Happy Tuesday! Today, we are joined by Natalie Write, author of H.A.L.F. Let's get to know all about Natalie and her book, and be sure to enter the rafflecopter at the end of the post for your chance at winning a cool prize.
Hi, Natalie! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My day-to-day life in the “real” world is like vanilla ice cream. It’s delicious and easily palatable but not exactly exciting!
I’ve been happily married to the same man for twenty-seven years, we have a tween daughter (seventh grade), and two cats. I live in the suburbs, take my daughter to school, help her with homework, cook dinner and do laundry. I run errands on the weekend and go to the movies for entertainment. It’s completely ordinary.
But that only describes my “outer” life in the “real” world. In fact, I spend most of my days living in a world where a teenage girl with magical abilities can kick the ass of a black hole (Emily’s House); where an alien-human hybrid walks the Arizona desert; and where the shadow government is very real. I spend most of my waking hours creating worlds that I hope seem so real to readers that they begin to question if I know something they don’t!
Tell our readers a bit about H.A.L.F.
H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath is a young adult/adult science fiction story. H.A.L.F. 9 is seventeen and he’s lived his whole life in a secret, underground lab but he has just escaped into the Arizona desert. Coincidentally, Erika Holt and two of her friends are in the desert that night as well. When they cross paths, they all begin a journey that will change their lives forever.
The H.A.L.F. series will appeal to people who enjoy shows like The X-Files, Roswell, Ancient Aliens or anything with an alien theme. Government conspiracies and black ops. Alien-human hybrids and genetic engineering. It’s at times eerie, other times humorous, always adventurous.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
I first conceived of the idea back in 2010. I was driving around my hometown (Tucson, AZ), running errands. It was summer. A very hot day (like in the 100’s hot!). I was driving home and this song, “Cowboys & Aliens” by Gram Rabbit came on. I had a view down across the desert valley, out to the mountains to the south near Mexico. And the big picture storyline came to my mind. I got home and wrote pages and pages of an outline of the story that would become, five years later (!!), H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both. I use the “Snowflake” method to help me plan the plot and use various tools to develop characters before I begin the first draft. This process of planning/researching/interviewing characters, etc. may take a month or more. I try to think out the major scenes of the book and write them down on scene cards. The book I’m working on right now, The Makers (Book 2 of H.A.L.F.), is told in multiple POVs so the cards help me see what’s going on in each storyline and where they’ll all coalesce into one through line.
The pantsing comes in while actually writing. I’ve done all this planning and thinking, but when it comes down to it and I’m in the zone, anything can happen! I go with it. The end result is always so much better than I’d originally planned.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Starting. I’m now writing my fifth novel and it is every bit as hard to begin as each one prior. Maybe even more difficult because I now have higher expectations for myself.
The blank screen never gets less intimidating. Each time I write a first draft, I have to summon my courage and talk myself out of giving up.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
A cat. :-) And coffee. Lots of coffee. Oh, and music. I absolutely have to have my headphones on and I listen to ambient, electronic, meditation or brainwave stuff.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To be able to fly. I would love to be able to defy gravity. I envy birds that ability.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
Oh, I’ve googled lots of weird things! Probably the strangest one so far was when I researched what drug someone might use to put a pregnant woman to sleep during childbirth. This was necessary for the Prologue to H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath. And since doctors don’t do that anymore, I had to dig a bit to find something that would work.
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
reading about alien conspiracy theories. ;-)
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
Thank you for the opportunity to give thanks. I’m very grateful to the ladies at Red Adept editing for their content editing services. Great work at a reasonable price. I love them! And thank you to Pauline Nolet for eagle-eyed line editing; to Jason Anderson for perfection in digital formatting; and to Dane at eBook Launch for great cover work on H.A.L.F.
But I’d never have a manuscript to edit without the love and support of my husband, daughter and my oldest sister. The three of them provide such encouragement and at times tough love (if that’s what’s necessary to get me back into keyboard monkey mode). And thank you to my writer pal Bridget Magee. She is a great cheerleader and the one in my life that totally gets the issues I deal with in my life as a writer and mom. And I’m very grateful for my Writer’s Table group. We get together every Tuesday and write for two hours. That’s it. Just writing. But the synergy of the creative energy of these women always ends up being the most productive two hours of my week. And they are gracious, lovely women.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Natalie. And thanks for stopping by the blog!
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