Natasha Duncan-Drake – Author
Pseudonyms: Tasha D-Drake, Tasha Duncan
Natasha is a British author with Wittegen Press and has been publishing genre fiction since 2011. Her work includes everything from horror to young adult fantasy and she has never met a genre she didn’t like. A prolific producer of short stories and novels alike, Natasha currently has over twenty five titles in her back catalogue with further releases always imminent.
Natasha has been writing since she was a young girl ever since she read The Hobbit at Primary School. She is a big fan of science fiction, fantasy and horror in all their forms and is a big advocate of fanfiction as a great tool for writers to polish their skills in a welcoming and supportive community.
Before establishing Wittegen Press with her twin sister, Sophie Duncan, Natasha was a database and systems consultant. She combines these skills with her writing to create and manage her career in the bold new eBook market.
Scroll down to see the most recent posts from Tasha’s Personal Blog and she is also a contributor to the Wittegen Press Blog. Both have free fiction, information about books, reviews of books and films and lots more.
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Tasha’s Latest Personal Blog Posts
Welcome to my blog! Here you will find tips on writing/publishing, recipes, reviews, fiction and more.
Set Chocolate Mousse
This recipe is easy, delicious and very versatile. I made it last weekend for my family and it went down very well with everyone but my mother, but she doesn't like dark choc, so not really surprising. Might want to make the milk choc version for those with a sweeter tooth. Next time I plan to add a little orange liqueur to spice it up a bit.😋
The actual recipe comes from here: The Perfect Refuge an absolutely delightful Italian cooking channel on Youtube, but I use something of a different method, so I thought I would post it. This is the vid of the original recipe, and there is a second option using eggs as well - turn on the subtitles for English.
- 250ml/1.05 cup cream (I used double, but I suspect single would be okay)
- 40g/ 0.4 cup cocoa
- 1 lt/4 cups milk
- 150g dark (or milk) chocolate (3/4 cup of choc chips)
- 70g/ 2/3 cup potato starch or corn flour (starch)
- 60g/ 1/4 cup sugar (only need this is using dark choc - milk has plenty of sugar)
- 1 large mixing bowl, 1 medium one
- scales/measuring cups/measuring jug
- hand whisk
- large saucepan
- large rectangular dessert/terrine tin
- Put the cocoa in the large bowl and slowly add the cream bit by bit using the whisk. You will end up with a thick paste.
- Add a splash of the milk to the paste to loosen it with the whisk, then keep adding and stirring until you've added about half the milk.
- In the medium bowl mix the corn flour/potato starch with the rest of the milk and whisk together.
- Add the corn flour/milk mixture into the cocoa mixture bit by bit using the whisk, making sure it combines well.
- Sieve the liquid into the large saucepan and push through any lumps remaining in the sieve. (I had just a few little ones).
- Heat gently on the hob and break in the chocolate.
- Stir continuously while the chocolate melts, then bring the mixture to the boil.
- Boil gently for 2 mins or until the mixture has thickened (took me more like 5, but I was heating it very gently because I fear the mixture splitting).
- Line the tin with cling film (if your mould is silicon, this step may be unnecessary, but it makes like a lot easier),
- Pour in the mixture and place more cling film over the top, in contact with the mixture.
- Place the dessert in the fridge for 5-6 hours min (I did mine overnight).
Youtube Journey Part 2
Adobe After Effects & InDesign
My Crash Course
- I didn't just want to film me reading things. I want part of each vid to be live action, but I remember the Disney page turning format very fondly and wanted something along those lines for the stories. Also helps with accessibility.
- I wanted a short little logo animation to segue from live action to the story.
Endeavour 1 - My Page Turning Book
- Stage 1 - Follow Tutorial Exactly
- Stage 2 - Tutorial pages turn backwards for some reason, so figure out how to make them turn forwards.
- Stage 3 - Figure out how to create page content.
First Idea - Photoshop:
- Create a base template
- Place text
- format text
- Rinse and repeat
Next Idea - InDesign
- We can import a preformatted Word Doc and it will automatically paginate for us.
- We can export all pages as images.
Third Thought - Plain White Pages are Boring
The End Result
- Page content
- Book style
- Page turning interval
- Format the story to be animated in Word with the correct size font (I have to play with these anyway to get them ready for reading, so it's only a tiny little step more).
- Set up an InDesign layout with the background of choice depending on story content.
- Import Word file into InDesign.
- Add any extra formatting.
- Export pages to PNG
- Import into After Effects project and set pages to have the correct content.
- Use recording to set page turn intervals.
- Add pretty background behind the book to please YouTube's algorithm.
Endeavour 2 - My Animated Logo
Free Fiction Friday
The Cop, The Vampire, and National Security by Natasha Duncan-Drake
This Month's Story
Josh is back at The Manor, but is he safe? There is still the magic bound inside him to deal with and there is the question of where his uncle's dark witch disappeared to and what she will do next. Danger still looms.