Now, here’s Natalie…
Q: When you are getting ready to start a new book, what’s the first thing you do?
Natalie: I have to name the characters – can’t make any kind of start unless I know their names!
Q: How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?
Natalie: I sleep. When I (eventually) wake, I look at my hubbie and kids and smile 🙂
Q: How difficult is if for you to come up with a title for your books?
Natalie: EXTREMELY!!! Most of the time I name my books by the names of the characters – but MELT just came to me right at the start and seemed to fit the story perfectly 🙂
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Natalie: Just write – just get on with it. The two most important things you can do are read and write. Finish that first book. Yes, courses and conferences are so important and valuable, but nothing is more valuable and affirming as writing ‘The End’ for the first time – you realize then that for sure, you
CAN do it!!!
Q: What jobs have you had on your way to becoming a writer?
Natalie: Not that many actually. My first ‘proper’ job was as a library assistant in the Music & Fine Arts Collection at my university library. It was a GREAT
student job! While I always wanted to be a writer, I needed to eat too (and honestly, at that stage in my life I wasn’t writing much). So after my degree I did a Masters in Library & Information Studies. I worked in a law library for a while and went over to London and did the same there – I worked in the information units of a management consultancy, law and insurance firms, and the corporate banking sector – very useful exposure to the twenty-something ‘life-about-London-town’. After I met and married my man we returned to New Zealand and got into the family way – that’s when I started writing seriously. I was very fortunate and sold my first submission.
Q: Where does the magic happen? Where do you write?
Natalie: Because I’m an at-home mum with all these kids, I’ve had to be inventive in terms of finding a place to write as we don’t have an office or anything. So
I’ve written in the lounge and/or the kitchen late at night, in bed, I have a favourite café with very patient staff, for a while I wrote in the laundry at some awful hour of the morning, and I wrote in the car a lot – driving to a scenic spot and opening up my laptop… But I am VERY excited as we’re now back in our home in Christchurch (after some time in another town and then some earthquake interrupted months) and my wonderful husband has been constructing a ‘shed’ for me. It really IS a shed and only teeny-tiny – we have a creek that cuts across the front part of our section and on the ‘far side’ in amongst a little bit of ‘native bush’ (that we planted years ago), is the platform for my ‘shed’ to go. I love the creek – we have tons of ducks and ducklings, tiny cockabully fish and the most beautiful dragonflies… I have to cross stepping stones in the creek to get to the shed. It should be finished in the next three weeks or so. I CAN’T WAIT. It’s mine. Aaaallllll mine 🙂
Q: How important is a character¹s name to you? Do they come easily?
Natalie: So important. Sometimes they come easily, sometimes they don’t. I was waiting for my new hero’s name for a while there and getting VERY impatient as I can’t progress at all without them having their names. I go through baby books, search for the most popular names in the year of the character’s birth, look at the birth and death columns of the local paper… The lot. I love getting to pick their names 🙂
Q: Aside from writing, what do you do in your free time?
Natalie: I’ve got four young children (5 year old twins, a 7 year old and a 9 year old) – so my life is very busy with them. I have to squeeze writing in around my Mum-duties – it can be hard to balance, especially in the school holidays!!!
Q: Do you prefer print books or eBooks
Natalie: I’m mostly a print girl still – mainly because I spend so much time looking at a computer screen, it rests my eyes to look at paper. Having said that though, the ebooks I do read, I read on my laptop – so I really need a proper e-reader to be able to truly decide!!!!
Download your copy of MELT!