Firstly, thank you very much for agreeing to an Author Interview with me, Natalie. It is a delight to have time to chat with you. Please will you tell my readers a little about yourself?
Hello, there! I’m a Floridian who now lives in Kansas City with my husband and two young sons. My background was in hospitality. I worked in hotels and theme parks until I became a mother, then my husband’s hotel career moved us around the country a few times.
Once my boys were old enough to allow for more “me time,” I started reading at least a book a week. This segued into writing my own, which I started in February of 2020. Before writing took over my life, I used to bake quite a bit. My husband prefers sweets to books, so this has been quite the transition for him, but we’re making it work.
What inspired you to become an author?
Every time I’d finish a great read, I’d think, I wish I wrote that. I wanted to write for a long time, I just never had a story idea. The spark that would become Falling and Uprising finally came to me and has become so much more than I first imagined. Of course, now that I’m busy writing this series, new ideas come to me all the time.
What is the best thing about being an author?
I am thrilled to have the privilege of connecting with readers. Getting notes from people as they are loving my book (or stressing over it, or angry because they care too much about my characters) has been incredible!
What is your writing routine like?
I wake up at five in the morning, so I can get some writing done before my children wake up. Coffee used to be an occasional thing for me, but it’s now part of my writing ritual. I also have several playlists for when I’m writing. Sometimes it’s a playlist for a whole WIP, sometimes it’s a mood playlist, sometimes it’s a romantic one, but music always plays.
How much time do you spend on research?
My current series hasn’t required too much research. There was some medical research, which of course, mostly didn’t make it into the books. It may not qualify as research in the traditional sense, but I do try to experience some things in my books to write them more accurately. For example, I sampled some liquors to write a scene in which a character tastes some for the first time. I also taught myself to play a little bit of a song on the piano which occurs in my book and spent some time at a gun range. I’m not nearly as good at shooting as my character is.
How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?
I always think it’s planned, but then as I write, I discover that my plan was wrong. I prefer to be flexible with my plans and let the stories play out however they naturally do. Sometimes I realize my characters wouldn’t do the things I planned, or something going on “off-stage” changes the trajectory of what’s happening to my characters. Also, my plans are scant. Even while drafting, I tend to under-write and have to add more to flesh out a story.
What do you think is most important when writing a book?
I don’t know if it’s universal for all books, but for me it’s my characters. Making sure they’re distinct and believable is very important to me. They drive the story, and I take them into consideration for everything that happens. Why would they do this? How would they feel about this? Questions like this build my books.
What is your latest book about?
Falling and Uprising is a YA story about a utopian city which is supposed to be the last dry land on Earth. Except, it isn’t, and the other islands nearby aren’t nearly as well off. The story is told by a girl in the spotlight and a boy from one of those islands who doesn’t matter. They come from opposite ends of society but are both thrust into a revolution and find that they do have things in common after all.
What inspired it?
The idea of the city started with thinking about the Capitol in The Hunger Games, but of course, it took off and became its own unique world.
Any new books or plans for the future?
Falling and Uprising is the first book of a trilogy, so I’m wrapping things up on the second book, and drafting the third at the moment. I’ve also started to work on a fantasy series which I am very excited about. My list of “to be written” ideas grows all the time, so I don’t think I’ll ever run out of books to write.
What genres do you read most often?
I’m a fairly omnivorous reader. Anything within the realms of Sci-fi/Fantasy I’m bound to enjoy. I do read the occasional contemporary rom-com and enjoy a thriller now and then. The only thing I really haven’t gotten into is horror. I think I’m too chicken for it.
Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?
My debut novel, Falling and Uprising, releases for Kindle on July 21st by darkstroke, and the audiobook is in the works with Tantor Media. For updates, you can sign up for my newsletter at www.nataliecammarattabooks.com/contact.
Thank you for having me, Val!
My great pleasure, Natalie. You are welcome back anytime.