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Interview: Natasha Bennett

Natasha Bennett has lived in British Columbia, Canada, for the past thirteen years. After graduating from high school, she worked at several retail jobs before applying for a course at Camosun College for Website Design. She made several web sites for clients before deciding that her heart was really in writing. She published a few short stories before publishing the novel War of the Soulites through Lyrical Press, the first in a trilogy, and hopefully the first of many books to come. Natasha currently lives with her fiancee, James Smith, and two cats.

Renolds Osirus spent most of his life as an accountant. To his shock, his life-long dream of becoming a spaceship captain is suddenly granted, and before he can even celebrate, Earth is decimated by a race of mysterious and terrifying aliens. His new ship, the Vigilant, is transported to hostile territory.

Vigilant’s first officer, Marcus Collingway, is a terrorist leader and a mass murderer. Long believed dead, he suffers the crew’s wrath when he’s blamed for the attack on Earth. As Renolds investigates, he exposes a complex web of secrets and lies.

Now trapped on a crippled ship, can the captain and first officer work together to save the Vigilant?

John Ottinger III: What is the genesis of your story? Where did you get the idea?

Natasha Bennett: Originally I had planned to write a fantasy series. At the time, however, I was watching and reading a lot of science fiction, and I noticed a lot of ideas that were never explored. What if religion had been abolished in the world, and every human being had to deal with the certainty that there was no afterlife? What if the captain was an inexperienced accountant? What if the first officer was a mass murderer? Gradually each idea formed the series War of the Soulites.

JOIII: Why did you choose to release your book in eformat with Lyrical Press?

NB: A couple of reasons. Unfortunately, there are a few ‘publishers’ out there that want to scam writers. I did some research first on which publisher had a good reputation, and Lyrical Press was one of them. They also design some really amazing covers!

With regards to e-publishing, it is a trend that is becoming more popular. It’s more eco-friendly and cost effective for the customer as well.

JTOIII: What opportunities, difficulties did you find in having telepathic characters?

NB: Telepaths are hated, feared, and for the most part shunned by the inhabitants of Earth. I found them enjoyable to write because they are almost another race that deals with slavery and oppression, yet also have a considerable amount of power. It was a challenge to not give them too much power during certain parts of the book.

JTOIII: How do you explain the abrupt shift in career of your main character from accountant to spaceship captain that makes sense?

NB: Renolds Osirus followed in his father’s footsteps to become an become an accountant. Halfway into his life he had a revelation that he was following a meaningless life, and enlisted in the military.

Unfortunately, he is a ‘late-bloomer’ in the academy, and positions on space ships are very select. As a result, he is stationed on Earth for quite a few years before mysteriously being drafted as Captain of the Vigilant. His inexperience is a key point throughout the series.

JTOIII: What themes are you exploring in your novel?

NB: Several. As I mentioned earlier one of them is the idea that science has debunked religion, and what follows is a study of how human beings react (generally not very well). It also explores themes such as slavery, prejudice, and terrorism.

JTOIII: Thank you for your time.

NB: No problem! Thank you.