1. Where were you in your writing career 5 years ago?
I’d just sent off my first submission to Mills & Boon at Christmas. I’d only started writing in the six months prior to that having found the NANOWRIMO book, NO PLOT NO PROBLEM – it kick started my old dream. I was very lucky. M&B got back to me in April asking for the full, asked for revisions in September and bought it in October – so Oct 2011 will be my 5-years-since-selling anniversary. It’s scary how fast it’s gone.
2. Where did you get the idea from for this particular book?
The idea for the opening scene was triggered by my own combing-hair-while-driving incident. I was at a red light and my foot slipped while I was vigorously trying to sort my wet, tangled hair and I remember thinking thank goodness there wasn’t a car or pedestrian in front of me when I accidentally slid forward… hmmmmm. Bingo!
3. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?
I’d love to be doing what I’m doing now – writing and selling! I love writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon, it is a dream come true and an honour. I really, really, really want to get my 25-book-pin (HMB celebrate milestone book numbers, 25 is the first biggie). So that’s within my 5-year plan! I’m looking forward to the next five years – my youngest two start school in October so my writing routine is going to change somewhat as I get day time to write. I’m going to cry my eyes out on their first day at school, but it is an exciting time as well.
4. Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?
That’s just an impossible question!!! Honestly, there are so many books I just adore and think damn, wish I could write like that! I think Susan Elizabeth Phillips is fantastic – love her humour and tone.
5. Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?
None particularly leap out as being the one to make me want to be a writer. I’ve just always wanted to since as far back as I can remember. I’ve always had an active imagination and making up stories has always been part of what I’ve done. Both my parents were journalists (before both changed careers) and I married a journalist. Writing for a living is very normal in my world.
6. What's the most romantic moment of your life so far?
Oh! There are a couple of incidents I couldn’t share… but I remember a week or so before my gorgeous-one proposed, we had a long weekend in Rome. That entire weekend was deliciously romantic. There were so many special moments. I remember sitting at a bar in the lovely autumnal afternoon sun, eating some divine antipasto with a glass of wine… and just being with him. It was perfect. It’s our 11th anniversary next week. I’m thinking that sometime (when the kids are old enough to abandon), he and I are going to have to recreate that weekend in Rome – only this time, perhaps make it a month :)
7. What do you wish you'd known about being an author before you were pubbed?
Everyone says that some things get harder not easier once you’re published. It’s true. You definitely feel more pressure – and you have to learn to cope with that. Plus there are those reviews and sales figures and all kinds of things out of your control. I recommend ignoring all those things and just focus on loving writing! It is a rollercoaster – but what a ride!
8. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?
Just do it. I like the ‘do it every day’ requirement. You have to be disciplined if you want to succeed. And it has to come from within you – no one else is going to make you do it. So it’s all up to you.
9. What does the new Riva imprint mean for you.
I think it’s an exciting time. I love writing very contemporary, city set stories – with a fair amount of sensational sex and fun… with an edge. I’ve been having some real fun with my heroines recently – and then finding the very strong, confident guys capable of matching them! I think Riva is great because it’s giving us a chance to push those edgier characters and themes.
10. Tell us about your Riva launch release.
Well, mine is a February release – but you can get it online already – and from that gorgeous pop-up shop in Selfridges if you happen to be in London! It’s a tale about two non-conformists – he’s a champion snowboarder who’s happiest literally up in the air, and she’s an IT geek person who hides behind crazy hair and coloured contacts. They have an accident – well, a couple of them actually – and then have to deal with it. It’s February’s Book of the Month in the UK and here’s the editorial comment on the M&B website:
"With edgy, opposites-attract characters plus electric chemistry that will make your skin tingle, this book brings an original twist to the classic pregnancy story – a fabulous read! "
11. What’s next for you?
It’s gearing up to be a busy year – I’ve got REBEL WITH A CAUSE out in the US in February, while WALK ON THE WILD SIDE is in the US in April.
My first M&B, ALL NIGHT WITH THE BOSS is being reprinted in a 3-in-1 in March in the UK – titled: MY TALL, SEXY, HANDSOME BOSS.
After that I’ve a couple more Riva’s coming:
THE END OF FAKING IT– out April UK - and yes, in part we’re talking about her faking that!
DATING AND OTHER DANGERS – in July UK – which is a total Girl vs. Boy story involving a dating reputation website and a dare!
I’m currently revising another story and brainstorming the next. I love brainstorming – so many possibilities!
Thanks so much for having me along today!
Natalie’s debut RIVA is available now at Mills & Boon and will be available in the US in April and in Australia and New Zealand in March.
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You can find out more about Natalie on her website.
Thanks so much for blogging with us today Natalie!