Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BLOG TOUR [Guest Post + Giveaway] The Deep Beneath (H.A.L.F) by Natalie Wright (H.A.L.F #1)

The Deep Beneath (H.A.L.F) 
by Natalie Wright
(H.A.L.F #1)

Publication date: January 7th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult


H.A.L.F. 9 has taken his first breath of desert air and his first steps in the human world. Created to be a weapon, he proved too powerful for his makers and has lived a sedated life hidden from humans. But H.A.L.F. 9 has escaped the underground lab he called home, and the sedation has worn off. He has never been more alive. More powerful. Or more deadly.
Erika Holt longs to ride her motorcycle east until pavement meets shore. She bides her time until graduation when she’ll say adios to the trailer she shares with her alcoholic mother and memories of her dead father. But a typical night in the desert with friends thrusts Erika into a situation more dangerous than she ever imagined.
Circumstances push the two together, and each must make a fateful choice. Will Erika help H.A.L.F. 9 despite her “don’t get involved” rule? And will H.A.L.F. 9 let Erika live even though he was trained to kill?
The two may need to forget their rules and training and if either is to survive the dangers of the deep beneath them.

The Most Difficult Character I’ve Written

The work of developing characters is often the most fun part of writing for me. I’m learning who the people are that I’ll “work with” over the next several months. While it’s a lot of work (I often have several notebooks of character history, genealogy charts, and pivotal backstory scenes that never make it to the final work), it’s necessary and enjoyable to see the characters unfold before my eyes.

Generally, the protagonist and her motivation and goals come fairly quickly to me. Protagonist motivations and goals are often easily relatable – even noble.

But the antagonist is usually much more difficult. When creating a bad guy (or girl) character, it is harder than it may seem to craft a believable “baddy” without resorting to stereotypes or having the character seem like a caricature – a “stock” villain.

Additionally, antagonists are – by their nature – antagonistic to the goals of the protagonist. Goals that, as I’ve already mentioned, are usually relatable and even heroic. This push against the noble goal means that by definition the antagonist may be someone that isn’t very likable. The villain may even be downright frightening.

People often ask me if my characters are based on myself or people I know. The truth is that all characters are a combination of personalities and traits of people that I’ve met/known/observed as well as my own personality. It’s me plus all I’ve known in my life – which is another way of saying all the characters are me.

And it can be scary to delve into that part of yourself. To search within for the motivations/traits/goals/ambitions, etc. that are contrary to the noble and heroic person that we strive to be.

When I first conceived of Commander Lillian Sturgis, the antagonist in H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath, she was more of a “stock” villain – the ubiquitous evil scientist. But with the help of my editors, I saw that she had the capacity to be so much more. And that the story demanded that she be more.

The problem was that I had not (at that time) worked on Sturgis’ backstory. I hadn’t taken the time to explore Commander Sturgis in the same way I had my main characters. When I went back and worked more on Commander Sturgis, I realized she had a pretty incredible story. She became more fleshed out. And when that happened, she became a larger part of not only The Deep Beneath but of the remaining books in the trilogy.

By knowing who she is – not just what she does to move the plot along – I was able to sprinkle in actions/thoughts here and there to show more of her personality. At times we see Sturgis as a brilliant woman struggling to make her mark in a man’s world. At other times, we see her as downright creepy. Looking through Sturgis’ lens on the world, she certainly sees herself as heroic even if the main character thinks she’s a crazy bitch!

The antagonist is often the most difficult character to get a grip on, but it’s truly rewarding when I’m able to craft a villain that people love to hate. I hope readers love to hate Commander Sturgis as much as I do!


Natalie is the author of H.A.L.F., a young adult science fiction series, and The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. She lives in the high desert of Tucson, Arizona with her husband, tween daughter, and two young cats.

Natalie spends her time writing, reading, gaming, geeking out over nerd culture and cool science, hanging out on social media, and meeting readers and fans at festivals and comic cons throughout the western United States. She likes to walk in the desert, snorkel in warm waters, travel, and share excellent food and conversation with awesome people. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a big city high rise

Author links: 

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Unknown said...

thank you for the chance :)

Janet W. said...

Sounds interesting! Would love to read this!

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting me :-)

Natalie said...

I really like the cover!

Elena said...

thank you for the chance!

Theresa said...

Thank you for introducing me to Natalie's book.

Brooke Showalter said...

Wow, this sounds great! Natalie is a new author to me - thank you for sharing this post.