Author Interview Natasha Rocca Devine - The Industry
Please welcome today an author whose not a stranger in front of or behind the camera, and being in the spotlight as her parents enjoy their own slice of fame. She's talking to us today about her debut work in fiction, The Industry, Natasha Rocca Devine!
Publisher: Legend Press Ltd
Publication date: 1/17/2014
Leaving her beloved family and friends behind in her hometown of Kerry, Alanna heads for London in search of success as a performer at one of the city's most prestigious colleges.
As the beautiful young singer ingratiates herself in a world of affluent excess, partying and debauchery, she's quick to realise it's not all as glamorous as it once seemed. Rising through the ranks of London's elite, Alanna finds herself living a double life, stooping to new lows to pay rent and compromising her character in the process.
Natasha Hi Welcome to The Reading Frenzy!
What was the catalyst for
writing this book?
I am fascinated by the phenomenon of fame, online media
and how the lines are blurred between reality and virtual reality.
I chose ‘The Industry’; Media, music, online media, fame,
as I believe it appeals to all races, ages, classes and religions. Whether you
wish to or not, the industry via technology is linked to everyone’s lives and
so I thought it was a strong foundation to start my story.
To assist my skills of creative writing, I studied fiction
online at ‘Faber and Faber’ Academy, meanwhile worked fulltime in a global
publishing house. Here, I learned to understand the business of publishing on a
grand scale working on eBooks projects which were sold across schools across
In terms of social media, here each chapter starts with a
Tweet which is indicative of the chapter and also Alanna / AStar’s blog. I
wanted to connect Social Media to this book, so as part of our media campaign
this blog is now live…
As I am an artist at heart, this book was my canvas so I
devoted my time to enveloping this story, the characters and the music chosen.
Throughout the course of writing I did all the research required in creating
the most authentic story to share with the world. Behind the story there are
layers in the themes such as love, loss, betrayal, loyalty, lust, fame,
fortune, highs, lows and lots of humour.
As this is part of a trilogy I shall deepen these themes
and the characters as it progresses. I have exciting plans for the next two
books to follow.
What was the biggest
difference between writing non-fiction and fiction?
Fiction and non-fiction/ hybrid books are polar opposites.
The processes of publishing are quite similar. Yet, with fiction there requires
a structure; character development, plot, time setting etc. Once this is
created, as the story envelops as a writer you need to constantly check back in
to see if things link up. For this, everything is intertwined and has a domino
effect, one change at the end can affect the start.
Whereas, my previous book was ‘Awareness: Creating your
own balance in life’, an A-Z life’s guide to balance. For this I could focus on
sections at a time. It was more creative in that sense, yet, structure is
always required and was why I used A-Z format to ensure it was easy for the
readers to follow.
Personally, as I am a sponge for inspiration I also absorb
characters and designs from the environment around me or something that will
entice my imagination. So, I may see something, hear something or envisage
something that will effect a change in my story and in turn shifts the plot.
With that in mind, I will always have a basic structure
and know the characters, yet, these characters drive my plot and I allow them
to evolve as my writing and the story does. I like to be in the moment with all
of my creative projects. I believe it is so much more exciting to let things
flow and see how they work out in the end.
Natasha your career path
has led you in many directions, in front of and behind the camera as well as
writing. Will writing always be an addition to your other pursuits or are you
hoping to pursue writing fulltime?
It is my ultimate dream to write and design fulltime. Of
course, working and having trained in front of and behind camera is very
creative and exciting, so I like to say ‘never say never’. Life is too short
and precious to hold back on positive opportunities that may cross my path.
Yet, writing and designing is my main focus.
You are not a novice when
it comes to bright lights and stardom. Both your parents and your stepdad are
in the limelight. Have these beginnings prepared you to better handle your own
I have been
writing and designing since an early age so it was destined that I was going to
work in a creative industry.
With my family and personal experiences, I have been
fortunate enough to have a view of the reality of ‘fame’ and I see ‘Showbiz’ as
a business, rather than just bright lights and stardom.
