In Terminate, Josie’s friend Amanda is missing. But because she’s a runaway with a history of drug use and other risky behavior, no one seems to care. Clem, the owner of the community kitchen in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where Josie works in exchange for food, advises her to just leave well enough alone. Then a young man whose friend is also missing asks her for help. Josie learns that she, along with the other teens who helped her bring down the cop responsible for the death of her entire family, is becoming known on the street as a person who makes sure justice is done. When the battered bodies of homeless teens start filling the city’s morgue, Josie and Team Retribution suspect a connection to their missing friends and begin investigating. They discover an underground fight club where at-risk youth are being forced to fight and even kill each other for sport. Josie is captured and may have to enter the ring herself to save her friends.
What image did you start this book with?
Terminate is part of the Retribution series. In the first book, Burned, the main character—Jo—is searching for her friend, Amanda. I had a very clear image of the second book: Jo and Amanda, in a cage, being forced to fight each other for the amusement of those participating in an illegal fight club. I wondered what would happen—would they fight? What would happen if they didn’t—and I wrote the book so I could get the answers to those questions!
What’s the hardest part of writing?
It’s been my experience that everything following, “Hey, I have a book idea,” is usually nothing but torture for me. Seriously. I find every aspect of writing to be difficult, but I *LOVE* story, and that keeps me in the chair, even if it’s hard for me.
What’s your favorite form of procrastination?
What book do you wish you wrote? Why?
There are too many to count! But the book I’m most grateful someone wrote is Watty Piper’s “The Little Engine that Could.” Hands down, my favorite book of all time!
What is your favorite aspect of your new book?
I love Jo’s character. She’s tough and unflinching, but she cares deeply for the people around her, and for society. I think my favorite aspect of the book is uncovering all of her layers, and finding the nuances of her personality. Plus, she’s got a great sense of sarcasm, and I love working with that!
What is your writing ritual?
I’m always envious of authors who can be steely-eyed and determined when it comes to writing. That is not me. I’m a fidgety writer, and I really don’t have a long attention span. I write for 15 minutes, take a break for 5. When I hit the 45 minute mark for writing, I give myself 30 minutes of a break.
Terminate is available now!
Award-winning author Natasha Deen has written everything from creative nonfiction to YA and adult fiction. She was the inaugural 2013 Regional Writer in Residence for the Metro Edmonton Library Federation. Natasha lives in Edmonton, Alberta. For more information, visit www.natashadeen.com. Follow her on Twitter @natasha_deen.