Inkpop Blog

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inkpopper of the Week: Hexen

Posted by inkpop on March 5, 2010

You can often find Natasha Griessner on inkpop in the wee hours of the morning. “Sometimes I don’t sleep, and am still on inkpop at 2 a.m.,” she says. “I owe a big thanks to energy drinks!”

Known to fellow inkpoppers as Hexen, the 14-year-old Southeast Londoner is one of the teen-lit site’s most active members. She’s written four books: Love you to Death, Shadowed: Sequel to Love you to Death, Forbidden: Sequel to Shadowed, and Witchlight.

Like a slew of other inkpoppers, Hexen volunteers to creates covers for fellow inkpop members’ projects. Visit this inkpop Forums thread to find out about other inkpoppers who are making covers  just for fun (including hollycat and FeatherWriter) or for swaps (including Jakob Kai Neumann, Amendris, and Ro).

Here, Hexen talks about helpful comments, why her books aren’t like Twilight, and her “psychic touch.”

How is it possible that you’re only 14 and you’ve written four books?

A lot of my writing has factors of my own life. This may sound weird, but I have always been obsessed with fantasy/supernatural/horror. From the age of 5, I was laughing my head off at horror films like Chucky and Friday the 13th, which is probably why I’m such a gory person! Now that I am rewriting my trilogy, I plan to have my vampires more like the original ones, with a lot of gore.

I have a psychic touch—I predict things before they happen. This is where some of my inspiration for my book, Witchlight, came in.

When did you start writing?

When I was 9. In year 5, I had some poems published in a children’s poetry book. I started writing a lot in 2006, as I lost three people very close to me—two best friends and my nan.

What’s your favorite book that you’ve written for inkpop?

Love you to Death, the first in the trilogy, and Forbidden: Sequel to Shadowed are about a girl, Cornelia, who has had past lives and fell in love with three people—one werewolf and two vampires. In each life, she usually rejected the werewolf and without revealing why he would kill her. But in this life, she survived the attack, but unlike the others, she does not fall in love with the vampires either—she is attracted to them but ends up hating them.

Some people compare my story to Twilight, but mine does not have the happily-ever-after theme to it. My character is left on her own, and she manages to cope—but when the vampire starts showing up again, she turns against them and ends up killing quite a few people.

In your profile, you say, “I have six cats, one dog, two hamsters, four gerbils, and my granddad owns 23 race horses.” How do you keep up with all those animals?

At home, each person looks after an animal. When my friends come ‘round to my house, they usually compare it to London Zoo! I am in charge of two kittens, one dog, and a hamster. I forgot to mention the goldfish I own in a pond—there are 20!

You started an inkpop Forums thread suggesting that inkpop allow members to rate the quality of comments left on projects. What do you think are the most helpful kinds of comments?

The most helpful comments help an aspiring author but don’t make them feel as if they need to rip up their work. I also think that the short “I love it!” comments—although some people like them—could be lengthier to describe what they like about the story and why.

Here are a few examples of comments I’ve received and how I’d rate them…

I would rate this comment 3.5 out of 4:

I read Chapter 5, and even though the story isn’t my cup of tea, I appreciate your detail—the window in the classroom, the smell of the werewolf, the feeling of the arms around Cordelia. Those are very well done and targeted. The pace of the story is fast; from Chapter 1 1/2 through 5, things move along at an energetic clip. I’m sure the rest of the story moves along at that kind of pace as needed, and that you keep up the level of detail you’ve established.

I would rate these comment 0.5 or a 1 because they’re not helpful:

• You did a good job!

• I like what I read so far.

 • :):):):):)

inkpop Forums Topic: Who do you think should be the next “inkpopper of the Week”? Nominate your favorite community members on this Forums thread.

The inkpop blog is written by inkpopAmy

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