JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Natasha Usher, author of The Hunts
(2nd Avenue Publishing)
Victoria, Luther V, Tyler, Tyger, and DougRoss Hunt have a lot going for them. Despite their young ages, they are very resourceful. The Hunts have managed to live alone ever since their parents abandoned them. Their survival strategy is quite simple – if it is not given to them, they simply take it.
When the Hunts decide life is too boring in their small town of Acon, Georgia, they decide a trip to the big city of Atlanta is just what they need. Atlanta and the Hunts will never be the same again.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write The Hunts?
Natasha Usher: I actually have several nieces and nephews, eight of them, with two being girls and the rest boys. Whenever they all get together, itâ€™s total chaos. They were/are my wonderful inspirations for The Hunts.
JP: What are some of the things you learned about yourself as an author while writing The Hunts?
NU: That Iâ€™m really old, and that my jokes are lame. When I was writing The Hunts, I wanted to make sure I was speaking in a voice to which young people can relate. As a result, I was constantly asking my children and my nieces and nephews what they thought about my work.
After listening to them and trying to pick up on all the things children are saying today, I did make my young family members laugh a few times with some of my dialogue. But they have informed me that I am still completely lame.
JP: The children will definitely love the zany characters of The Hunts. What has been the reactions of the parents who have bought and read this book with their children?
NU: The response to The Hunts has been great. The parents seem to be enjoying the book just as much as their children are enjoying it. Of course, I think most of the parents are praying my book doesnâ€™t give their kids any ideas.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish The Hunts?
NU: I donâ€™t have a real writing process. An idea comes to my mind and I start typing. Then if itâ€™s a good idea, the characters form, and they somehow tell their own stories. I know some people create outlines and plan everything out, but I never do that. My characters create their own lives.
Writing The Hunts was so much fun that I wrote it very quickly. I think I wrote the first draft in about three months. Now the editing and various drafts, thatâ€™s the time consumer. That took me over a year.
JP: What’s next for Natasha Usher?
NU: Well in between teaching every day, Iâ€™m always trying to find time to write. There is a definite plan for a sequel to The Hunts; then I want to work on a non-fiction book. Right now though, I really want to thank you and your readers for allowing me to visit this wonderful site. Happy reading and writing to all!
Cuni Award for Creative Writing 1988
GAYA Award Nominee 2008
P.S. Join the Joey Reviews Newsletter at http://joeypinkney.com/joey-reviews-newsletter.html.
Please click on the banners to learn more about each JoeyPinkney.com sponsor:
You need to advertise with JoeyPinkney.com! (Click here for more information.)