Kealie took another breather, so I’m here welcoming our Monday Interview author and my friend, Natasha Blackthorne! Welcome!! And what’s cool, is we both have a release with Total-E-Bound, TODAY!! Yeah, pretty neat! But she’s here for her interview, so let’s get that going. Grin.
When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote from an early age. My imagination pressed me to write. Whenever my mind is at rest my imagination gives me images and stories and they won’t give me peace until I write them down and try to bring them to life. It becomes an obsession. A painful drive pressing down on me. It was never a choice to write or not to write. I had to write. But the choice came in when I decided to apply myself and learn how to write craft-wise. No one is born knowing how to write. The desire and drive may be there but one still has to learn how to do it well just like any art or skill. And then choice came into play again to decide to submit a story for publication. These were huge, scary steps.
No kidding. There’s all kinds of scary involved in deciding where to send your MS which is like sending your kid out into the world alone. What inspired you to write your first book?
Grey’s Lady was the first book that I submitted for publication. It is not the first book I ever wrote. The inspiration came while reading a book on male-female sexual interactions in Revolutionary and Federalist Philadelphia. After I had read this book, in a quiet moment, Grey, the hero, “showed” me the story through his perspective. He was staring out the bookseller’s windows at the rain and the gray sky. He made eye contact with Beth, the heroine and in that moment she touched him deeply with her sadness that mirrored his own feelings that he was disconnected from.
I love when the characters show us what they want. How did you come up with the title?
The heroine Beth doesn’t believe she is a lady. She’s the illegitimate child of a housemaid and an unknown man. When young, she was seduced and had her heart broken by a gentleman. She believes that she is a soiled dove and that she doesn’t deserve love from the kind of man who really attracts her.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Out of something common, something uncommon and unexpected may develop.
How much of the book is realistic?
Did a wealthy American merchant prince ever have an assignation in a carriage with a lovely young woman and become obsessed with possessing her? Well, I am not sure. LOL. It’s a fairy tale about love, let’s not over think it. Seriously, it’s meant to be a fairy tale for adults set in an early USA setting. It’s character based romance set against a realistic as possible historical backdrop.
Hey, there’s no crime in just letting the story be what it is! What book are you reading now?
Henry Adams and the Making of America by Garry Wills
What are your current projects?
I am working on the Carte Blanche series for Total E-Bound Publishing. The sequel to Grey’s Lady is titled White Lace and Promises and is out now.
The next book in the CB series is titled Alex’s Angel and is set in Philadelphia in 1793 right after the devastating yellow fever epidemic. Sheltered Emily Eliot finds herself alone, making her own decisions for the first time. When desperation leads her to sell her virtue, she walks straight into trouble—and into the arms of gorgeous, golden haired Alexander Dalton. Alex’s Angel is due to be released February 28, 2012. I am currently working on a sequel for Alex’s Angel and I plan another book for CB after that.
You’re a busy girl! Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as a necessity like breathing or eating. Even if I had no access to paper and pen, I’d be writing in my head.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was always just there. When I learned how to read and write in school I knew this was the way to record my imaginations. I did not know at that time that writing is also a craft. The people around me were not supportive of my budding attempts to write. I was strongly discouraged to write by those around me. (A vast understatement.) I can’t help but have deep regrets that I didn’t learn early that writing is a craft that must be learned. It would have made sharing my writing and publication seem more tangible, something real I could aspire to. But it really didn’t matter. The drive to write was never a choice and it wouldn’t be pushed away.
Who designed the covers?
The art department at TEB and April Martinez made me the loveliest possible cover for Grey’s Lady. I couldn’t be more pleased with it. It really brings the story to life, what more could any author hope for in a cover?
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Being patient with my imagination. I’d like to have more control over the process but when I try to take over the process it always slows me down and lands me into writer’s block.
Yeah, writer’s block stinks! Do you have any advice for other writers?
Study all you can but respect your own processes.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I am mostly always writing. Some at the computer, some in my head. When I am unable to spend time writing I feel very lost as if some vital part of myself is missing so it is always the priority for me.
I’d love to have that much time to write. Grin. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I was six. For many years I wrote for my own self-expression and I had no thought of being a “serious” writer or publishing. As I said, I wrote not because I wanted to or because I made a decision to at any point but because I had to. Becoming serious about writing and applying myself to learn to write didn’t happen until much later. There’s a huge difference between writing and becoming serious about learning the art and craft of writing.
What does your family think of your writing?
My husband believes in my writing deeply. He always has.
That’s fantastic! What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?
Cats. I have always loved cats. It runs in the family. My father and older sister loved cats too. Cats are so warm, affectionate and loyal yet they are selective. They don’t give their affections or loyalty easily. People who say cats are aloof have never truly known a cat. They are capable of deep loyalty and emotional closeness. The right cat makes a dedicated companion. Sometimes I really do despair of getting any time alone! Cats communicate with those they love in such subtle ways, if only the person they seek to connect with will attune to them and be open to it. It hurts me but I know it’s true, when I was younger I was not always patient or open enough to what the cats in my life wanted to communicate or share with me.
Dogs are wonderful, loving creatures but I am a steadfast cat person.
Boxers, briefs, boxerbriefs…. Or commando? Why?
I can’t stand boxerbriefs. I am not sure why, I just don’t like the way they look on a man. On my husband naked is best.
What is your strangest habit?
Zoning out and daydreaming. This got me into a lot of trouble as a child. Oh, who am I kidding, it gets me into trouble now.
Nothing wrong with getting into trouble here and there. I spend a lot of time in trouble. Grin. What is your favorite pizza?
Cheese and mushrooms with black olives.
Are you a morning person or a night person?
I am definitely a night person.
Now you know you want to learn more about Natasha! Here’s her links:
Want to know more about Grey’s Lady? Here’s the vital stats!
Book one in the Carte Blanche Series
Seeking sexual excitement and conquest, poor but beautiful Beth seduces wealthy merchant prince Grey Sexton, only to find herself the pursued as he seeks to own her body and soul.
Flouting the moral standards of Jeffersonian America, temptress Beth McConnell lets no man touch her heart. Her motto is love them once and leave them burning.
But when she boldly seduces Grey Sexton, a self-controlled merchant prince from New York, she finds herself too fascinated by his ice-over-fire nature to stay away. His possessive determination to own her, body and soul, threatens to expose her secret erotic life to public shame.
But Beth will only surrender her love to a man she can trust. And Grey's materialistic approach to relationships leaves her little reason to believe he can ever give her what she truly needs.
For these two cynical yet lonely people, can deep sexual intimacy work a miracle and lead to the opening of their hearts?
And here’s a little bit about White Lace and Promises:
Book two in the Carte Blanche Series
Beth and Grey’s passionate battle of wills continues...
New York Merchant Prince Grey Sexton loves the audacious, spirited young temptress who seduced him in a Philadelphia bookseller’s and made passionate love to him in his carriage. Her fiery nature broke through his cold self-protection. But in a time of war and trade disruption, he cannot allow himself to be distracted. He vows to put business above all else in his life, including his bride.
Shocked and hurt by Grey's distance, Beth wonders whether he truly returns the burning love she feels for him. Beth demands that Grey prove he can truly change once and for all or else she will not start a family with him. But will the dark, sensual secrets she yet keeps repel this arrogant, self-controlled gentleman she has married?
And coming soon: Alex’s Angel!