Lifelong Ohioan, Natalie D. Richards, spent many years applying her writing skills to stunningly
boring business documents. Fortunately, she realized she’s much better at making things up, and
has been writing for teens ever since. A champion of aspiring authors, Richards is a frequent
speaker at schools, libraries, and writing groups. She lives in Ohio with a Yeti, a Wookie (her
dogs) and her wonderful husband and children.
1. Seeing as we missed you last year, what have you been up to over the past TWO years?
We All Fall Down came into the world in October of 2017 and that book baby was a particular heart breaker to write. Theo and Paige were in such a painful place and it was heart-wrenching and rewarding to write their story. I’ve been completely overwhelmed by some of the emails I’ve received, so it’s been a special ride. My new book (no final title yet) is in edits now, so hopefully I’ll have news about a release date very soon. And currently I’ve just starting a thriller with a very funky structure that I’m having so much fun with. Think snow and terror in the mountains. Wheeee!
2. You’ve made the jump from contemporary thriller type stories into more horror like books, was that a big change for you? How did you navigate the change in story styles?
It wasn’t a big change, but it has felt amazing to stretch into new dimensions. In the writer world, I think of myself as a peddler of fear in all shapes and sizes. A lot of people like a little spooky in their Cheerios, you know? Sometimes we want an itty bitty chills up the back of your neck moment, and sometimes you want to be so flipped out you have to sleep with the lights on after you read a chapter. I like writing it all. Sometimes I love those quieter scares, which can be every bit as powerful. For me it’s less about how dark and shocking I can go, and more about what feels right for the story. But, I say that, and we both know sometimes I’m cool with writing a dangling dismembered finger, so yeah. There’s that too.
3. What is one genre you would love to write in and why?
I’d love to be able to write a riveting historical book. But man. SO MUCH RESEARCH. So, yeah. Cool in theory. In practice? Hm… What I can say is there is a genre I’m falling head over heels with that I’m dabbling in as we speak. And there’s a clue to that in the very next answer (wink, wink)
4. Can you tell us about some of your favorite books you’ve read over the past few years?
Bear in mind that I don’t read exclusively YA and have been on a bit of a break, and I also don’t always read new releases. That said, some books that have blown me away lately are middle grades including Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. These books…so good I don’t even know how to explain it.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the publishing process? Why?
Favorite: the readers because they are everything. Really. Least Favorite: Reviews. Probably sounds weird, because I love readers, but reader interactions and emails are different than random reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. For me author reviews are a bit like having your six month work review every. single. day. Only you don’t read them feeling sweaty and uncomfortable in your boss’s office. You read them on a stage where the entire world could read them with you if they want. Even reading good ones is scary as heck. I adore reader emails and appreciate those who take the time to review so much, but they are just hard
6. How do you deal with critique of your books? Do you read reviews?
7. What is one piece of advice you would give to you pre-published self about writing and publishing a book?
“You’ll still think you’re terrible after you’re published. Get over it and keep writing.”
8. How does/did reading make you the writer you are today?
I think the more I read, the better I write. The reader in me is the entire reason I want to do this. When you’re up until four am, reading so fast the words are getting blurry, but your stomach is in knots because you just. have. to. know. what. happens. You know that feeling, right? It’s the BEST feeling. This is why we read. And this is one of the big reasons I write. I want to give that feeling to others because it’s the closest thing to magic I’ve ever known.
9. What’s next for you?
Writing! Editing! All the books! Really, I’m still learning the details on title and release for my 6th book, but my editor and my critique partner have both said it’s the favorite. And honestly, as I edit it, I admit I’m pretty in love with it too. I also am working on something in a different genre, but I’m afraid to talk about it before I understand it a little better myself!
10. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about/promote today?
Sure! My new book, Where You Hide is out in December featuring a homeless girl who winds up living in a library where she might not be the only thing going bump in the night!. No cover yet but I am incredibly excited about this story.