Thursday, March 15, 2012

{Interview} Natalie Hancock Author of Eternal Darkness

Kristin:  Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live?

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. During that time, I never even thought about getting my work published, just looking after animals. When I left the ideas for the books came more frequently and I wrote my first 150k+ book soon after. I had to split it into three before I could get it published.

 I now live in the middle of nowhere with my boyfriend, 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.

Kristin:  What is the name of the book you are currently promoting and would you like to tell us a little about it?
Eternal Darkness is the book I’m currently promoting. It is the first in the series, Cursed in Darkness. It is about the life of 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 her, 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.

Kristin:  Where did you come up for the idea for your book?

I didn’t exactly come up with the ideas for Eternal Darkness. Not exactly anyway, I dreamt it. At first, they were just dreams, but then I noticed a pattern in what I was dreaming, for instance, there would be the same people in my dreams and the same setting. I decided to write my dreams down, and once I started writing, I just didn’t stop. And ta da! Eternal Darkness was made. 

Kristin:  Tell us a little about your main character(s).

Layla and Shade are my main characters.

The story is based entirely around Layla. She’s a beautiful, fearless and deadly dhampir living in a world full of vampires. She has a past that haunts her, and secrets just waiting to be exposed. Though out the stories you learn more about Layla and everything she doesn’t want anyone to know.

Shade is an impossibly handsome vampire that can make Layla shiver with pleasure with just a look. Layla is the fearless and deadly dhampir, and the fact that he can make her feel things she never knew she desired, I thought this would make an interesting relationship because he’s a vampire, and she can drain him dry without a second thought.

Kristin:  Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

My favourite character I’ve created would obviously be Layla, because she is my main character. She’s my favourite because she's strong, incredibly fast, beautiful and deadly. But she isn’t perfect. She’s far from it actually and she knows it. She doesn’t make out she is either. She’s just herself and would rather take a bullet to save those around her than let someone take the shot for her.

Kristin:  Do you feel like you put parts of yourself in your characters?

I’d like to think that it hasn’t, but deep down I think it has. I had a hard life and I always struggled to fit in as I grew up. I had secrets, horrible ones, and I guess that's what my book is about. Layla is a dhampir—half-vampire, half-human—who drinks vampire blood. She also has a deep dark secret that she can’t and won’t tell anyone, no matter how much she trusts them. So she struggles to ‘fit in’ when she is taken to the academy full of vampires. When they find out what she is, they don’t accept her instantly. Only one person does, someone who knew all along what she was, and didn’t care—Shade.

Shade is my Reece I guess, and Reece accepted me for me, he didn’t care about my past. He didn’t care that I had secrets. He loves me the way I am, and he’s helped me through a lot.

That’s exactly how Shade feels for Layla. Though their relation goes FAR deeper than a normal one, but you’ll have to read the books to understand what I’m talking about.

The story, as a whole, is basically Layla learning to trust those around her enough to let her secrets out, and heal the hole in her heart, because she isn’t free from them and struggles with them through-out the series.

Kristin:  Will there be a sequel or do you have another project in the works?

There is going to be seven in the series. Already, I have the second and third cover and release date. The others will be release later on.

I do have another book I am writing, called Untouched. It is another vampire paranormal romance book on its own. I will release information on that once I get the go ahead.

Kristin:  How long did the entire process from writing your current work to getting it published take?
Well… I wrote Eternal Darkness within a few months and when I contacted a publisher to get it published, I had to split it into three, as it would be released as an e-book, and no one likes to read a 150k+ e-book.

I spent a week splitting Eternal Darkness into, Eternal Darkness, Dark Shadows and Dark Awakening.

When I contacted the publisher again, and she told me to send her my work (all three) within two hours of doing so, I had a contracted signed.
I was shocked at how fast the entire thing went.

