Meet the Author: Natasha Cabot

2250 is my story; it was inspired, in part, by legalised euthanasia in countries like the Netherlands. I thought it might be a more pleasant experience (if that’s the correct word to use) if one was able to savour their last moments of life as activities or memories or time periods that they enjoyed. I don’t like the idea of being “put down” in a clinical way. In my opinion, the least euthanasia centres can do is make it entertaining.

I find writing to be a liberating yet terrifying experience. All too often I find that I mentally beat myself up over the lack of perfection in a first draft – which is a stupid thing to do, considering writing is really 75% re-writing. The editing process is both blissful and nightmarish. A writer would never get anything published if all he or she did was edit. I am always finding things to change or revise but, at some point, you have to say, “enough!” And yes, I do believe in writer’s block. I think it stems from the terror of, “is this going to be good enough or will it suck,” so one let’s her fears stop her from writing. You must ignore those little voices, I suppose, or you’ll torture yourself and never get your words out.

A writer most definitely must be empathetic, otherwise how can he or she create characters? Of course, I could be wrong – and probably am. I don’t think Philip Roth was too empathetic, but seeing as I didn’t know the man personally, I could be mistaken. But for me, empathy and sensitivity are two characteristics a writer must have…at least this writer. I think those qualities help you to crawl into the skin of another and live life in another shell.

Kurt Vonnegut is the writer that has most influenced me and inspired me. “Slaughterhouse-Five” was the first novel that made me cry, the second was Isabel Allende’s “Maya’s Notebook.” The writer Michel Houellebecq helped me to realize you don’t have to like any character in a novel for it to be a great piece of fiction. One thing I dislike about writing is this belief that you have to like a character in order to enjoy a book. I find detestable people to be more interesting than “good” people. My characters tend not to be likeable, and I’m okay with it.

‘2250’ by Natasha Cabot features in Tall Tales & Short Stories Volume One.

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