Natasha Preston is the Wattpad queen of horror suspense. Starting her writing career in 2010 on the popular online forum, she quickly translated her unique and captivating style onto the published page. Reaching the New York Times bestseller list with the popular The Cellar, she has continued her popularity with books such as Awake, The Cabin, and more. Her knack for combining relatable young adult characters with gripping suspenseful worlds is incomparable, and she is only getting started.
Her latest release, You Will Be Mine, is slated for release on February 6, 2018, and keeps with her talent of the gruesome match with young love. A tale of a traumatized young woman reeling in the aftermath of her parents death, is met with the anniversary of their demise on Valentines Day. As if that wouldn’t be hard enough, she has been targeted by a serial killer, who is determined to erase every person from her life…will she be next?
Fangirlish had the privilege of talking with Natasha to get the scoop on her upcoming story, her writing process, and everything in between!
Tell us about your start in on Wattpad.
I found Wattpad when I was flicking through the App Store and started as a reader. After a month or so, I decided to give writing a go and upload my a chapter of Silence. I’ve not looked back since!
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
Ha, mostly from my dreams. Literally. A lot of my books have started from a dream. The Cellar started as me getting kidnapped and thrown in a cellar.
What is it about suspense that sparks your creativity?
I love knowing that something bad is going to happen but not exactly when. There are fewer limits when you have a bad guy/girl wanting to do things like killing, kidnapping and stalking. You can push the limits a lot further and go to dark places that you (hopefully) wouldn’t go in real life.
When it comes to writing, are you a plotter or a pantser?
Err both. I love to have a plan and even write chapter plans so I know everything that will happen. However, I can’t think of one book I’ve written that I’ve stuck to the plan. Even down to the reveal of the killer! But I kind of like that.
Tell us how you came to be published after starting on Wattpad.
A friend I met on Wattpad, Kirsty Moseley, self-published her first book and encouraged me to do the same. But my traditionally published books came directly from Wattpad when they partnered with Sourcebooks and wanted to publish The Cellar.
You have written many popular stories, including the NYT Bestseller the Cellar. Tell us about how it felt when you learned the story hit #1.
That was such a surreal moment. I think most authors would love to hit the NYT Bestseller list but most of us don’t ever expect to. I found out first when my editor at Sourcebooks emailed me before the list was published to congratulate me. I remember laying in bed about to go to sleep and reading the email over and over to make sure I hadn’t misread. Each week it kept climbing until it hit number one, I think I had a lot of wine that night! And then The Cabin hit the list too.
Of all your stories, which one do you feel is your favorite?
Oh wow. I think I will always love Silence because it started everything. But The Cellar started my love of thrillers and writing villains. I think my latest self-published release Reliving Fate is my best writing. So basically I can’t pick, sorry!
Tell us a bit about your latest release, You Will Be Mine? Where did you get the idea?
I started writing You Will Be Mine years ago on Wattpad but only got a few chapters in before my writing career took over and I had to concentrate on publishing. I was (and still am) fascinated by serial killers and how each one has their own style, some gorier than others. I think it was also around Valentine’s Day that I started to plan the book so incorporated that, which worked really well.
Is there a genre you want to try, or do you think you will always stick with suspense?
I write romance too. All of my self-published books are romance, some with a touch of suspense or mystery. I like to touch upon some heavier subjects so not many of them are straight up romances. For my Young Adult though I love suspense and thriller. I think younger people react differently in those sorts of situations which makes them a lot more fun to write.
Do you model your characters after people in your life, or are they completely fictional?
They’re completely fictional…although I do sometimes use certain traits. I would never model a character after someone I know completely in case I offend them! I do tend to ask my readers on my Facebook page to drop names so most of my characters are named after my readers. I think 90% of my You Will Be Mine characters came from a Facebook post so a lot of people will see their name in there.
Tell us two truths and a lie about this upcoming story.
There’s a happy ending. There’s a betrayal. A main character dies.
What else can we expect from you in the future? Do you have plans for your next story yet?
Lots more stabbing/shooting/kidnapping/mystery/maiming! I have plans for my next YA and I can’t wait. It’s a little bit different to the others so I’m really looking forward to writing it.
What are some of your favorite novels currently?
Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole. I’ve been on a couple of tight schedules recently so I’ve not read much in months. I’ve very much looking forward to taking a reading break soon and fixing that though. I’m going to start with My Kind Of Crazy by Robin Reul, my editor sent me a copy with my ARC’s and I’ve wanted to read it for ages.
What is your all time favorite story?
Bully by Penelope Douglas.
Of all your novels, which would you like to see on the big screen?
The Cellar for sure.
If you could give advice to any aspiring writers out there, what would it be?
Write as much as you can but write whatever YOU want. I see so many people asking what readers want to read and you’ll never love writing unless you love what you’re typing.
We cant thank Natasha enough for taking the time to chat with us, and for giving us the opportunity to check out her latest novel, You Will Be Mine. Be sure to grab your copy February 6, 2018.