This week’s Questioning Lesbians is with Natasja Hellenthal.
Natasja, was born and raised in The Netherlands. She has always enjoyed reading, observing and studying life; basically anything interesting around her! She loved being surrounded by nature and animals from a young age and could dream away for hours in a wild wood. Alas, there wasn’t much wild nature in Holland, so she left in her early twenties to search for greener pastures! She has travelled through Europe mainly after that, searching and experiencing life. I have lived and worked in Norway, Wales, Norther-Ireland and England. Interesting years! She now lives in the South of France.
Natasja has been visited by vivid dreams since she was very young and can remember bits of past lives. Since the age of 18 she has been writing these fragments down. Her writing is fuelled by her imagination, translated it to English over the years, and am published since 2014. The Queen’s Curse was her debut novel which became an international bestseller on Amazon.
Natasja is now a novelist with 10 books in total, but at heart she is also an eco-warrior, animal lover (and thus vegan) and equal rights activist. Her interests include reading the best (both fiction and non-fiction), poetry, space and science, ancient aliens, the unexplained, interesting movies, nature and art, and outdoor activities such as hiking, organic farming, swimming in the sea, paddle-boarding and cycling. She lives in the Pyrenees, South of France close to the sea which she needs for her well-being. Natasja co-parents two small children whom she adopted with her ex wife. She am always trying to help and save wildlife or collect plastic out of the sea.
Wow! Quite the bio! I love the past lives bit, I would love to know more about mine. But this isn’t all about me (who am I even kidding?), so, let’s get back to you. Tell me a bit about your books.
I have ten books! I can’t choose which ones to talk about! It’s like choosing between which of my children I want to discuss! I have a variety of books in the speculative genre. Each is different and unique. Click here!
Loving the subtle inclusion of a hyperlink there. You are officially my marketing hero! Tell me, who or what inspires you?
I am influenced by writers such as Tanith Lee, Kahlil Gibran, Patricia McKillip and Hermann Hesse. But also strong, independent people in general inspire me. Those who go in against the mainstream against all odds, who help others in times of need, who want to do good, who set the tone, who don’t give up despite ridicule or protest, who invent, who explore, who delve deep to find the answers, who expose the truth. One of my all time favourites is Dolores Cannon. Also, nature inspires me greatly! To be alone with my thoughts is a must! And last but not least: my partner, Kiki! She brings out the best in me, really. Together we come up with the greatest ideas too! She studied criminology, has done a variety of jobs, travelled and lived in different countries, and has an amazing sense of humour. She is currently writing ‘Confessions of a Flowerstand’ about her time as a “florist” in Vancouver. And together we are working on ‘Kiki’s Detective Service’.
Right, let’s get to the important stuff. Tell me about your favourite sandwich!
Homemade organic wholemeal bread with humus, fresh salad, cucumber, olives and cherry tomatoes!
I love hummus in a sandwich. I used to make a lovely hummus, roasted red pepper and lettuce sandwich, before I started eating distopian mush. Anyway, back to lesbians. Are your fictional lesbians questioning anything? If so, what?
Yes! Everything! Who they are, where they come from, how the world works, the universe, their bodies, where clouds come from, where the wind comes from, what is justice and what isn’t, what is good and evil, right and wrong, who decides what, what is a soul, where do we go where we dream, what are our minds, how are we connected, how we are brainwashed, conditioned, how we can change etc. So much!
Well, that is a lot of questioning, but then again, that’s what these interviews are all about! What about non lesbians? Do they question things?
Hahaha, well, I certainly hope so! I would say to them, “If you stop questioning, instead take things for granted, and don’t think for yourself, why do you live at all?” Just to live every day like the previous one, follow others, obey?
And I hope they would have a jolly good ponder of that. How about bisexuals? Twice the questions do you think?
The questions to what, I wonder? Their sexuality? I discuss this in my Comyenti Series actually! Call Off The Search features a supernatural, bisexual female, Sula, who is part of an alien humanoid species. They are all bisexual by nature, but she doesn’t know that as she knows little about her origins. This will come to light further on in the series… But the first two books do explore what it means for her in specific as she falls in love with the twins Felix and Feline.
And speaking of feline, cats or dogs?
I love all animals so that includes dogs and cats. I personally have a cat called Moona. She is the Queen. I don’t own her, she owns me.
As it should be. And where do you fall in the great pet couture debate?
I have never even heard of that! Is that a thing? I don’t think non-human animals are interested in fashion much and don’t have need for clothes like humans do (unless they have been domesticated or bred without hair, poor things!) Couture is a human concept and I’m against pushing our believes and behaviour onto “pets”.
And we were getting on so well… never mind. What inspired your latest book?
I have always wanted to write more about the supernatural beings I created for my Comyenti Series, they know so little about themselves, so I am in the process of writing the prequel to the series. To get to the bottom of things, so to speak! For them, myself, and my readers!
And if your book was an animal, what would it be?
My books are all different animals! I would say my debut novel ‘The Queen’s Curse’ is an elephant! They can walk nice and slow for hours, but also cause a stampede, attack if needed to defend, are immensely strong, thick skinned, but sensitive, wise and spiritual.
If you could question any lesbian, who would you choose and what would you ask?
Jodie Foster. Why did you wait so long with coming out?
Top three lesfic reads, quick smart!
The Dark Wife by S.E. Diemer – I love mythology and this is a great lesbian twist on Persephone’s story
Disturbed by her Song by Tanith Lee – Great collection of lesbian stories by the Queen of Fantasy
The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson – Intriguing, funny and well told sci-fi read.
Fabulous. And finally, who would you like to see next on Questioning Lesbians?