“For months, Summer is trapped in a cellar with the man who took her - and three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. His perfect, pure flowers. His family. But flowers can't survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out…”
This chilling description for The Cellar was posted to Wattpad by Natasha Preston in 2010. Since then, Natasha has sold over 240,000 copies of the print edition to get The Cellar on New York Times bestseller list. She's even published a sequel titled The Cabin.
As part of our Halloween interview series, we connected with Natasha to get her thoughts on the greatest fear for new writers, getting started:
“At first, I had no intention of writing but after about two months I decided to give it a try,” says Natasha of her start on Wattpad. “When I started writing The Cellar I had no idea where it would go other than a pretty vague outline of the plot. I wrote a chapter and uploaded it as soon as it was finished. Each time a notification came through from Wattpad I would rush to see what my readers had said about the chapter.”
As engagement on her story increased, what started as a part-time hobby grew into a career. Today, fans of The Cellar’s print edition still engage with the story on Wattpad. “I've noticed that since The Cellar was published I've had quite a few people coming to read the first draft version to see what changes I'd made.”
Natasha’s follow-up work The Cabin was inspired by Wattpad’s monthly #JustWriteIt challenge, a monthly prompt that encourages writers to hone their skills across a variety of genres. “The Cabin was written specifically for Wattpad's Whodunit prompt! It was originally called Covert. My editor at Sourcebooks and I went through many rewrites and edits to shape it into the version published today.”
While trying your hand at a challenge like Wattpad’s #JustWriteIt may seem scary, Natasha advises that people just take the leap: “[Just] do it! If I hadn't found Wattpad I would probably still be working a part-time admin job, unaware that there is a career I want. One thing I've learned is that there's a book out there for everyone. If you're worried that no one will like your work, I assure you someone will.”
We couldn’t agree more. Horror on Wattpad spans everything from creature features to technothrillers. And don’t forget, scary stories are always better with an audience. It’s why writing on Wattpad makes a difference. “I'd just like to say a massive thank you to Wattpad for being awesome...and finally a MASSIVE thank you to every person who has read, voted, or commented on my work on Wattpad.”