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Our Spotlight on Natalie Anderson!

Fun Fact About Natalie Anderson
Astrological Sign:

Scorpio


Natalie Anderson's, Biography

Natalie, like many, was introduced to Mills & Boons when she was a teen. Her Grandmother was a devotee. Natalie still has a collection of her Grandmother’s books from the 1950s and 1960s with fabulous titles like “They met in Zanzibar”. How to instill a desire to fall in love – and go to exotic places!

Natalie wrote lots of stories when young – Agatha Christie meets Romance – but stopped during those senior school and university years – life got in the way of her dream of being an author. She eventually graduated with an arts degree in English and Music and went on to study a Masters in Library and Information Studies. She worked for the judges in the New Zealand court system for a while before heading to London for the ‘Great Kiwi OE’ (overseas experience). There she worked in law firms, management consultancies and corporate banks as a researcher and traveled about.

Yes, she went to Zanzibar and no, she didn’t meet him there.

They met in London.

To her family’s relief, the ‘love of her life’ turned out to be a fellow Kiwi. Instantly aware he was special they were together, forever, in no time. After another few years overseas they finally returned home to New Zealand to ‘settle down’. Looking for something to do ‘on the side’ of parenthood, Natalie started a law degree. She even won a prize. Then she had another child. But this one didn’t sleep - at least not for longer than two hours in any one stretch.

Unable to get to lectures and needing some form of escapism she started dreaming up stories again in her head. Then she decided to write a book – like she’d said she wanted to all those years ago. Romance naturally. It was so much fun she immediately wrote another. She found the Harlequin/Mills & Boon website, found a critique partner and submitted some chapters. Pregnant again – with twins this time – she got a request for the full manuscript and then a revisions request. The second revisions request came the night she was in hospital giving birth to her babies. She managed to do the revisions in the week as requested and in a rather shocked state got ‘the call’ right away. She’s still in shock about all that. Now her challenge is writing more with four children under five… watch this space!

She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, with her husband and four children.

 This information, as usual is shared from here.

On Writing and Reading…
What do you love most about being a writer? I love being able to work from home, in my time, in my head. I love that I can invent people and their relationships. I love eavesdropping on my character’s conversations. It’s so much fun!

What do you like least about being a writer? Sometimes I have the feel of a scene, or of a story but I can’t get it right. It really is like sweating blood – and the doubts that come with it are horrendous.

Do you have a favourite locale or setting for your novels? What is it and why is it your favourite? Not yet! I like traveling, and traveling in my head is fun too so I like to vary the settings depending on what takes my fancy. I’m quite keen on exotic – even for just part of a story.

Which of the books you have written is your favourite? It’s always the one I’m currently working on.

What is your favourite recent Mira, Silhouette, or Mills & Boon title by another author? I loved Wife for a Week by Kelly Hunter and also Behind the Scenes by Trish Jensen. They both had laugh aloud scenes for me but were also great emotional reads.

What are your five all-time favorite books (with authors)? Oh this is too hard so I am going to have to cheat a little:

1.Anything by Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Cadell, Lucy Walker and Mary Stewart
2.Anything by Agatha Christie and PG Wodehouse
3.Anything by Jane Austen
4.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5.Bridge to Terabithia by Katharine Paterson (and a whole host of other children’s/young adults books that I still turn back to time and again for comfort).

What one specific piece of advice would you give a would-be writer trying to kick-start a career? To get in the habit of writing every day. The more you write, the better you will get. As with anything – practice, practice, practice.

On Romance...
Describe the ultimate romantic meal. I’m a vegetarian but somehow a dish of salad and new potatoes doesn’t sound that romantic so let’s skip straight to dessert: real raspberry sauce (on anything), lemon meringue pudding (different to ‘pie’ this is hot with lots of bittersweet lemon sauce) and some pavlova (more raspberries on top please). A whole buffet of sumptuous desserts would be good.
Enough about the food... let’s move on to the atmosphere. I’d like it to be warm enough to wear a light dress but not too hot and have a great view of something blue – sea or sky I don’t mind. Quiet, a gentle breeze and with my Gorgeous Dinner Companion (aka my hubbie) next to me. Obviously neither my GDC or I will have had to actually cook the meal and nor will we have to clean up, we’ll just be able to float off after.
That’ll do.

