Natasha is new to the KIUW family and we are so pleased to have her! In her essay Bequeathal, she shares painful stories about her own abuse and how it was carried down from previous generations, and how that impacted her own decision about having children. Much like an oddly-shaped ear canal, abuse -- whether victim or perpetrator -- can be built into our core.
How much of your life do you give to writing?
I’ve been writing most of my life, but I only had the courage to start submitting stories ten years ago. I love writing, but I tend to be somewhat insecure, yet overly confident. I think most writers will understand that contradiction.
If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing and structuring my stories. I keep a list of story ideas. I recently finished my first novel, Patriotland. Now, it just needs to find a home.
If I didn’t have an outlet such as writing, I think I would have exploded a long time ago from all the lovely, creative weirdness trapped inside of me. I may get anxious while writing, but once I’m done I feel human – if that makes sense.
What made you write this piece in particular?
The topic of the anthology interested me. I didn’t have the happiest of childhoods. Abuse can do that do you. It took me a long time to realize the reason I didn’t want kids was due to the fear that I would be an abuser. I’d tell myself, “I’ll never do that when I have a child” but the thought was there whispering back, “but what if you do?” I never felt comfortable telling people why I didn’t have kids – I’d lie and say I wasn’t able to, or I’d tell them I just didn’t want kids. It seemed easier than telling them the truth.
The opportunity to write about it was something I didn’t want to miss. Most people, I think, don’t understand how someone can hurt a child – I don’t either. But, as I said in the essay, I love any child of mine too much to even take a chance of hurting them.
How does this piece fit with your wider writing? Do you write in other genres?
I have a very dark, dry sense of humour. I’m not sure how this piece would fit in with my wider writing. Perhaps the cynicism? I tend to be somewhat cynical about things – but, in my opinion, in a funny way. My primary focus is fiction. My work is humorously cynical, I like to think. I love Kurt Vonnegut and Michel Houellebecq – both are huge influences on me. Maybe if you like them, you’d like my work.
How can readers further support your writing?
Readers can support not only my writing but other authors by looking for stories outside the mainstream. Kick the rocks and see what’s underneath.
Unfortunately, a lot of writing published by the mainstream is uniform, cut and dry, and it doesn’t take chances. I find it sad, because I think writing should challenge and entertain simultaneously. When major publishing houses are hiring sensitivity readers to edit someone’s noun, verb, and adjective children, the author ceases to be creative and ends up as a cog on a bland, boring machine.