Thursday, February 13, 2020

On Writing: In Conversation with Natalie Reddy

Today we are in conversation with Natalie J Reddy, a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.
There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it is in her own writing or the writing of others. Her debut novel is the first in a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and
sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.
When she is not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with
her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or
incident that gave birth to the author in you?

Books and writing were both things I loved at an early age. I loved writing stories and
reading them to my brothers and I always did really well in Creative Writing classes at
school. But being an author wasn’t something I started pursuing until I got married in
2014. After our wedding, I left my job working in childcare and moved to the city my
husband lived in and for the first time since I was sixteen I didn’t have a full-time job. It
was at that time that I found the book “No Plot? No Problem!” By Chris Baty and learned
about National Novel Writing Month which takes place worldwide every November. It
was only July at the time but I didn’t want to wait until November to try writing a novel so
I gave it a shot. I ended up writing a 50,000-word novel that month, and that’s when I
really started to consider becoming an author.

How important are the names of the characters in your books to you? Do you
spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

Oh, great question! It depends on the character to be honest. I do give thought to every
name I give a character but some come easier than others. With Darshan’s name for
example, I spend hours on a baby name website trying to find the perfect name for his
character. But there was another name that I found on a children’s television show and
one other was the name of a waitress I met at a restaurant. I kind of find names
everywhere. When I hear one that I find interesting I’ll write it down for possible future

What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Is there a favourite
place to write?

My writing process keeps evolving and I’m still working out what works best for me.
Right now I am a stay at home mom to my four-year-old daughter and that means my
writing has to work around her. I do have an office and it is definitely my favourite place to
write but I’m often interrupted which means that I don’t always get to write there. 

I do a lot of my writing on my phone which helps me get more done on days when I’m not able
to sit down at my computer. I’m not a writer who writes for hours at a time. I’m a sprinter
who will try to get as much writing as I can do in fifteen or twenty-minute (or
sometimes five-minute) increments. I try to write at least a few hundred words every day
to keep up a daily habit but there are some days where I don’t write at all.

While writing Forgotten Scars I was able to learn more about my needs as an author. At
least half of Forgotten Scars was written without much planning. The second half I had
to plan before I could finish because I got really stuck. I am currently working on the
sequel and this time around I have done more plotting and outlining which has been
really helpful. I think I’m definitely a hybrid between a plotter and pantser. I love being in
the moment with my characters and seeing where they lead but I need a general guide
so that I stay on track and true to the story.
One thing that has always remained the same regardless of where or when I’m writing is
tea. There is always a mug of tea close by whether I’m writing in my office or on the
couch with my daughter. Tea keeps me going :).

 What is different about Forgotten Scars’?

Hmmm, another good question. One thing that is different from some other books is that
my main character Wren is far from perfect. Right off, we see that she is a bit broken. On
top of her emotional wounds, she has her own physical imperfections that set her apart
from others.
The Psi are also something that is different. Many books have different supernatural
creatures in their world (witches, vampires, werewolves) but in my world, the Psi don’t
make up a fraction of the supernatural world, they are the supernatural world. They may
have different powers or appear to be different supernatural creatures but at the end of
the day they are all the same thing. Psi.
Another cool thing about my book is that the setting is in Canada! I’m a Canadian author
and I really wanted to represent my country and use it for the setting for this first book. I
can count on one hand the amount of books I’ve read that are set in my country and I
wanted to change that.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Oh, this is a hard one! If I had to pick one, I would probably say Misha. Misha has
evolved in a lot of ways. He was meant to be a side character and have a much smaller

part in book one but I loved writing him so much that he ended up with a bigger role. He
is also the strong, silent, brooding type and who doesn’t love one of those?

Which do you prefer as a reader? EBook or Paperback?

I love a physical book, I love the feel of it, the smell of it and how it looks on my
bookshelf. But if I had to pick I would have to say Ebook. I read and buy more ebooks
than physical books. It’s easier for me to pull out my phone to read a book than it is to
carry around a paperback everywhere. But I possibly love Audiobooks even more. As a
mom I am constantly multitasking and audiobooks mean I can do my dishes or fold my
laundry and listen to a book at the same time. Perfect!

