In the Limelight October 2010: Natalie Dae


spotlight Pictures, Images and PhotosThe contest featured with this interview is now closed, but please enjoy reading about Natalie and her work.

Contest Winner: Eliza Loyd. Congratulations, Eliza!

October is always a special month full of fun, great food, cool temperatures and spookiness. Well, it just so happens this month we have an author who loves spookiness too!  Meet Natalie Dae.

KB: You seem so prolific, Natalie. Does your muse keep you awake at night? Are ideas flying through your head at all hours of the day?

ND: I used to be kept awake at night, but these days those whispering voices come to me in the mornings once the house has emptied—kids at school, hubby at work. I get whole sentences coming to me lately, and I should write them down as I get them, but I don’t. I manage to remember them for the most part once I sit at the computer. Sadly, they’re not sentences for any of my WIPs. They’re paragraphs, literary ones, that sum up how I’m feeling. Angsty things I didn’t write as a teenager. I write them out and find doing so helps get me through the day when I’m having a bit of a shitty one LOL.

KB: How long are your writing sessions? Do you steal five minutes here and ten there or are you one of those rare writers who manages a large segment of time each day?

ND: I have time to write all day, every day, but lately I haven’t been doing that. I’ve found I have a couple of days a week where I’ll write all day, managing big chunks of work, then I don’t bother for the rest of the week. I have other projects I work on, things that keep my mind busy, so even though I don’t write every day anymore, I’m always doing something. And on those days when I have nothing to do, nothing I want to do anyway LOL, I read or clean the house (Ack!).

KB: Do you take weekends off or do you squeeze in writing time then too?

ND: I tried taking weekends off, telling myself I needed to, but I failed to keep it up. Some weekends I feel like writing, and because my weekly word count has drastically diminished, I tend to grab the chance to write while I’m in the mood.

KB: What is your biggest pet peeve when you’re trying to write? Kids? The neighbor’s barking dog…

ND: My youngest daughter has a habit at the moment of humming. A lot. So if I’m writing when she’s around and beside me at the desk, I grit my teeth. A lot. Problem is, if I’m trying to find the right word, the right flow of a sentence, and I’m rolling it around my mind until it sounds just right, she’ll hum and I’ll lose the words. I’m good, as in I don’t shout at her, because if she’s humming she’s happy, but I do wish she’d hum somewhere else!

KB:  I can sort of relate to that. I have two kids who stand in the hall by the room where my computer is and play—loudly—or worse, they get into an argument. It never fails. They can’t argue in the living room or in one of their bedrooms, it’s always in the hall by my door.

Who is the biggest supporter of your work? A husband? A daughter? Sister?

ND: Hmm. After a conversation with him today about my career, I’d say my husband. He’s supported me, emotionally and financially, throughout this whole process. When I feel like giving up, he tells me to keep going. When I want to scream at my monitor because the words are being little shits today, he makes me a cup of tea and just pats my back. I would have given up a long time ago if it wasn’t for him.

KB: Every writer needs a supporter like that.

What is the most difficult part of writing a story?

ND: I don’t find the writing of them difficult, but the changes needed during edits. Sometimes I’m a total dork and miss things, or I don’t flesh things out, explain something enough—I prefer to write as tight as possible—and at times I sit here and wonder how I can loosen it up or add what’s required when my mind is screaming “keep it tight!” It’s a learning process, that’s for sure, and it only happens every so often, but those times where I could headbutt the desk are the worst. It isn’t from not wanting to make these changes or that I don’t think they should be done—I see what a prat I’ve been once an editor spots my little cock-ups, pardon the expression—it’s trying to make them fit with what I’ve already written without it looking obvious it was added. In short, I worry too much.

KB: What is your favorite genre to write and why?

ND: Horror and paranormal, without a doubt. I love the scope I have, the many possibilities, the way anything can happen because it’s paranormal. I don’t have to have a solid explanation for most things because in paranormal worlds, what happens is up to me because it’s the world I’ve created. I don’t have limits or rules. And I will admit to loving writing about murder and all things nasty. I have no idea why I like it so much. It just suits me, and my best work has been in the horror field.

