Speaking of Vegas, joining us today is YA author Natasha Deen as she celebrates her new release, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS.
Why I Write—Natasha Deen
Being a writer means spending a lot of time in front of a computer, and spending a lot of time alone. It’s why being an author is so hard for many—it’s lonely and solitary.
For me, however, it’s a godsend.
And for the people around me, it’s a necessity.
I just shouldn’t be allowed out in public.
I’m a total disaster—between my nervousness when meeting new people or being in new situations, my reliance on routine and predictability, and my ability to go from zero-to-hysterical in milliseconds, it’s always better for everyone concerned if I’m not allowed out of my office.
Case in point:
Two summers ago, I was teaching in a rustic camp setting. The scenery was mountains and meadows, rivers and old trees. Beautiful. Picturesque. And totally removed from city life.
I’ve been there for a few days, when I wake up in the middle of the night. No biggie, right? That’s happened a lot…only this time, it’s different. This time, I can’t see anything. It’s all pitch black—and I mean pitch black.
Logic (my sometimes friend) tells me to go with Occam’s Razor (the simplest solution is usually right/best). Simple solution: I’ve gone blind. Temporarily or permanently I’m not sure. Point of fact (because I haven’t gone hysterical just yet), I retain enough sanity to say to myself, “Huh, maybe you should turn on the light and check this out.”
Problem: I have a lovely roommate who, while she adores me, would probably NOT adore being awakened in the middle of the night by bright lights.
No worries. I’ll head into the hallway. Easy-peasy.
I climb down from the top spot on the bunk and slide into my slippers. Then I start feeling my say to the door.
Again, because I’m still kind of sane at this point, I figure I’ll just hold on to the bed frame and use that as a guide to get me to the wall and from there, I can feel my way to the door.
At first, it all goes well. Hands are on the frame and I’m feeling up the wood like an enamoured chipmunk. Only…I can’t find the wall. I’m hitting empty space.
Now, I know I’m not the best with spatial cues, but this is a small room. I can’t be screwing this up that badly.
So, I try again.
Space, space, and more space.
I stop and reassess my situation: I’m in the dark (literally and figuratively, and I can no longer orient myself to the room). What could be the issue?
Could I have turned myself around when I was looking for my slippers? (This possibility doesn’t occur to me until after the chaos). No, no. I put two and two together and come up with a million.
I am now convinced—CONVINCED—that I’ve landed in a parallel universe. That’s right, folks. I’m certain I’m in another reality.
(The people who don’t know me and are reading this are laughing because they think I’m exaggerating for artistic sake. The people who DO know me are killing themselves laughing because they know I’m telling the unfettered truth).
Now, I’m trying not to panic, not to lose my so-called cool. And I’m just really hoping this new, parallel world is nice to hysterical brown girls. As I try not to hyperventilate and figure out how I’m going to get help (or go into hiding if it does turn out this world is cruel to crazy brown chicks), I hear a giggle from the other side of the room and my roommate says, “Uh, Tash. Do you want a flashlight?”
This is when I start blubbering—because I’m happy I didn’t get punted into another world, because I’m glad my friend was there to save me, and because as she’s dying with laughter as I relate the story, she also loves me unconditionally, so it’s not a total humiliation that I’m a complete moron.
As it turned out, the camp had a power failure and when you’re in the middle of nowhere and the power goes out, everything goes black.
Kind of like my mind when facing a crisis (which is why I’m a writer and never stray too far from home).
But all wasn’t lost because that experience gave the rise to Binda Morningstar’s predominant ‘lose her mind’ personality in What Happens in Vegas: It’s not that Binda Morningstar’s an idiot—the girl’s got more degrees than a thermometer—but there’s something about a crisis that makes her lose her mind…and accidentally injure anyone within a ten foot radius. But if she’s going to rescue her boss from a cursed jewel, she’s going to have to keep it together. Unfortunately for her, the cop on the case, Corin Hawthorne, has her losing her mind and her heart…and if he gets anymore drool worthy, she’s going to lose her inhibitions, too. To save her boss and win her man, she’s got to outrun a mobster, outwit the YIFFS at a sex fetish convention, and outthink an ex-wife—and she’s got to do it all without breaking an arm or inadvertently hitting anyone with pepper spray…it’s all got Binda hoping that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
When Natasha was little, there was only one thing she wanted to be: a superhero. Unfortunately, being a klutz isn’t a super-power. She turned to writing because it allows her to be anything she wants, including a caped crusader. When not writing, she is an instructor and editor. Visit her at www.natashadeen.com, and hang out with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
Mahalo, Natasha, for joining us today! To celebrate your new release, I am giving away a Vegas souvenir from the ABC Shop (the Hawaiian version of 7-11 .... there are several along the strip to cater to the Hawaiian tourists). To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about Vegas - love it? Loathe it? Favorite movie, TV, or book set in Vegas?
Who can forget James Bond/Sean Connery in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER?
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, August 20, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 21.
Kim in Hawaii
|Sean Connery in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER|
(doesn't the actress in blue look familiar?)