Kristin:  Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I read a lot, so I get my inspiration from there mostly, though I dream ideas for all of my books. Also, my partner, Reece has one hell of an imagination and he could be telling me something, and I would think of something to go in my book, but it’s completely irrelevant to what he was saying. It’s weird, but I do it a lot.

Kristin:  Do you have any “rituals” when you write?
Stick on some loud rock/hardcore music until I can’t hear myself sing. I will usually put on You Me at Six because they are currently my favourite band to listen to, and then I just write. I usually can’t think if I don’t have music on, because I’m easily distracted and usually find myself staring out of the window at nothing in particular.

Kristin:  If you couldn’t be an author, but anything else…what would you be?
A zoo keeper. I love animals, and studied them too. Since I was five I wanted to work with wild animals but always got travel sickness whenever I was away from home, even when I was at school. So all I can do is look after my own little zoo.

Kristin:  Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

If you believe your work is good enough, and have worked your butt off writing it, keep searching for the right publisher to publish your work or try your hardest to get your work out there.

To anyone who wants to be published with a publisher, if they ask you to make changes, most definitely accept them because most of the time when publishers ask you to make changes, they see potential in your work.

To anyone who wants to be self published, don’t give up. There is no feeling like knowing that someone is out there reading your work.

Kristin:  When did reading and writing become important you?

I’ve been reading for years, and it’s one of my favourite hobbies. I don’t know what I would be doing if I had never started reading. Certainly not an author, that’s for sure.
My writing has  always been important to me because it’s something that I’m good at, and it’s unique. I don’t write like others, and others don’t write like me. It’s my own thing and I get to share that with everyone.

Fun Stuff

Kristin:  The apocalypse is coming…what do you do?

Scream? Cry?
I probably wouldn’t actually, I would just brush it off and sigh before I say, “Again? The world is always ending. What’s new?”

Kristin:  If you were stranded on an island, name the 5 things you could not live without?

My Partner, Reece
My laptop with an infinite battery
Paper and pen (with ink that lasts forever)
My zoo
And unlimited food for all of us.

Kristin:  What 5 things are within your reach right now? No cheating?

*wiggles eyebrows*


Kristin:  Favorite Food?
Chocolate. Most definitely chocolate

Kristin: Favorite Movie?
Harry Potter. All of them. I’m a massive fan.

Kristin:  Favorite TV show?
The Vampire Diaries

Kristin: Favorite Song?
Crash—You Me at Six

Kristin:  Favorite singer or band?
You Me at Six

Kristin:  One food you would never try?
Snails! Bleh! Just the thought makes me shiver.

Kristin: Health nut or junk food junkie?
Both? I like to be healthy but can never resist the temptations of chocolate.

Kristin: The most exotic food you have ever eaten?
I honestly have no idea.

Kristin:  Day on the beach or snow skiing down a mountain?
Day on the beach. I can lake my laptop and partner. Besides, I hate snow.

Kristin:  If you could move anywhere on this Earth, where would it be?
Egypt. I’ve always wanted to go there. I love the entire history and myths and everything of Egypt.

Kristin: Two books you think everyone should read. (Yes, you can and should include yours.)
Well, if I should include mine, then I will.
Eternal Darkness.
And a most definite must read would be Vampire Vengeance, by Storm Savage. Her Night Angel trilogy is the best series I’ve read, ever.

Kristin:  Places my readers can stalk you?
Twitter: @Author_Natalie

*Just wanted to mention that I've had the privilege of seeing the cover for book 2 and you will not be disappointed! Wowza!!!

Thank you so much for taking this time to let us get to know you. We have enjoyed having you today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and will stop by to see us again soon.

Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I really appreciate it. I’ve really enjoyed myself and some of the questions were a giggle to answer.



  1. Thank you so much for the interview. I read this book yesterday. OMG! When is the next book coming out. I love it. I can't wait to read what happens now. Please tell me the next book is already out :)

  2. Dark Shadows will be released April the 1st :D Glad you enjoyed it so much! :P



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