We’ve got another OAAA author today! It’s time to meet one of the funniest people I know! Natalie D. Richards is the author of Gone Too Far and Six Months Later. She is my coffee sister (coffee without cream is a crime) and has done so much to encourage my own writing. If you’re looking for something with a bit of a dark creep factor her books are perfect for you! Please give her a warm welcome!
1. How do you keep focused on writing instead of getting distracted?
I really REALLY struggle with this. ADHD runs in my family pretty heavily so distraction is a big issue. Some days, it’s a bit hopeless. On other days, keeping my headphones on and my internet browser closed helps. The big trick is limiting interruptions. With three kids and two dogs, this can be a boogie, but I like the chaos even if it does make my productivity trickier.
2. Do you do a lot of research for your books?
More with each book! Six Months Later only required a bit of research. Gone Too Far was more intense and had me talking to a lot of teens and adults who had experience with some of the issues addressed in that book. My newest book out in October (My Secret To Tell) was set in Beaufort, North Carolina so it required a TREMENDOUS amount of research. I’d always used a fictional representation of small town Ohio before, and even though I had to make several changes to Beaufort to accommodate the story, I still felt it was critical to get the basics and the feel down appropriately. And my fourth book? (still untitled) That one I’ve spent more time researching than writing by far!
3. Your books are both pretty creepy, is there a reason for that?
LOL! I’m not sure whether to say thank you or to feel ashamed! J I really enjoy a touch of creepy in my reading life. This isn’t always true, but there’s something about a book that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, know what I mean? I love that feel so I like writing books that feel that way too.
4. Did the process differ at all writing Gone Too Far from when you did Six Months Later?
HUGELY! A lot of Six Months Later was written at night, a lot of Gone Too Far was during the day. Six Months Later was tricky to write but fairly easy to edit. Gone Too Far was a breeze to write and nearly killed me during editing. Every book I’ve written seems to force its own approach!
5. How do you handle the time management situation when you have deadlines?
I won’t lie, it can be tough, especially when you factor in promotions work and reader events or school visits. I usually know an estimate of what my word count will be and I keep an excel spreadsheet to breakdown how many words I have left total to write and how many words that is per week if I break it down further.
6. What do you struggle with when you write?
Focus and confidence. Always focus. Always confidence. Even though I know is literally impossible to please everyone, I beat myself up over it all the time. It’s tough, but it’s worth it. I think most writers pour everything into their books and it can be super draining, even though it is intensely rewarding.
7. What has writing taught you about yourself?
That I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve always been a closet writer, but now that I’m published, it’s kind of the confirmation that this really is the right path for me. I’m not sure anything else would ever feel as right. (HA! I’m so punny. Lol)
8. How do you go about revising one of your books?
There is a lot of Starbucks involved (peppermint mocha, please). There is also color-coding, desperate text messages to my critique partner, and, occasionally, sobbing or screaming. 😉 Just like writing, every book is edited a bit differently, but I do make several passes on a manuscript before the editors even touch it. And then…more editing.
9. What is your favorite part about writing?
Beyond the story creation (which is beyond amazing) I adore connecting with readers. I’m a reader. I love talking about great books—about heroes we love and villains we love to hate. So, it’s amazing to be able to connect with readers that are passionate about my work. That’s such an incredible gift.
10. What kind of books did you read when you were younger?
Everything, really. Fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, horror, historical, some romancy stuff, etc. I generally lean toward books that keep me up too late turning pages. If there’s a can’t-put-it-down shelf in Barnes and Noble, I bet all my favorites are there.
Many thanks to Natalie for taking time out of her busy schedule to participate! She is offering copies of her books as part of the month long giveaway. Stop by the post to enter.