Q. Hello Natalina, may I ask what drew you to writing?
A. I have always wanted to be published and I had actually submitted novels for publication many years ago without much success. After a few years on pause, I met some other writers who inspired me to start writing again. After I had actually written a full-size novel it just stood to reason to submit it for publication.
Q. How long have you been writing?
A. I have been writing ever since I could. I remember writing poems and little stories when I was about eight years old.
Q. How long did it take you to write your most recent book?
A. I wrote the first draft of this book during the 2014 NaNoWriMo. It must have taken me another four to five months to have a polished manuscript I felt comfortable sending out to publishers. I work as a full-time teacher, so writing takes over the rest of my days and weekends.
Q. What do you use to write your books?
A. I write mostly on my laptop of my Kindle.
Q. What problems did you encounter?
A. My biggest problem is time. With a full-time job, time is at a premium and I often have to sacrifice other daily activities in order to be able to get any writing done.
Q. Do you structure your plots or just go with the flow?
A. I normally go with the flow and I thrive in the creative process without much planning. I find it that when I plan too much I lose interest in the characters and the story. It needs to be new and fresh to keep me going, to keep me creating.
Q. Do you do a lot of research when writing a book?
A. I research whenever I need. For instances in my current WIP, there is a scene that required me to learn about GPS and cell phone signals and jammers. In a previous project, I had to do research on African folklore and mythology. In We Will Always Have the Closet I had to study maps and ferry schedules. Whatever it takes to write a believable story (even in fantasy.)
Q. What time of the day do you find is best to write?
A. I write best in the early evening, away from home if possible. I enjoy writing in coffee shops and libraries. Mind you, considering that evenings are normally the only time I can actually write, my preference stems mostly from necessity.
Q. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A. I’m an introvert and like most introverts I pay attention. I’m good at noticing things no-one else does and at filing those things in my mind for future reference. Virtually anything can inspire me; something I witness, a song, a picture…
Q. What draws you to this genre?
A. I love romance because it is a feel-good genre. In the world we live today, things are often so hopeless and grim that romance affords me with a way to escape. Even when I write other genres (I get bored easily so I tend to write across genres) I always try to insert some level of romance into it.
Q. How many books have you written?
A. I have written a few novels before I was published. I have only one book published at the moment and I have written another one (almost ready for submission) and I am working on another romance at the time.
Q. Who designed your front cover?
A. My cover was designed by the very talented Tamara from TOJ Publishing Services.
Q. Who was the first person you showed your novel too?
A. Nicole, a friend writer, was the first one reading my novel. She was my beta reader and first editor.
Q. Have you ever dedicated a book to someone?
A. We Will Always Have the Closet is dedicated to my father who passed away sixteen years ago. He was always very supportive of my dreams and also a reader.
Q. Do you do all your own proofreading and editing?
A. I have a group of writer friends who help me with the first round of edits and revisions. I have also hired a professional editor to help me polish the manuscript further before sending it out to a publisher.
Q. How and where are you publishing this book?
A. This book is being traditionally published with Limitless Publishing.
Q. What are you reading at the moment? Which book do you have by your bed?
A. I just finished reading a romance by a fellow Limitless author; Marianne Rice called Sweet on You and Graceling by Kristen Cashore. I have started Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare a couple days ago and I’m already hooked.
Q. Who is your Favorited author/book?
A. I have so many. Love Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. Cassandra Clare and J.K. Rowling’s, Sophie Kinsella and Khaled Hosseini, Suzanne Collins and Agatha Christie.
Q. What is your favourite quote from a book?
A. I have a notebook full of favourite literary quotes but I love Hunger Games’ very simple and heart wrenching one when Peeta asks Katniss, ‘You love me. Real or not real? I tell him, Real.’
Q. What is your favourite book to film adaptation?
A. Hunger Games by far.
Q. What books do you read to your children?
A. My children are now adults but I used to read them The Chronicles of Narnia when they were little. I love picture books and have a huge collection that I read to my elementary school students.
Q. When you read do you prefer a book or a Kindle/tablet?
A. I love any kind of book. Lately, I read on my Kindle more often than not because I can carry a ton of them with me that way. Right now I’m reading Lady Midnight in hardcover.
Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
A. Don’t give up and write, write, write.
Q. What’s coming next Natalina?
A. I have one book ready for submission and I am writing another romance right now. I am hoping to establish myself as an author and like most of us, I would love to become a full-time writer.