What is your all-time favorite romantic movie? I guess I have to say Ladyhawke - it’s the only movie I actually own on DVD. Rutger Hauer is a fabulous tortured alpha warrior who is tender at the same time, Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful and true to her lover and Matthew Broderick’s character is hilarious. It’s a sweet story but really funny at the same time.

What is your all-time favorite romantic song or composition?
Now this is impossible – it changes all the time depending on mood and location and the memories inspired, but one song I listen to over and over when I’m writing is ‘And the grass won’t pay no mind’ by Neil Diamond. A gentle song about lovers al fresco!

What is the most romantic gesture or gift you have received? My husband knew I had studied singing as a teenager and that I loved it. When we were living in London he found an opera teacher and arranged for me to have lessons. My Christmas present was this tiny diary and he had written in all the lesson times in it. It was really lovely and an early indicator of his support for my hobbies and dreams. Once he knew I wanted to write he gave me hour upon hour of time while he played with the kids – he still does this for me and without it I’d never have gotten published.

How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship? I’m never afraid to discard clothing;

What tip would you give your readers to make their lives more romantic? Communicate – maybe over a glass or three of red wine and some Neil Diamond playing in the background.

Where is the most romantic place you’ve ever traveled? It would have to be Rome. I went with for my birthday with my then boyfriend. It was autumn but the days were still warm. Walking through the Forum, sitting eating fresh mozzarella, drinking wine. It was so beautiful. It rubbed off on my boyfriend as well because he proposed a week later…

All About her...
Besides writing, what other talent would you most like to have? Piano. I’d love to learn now but need to wait for that window of time.

Who is someone you admire and why? JK Rowling - because she works really hard and she’s single-handedly introduced thousands of kids (big and little) to the joy of reading.

Do you have a good luck charm or superstition?
Not really – but I do touch wood.

Share one of your favorite indulgences with us.Life being what it is at the moment (super busy) it would have to be reading. A favourite indulgence is to read a book start to finish in one sitting. (Ok, maybe I read the end first sometimes). I have already warned my husband that he’s on solo parent duty come July 21 – release of the last Harry Potter!

What quality do you most admire in a man? Shoulders. Oh. I missed quality. Aside from the fundamentals of honesty and integrity it has to be sense of humour.

What is the one thing you've always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try? Walk on a high wire and swing on a trapeze.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? I’d love to say Broadway Star but I get stage fright.

What quote or personal saying do you live by? Who said it? I have no idea who said it but I do believe ‘what goes around, comes around’.


NATALIE SAYS...
 
Like many a modern day Mills & Boon author I have my Grandmother to thank for introducing me to the world of fabulously rich heroes, beautiful heroines and toe curling passion.
 
As a teen I alternated between her Mills & Boons, Lucy Walkers, Georgette Heyers, Elizabeth Cadells, Mary Stewarts and Agatha Christies and the supposedly more 'serious' classics that were on our shelves, mixed in with everything. But I must admit it was either the romance or detective stories that I'd turn to on those days when I wanted a relaxing read. I'd read that Georgette Heyer for the fortieth time - the old friend who still makes me laugh.

I wrote a lot of stories as a kid - mainly Agatha Christie rip offs with a touch of romance - part of me would still love to write a great detective story. I love genre fiction - I love knowing where the story's going to end up, but having no idea how it's going to get there. And I confess - I frequently read the end of a book first. I have to know what happens, then I can sit back and enjoy the story because I know it's all going to be alright!
 
Age 12 I went to a 'Young Authors Conference' in which we had to read an excerpt from a work in progress and I remember cutting mine very short because there was a *romantic moment* coming up and I was too embarrassed to read it aloud. Now that romantic moment was the epitome of innocence - the romantic moments I write today are anything but and there's still no way I could read them aloud! I write them for other people to read.
 
I did an arts degree majoring in Music and English before doing a Masters in Library Studies. But while I'm officially a 'librarian' I worked as a 'researcher' in law firms and corporate banks - heading overseas for the obligatory OE ('Overseas Experience') not long after finishing the Masters.
 
