You may remember I interviewed author Heather Greenis a while back about just after the release of the first novel in Natasha’s Saga. All four novels in the saga have now been released, and so I’ve invited author Heather Greenis back in order to find out how she went about writing a story of this length.
Thanks for coming back, Heather!
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I began writing the saga over 10 years ago. I wrote, pondered, rewrote and let my husband read it. His comment – “interesting start!”
I allowed the story to develop and asked a few people read it, him included, poor guy. I sent the first three chapters to 1 publisher. The editor/publisher emailed back 6 weeks later saying they weren’t interested in this story, not enough of a romance, but they liked my writing style, so keep them in mind for other manuscripts. That was positive!
Hubby and I discussed the story and decided to separate it into 4 smaller books. The saga was born. We changed the name of the book from ‘Crown of Denial’ to Natasha’s Dream, Diary, Hope and Legacy. I did some more rewrites. When I felt it was getting close, I asked my niece, an avid reader and university student to read and critique it. At first she was afraid to be honest, but we had a little chat about that.
She made notes as she read. She was brutally honest, but I appreciated it. I took her notes, did some major rewrites and submitted the first section the manuscript, Natasha’s Dream to 2 publishing companies. That was March 2012. It was a long wait. Luckily, fortunately, and thank goodness, MuseItUp responded in November 2012 and offered me a contract. Book 1, Natasha’s Dream launched June 2013. Now, a year later, all four books have launched.
You asked me what it was like to write a saga.
It’s one BIG book cut into 4 sections. I enjoy reading books that allow me to get deep into characters. That have a plot that makes me think and even shed a tear. Some of my favourite books have given me blood shot eyes. I have to stop reading to get a tissue, but I remember those books.
For me, the best part of this journey has been my personal growth. I had an email from a reader who finished the fourth book. She commented on the my growth as an author, seeing a significant difference in my writing. She enjoyed the saga, but loved the fourth book. She loved the ending, but wished the story could continue. That is such a huge complement.
My free time was rather busy as well. Hubby and I managed a competitive mixed curling league, and I manage our junior league with the help of 3 other coaches. We had 37 kids ranging in age from 5 to 17. Two hours a week on the ice and I went home exhausted.
I was asked to join a competitive women’s team. Representing our club we had a great time, and won some games. Hubby stayed home and looked after the dog and non-domestic critters. Thank goodness for cell phones and texting for my girls weekend away. In all my years of curling, I’ve never curled at that level. It was amazing experience and I thank Susan, Shelly and Debbie for asking me. In was truly an honour and a privilege to curl with them.
Here are the four books in Natasha’s Saga:
Growing up, her only friends were her brothers and Nanny. In her parents’ mind, she was a mistake. As a result of an innocent swim, she discovered life existed beyond the castle grounds. Families, peers, underprivileged children. Can a dream turn into reality? Anything is possible, but dreams come with consequences that not only affect her, but those she loves. What is Natasha willing to risk to persevere?
Keeghan’s subconscious has played tricks on her in the past, but she’s normally able to control the outcome of her dreams. No such luck with this story. The mystery magnifies when her husband William discovers something else by the eroding sea wall. Something that piques their curiosity even further. Coincidence?
Hope is growing up quickly. Intelligent, independent and stubborn. Negative traits inherited from both her mom and dad surface at inconvenient times. Will her beauty help or hinder her? A tragedy. Stewart is forced to make a decision that will affect his life and the rest of his family. Then, an encounter that changes everything. Is he ready for this? Has Stewart’s past really been left behind? Will history repeat itself? Trust, integrity and tradition all come into question.
Having read the diary, Hope desperately wants the world to evolve according to her dreams. Through Adam, Hope finds an inner strength she never knew existed. Life threatening events test her inner resolve and purpose in life.
Stewart’s design and contracting business outshines the competition, but his personal life continues to be unorthodox and unsettled. Will this shatter the family’s hopes for the future? His values conflict with reality and with Hope’s wishes. Stewart must make a lifestyle choice
that affects the whole family and accept a new definition of happiness.
A clash of emotions threatens to destroy the family bond. Is the future of the orphanage secure?
The legacy of the Venderkemp orphanage is still in question. Alex is the only family member capable of carrying on the family tradition. Does Hope’s soft spoken introverted son have the fortitude, the emotional strength needed to guide the business into the future?
Keeghan and Will discover more than they dreamed possible.
For more links, or to contact me see my website
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Lovely to have you back here again, Heather. I understand what it takes to write a saga now – a lot of hard work! That’s a great story about your personal growth and your growth as a writer. Congratulations on your prolific year, and all your writing and sporting successes.
Do you enjoy reading sagas? If you’re a writer, how do you keep track of plot, character, etc when writing a longer length novel? If you have any questions or comments at all, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!