Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Author Spotlight - Natalie Anderson

Today the Minxes are excited to welcome USA TODAY bestselling author Natalie Anderson!

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.

You can find out more about Natalie on her website.

Thanks so much for blogging with us today Natalie!


Kat said...

Thank you so much for being Minxy today Natalie!
I love love loved reading your interview, your books are always autobuys for me - Sophy & Lorenzo's story in Unbuttoned by her Maverick Boss really made me sigh with happiness, and also with envy for your gorgeous writing!
Looking forward to reading your Riva Launch.

Unknown said...

Another enthusiastic fan here!! And thank god for ebooks - with a whole eighteen hours of travel ahead of me today, last night I purchased Walk on the Wild Side to keep me company. Yay!!

Romy Sommer said...

Thanks for visiting us today Natalie. I can't wait to get my hands on your book. I've read three Rivas so far and they're all staying on the Keeper shelf.

Yay that you've got such a busy year ahead. Looks like we readers will also have a busy year!

Jackie Ashenden said...

Yep, autobuy here too! Loved Walk on the Wild Side, Nat. Jack was so totally gorgeous and Kelsi was a honey. Can't wait for the next release. I have to say, you inspire me with the way your characters are so different. Makes me want to write different as well. :-) Yay for edgy!!

Sally Clements said...

Great post, Nat, how many books so far then? Its awesome to not have sold any 5 years ago, and be looking forward to that 25 book pin within the next 5 years...
I love your books, and am waiting for Feb's Riva's to arrive by post, hopefully tomorrow! (I think its good to read every day too!!)

Lacey Devlin said...

Thanks for visiting Nat! I've loved all your books and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on every single one your write in the future. Can't wait for your 25th!

Caroline said...

Great post Natalie - I always love reading author spotlights - it energises me to write! Caroline x

Nas said...

Hi Minxes, Hello Natalie,

I loved reading your interview. I've loved reading all your books so far and am looking forward to all the new releases.

Joanne Coles said...

Yep, *puts hand in air* I'm another one for whom Natalie is an auto buy, she writes such fab hot books :-)

I'm so glad the author spotlights energise you, Caroline. I always feel really inspired when I read that five years ago authors are where a lot of us are now. It makes you realise how your dreams are possible which is fab.

Hello, Nas, good to see you here :-)

Natalie Anderson said...

Hi guys! I am so sorry I'm so late to this!!!! But I've been away on holiday and offline for what feels like forever! Thanks so much for your lovely welcome, I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview and also enjoy my books - just lovely to hear :) Looking forward to some of you joining the Riva stable sometime soon too hmmm?
Jackie - edgy is fun, but it can also be tear-your-hair-out nerve wracking too - I'm currently waiting for word on probably my most to-the-edge heroine yet... hopefully she's not totally unsympathetic!!!

You know I love reading other author spotlights and interview too - you ca always pick up a little something of inspiration to take away - it's a mad crazy world and we all do it differently but there's something about knowing you're not alone in the chaos that's so great...

Anyway, thanks again and happy writing!!!

Maya Blake said...

Chiming in late (as usual) with a huge thanks for going minxy for a day, Natalie. Wow, your books sound really fascinating and I love ALL your blurbs! Can't wait to read them once I've cleared my tottering TBR pile!!

Bronwyn said...

I'm late too, with the down under time difference and working the night shift... Natalie, I want to read one of your books! Anne Oliver told me about the RIVA line and launch but I still haven't read one. I think I'll have to go online shopping... =)
Great interview and am I correct in thinking your littlies are twins? How many kids do you have and how do you fit your writing in around them (if you don't mind me asking)


Natalie Anderson said...

Hi Maya and Bronwyn - I hope you do track down some Rivas soon and get to reading - they're a lot of fun!
Yes Bronwyn, my youngest are twins - they're inextricably bound to my writing because they arrived the same night my final revisions request did for my first book - so within a week my number of children doubled and I sold to M&B - it was a crazy time! I have 4 children - that first year of selling, all four were preschoolers - it was very busy. Now my eldest is 8 and the twins are 4. I've always worked a lot at night and on the weekends - my husband is very supportive and takes the kids away (or stays at home and I go away) for hours at the weekend when coming up to deadline time. That's why I think you have to write every day - you can do 1k a day in a couple of hours at night, so in less than two months you can have a draft complete. We don't have a television - that helps! It's not easy though, as any mum knows, by 6pm you're shattered and just want to curl up... but I guess it depends on how motivated you are! I have 3 more terms with preschoolers - and I've made the decision to spend as much time with them as I can these three terms - because when this time is gone, it's gone - I'm not having any more!!! So it'll be lots of night time keyboard tapping and pushing forward with a regular routine to meet the deadlines... does that help at all??

Bronwyn said...

Yep, thanks for sharing! I have a five and three year old girls so I'm about to start my second round of preschool dropoffs and pick ups making the squillion trips to school every week but I also work nights in a department store. I guess I'm struggling with finding the time so it's good to hear how other authors do it and stay on top. The 1k a day sounds like a great idea. I'm trying to edit the days I can't write (for whatever reason, usually the shattered-ness=)

Thanks again!