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.
To see the interview for yourself or to find out more about ALIA head over to
The August issue #133 of Aurealis magazine is out now and im super happy to announce that A Stranger's Tale recieved a bit of a glowing review by Eugen Bacon.
The Aurealis Magazine is one of Australia's most iconic Fantasy/SF magazines, so to get an honest review and a glowing one at that, is a big achievment for my little book.
As with all reviews, there's always that dread that it will be negative. But reading is very subjective and while i'm quite blown away that A Stranger's Tale has yet to recieve any bad reviews, i'm also quite realistic in the fact that it will happen at some point. Although i dread the day, i like to think i've mentally prepared myself for it.
So when i read this wonderful review, the two sentences that i honed in on were the negative ones and i'm please to say, i took it very well. Infact, i felt almost relieved and have taken the feedback and used it to fix up some errors i didn't know exsited. For that, i'm grateful.
All in all, these are the kinds of reviews to be proud of, the kind of reviews to learn from and i'm so happy to be able to share it with you all.
I'm so excited to announce that our anthology, Creating Cinderella, is officially available for purchase via Amazon. The twelve of us have come together with twelve amazing tales based around the classic story we all know and love.
But what I am most proud of is that the proceeds of each sale will go directly toward helping our Australian wild life.
It is estimated that nearly three billion animals perished in those catastrophic fires or were displaced. Three billion... an unfathomable number and a devastating loss. I'm honoured to be apart of such a great project, an important cause, with some truly wonderful humans.
We'd love your support folks. You can buy the ebook or paperback version via Amazon and not only will you be getting a great book with some damn good tales, you'll also be helping to focus on the rehabilitation, rescue and recovery of our beautiful animals. 🐨
Huge shout out to the lady behind the idea and the one who has worked tirelessly to make this thing happen. Kim Miltimore you're a legend and I can't thank you enough for what you have created here and letting us all be a part of it.
Another massive shout out to the wonderful E.H. Alger who designed the beautiful cover! But If you're impressed with that, wait till you see the back!
Truly incredible, awe-inspiring work that brought a tear to my eye when I first saw it. You're an absolute star Elizabeth.
And to the new friends I've made through out this entire journey. To the wonderful humans who have shared their stories freely and worked hard to get them to you in the form of this stunning collection. You all have my utmost respect and love and I hope we get a chance to work together again.
Here's a quick interview i did with Samantha Goodwin, the host of the Indie Book Cover Competition where my book, A Stranger's Tale, made finalist out of 200 amazing books that entered.
It's always such a surreal experience getting interviewed and something i don't think i'll ever quite get used to. But here it is and i hope you enjoy it.
So, i was asked to write a bit of an article for IngramSpark's blog on writing a fairy tale and I have to say, i really enjoyed it. I'm quite proud of how it turned out! I'll re-post the entire article here soon but for now, you can check it out by following the link below.
Much love x
Here is an interview i did with The Indigo Book, an Indie Author Advocate page on Instagram.
Launch day is here!
Adam Oehler’s ‘Thistledown’ exhibition launched today and i’m over the moon to see that the original illustrations from A Stranger’s Tale are on display.
What an incredibly surreal feeling it is, to see my characters... my world... hung on the walls of a New York art gallery.
To see the exhibition please visit:
So many pieces are already spoken for but there are still some stunning ones left including ‘The North Wind’ piece. I’m excited to be the proud owner of two.
'The Embrace’ and 'The Stranger’ Both of which i feel are coming back home to me after a long adventure.
And what an adventure it has been!
Below is a live launch video of Adam and Erica from Haven Gallery who discuss the works in greater detail.
I love the fact that, even during these strange and frightening times, where businesses have had to close their doors, they’ve still found a way to exist and to share art with the world. We will never stop creating art. Of any medium. As long as there are people who want to see it.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for supporting us.
A Stranger’s Tale made it to the finals of the Indie Book Cover Competition!
Out of 198 books, a panel of fifty judges and three gruelling, nail biting rounds of public voting, we made it to the final four.
While we may not have made winner or runner up, we are super happy to have made it to the final four and are so proud of how far our book has come since it’s release.
Adam Oehlers, the incredibly talented illustrator of A Stranger’s Tale went live on Instagram today with Haven Gallery to talk about his upcoming exhibition ‘Thistledown’.
The exhibition features some of the original artwork from our book, A Stranger’s Tale, and Adam talks about our book and our time working together. The show launches on the 2nd May 2020 so stay tuned! And in the meantime, if you haven’t already seen it, here is the live video itself.
Yep! You heard right folks!
I received a message from an incredible teacher who sent through some of these beautiful photos and feedback on two of his writing classes (grades 4 and 6) who had spent time studying snippets of my book A Stranger’s Tale.
Stage 1 was spent engaging through text and
Stage 2 was engaging emotively through visual images.
This is the second school now that has enjoyed my book and studied elements from it. Words cannot express what this means to me. These photos have warmed my heart and i wanted to express what an honour this is. Thank you so much to the teachers who have made this possible. You do something very incredible each day for these children and your passion for learning and love of literature reflects in the hearts and souls of each student. I’m beyond grateful to you. Thank you for believing in my little tale and for helping it come alive in these young minds.
So last year i flew to Brisbane to do a school visit with the best bunch of year 7 students! Shortly after, i woke up to the most wonderful review on my Facebook page by the English teacher. I was invited to visit her class to do a bit of a talk about the writing process and was utterly blown away at the talent and passion in those students. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I'm so honoured to have met these kids. To have been given the chance to read their incredible stories and more than anything, I hope i have inspired them in some small way. Truly warmed my heart reading this and i feel so humbled. I even got a Christmas card from them!
Hopefully, i get a chance to fly up again and visited. By far, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.