I grew up in
media surrounded by artists, models, singers, writers, designers, entrepreneurs
and footballers etc. who each had successful careers. Inevitably it inspired me
to follow my dreams and see past any limitations in finding my own path.
importantly, I saw the hard work and effort they made to follow the dreams and
to remain a success. So, knew I had to work hard, as they did.
As a result, I
have worked in PR and events etc. since 16 years old and always had part time
jobs whilst I studied.
In college, I
completed a Bachelor of Arts followed by Masters in Journalism and various
courses in performance and communication alike. After this, I studied fashion
in Milan, completed a Masters in Interior Architecture (Specialised in lighting
design) in London and taught myself graphic and web design.
Productions is based on creative projects such as ‘The Industry’, which is
marking the beginning of many books to follow.
‘The Industry’ is apt as a title as I believe it is a business like any other
with those succeeding based on hard work and determination, only here fame is a
by-product of this. Rather than the other way around. Something I believe can
often be confused and leave people with false hopes. I believe my book may
shine some light on the reality of this business.
Who has been most
influential person in your life?
Both of which represented Ireland; my mum Michelle was Ms. Ireland, a model, TV Broadcaster and extremely talented writer. My father John, was a footballer for Ireland and Arsenal F.C., amongst various other teams. I saw my parents representing my nation through their talents, while they ingrained in myself and my siblings the values and work ethic that it took them to achieve these goals. My parents are as much my friends as parents and I have such a huge respect from them both.
Natasha this may be your first foray into fiction but it’s not your first published work. Tell us what led you to write your non-fiction book Awareness about your journey back from an almost fatal car accident.
From 19, the
years following my coma on top of college pressures etc. I had to overcome the
side effects; concentration, anxiety and loss of memory.
Plus, as I am
extremely into fitness, physically my health was very poor which was
frustrating yet, from this experience I learned to take things day by day and
do the best I could.
After time, I
found my balance and feel fortunate for each day and the opportunities they
Hence, I wrote
my book ‘Awareness’ with the aim to remind others to keep their faith (whatever
that may be to each person) that you can help yourself or get help to move out
of a tough time. Most importantly learning lessons on the way.
my way, I feel fortunate. So, living in the moment, positively, day by day, is
are you a reader?
Yes, I love to read. Books, Blogs (Huffington Post),
Tweets (which link out to articles) Magazines… I love movies and documentaries
yet, I do prefer to read over television shows. Reading (and writing) is my Zen.
Fiction or non-fiction?
I adore plays, autobiographies (e.g. Nelson Mandela
‘Long walk to freedom’, Obama etc.) contemporary fiction, books on; spirituality,
psychology, graphics, art. Yet, I am always open to new styles. I also like to
test books with acclaimed success so I have read all of the Harry Potters
Who are your favorite authors?
Zadie Smith, David
Nicholls, John Steinbeck: Jane Austen, W.B Yeats, Eckhart Tolle, Kathryn
Stockett. Yann Martel,
Lauren Weisberger; Louisa M. Alcott, Philippa Gregory. Stephen Fry, autobiographies
(Differ per book but I like this style).
What’s next for you as
far as writing?
I am working
on the follow up to my latest book which ‘The Industry – After Party’ whilst
writing and designing some characters for my children’s books collection.
As I have
specialised and taught lighting design and worked producing my own
documentaries, perhaps I will work on these in the future. Yet, for now I am
focused on my immediate goals and always open to projects that may come my way.
Natasha thank you so much for being my guest today.
Thank you - NRD
Will there be any signings on either side of the Pond you’d like to mention
where fans could meet you in person?
I hope to travel to Boston, where I wrote ‘Awareness’ in
the next few months, along with NYC. As I have lived in LA and San Francisco I
would love to get back there. I adore the diversity and positivity that America
offers. So, I would definitely hope so to do signings throughout various States
in 2014 and always keep my connection close to U.S.A.