Tell us something about yourself and how you became a writer.
I’m Natalie Hancock, I was born in Plymouth Devon and moved to Lincoln at a young age. I have been to University of Lincoln, Riseholme College, studying a course on Animal Care, which I did for two years. I now live in the middle of nowhere with my partner, Reece, and our little zoo, which includes my hamster named Crunch, a chinchilla called Hektor and three guinea pigs, Fluff, Smudge and Squig.We both love animals and hope to have an army of guinea pigs, hamsters and chinchilla’s. Along with a goat.
I started writing when I had this weird, but awesome dream, and because I didn’t want to forget it (which happened a lot) I wrote it down, and I guess I never stopped writing.
The first series I ever wrote was about witches. I tried to get those published but had trouble with con men. So gave up.
It remains to be seen what will happen with those books. They were the first I’d ever written and I would like to get them published so we will see.
After that series, I wrote my first vampire book, which I didn’t finish because I ended up having ideas for a werewolf book, and then another book, this time about demons. I have a lot of unfinished books.
Eternal Darkness is the first vampire erotic book I ever wrote, which was new to me because I kept getting embarrassed over what I was writing. I got over it quickly though!
I am now currently writing the sixth book in the Cursed in Darkness Series.
Tell us about your novel?
Cursed in Darkness is a vampire paranormal romance/erotica series. Eternal Darkness is the first book in the series.
It’s about Layla, a half vampire, half human who is sent to live in the hundred acres of land full of vampires for her own safety. The only problem is she hungers for the vampires’ blood, so when she has lessons with them, not only does she struggle with the hunger raging inside of her, but she has to learn to trust those around her, something she can’t do because she has a dark past, and because of it, she has trouble trusting anyone.
She knows she’s in as much danger inside the land as she was when she was outside the land, and she can’t shake off the feeling that something or someone is watching her, waiting to attack, despite the guards watching her every move.
When she meets one of the tutors, she feels things towards him and wants both his blood and his body, but it’s forbidden to feel the way they do and Layla must fight her feelings otherwise the secrets she desperately wants to remain a secret will get out, and put her in more danger than she already is.
What have you had published to-date?
I’ve only had one book published to date and that’s Eternal Darkness. My next book, Dark Shadows is going to be released April, and Dark Awakening, June.
Tell us a little about your road to publication. Was it a long one? Do you have an agent? In your opinion are they even necessary?
When I decided to get my work published, my lovely sister helped me out a lot—with a LOT of persuasion. She gave me half of a list of publishers to look at while she looked at the other half. She actually did most of the emailing because, once I looked into them, most of the publishers wanted an author who had previously published their works. Or an agent.
When I did get to one that required neither, I emailed the submission form, along with what they asked on the submission and just waited.
After two or three weeks, I began receiving emails from the publishers Shelby had contacted for me. They all said the same thing. “Your work isn’t right for us at this time.” Now that wasn’t because I wasn’t a good writer, because some of the publishers told me they enjoyed what they read, and thought I was a talented writer. It was because my work was over 150k words long.
When the publisher I had emailed, contacted me back, I honestly expected the worst.
I was surprised. She didn’t tell me what the others had. She said, “if you make these changes, I’ll look at your work again.” I was really excited then. It took me a week to split Eternal Darkness into, Eternal Darkness, Dark Shadows and Dark Awakening and once I sent my work off, within two hours, I had a contract and had basically joined the family.
I don’t think an agent is necessary, in my opinion. If your work is good enough, you don’t need one to be published.
How much of the marketing do you do?
Most of it. I know my publisher does some, but it is my job to do the promoting, and I do. I promote every day, as much as I can. It’s hard work but it’ll get me somewhere one day.
Anything you’ve found to be particularly helpful in marketing your book?
You get to meet awesome people! Marketing, for me, isn’t about getting more people to buy my book. It’s about meeting new people and getting to know them. If they want to read my book, they will read it. I can’t make people do anything, and it would be a waste of time to even try.
Where can readers find you?
eXtasy books: http://www.extasybooks.com/Eternal-Darkness/