KB: Got to agree with you there. My work is often dark and edgy. It allows my muse to have free rein.

Is there a genre you’ve always wanted to write but just haven’t for one reason or another?

ND: No. I’ve written in all the genres I wanted to. Tried them on for size, discovered some didn’t fit, and now I have a clear view of what I do best/feel good about and what I suck at. I’ve settled into my m/m voice now and wish I could write that way with my hets, but when I open a manuscript for a het book, that m/m voice just won’t come. It’s very frustrating. So, my hets have their own style, and I flit from m/m to het, depending on what mood I’m in that day. At the moment I’m writing m/m. The other day I wrote urban fantasy. Who knows what WIP I’ll write on tomorrow!

KB: I’ve spent some time wandering about in your website and I must say it’s wicked hot! The Cover for Come Find Me is an attention-grabber, but out of all the current covers for your books, I like Love Quest the best, which, if I understand correctly, is a free read. Do you get to help the cover artist come up with the ideas and themes for your covers?

ND: I created the cover for Love Quest myself hee hee. With my EC covers, I fill out the cover form and add a link to a similar cover that has what I have in mind on it. The artist then knows what I want and she adds her spin on it. With Magenta Starling and His Beautiful Wench, the artist gave me such beautiful artwork, the characters exactly matching them as I saw them in my head, that it made me cry, and with Come Find Me I squealed quite a bit because it was exactly what I wanted. An out-and-out RUDE cover!

KB: {laughs at ‘out-and-out RUDE cover’} All of your covers are beautiful, but the one you did for Love Quest speaks to me so much. Anything that has that magical galaxy quality grabs my attention.

Which one of your Ellora’s Cave titles is your favorite so far? Is it because of the overall story, the characters, the setting or something else?

ND: That’s a hard question! I have two I like the best. Can I talk about both? Soul Keeper, because it is very close to my heart, a story I have wanted to write for a long time. And His Beautiful Wench, because it’s historical and I went back in time to a place I loved writing about and can see in my head even now as though it is real. I love Emmett and Amelia, the main characters, and I’m hoping that novel does really well. It’s a time travel too.

KB: I can see how writing a historical can take you back in time. That’s cool!

ND: I can also see that I totally screwed up with that answer! Of course I bloody went back in time. Sometimes I’m such a prat…

KB: LMAO!

Can you share with my readers what works in progress you have and your plans for them?

ND: Oh Lordy! I have a vampire novel I’m expanding, titled Moonlight Awakening. I love the hero and heroine in that book too. It started off with them living in a lighthouse and keeping away from humans, but their life took a drastic turn and they flitted first to London, England, and then Egypt, where they have to save mortals and fellow vampires from the nasty vampire element. I really must write some more on that one LOL.

I recently finished a novel about a serial killer stalking a woman he knew from childhood. They belong to a gypsy troupe, and the killer has been murdering them one by one. The hero and heroine have to constantly flee once they are the only troupe members left, serial killer in hot pursuit, and of course, there’s the big question of whether they get away and the killer is brought to justice. That is headed for Ellora’s Cave and it currently has no title. I have no idea what to call it LOL.

I’m also currently writing a novel entitled A Gentleman’s Whore, set in Victorian London, England, during the time Jack the Ripper was on his killing spree. The research for this one is awesome and right up my alley. The heroine, brought up in high society, along with her friend, takes employment in a gentleman’s club, just to see how the lower classes behave—or, more specifically, how a whore behaves. However, Jack the Ripper is around, as is a man she has detested since her parents’ deaths, although she’s never seen him, so this one is so far full of thrills. The heroine’s pov is written in 3rd person, and the hero’s is in diary form in 1st. I love writing his parts!

