Check it out, people! Natasha Deen is here! She’s the author of the seriously entertaining book, True Grime. She has a fun story to share with us. So here you go…
Why I Became a Writer – Natasha Deen
I became a writer for one simple reason: aliens landed in my backyard when I was ten.
And I’m not talking about “people from another land” definition of aliens.
Real-life, honest-to-God aliens.
I was ten and we’d just moved into our first home (quite an accomplishment considering my parents had immigrated to Canada five years earlier, with me, my sister, clothes, and $200). The first-couple of days was exciting—I wanted my bed positioned under the window (much to the horror of my old-world grandmother who warned me of the dire consequences of sleeping with open curtains and moonlight on my face), wanted my desk by the door. I waggled for a lock on the door, but such is the case of being a pre-teen: that was a “no” before I finished speaking.
On the third night, I woke up at 3:14 am to the low sound of thrumming. And vibrations. Opening my eyes, I saw square flashes of white light sweeping the wall opposite me. And I heard a low, metallic rumbling.
At this point, I’m wondering if my grandmother’s warnings are coming true, happy I went pee before bed, cursing the fact my parents are in the basement (and thus a 100 m dash for safety), and thinking, I think these are the moments you see in movies and books. Where something big’s happening and it makes the person who they are. (I should mention that, at ten, I was reading at a grade 11 level, and thus prone to really existential ramblings).
So…I’m a smart kid. I can figure this out. It’s not a sound I’ve ever heard, so I have no database of knowledge. I try to think of logical explanations. Nothing comes to mind. My hero at the time, Sherlock Holmes, says, “When you have eliminated the possible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” (That’s not actually what he said, but I was ten, and I thought that’s what he’d said). So, I leap to the only possible conclusion: aliens have landed in my backyard.
Well, now what? Do I run downstairs? Get Mom and Dad? What if they’re bad aliens and kill my parents? No, can’t have that (the possibility of them killing me crosses my mind, but I figure I’m a kid. They’ll probably give me a pass).
So, I gird my loins and heart pounding, fingers shaking, legs turning to rubber, I stand on my bed and rip open the curtains, prepared to face all manner of horror.
And I see a CN Rail train happily chugging along the tracks between Southland and Anderson train station.
The whole time I’m debating what I’m going to say to the aliens and how I’ll plead for the lives of my family, and who I’ll have to choose if—God help me—they say I can only have one member live, and it’s a freakin’ train.
That was probably the moment the seed of being a writer began to germinate. Not because I was pleased with my imagination, not because I had a whole plot and conflict arc, but because I realized with my ability to go from zero to crazy-nut-bar in 0.0003 seconds, I should have a job that keeps me away from the general population.
(And sadly, that was not the last time I went all Chicken Little in a high-stress situation. Thankfully, as a writer, I can morph those moments into scenes in my books. And readers come and say, “Wow. What a great imagination you have.”
And I nod and smile and never point out that the moment they love in the book is based on a real-life incident…)
For those who are wondering, Sherlock said, ““When you have eliminated the Impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
About Natasha & how to contact her
When I was little, there was only one thing I wanted to be: a superhero. But there came a day when my dreams were broken, and that was the day I realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and my super weakness for anything bright and shiny meant a magpie with self-control could easily defeat me in a battle of wills. I turned to writing as a way to sharpen my mental super-hero skills. I don’t get to orbit the earth in a space station (and thank God, because I get sick on merry go round), but I do get to say things like: “Stand aside! This is a job for Writing Girl!!”
About True Grime & where to find it
Grime cop and teen fairy Pepper Powder lives for one thing: protecting the human species from magical zealots who seek to eradicate them with Violent Illness of Unusual Resistance and Strength (humans call them “viruses,” but their mistake is understandable. The very young often get their words wrong.). When a terrorist leader releases a necrophage bomb, it not only decimates Grime headquarters, it turns Pepper into the magical world’s first fairy amputee—but she’s not going to let a little thing like a missing leg stop her. To catch her criminal, and prevent him from unleashing a VIURS in one of the human world’s biggest shopping centers, West Edmonton Mall, she goes undercover as a human. But once Pepper’s theories of humanity collide with the reality of bullies, cliques, and environmental destruction, will she still believe humanity’s worth saving?