Friday, October 5, 2012

TBR welcomes Natalie Anderson

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Natalie. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Natalie:  Thanks so much for having me here! I’m Natalie Anderson and I write fun, frisky, feels-good contemporary romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon and Entangled. I’ve had over twenty books published, hit the USA TODAY bestseller list, been a Romantic Times Award nominee & a finalist for the R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year). I live in Christchurch, New Zealand with my hubby and four children. Life is really busy, but it’s really good.

TBR: Tell us about DATING AND OTHER DANGERS and where it's available.
Natalie:  DATING AND OTHER DANGERS is my latest release with Harlequin Presents. It’s on the shelves in stores in North America in October and you can also grab it online from Amazon:
If you’re in the UK, it’s also just been rereleased in digital form and you can grab it from Amazon UK:

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Natalie:  Ok, so here’s the blurb:
Nadia Keenan’s first date Do’s and Don’ts:
1.           Do boost your confidence by looking hot
2.           Don’t put out until at lease date two
3.           If the man is trouble (however sexy!) do report all on
After being trashed on Nadia’s website, serial dater-and-dumper Ethan Rush is about to put Nadia’s rules to the test.
He’s determined to change her mind about him.
She’s determined to prove him for the cad he is.
Let the battle of the dates begin…

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Natalie:  I’m really interested in social media and the behaviours of online communities. It’s fascinating! I think online forums can be fabulous—and also terrifying! I’d read about a dating reputation website and thought this could be an engaging and possibly dangerous thing! I loved the idea of exploring reputation and truth, reality and perception and all that. Plus I really wanted a snarky, sassy battle of the sexes story! And these two really do go for it—I had such fun writing their ‘he says/she says’ blog wars J

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Natalie:  A bit of both. I do sit down and brainstorm ideas, character and about half a plot. I need to send an outline to my editor before beginning so I really have to have some idea of the characters, conflict, setting and start point. But once I get writing things naturally develop in different ways as you get to know the characters and often I’ll be almost at the end when I discover something major and have to go back and put it in nearer the start of the book. But all that part makes it exciting and fun and is immensely satisfying.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Natalie:  Firstly, I can’t do a thing without knowing their names. I really need names to start with. For some reason I have a huge bank of heroine names that I love. Lots and lots of lovely women’s names. But heroes are so much harder!!!! It takes me an age to settle on one for a guy. I go through all the ‘most popular’ lists for around the year the character was born, skip all the way through to the bottom sometimes (depending on the background of the character). Once I’ve got them named I work on their backstories—because that’s what’s made them who they are today (and at the start of their story). Often I’ll have some idea of this when the story idea first comes to me (which is usually in the form of a key scene or conversation). Once I’ve got some idea of their background I think about their physical appearance. From then it’s drilling deeper and deeper—I do think about all kinds of things from speech manner, to scars to most embarrassing moments. I don’t fill out one of those character sheets you see floating round the net, but I do pretty much figure out all that stuff and put it in a notebook somewhere. But then I get to the point when I just want to write the damn story. I do a ‘discovery’ draft—a quick, dirty mess of a manuscript, because some things just don’t come to me until I’ve actually written the bones of the story.

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Natalie:  I usually write to dance music or pop and often have the same one song playing over and over and over so it kind of becomes like ‘white noise’ in the background and doesn’t distract. I love dance music because I like a fast, uplifting beat—its energizing. I listen to Flo Rida quite a bit!

TBR: What's next for you?
Natalie:  Next out in the UK is a contemporary BLAME IT ON THE BIKINI which starts off when my poor heroine texts a picture of herself to the wrong person… yeah, the hero, brother of hr best friend and sooooo not the guy she wanted to ever see her like that!

TBR: Any other published works?
Natalie:  I’ve now had twenty books published with Harlequin Mills and Boon which is just awesome. I’ve also had a couple of novellas out with Entangled Publishing—FLIRTING TO WIN is out now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and is an anthology of three novellas and I’m working on a couple of other projects as well.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Natalie:  Writing is the best thing in the world when it’s going well—it is the coolest thing ever to hold your book in your hands. I love sitting in my shed with my music on, smiling away at my computer while I write some flirty banter between my hero and heroine. It’s fab.
But when its not going well it can be so hard! You do have to have strong self-motivation—working at home alone you can’t let yourself be distracted (and on the worst writing days, housework can be a pleasant distraction—how bad is that?!). And you can’t let yourself get down—but that can happen all too easily sometimes. Writers are sensitive creatures really, so it’s best to protect yourself a bit. Our wireless Internet connection doesn’t reach out to my writing shed and I think this is a very good thing! I do think to get good work done I need to disconnect from the net, not worry about the ‘publishing’ aspect of it and just write.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Natalie:  I don’t know that it’s the most ‘interesting’ but I have been thrilled with the reviewer responses to DATING AND OTHER DANGERS, for example, Romance Novel News said this: “Dating and Other Dangers” is a fantastic contemporary romance. It is sexy and very flirty. Its hero and heroine are so very human – flawed, but good at heart. The romance pulled at my heartstrings, and the happily ever after delighted. This is an example of what category romance should be.”

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Natalie:  I didn’t have anything to read recently so I stole my husband’s new Lee Child book to see what the Jack Reacher series was like. It was great! I always read crime as a teen (alternating it with romance)—and I still love reading it. Grab me with a good story, easily told and I’m happy!

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Natalie:  I’m on Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads and of course have my own website and blog J

TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Natalie. All the best to you.


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