Author's Corner: Dark Fantasy Author Natalia Brothers

It's summer and many of us are traveling and enjoying our vacation time. But does that mean that our writing goes on hold?

Today on the Author's Corner, writer Natalia Brothers ponders that question and gives us a glimpse into her own experience with writing while traveling.

Writing on a busy trip: Is it possible?

When the world around me turns blue and the glossy pane of the lake’s surface softens the contours of the clouds it reflects, I want to write no matter how long my day was or how tired I feel…

But is it realistic to ignore so many distractions and write on an activities-packed trip?

Friends, dogs, a mountain lake, a boat…Three days of hiking the Colorado Trail, fishing, and doing the usual touristy stuff like riding the gondolas up the mountain, sightseeing, and shopping—the event I looked forward to the whole year was coming up. Normally, I’d never bring my laptop on such a busy trip, but something happened just as I was packing: my first round of edits had arrived, and now I faced a deadline.
I turned a picnic table by the lake into my field office.

Now it was a matter of finding the time to use it.

The first day was inevitably long. We drove over the Hoosier Pass, met with our friends, took the dogs for a swim in the lake, had a cookout—by the time the first bat made a mad dash across the pale strip of sky in front of me, I could only think about laying my head on a pillow and opening my eyes the next morning.

After an early breakfast and a hike through a steep terrain, I had ten minutes to type several lines before we headed to lunch. In the afternoon, our group—six adults and two teenagers—went fishing. When we drove back to the hotel, the darkening sky sported colorful storm clouds. The dogs expected their evening stroll along the lake. At the end of the day, I wondered if my intent to edit on the trip was overly ambitious.

I wasn’t giving up. I had plenty of time to brainstorm on the hikes, on the boat, or floating over windy mountain slopes in a swaying gondola. On my last full day on the lake, I cleared my schedule and spent the afternoon at the picnic table, incorporating changes into the manuscript. The beautiful surroundings weren’t a distraction. I stayed at my makeshift desk until dusk.

I said good-bye to the lake this morning. I wish we had another day there. I’d do nothing but write.


Natalia's dark fantasy, Soul of the Unborn, which takes place in Russia, is coming out this fall. Stay tuned for the cover reveal next week.

Can you call yourself human if your every breath, every emotion, every desire is generated by supernatural forces? 

Posing as a folklore-tour guide, Valya Svetlova takes a group of American college students and their professor, Chris Waller, to her summer home in the Russian village of Vishenky for a few nights of supernatural phenomena. She works hard to appear a perfect hostess. Valya doesn’t want anyone to discover she harbors selfish motives when it comes to one participant, the only person who can refute a wicked tale declaring her a stillborn resurrected by a paranormal entity, a puppet in someone’s horror show destined to perish in the otherworldly dimension.

Within hours of their arrival, Valya learns that the students, too, foster some dangerous agendas. Her nascent feelings toward the handsome professor inhibit her ability to control the supernatural manifestations and her inquisitive guests. When her unforeseen affection turns Chris into a target of the malevolent forces, Valya faces the excruciating reality. It’s no longer in her human power to ensure her guests’ safety. But to keep Chris and the students alive, Valya must brush off her humanity and become something she fights so desperately to prove she is not. A soulless monster.