I worked in London for a couple of years where I met the love of my life. He's a fellow Kiwi - much to our respective parents' relief - and yes, after another couple of years in London and Edinburgh we did return home to New Zealand to settle down and have babies - four in five years. Numbers three and four are twins. Life is busy. Baby number two (the boy) decided not to sleep. Ever. So I needed some form of escapism - and started writing. I discovered the Nanowrimo bible "No Plot, No Problem" in the local library. Yes, I thought. I've always wanted to write a novel. I can do this. But what? A romance of course: Entertaining! Flirty! Fun! And writing it sure was. Then I wrote another, and another... now I'm hooked.
 
I was fortunate enough to sell my first submission - right when the twins were born - making life even busier!
 
Check out the telly interview I did and read a newspaper article to get an idea of what that crazy time was like. Use this link to her website. 

Life these days consists of parenting, parenting, parenting and dreaming up gorgeous heroes and heroines who have fun, feisty affairs - what fun!

 
UNBUTTONED BY HER MAVERICK BOSS / REBEL WITH A CAUSE
 Office gossip...
It's well known that rugged tycoon Lorenzo Hall comes from the wrong side of the tracks, and that opposites attract... Apparently one glimpse of his pristine new assistant Sophy Braithwaite had Lorenzo itching to undress her - we wonder if she's as prim and proper as she looks!
Of course, to Sophy, her smouldering boss should be off-limits, but it's easy to see how Lorenzo's criminally hot body and the dangerous twinkle in his eyes could tempt her to break all the rules...


CAUGHT ON CAMERA WITH THE CEO
TO: All staff - Is this the hottest kiss you've ever seen?
Finally our playboy boss plays around at work! Watch this steamy clip of Alex Carlisle getting down and dirty in the lift with the brand-new temp...
Heart-throb Alex has recently been spotted prowling the office floor - is brunette bombshell Dani Russo the reason? From this sizzling encounter, we think so!
Now Dani's lost her job, and the office grapevine says our bad-boy boss has moved her into his bachelor pad and found her a job - but is an X-rated action replay on the cards?! Watch this space...
 
This information, with permission is shared from here. Natalie loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to email her.

Natalie Anderson is also one of the LoveCats DownUnder and you can catch her here as well.


Welcome to all new followers and fellow crusaders! Please make sure you have your blog linked to your friend connect profile. Check by clicking on your floating head on the friend connect. If your photo is not linked then my other friends or I will not be able to follow you back!


I asked Natalie Anderson her views on Social Networking for pre-published authors and published authors, and she gave me her views here:

Firstly, thanks so much to Nas for putting me in her spotlight! I’m thrilled to be here :)
She asked me to give a few thoughts on that big ole’ beast known as social media in relation to pre-published and post-published. Now I’m really sorry because I’m just going to spout the obvious here – but it really is what I think about this. Yep, my thoughts for either camp are the same – it’s all about BALANCE.

There is no denying social media – or the advantages of it. It’s here, to stay, and only going to grow. So yes you need to be onboard (in some form or other) - but you need to manage what you put out there and of course how much time you put into it.

Nothing but nothing can come before the writing. At the end of the day we’re all in this because we have stories we want to share, we want to entertain, and yes, it’d be great to make some money doing that. No product means nothing to sell, no matter how cute your website. So you have to concentrate the best of your effort into your writing. And the most of your time.

So if you’re time pressured, then perhaps you only want to exist as a ‘writer’ on Facebook say – it’s free, its very easy to network and you can build relationships etc by commenting more on other peoples essays and pithy statements rather than having to come up with extended fantastic content yourself.

That’s the hard thing about blogging – it’s a big effort to attract readers and to keep them coming back. It can be a huge time-suck – time that perhaps could be better invested in your WIP. Of course, some people are great bloggers and all power to them. But be sure to think through what the benefits truly are to putting all that time into it.

