Very few people in their lifetime can say that they are a published author and own their own publishing company. Even less people can say that at the age of 23 they have managed to not only write their first novel, but have it published and used in creative classes in America. BigPictureStuff chats to Natasha Quaresma about her inspirations, dreams and the BigPictureStuff in her writing and her passions.
Illustrator: Vanessa Bong
Talent: Natasha Quaresma
It’s really inspiring to see that you’re only in your early 20s and already have your first published work.
Was it a difficult decision to just pursue writing?
Thank you! Yes and no. I had intentions for another career before I turned to becoming a novelist. It occupied my life for six years before I turned away, thinking I was done with it. I started writing my now published work, The Elementals – Sansul, during that time. It was toward the end. Writing kept me out of sadness, I poured my emotions at the time into my work and out of that period I was left with a manuscript. In a sense, that is what was difficult. Deciding to pursue a career, as a novelist was daunting because the number of people wanting to be heard far outnumbers the time and abilities of publishers. There was a high chance that I would be the only person reading the book! I knew I wanted to have some kind of career in literature, even if it was as an editor, agent or something in the field. What made it all easy was the blind love for writing.
How did your passion for writing come about?
When I think back on it, I believe it has always been with me. I have always loved stories but as a child you never think of trying to make a career of it yourself. Anne Shirley was my first inspiration because she loves books as much as I do, and she wanted to become a writer. She is a character but she was real to me when I was a young teenager. When I started writing stories, it wasn’t something I questioned. I just did it, needed to do it!
What 3 top tips would you give budding writers?
- Learn your craft.
In that sense I mean study writing, study literature, write often, write across genres, read across genres.
- Take good criticism.
Be grateful for it! For someone to take the time to give you feedback on your work, that is rare! In my case I know I have had my manuscript returned to me many times, bleeding with red pen corrections and I was always grateful. Hurt, sometimes, but grateful.
- Believe in your work.
Nobody is going to love it more than you, so if you believe your story can stand strong on the shelves beside authors you admire, then plough on and one day you will be on that shelf!
How did you come to work with Vess and Val?
It was all very serendipitous! Through a friend, and mutual respect and admiration for each other’s talents, I think! The idea of working with two creative and friendly women really appealed to me! There was no ego, no creative one-upmanship, no drama. I love that.When you are comfortable with colleagues, you create your best work. Art is a very solitary subject, but when you find like-minded people it is a joy.
Finally where should we expect the amazing Natasha Q to be in the next 5 years?
I wish I had a crystal ball! If all goes to plan, travelling, have more novels out and collaborating with fabulous people across the globe!
Valerie Bong – Founder & Content Executive
Val is an Arts/Commerce student currently based in Leeds, UK. As a photographer and documenter she loves celebrating the beauty of the world. With her love for capturing special moments she specialises in fashion, wedding, family and event photography.
VANESSA BONG – Founder & Content Executive
Vess is a writer, graphic designer, illustrator and creative director based in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about design, art, fashion and story telling her She has worked with a number of well known clients including the Melbourne Zoo, Kelly Thompson Illustrations and currently holds a position at SMASH enterprises as a junior designer. Website / Instagram
NATASHA QUARESMA – Model and Featured Creative
Natasha is an inspiring writer, model, actress, singer and all round amazing individual. Having travelled the world for her singing and acting career, Natasha has turned her focus to writing beautiful and captivating stories. With an eye for seeing others achieve their dreams and potential Natasha enjoys collaborating with others and crafting beautiful stories. Blog / Facebook /