BETWEEN THE PAGES WITH NATAŠA XERRI
Hello! Tell us about yourself!
Hello, hello! My name is Nataša Xerri and I live in the beautiful Macedon Ranges in Victoria. I work as an Emergency Services Clerk in a busy hospital in Melbourne and when I'm not there, you’ll find me reading, writing, or attempting to try my hand at one of my many hobbies. I’m a winter person, forest lover and self proclaimed storyteller who likes to see the magic in the everyday things. I enjoy writing tales that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, that both enchant and give a moment of pause and contemplation. A Stranger’s Tale is my first book, with several more on the way.
How did you decide to become a writer, and who or what are major influences on your work?
I don’t remember when it was that I decided. I don’t think it was a decision I ever consciously made. I just knew, from a very early age, that I wanted to write my own stories and could always be found scribbling away madly in a notebook. I was enchanted by so many amazing stories growing up and I knew from somewhere deep inside that I wanted to be a storyteller. I wanted to write tales that would enchant readers of all ages just as I was enchanted as a child. But it took me many years to feel confident enough to take the next step with my writing and publish.
The greatest influence on my work would be the traditional folktales and mythology from around the world. I find these ancient tales beyond fascinating and have spent many years researching and gaining much inspiration from them. There are also many writers who have influenced me and it’s hard to only name a few but JRR Tolkein, Neil Gaiman, Kate Foryth and Juliet Marillier would be my biggest inspirations. I’m also a visual person and have a great love for art. I like to map out my stories and use various images to aid me. Rackham, Dulac, Nielsen and Waterhouse are just some of the most inspiring artists whose work always manages to take me to far off worlds.
What was your favourite book as a child?
This is a really hard question! I was an avid reader as a child (and still am!) and would read just about any book I could get my hands on. Growing up I always had one of those Golden Books in my hand and would carry one with me everywhere I went. As I grew older, Roald Dahl and R.L Stine became my two favourite authors whose books I devoured. I read widely as a child, books were magic to me and still are. But there are just so many books I loved, each one taking me on new and exciting adventures. How could I possibly choose just the one?
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
As a new author every little milestone is rewarding to me. It’s always the little things that make me smile and make me want to do a happy dance. But I think the most rewarding part would be hearing from my readers. It’s a surreal feeling when people from all over the world begin posting photos of your book, leaving reviews and even getting in touch to tell you their thoughts. I’m beyond grateful for each and every one of them.
Since we're all library lovers here, how has the library played a role in your life?
It’s played a huge role in my life. Growing up, libraries were a place of solitude and escape for me. A place of silence where you could take your time to browse through their many shelves before choosing that one book to curl up with and take home. I clearly remember my primary school librarian who would read to us, who always had new books to share and who seemed to me, to know each and every book in her library. She was just wonderful and as a child, she seemed to me a keeper of all those many books. A guardian who ensured there was a revered silence about her place, who made sure we all knew how to take care of each book we took home with us, and who would even (sometimes) allow us to take several at a time. Each time I visit a library, a feeling of nostalgia wraps itself around me. It’s a warm feeling, a feeling of safety and utter awe of the magic these places of learning hold.
Plug time! What's your latest book and where can fans stalk - I mean follow - you online?
Agh! Fans, my fans. Again, just such a surreal feeling. Ok, so I’ve been working hard on a piece I was invited to submit for an anthology titled Creating Cinderella. It’s a project I’m really proud to be a part of and features not only myself, but several amazing writers who have conjured up tales that will leave you in an utter daze. It’s a YA anthology and is due for release in August. The proceeds will go toward the Australian bushfire relief so I feel quite honoured to be a part of it.
I always love to hear from my readers!
Instagram is mainly where you’ll find me @natasa.xerri. I'm a visual person so I love that I can express myself through images that are accompanied by text. You can also reach me on my website where you can have a read of my blog, stay up to date on where I am and what I’m doing or browse through the gallery of photos sent through from my readers. I can also be found on Facebook and Goodreads.
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