The other thing that you have to be so very careful about, is what you put out there. Do not, under any circumstances, bite the hand that you want to feed you. Don’t moan about your dream publisher – or any other publisher or agent. What goes up, stays up and anybody can access it. I know this is obvious, but people do it all the time. Think, breathe, think again before pressing the ‘publish’ button. Now I’m not saying you can’t be honest, but just think about the face you’re presenting to the world. You must be professional, so when that potential editor or agent checks your blog/website/twitter/FB account, you want them to see you as someone they’d want to work with.  Sure, show your personality but perhaps not the moments of craziness we all have. I’m also wary of putting anything political up there-  you know the old saying about not talking politics, religion or sex? Well, depending on what you’re writing, it still holds – you don’t want to put prospective readers off by grumbling about the new law they adore...

It’s very difficult isn’t it? Because I guess it’s a kind of self-censorship... But your online presence is a persona – yes be honest, because honesty draws people, but perhaps not about everything. You have to define the lines for yourselves.

The internet has reduced the loneliness of the writer to a degree. It’s been fantastic in making all kinds of information accessible – we all know how to format manuscripts and how we’re supposed to write query letters and synopses – just Google it and you get a ton of great examples. We get to ‘meet’ people striving for the same thing as ourselves. But there’s something to be said for some isolation time as well. I remember in Donald Maas’ book, The Career Novelist (available as a free download here:
http://www.maassagency.com/books.html#career ), he talked about some break-out writers and the one thing they had in common was that they were writing in their own little caves off the network. Now I know this book is coming up 15 years old, but I think there’s still heaps to learn from it. And I do think there is a lot to be said for hanging out in your own cave, ploughing your own furrow. Have some time out where you don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing, don’t get sucked into checking your blog visitor stats every two hours, don’t worry about how fast someone else has just finished their wip or how fast they heard back from an ed. All of that info is irrelevant to you and your journey. Filter all the garbage that’s on the social networks (‘cos there is garbage, just as there’s a lot of gold and a lot of fun). So yes, try to find the balance – somehow!!!

Of course, I’m still trying to find that balance thing. I blog sporadically – although I do contribute regularly to group blogs and find that great fun. I am much more regular on Facebook –
http://www.facebook.com/authornataliea and  sometimes Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/authornataliea – but I find around deadline time, I drop everything and zone into book world. My time is very pressured – I still have two preschoolers (plus the two school age kids) and the bulk of my writing is done in the evenings and on the weekends. Perhaps when they go to school towards the end of the year I’ll be able to pick up on the social media thing a little more. For now, actually for always, the writing must come first.

So what do you think? Do you prefer to blog over Facebook say? Have you reserved your domain name for when you sell or do you have a full website up and running already? And do you tend to follow favourite authors on social media???


Natalie Anderson
USA TODAY bestselling author

  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS – M&B Special Releases, Jan 2011 UK
  • WALK ON THE WILD SIDE – M&B Riva, Feb 2011, UK ; Harlequin Presents Extra, Apr 2011 USA
  • REBEL WITH A CAUSE – Harlequin Presents Extra, Feb 2011 USA
  • IN BED WITH HER TALL, SEXY, HANDSOME BOSS – M&B By Request, Mar 2011 UK
  • THE END OF FAKING IT – M&B Riva, Apr 2011 UK ; Jul 2011 US
  • DATING AND OTHER DANGERS – M&B Riva, Jul 2011 UK
http://www.natalie-anderson.com
http://twitter.com/authornataliea
http://www.facebook.com/authornataliea



24 comments:

  1. Hi, Nas! I'm a crusader checking it and your blog is what we all try to do--help each other get noticed. Good interview.

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  2. Hello Zan Marie,

    Thanks for checking out Our Spotlight On HM&B multi published author Natalie Anderson!

    And Friends,

    What do you all think? As Natalie says:

    "Do you prefer to blog over Facebook say? Have you reserved your domain name for when you sell or do you have a full website up and running already? And do you tend to follow favourite authors on social media???"

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  3. Walk on the Wild Side has such a cool cover.

    My top five also has To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, I'm rereading it to see if I love it as much as I had in high school.

    It was nice to get to know Natalie Anderson.

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  4. Congrats to Natalie for all her successes! And yay for "anything by Jane Austen"!

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  5. Hello Lydia,

    As you know from the above post Natalie lives in Christchurch NZ, today around 11.am 22 February, Christchurch was hit with a 6.3 earthquake.

    I've just "met" Natalie on twitter and fortunately she and her family are all fine.