Also (LOL…I see now how many books I have on the go and it’s freaked me out!), I’m writing two m/m books for my other pen name and have a m/m novel bouncing around my head waiting its turn to come out. I dare not start it yet otherwise the other books won’t get finished when I want them to be. I’m also writing an urban fantasy about a killer and have the first few lines down for a horror novel. I have a YA started, which I sent a proposal out on and received a favorable response with the request to write a series of three. I had to decline for now, with the promise to write them later, because piddle, I have too many fingers in too many pies at the moment.

Umm, I really need to breathe right now!

KB: Did you find you had to do some research on the gypsy story? I ask because so many authors write them as the stereotype.

ND: Yes, I did. I’m lucky in that my eldest daughter just did a case study on them at university, so she told me lots of things I needed to know. For the most part they are literally a hidden society, have rules and a hierarchy, and I found that aspect very intriguing. Plus, I read a non-fiction book recently, showing how they live, right down to how they make tea. Irish gypsies put the tea leaves/bags in the kettle along with the sugar and milk and boil it all up from cold. It makes a really strong brew. Or as my granddad used to say: You can stand the teaspoon up in that tea!

KB: Wow! The Gentleman’s Whore sounds like a box of chocolates and more! I’ve always been fascinated by Jack the Ripper. Here’s a non-writing question for you: who do YOU think was Jack the Ripper, or do you think authorities and crime historians are even close to learning his (or her) identity yet?

ND: I think there will always be theories as to who it was, but I don’t think the truth will ever be discovered. I don’t get the feeling it was anyone prominent in society, even though theories lean toward that, but I do think it was a man learned in surgery and who had enough money to dress quite well. The rumour that he killed to take the internal body parts to sell to America is fascinating, though, and may well bring a whole new spin on my book as it evolves. Jack has spoken to my heroine already, but she has no idea it’s him. He’ll be watching her for sure…

I love the old pictures of Whitechapel, the feel of the place, all cobblestones and foggy skies, dark streets and flapping cloaks.

As a child, I used to have the recurring dream that I was a Victorian child from Whitechapel, long curly blonde hair, and my job was to throw the slops out of the window. I remember thinking that the china chamber pots were too heavy for me, and in one dream I threw the contents out the window, right over a passerby. He got angry, and then the house was on fire and I died in it.

I’m fascinated by past lives, and I’ve often wondered if that little girl was me in another life. I’ve always had a pull toward Jack the Ripper, and one of the best books I’ve read about him was Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell.

KB: That dream certainly makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

So out of all those WIPs you mentioned above, which one is screaming the loudest to be completed asap?

ND: The Victorian. Sadly, I have a schedule to keep to with my m/m, so I need to get that done before I can dive back into the past and have fun in the life and times of a whore. Oooer. Did that sound wrong?

KB: LOL, it might, but it’s hilarious and I understood what you meant.

ND: Thank God for that!

KB: Any other time periods or infamous historical people you want or plan to write about?

ND: Someone recommended I write regency, but that would have to be in the far future because of the research involved. As for people…hmm, I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind basing one of my horror books on a few serial killers, combining their weirdness into one person.

KB: So, where do you see yourself with your writing in five years? In ten?

ND: My hopes and where I see myself actually being are two totally different things. One is positive, the other is negative, so let’s just say I suspect I’ll still be writing. I have a goal I’m working on that I’ve kept quiet so far, and I’ve given myself a year from finishing the book it needs to do it. If I reach that goal, I’ll let you know!

KB: What one thing about e-publishing, if anything, would you change and what one piece of advice would you give writers who want to dip their toe into the e-book world for the very first time?

ND: There are so many things… The change I’d make in e-publishing is that there could be, in an ideal world, a place someone has to apply to before they can become a publisher. Where they’d show their publishing credentials that proved they knew what they were doing. As for a piece of advice for writers…don’t have high expectations that your books will take off like a rocket. It’s a long old road, fun to travel, but it’s damn hard work!

