Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interview and GIVEAWAY with author NATALIE STAR

The Keeper is Natalie Star's debut novel, which I had the pleasure of reviewing recently. My 5 star review here.  Here's a little background information from the author herself:
When I'm not reading or writing, I can be found with my husband supporting my two children on the soccer fields. Or maybe running around with my camera taking photos while camping and/or hiking. Or lastly, and most probable - I'm watching movies on Netflix while simultaneously perusing Facebook.  Our family resides in the state of Virginia along with our old-unintelligent-diabetic cat named Lucky.

So, Natalie....
*I read that you only started getting into books about 3 yrs ago.  What was the catalyst that caused this change in your life, that drew you to reading and writing?
One word...Twilight. I read it to see what my pre-teen daughter was reading, and that was all it took. I fell in love with the young adult vampire genre, and began reading one novel after another. I've since moved on from vamps, and read about other supernaturals now :) 


*Where did the name of your protagonist, Billie, come from?
In my mind, my main character needed to have a unisex name. One that might upset her if she were to get picked on for it, and one that would make her want to feel more feminine. I had my family help me compile a list of names. Billie was the name that jumped out at me of about 25 names. 


*Tell us about how Billie's story came about?
In The Keeper prologue, there is a brief scene with a young girl experiencing something unusual. This scene was actually from a dream I had. My imagination just took off from there.

*One of the things I loved about Billie's character was her attitude, is she modeled after someone you know?
No, actually none of the characters are. 

*Billie is torn between 2 great guys, I imagine a love triangle is difficult to write, is this something you've had personal experience with?
No, I found my husband when I was 15, and been with him ever since. I've picked up what I know about love triangles from books, television, and movies. I'm what you could call an emotional audience, and I have an empathy for characters that runs deep. This carries over into my writing.

*Your book is YA paranormal, but without the ever-popular vampires, faeries, werewolves and such, how has the journey been getting The Keeper recognition?
It's been a lot of work trying to get The Keeper out there. It's in a pretty popular genre, but it's also not the typical paranormal that readers have come to love, and on top of that, I'm a debut author and no one has ever heard of me before. Those three things combined make it difficult, but with bloggers and reviewers (like yourself), it helps a great deal. I appreciate all you guys do for authors. 

*Describe your writing process.  Do you listen to music while you write?  Are you in seclusion?
To write I need absolute silence. I usually wait until my husband goes to his night job, and my children go to sleep. I shut off everything except the laptop, and I dim the overhead lights.  


*What 5 words would you use to describe yourself.
Kind, helpful, frugal, silly, and fun. 


*What are your favorite books and who are your favorite authors?
I LOVE young adult paranormal & urban fantasy stories! My fave authors...too many to list, but here are some of them; Rachel Caine, Richelle Mead, Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Julie Kagawa. 


*What interesting jobs have you had before becoming a published author?
As a teen I worked for an insurance company, ice cream shop, and held a host of positions at the local movie theater. As an adult, my husband was in the military for twenty years so we were constantly moving. Each job was unique; bank teller, customer service and loan counselor/officer for a credit union. Did a stint as a stay at home mom (best job ever - hardest, too)! I worked daycare at a gym. I was a preschool teacher. I cleaned houses, and I worked customer service for a tax company. Since then, to be able to keep up with my family's crazy schedule, I only do volunteer work at the kids schools. It's not a paycheck, but I like to help, and it gets me out of the house.  


*What are you currently working on?  What's next for you?
The novel I'm diligently working on right now, is the next installment in the world of The Keeper. I can't tell you the title, it's too spoiler-ish. I still have to submit it to the publisher, so it isn't a done deal, far from it. Other than that, I have two more YA novels started, but I've put them on hold for now. I will say, one of those is the third and final story of The Keeper. I never meant for it to be a series, it just happened. The characters insisted on it. 

Thank you so much, Natalie!  You are awesome.


Natalie is giving away an ebook of The Keeper along with some signed swag.  YAY!  Being that I like to keep things simple, in order to enter this giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment about this interview or about the book itself at the bottom of this post.   In order to be considered, you MUST be a listed follower of my blog.  Contest closes March 30 at midnight.  A winner will be chosen using Random.org.  Open international.  Buena suerte! Good luck!

6 comments:

  1. This book sounds really good.

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  2. Great interview. I think it's sweet that she found her husband when she was 15. I met my boyfriend in grade 10 and we started dating in grade 12 and now that was over 6 years ago!

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  3. She likes a lot of the same authors I do, I want to read her book!

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    1. Kira, you win the ebook of The Keeper! Yay! *happy dance* I'll have Natalie get in touch with you about the book.

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