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  6. Love the tip for keeping romance alive...don't be afraid to get naked. Very fun!

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  7. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for coming in and checking out Our Spotlight on Natalie Anderson!

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  8. Lovely to find out more about you, Natalie. And thank goodness you and your family are OK following that terrible earthquake. Just tragic :(

    Thanks, Nas for yet another wonderful interview!
    Hugs

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  9. Lovely interview! I love the part about getting a revisions request while delivering a baby. Haven't heard of that before!

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  10. Fantastic interview, ladies. My heart was in my throat when I saw Christchurch, but I'm happy to hear all is okay with you.

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  11. Nas, wonderful interview as always! I enjoyed "meeting" Natalie! Now I'll have to read some of her boioks:).

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  12. Hi Serena,

    You are welcome, my dear! I'm also glad Natalie and her family are Okay, after I watched the news last night and the devastation to the Chrischurch city is so heart-breaking.

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  13. Hi Liz,

    You know I read in one of Natalie's interview that she was requested to revise her manuscript and she was busy with breast-pumps and all while writing the most romantic scences!

    Well, she's made raising up four kids including a set of twins romantic for the rest of us!

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  14. Hi Talli,

    I saw on twitter yesterday how the writing community, all published authors as well as aspiring writers came to a standstill, worried about Natalie when they knew about the earthquake in Chrischurch.

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  15. Hello Maria,

    Natalie Anderson's books are full of emotional punch. Just check on my sidebar here on the carousal for more titles or check her website. You'll enjoy reading them.

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  16. What a fun interview! And I LOVE Ladyhawke... such a classic.
    Awesome advice and social media suggestions. Thanks for the link to the free download... that's fab!

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  17. Hi PK,

    I've seen you tweeted the link about Donald Mass book, thanks!

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  18. Hi Nas and everyone!!! I"m sorry I'm late to the party - it's been a very long night and day here in New Zealand as I'm sure you're all aware.

    PK - so glad you love Ladyhawke too - isn't it just the most fab! :)

    Maria - I hope you do get to read some - why not join my FB page and you might win one in one of my giveaways! ;)

    Talli and Serena - thanks for your thoughts, it's a rough time and getting a little rougher unfortunately.

    Liz - yes, it was a crazy time getting those revisions then! But it was - to be honest - also quite good because my twins were in ICU and I was a mess, it gave me something else to think about... escapism can be a great thing :)

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  19. Theresa - I'm glad you like the cover, I love it too!

    Julie - lol, yes about the getting naked... why not, right?! ;)

    Lydia - there is no one like Jane. Just Awesome are what her initials really stand for!

    Zan Marie - I'm glad you enjoyed the interview :)

    Thanks so much Nas - you've done an amazing job!!!!

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  20. Lots of interesting information here. Reading and writing do go seem to go hand in hand.

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  21. Hi JL,

    If a person is a passionate reader from early on, then she's a dreamer as well. And if a person is a dreamer then she definitely have a story to tell, so she becomes a writer!

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  22. Hi, Nas Dean (and Natalie). I'm coming over here to meet you from L'Aussie's. I was the last guested blogger on her list of The Journey to Publication. You wrote this about me: "What an amazing life. So full of all type of emotional experience. And inspiring to those of us who feel like quitting." Thank you for the compliment. And we all do need to persevere and not quit. Natalie certainly didn't. I can relate to you, Natalie. I also read romances when I was a teenager. And Nas Dean, this was a great post, so informative. Though I see it's dated several weeks ago, before the terrible earthquake in Christchurch. I hope Natalie and her family are okay!!!!

    Ann @ Long Journey Home

    All the best!

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  23. Hi Ann,

    When I read about your journey, I was really impressed and admired you for overcoming so many emotional upheavals. Kudos to you. And all the best for the future!

    As for Natalie, she and her family are Ok. Actually I posted this interview a day before the quake and she couldn't drop in as much as she liked to but she did come in just after the quake and commented above:

    "I"m sorry I'm late to the party - it's been a very long night and day here in New Zealand as I'm sure you're all aware."

    And she also said, "thanks for your thoughts, it's a rough time and getting a little rougher unfortunately"
    Because she is catering to friends and family from Chrischurch in the aftermath of the quake.

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