KB: Well, Natalie, I’ve had a grand time chatting with you. Maybe we can do this again sometime? Thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your day to shoot questions and answers back and forth to show readers a peek into your writing world.

ND: Of course we can do this again. It’s actually been nice to take the time out to do this. I’m usually in one world or another, rarely in the real one, so having a chinwag like this has been a nice change. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for having me.

If anyone would like a chance to win both Soul Keeper and Magenta Starling, all they need do is leave a comment. Kiyara, would you mind picking a name out of a hat in a couple of day’s time?

KB: I’d be delighted to! Readers, if you’ve enjoyed this interview (I know I enjoyed talking with Natalie!) share this month’s In the Limelight link with your friends. Let’s see if we can make this comment contest a big success!

Also, if you’d like more information about Natalie and her books, visit her site at http://nataliedae.blogspot.com/ or visit the two links below.

Soul Keeper: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-8335-613-soul-keeper.aspx

Magenta Starling: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-8458-613-magenta-starling.aspx

~~~~~~~~~~

September 2010 Author in the Limelight Joseph DeMarco, go here.
August 2010 Author in the Limelight Pat Brown, go here.
July 2010  Author in the Limelight Rick R. Reed, go here.
June 2010 Author in the Limelight Lisa Alexander-Griffin, go here.
May 2010 Author in the Limelight Honoria Ravena, go here.
April 2010 Author in the Limelight Nicole Zoltack, go here.
March 2010 Author in the Limelight Marianne Stephens, go here.
February 2010 Author in the Limelight Tess MacKall, go here.
January 2010 Author in the Limelight Jade Twilight, go here.
November’s Author in the Limelight Shiela Stewart, go here.
December’s Author in the Limelight Selene Noreen, go here.
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16 Responses to “In the Limelight October 2010: Natalie Dae”

  1. Oh, I enjoyed this interview so much! So much fun, and too many delicious topics to mention just one.

    So many good wonderful looking books you have, Nat! And All such wonderful covers!

    I loved how you said the words some to you, in your head, and I envy that so! I suppose mine are in my head as well, but seem to be more clanking around, looking for passage onto paper…LOL…

    Again, I truly enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing her with us, Kiyara!

  2. The Victorian book sounds soooo interesting! I do hope you write it!

  3. Hi Carol! It’s frustrating. Whole sentences come, so pretty and alluring, then bugger off when I’m legging it to the computer to write them down LOL 🙂

  4. Yo Anny! Did you like my attempt at being hip? No, don’t answer that…

    I’ve started that book. I just need to get back to it. I left my heroine with Jack the Ripper in a gentleman’s club. Ooo. Errr.

    🙂

  5. I love Jack the Ripper. Did a group research paper on him in college. I love to read true crime books and books about serial killers in general. With my background (concentration in forensic science) it surprising that I haven’t written thrillers. Yet. I plan on it. one story that needs to be written is about a woman who goes insane after accidentally killing a boy while playing hide and seek and what her mounting guilt causes her to do.

    Awesome interview. Loved your answers and you have some wonderful covers too. 🙂

  6. Great interview, and I want to read the vampires one! And Soul Keeper, and the rest…

    Yeah, okay, I guess I need to start adding to my list!

  7. Hi Nicole! Thanks!

    That story sounds like something I would like to read. I hope you write it!

    🙂

  8. Loved your interview, Natalie! And I had no idea you had written so many books. Wow.

    Hugs from,
    Catherine Chernow

    • Hi Catherine! In my various names, I have over 58 books out there and also those contracted. I just about pooped myself when counting them up, by the way. LOL! 🙂

  9. Eliza Lloyd Says:

    Nice job Natalie! And I love the covers too! e.

  10. Gosh, Natalie, all your works in progress make my head spin! And each one sounds so intriguing. You go, grrl!

  11. Hi Eliza! EC covers are just too yummy! 🙂

  12. Awesome interview…….you are my shero with all WIP!

  13. LMAO Abbigail. Shero. SO funny! 🙂

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