi all! Please forgive my absence these past weeks. Between personal things and making some changes to various things, I’ve been incredibly distracted and needed some time to think. Thinking about what, you might ask? My blog and my writing, as the title says.

Allow me to elaborate.

  • Blog
    I’ve come to realize that my blog focuses too much on the art of writing. Yes, I am a writer and yes, some are bound to be interested in reading about my views on different writing techniques and the like, but that shouldn’t be what this blog is about. I want all kinds of people to feel comfortable reading my blog – not just those who like reading things you can pick up in non-fiction books. Because, let’s face it, I don’t write non-fiction.

    Because of this, I want to make this blog more personal. I want to write about some day-to-day things, about things that I like and hopefully, about things that you like as well. This change should start taking hold in Wednesday’s blog post.

  • Writing
    I’ve always clung to fantasy for my writing and I thoroughly enjoy writing fantasy, but while writing my horror/dark fantasy novella, I’ve come to realize something. I enjoy writing about the darker, psychological aspects that are present in dark fantasy and horror. Rather than just writing paranormal fantasy, I want to write about things that are darker. I started to notice it in recent story ideas, but this novella is what properly made me take a step back and see what was going on.

    This means that as of immediately, my writing will turn darker. Paranormal fantasy will turn into dark fantasy. I don’t intend to scrap any projects, but they need to be reworked. Changed. The plot needs work so I can add that darker hint to these already-existing ideas. Meanwhile, I still intend to finish the dark fantasy novella by the end of November; that plan hasn’t changed.

So, please forgive these changes! I’d love to hear what you think of them and I’d like to thank everyone who participated in my Halloween Project. Without it, I don’t know how much longer I would’ve had to wait before I realized I prefer the darker side of fantasy.

What would you like me to blog about? If you have any suggestions, feel free to mention them in the comments!

Have a great week, everyone!


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WIP Blog Hop: Horror Novella

The lovely Clare Davidson and my good Twitter friend Imran Siddiq tagged me with this little list of questions. The idea? Take a work in progress and answer these questions, to let readers find out more about it! So, without further ado, that’s exactly what I intend to do.

Enjoy!

What is the working title of your book?

At this point, I don’t have a proper title. Right now, it looks like I won’t figure out the title until it’s done. Currently, I either refer to it as my Horror Novella or as my Halloween Stream Novella.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It actually spawned from my recent Halloween Stream Novella. project. Basically, readers were able to vote on five different polls about the characters and setting of the novella. I then took the winning votes and combined them into what would become this novella.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s either dark fantasy or horror, but I’m leaning towards horror. Right now, it’s just a matter of writing it and from there I can go back and edit accordingly. Luckily, the gap between dark fantasy and horror isn’t too large.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a difficult one. Excuse me while I scurry off to imdb.com!

Okay. An hour-long search only led me to actors I can imagine playing two of the four important characters have. So, without further ado, here are the two side-characters, the siblings, Nate and Emma.

Nate = Alex Pettyfer & Emma = Alicia Silverstone

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When their mutual rival lures them into a forest late at night, Gary and his friends realize that things are never what they seem – and that they will never be the same again.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Novellas are a hard sell for publishers, so the plan is to self-publish it. I might query a bit to test the waters, but if nothing comes from that, I’ll take the self-publishing route. Most likely, self-publishing it is what will happen, with an estimated release date of next summer.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m writing it as we speak and the goal is to finish it by the end of November, which means the first draft will have been written within a month. Editing will start shortly after!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Admittedly, I’m not as well-versed in horror and dark fantasy novels as I’d like, so I’ll have to leave this a bit open-ended. Just imagine darker types of paranormal creatures (ghosts and demons), combined in a horror novella with simple humans as the main characters.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Mostly, the readers. Without them, this novella wouldn’t exist. Without their votes, the idea never would’ve developed and it wouldn’t have become what it is now. Readers, and my friends. They were and still are my inspiration, and this novella is for them.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s a novella, so it’ll be a quicker read than a full-length novel, but will still be a nice sized read. The characters are diverse, and well, who doesn’t like a bit of horror? Plus, you can watch me write roughly the first 5,000 words live on Livestream.

And, last but not least, here’s a synopsis that’s a bit longer than just one sentence:

Paranormal are a myth, a foolish thought spewed by people looking for attention. That’s what hardworking people believe and the soon-to-be-cop Gary wants to be one of them. But when his friend Nate receives an alluring email from their mutual rival, Adam, he’s thrust into a situation he’s only seen in movies – and what he learns there will change his future in ways he never foresaw.

Now, let me tag two fabulous writers and make them answer these questions! They both have a project for National Novel Writing Month, so they have plenty to write about!

Make sure to check out their writing and their WIP Blog Hop posts once they’re posted them! Enjoy your Sunday, and have a great week, all!


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Friday Snippets: Horror Novella – Scene #3

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s Friday Snippets! This week, I’ll be sharing the first scene of my currently untitled horror novella, which is the result of my Halloween Stream project, and is what I’ll be writing during National Novel Writing Month.

This scene is one of the scenes written during the first live stream on Wednesday. There are two live streams left! Watch them on Livestream.

Saturday, Nov. 3rd: 12 am PST | 3 pm EDT | 7 pm GMT

Sunday,    Nov.  4th: 11 am PST | 2 pm EST | 7 pm GMT

Without further ado, enjoy this scene – the introduction to the character Adam. You can read another scene on NaNoWriMo. Feel free to add me as a Writing Buddy!

Note: This comes directly from a first draft and has not been edited in any way, shape, or form. Let me know what you think; I love hearing from you!

Small creatures shifted the leaves as he strode through the forest. His hands hid in his pockets, away from the crisp air. A small smirk twisted his lips as he came to a halt and leaned against a tree. Absentmindedly, he kicked a small rock and sent it flying.

“Is everything going as planned?” The female voice appeared out of nothing, drifting over him like a veil. “Will they come?”

A heaviness settled over him, as if someone pressed down on his shoulders and forced him to be still, to be silent and listen.

“Yes.” He swept a stray strand of black hair out of his face. “They’ll come. Don’t worry. There’s no way they’d resist something like this.”

“You had best be right, Adam,” the voice whispered. “After all, it’s your future that depends on tonight. Or have you forgotten?”

“I didn’t forget. They’ll show up tonight, just like I said.” His lips formed a tight line. “I know how to get them to do these things. They’ll be here.”

“We’ll see. Soon.”

The weight lifted off his shoulders and he inhaled sharply in relief. The twats were too stupid not to show up, too easily goaded into doing what others wanted them to.

The fools would regret it.

Have a great weekend everyone and swing by the live streams this weekend if you have time! The more, the merrier.

What are your weekend plans?