Thanks for joining me, Natalie. Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.
Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I now have two books published, Stars’ Fire (with another publisher) and Snowfall’s Secret (with Solstice). I also wrote a short story, Synapse, for the latest SF anthology. I’m currently working on a third book with a tentative title of Storm’s Eye.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
I want one of my books to be read by as many youths as possible.
Good luck with that. Most authors want their work read by as large an audience as possible.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I love writing science fiction for young adults. When I was a tween there were no SF books for us (particularly girls). I’m glad things are changing.
Great point. My 12-year old daughter enjoys science fiction books, as do other girls her age today.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Don’t give up. Ever.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
There was no internet or self-publishing ebooks. In fact, there was no such thing as an ebook.
Interesting. It’s true that ebooks have made a big change in the publishing field.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I took two writing classes in college to fill a prerequisite. I have to say there is a fine art in finding the right writers’ group.
I’m sure that’s true.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I love traveling, sightseeing, and camping in warmer months. I turn into a real snuggle bug in winter (knitting, reading, and watching movies).
I think a lot of us have seasonal hobbies. Yours sound like fun.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love getting lost in my writing and the sense of accomplishment when I finish. The toughest challenge is getting my work published.
Yes, getting published is tough and selling your work afterwards is even more of a challenge.
Thanks so much, Natalie. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
My current work is Snowfall’s Secret. It’s a about a girl from another world who must live like any other tween on Earth (and she suffers from amnesia). Of course, she learns to enjoy shopping at the mall with her very own debit card and has a few secrets. At its core is the message that everyone has value and has something special to share.
The story was inspired by a dream I had when I was twelve. I saw five monks standing in a semi-circle. They were all wearing a triangle-shaped pendant with a red stone in the center. One of the monks looked at me and said, “You’re not ready,” and I woke. I had subsequent dreams of a girl with a pendant to the one the monks wore and I wrote them all down.
My favorite character to write about (funny how that turned out) was a secondary one to the story: Mrs. Margot Greenfield. I based her on a favorite childhood teacher.
By the way, my favorite genre to write is science fiction. Surprise! Just kidding.
My focus right now is science fiction for girls; but I’ve also wrote a short science fiction story and I’m still playing around with a short story that’s alternative history to give myself a mental stretch. I have this irrational fear that the last thing I finish writing will be my last. I wonder if I’m not alone.
I’m pretty ‘old school’ when it comes to my writing habits. The first thing I do is buy a brand new hand-sized spiral notebook and use it to write the basic story that’s mostly action punctuated here and there by dialogue. The little notebook helps me believe that I’m accomplishing so much. I then use my trusty laptop to write the second draft that looks as if I threw words down to see what sticks. The technical term I like to use is word hurl. Each subsequent draft looks a little more refined than the previous one. I then use the little spiral notebook to make notes and jot down ideas for the story.
I began writing when I was ten and back then we didn’t have home computers.
I was asked a while ago what I would do if I weren’t a writer; and I quipped that I would be an artist. I dug deep down and realized the truth is that I would be a very sad person without writing. My words are what ground me and keep me sane.
I’ve been asked advice by aspiring writers. I’m very, very flattered. But let me tell you, I’m still an aspiring writer. My advice is simple: don’t ever, ever (and I mean ever) give up.
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Thanks again, Natalie. It’s been a pleasure having you as a guest. We both have in common that we started writing very young and have been published by Solstice Publishing. I’ve also done some Sci-Fic writing but for adults and not teens. I wish you the very best on your future books.