How long did it take to finish writing Forgotten Scars’?
It took me about a year and a half from writing the first sentence to publication.

How important do you think is marketing in today’s world for any book?

I would say that marketing is pretty important for an author. With the popularity of self-publishing, there are more authors than ever putting their work out there. It’s easy to get
lost in a sea of books if you have no marketing strategy. That being said I think that
writing the best book you are capable of is even more important first and foremost. The
best marketing strategy in the world isn’t going to help you if your book isn’t well written
and properly edited.

Please share a passage or quote from Forgotten Scars’ for our readers.

His back was turned to me for a long moment, and my eyes darted to the stupid candelabra I’d
left on the desk. What was the likeliness I could get to it and smash his brain in before he could stop me?
“Not good,” he said.
“Your chances of being quick enough to smash my brain in aren’t good.”
“What?” I shook my head. Had he just replied to my thoughts? I was sure I hadn’t voiced my
murderous thoughts out loud. Or had I? Nothing else made sense. I was losing it. I was totally losing it!
Darshan turned his gaze on me. You’re not losing it—yet. He raised a brow with the word ‘yet.’
I stood there, frozen, and he took advantage and moved toward me. His mouth lifted in a smirk,
and he cocked his head in a casual yet predatory way.
I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat.

“I—” I shook my head, trying to find the right words. His lips hadn’t moved, but I had heard him.
His lips hadn’t moved. Was there a word for that?
Telepathy. Darshan shrugged, his voice filling my mind. That would be the word for it.
I clenched my hands, trying to calm the shaking that had started.
The word I would have used would have been, impossible.
I sucked in a breath. “I—I’m confused.” I cursed the quiver in my voice. My heart had started
pounding, and my palms were sweating.
Darshan closed the gap between us, a dark expression on his face as he gripped my arms. I tried
to pull away, but his grip was iron.
“What are you?” I asked. “I don’t understand.”
Of course, you don’t. But you need to.” His golden eyes narrowed, and I lowered my gaze. He
dipped his head, forcing our eyes to meet. I need answers, Wren, and I’ll use every means at my disposal
to get them.”
“I can’t give you what you need,” I said, and his grip tightened. I winced as his fingers bit into
my arms.
He shook me as his voice roared in my head. You can! You’re just choosing not to.
A whimper escaped my throat, shame joining the fear coiling in my gut. At that moment, I was
glad I didn’t know how to find Wendy, because I would have given them almost anything to be allowed
to leave.
“I can’t. I swear! I don’t know anything—not anything useful anyway. I can’t help you.”
You know more than you think you do, he insisted.
But I didn’t. Why wouldn’t he believe me? Why wouldn’t he just let me leave?
Darshan cocked his head as he looked at me. Are you afraid? His grip loosened just a bit.
“Yes,” I whispered. There was no point in lying; it was obvious.

Good. You should be. He dropped my arms, and I resisted the urge to rub where I was sure there
were now hand-shaped bruises. “But not of me. You should be afraid of the woman you’re protecting.”

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring

1) Write, write, write! You can’t publish what isn’t written. And even if you think what
you’re writing is terrible, keep going! That’s what editing is for ;).
2) Write what excites you. If you’re bored while you’re writing it, your readers are going
to be bored while they read it.
3) Don’t compare yourself to others. No one is on the same journey. Don’t cheapen your
experience by expecting it to look like someone else.

Thank you, Natalie. It was great speaking to you. Wishing you the very best in all your future endeavours.

About the Book:

Memories can be painful, but not remembering at all can be almost maddening!

Wren Peterson-Cruz isn’t without scars. In her nineteen years, she’s been through more trauma than most, but the memories of her greatest trauma are buried deep within her mind.

Wren had long given up hope of finding out the truth about her childhood until she’s pulled into a world she never knew existed. In this world, she meets people who are far from human. They call themselves Psi. They have powers and abilities that shouldn’t be real and seem to be looking to Wren for answers that she doesn’t have. Or does she?

The Psi, who have more secrets than answers, offers her a unique opportunity. An opportunity that could lead to the answers Wren’s wanted her whole life. But can Wren trust them to protect her and help her discover her true self? Or is she being pulled into a world that is more dangerous and deceptive than she realizes?


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