We're welcoming Natalie Wright on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for her YA, "Emily's Trial". Natalie will award an autographed copy of "Emily's House", a handmade Celtic-inspired armlet, similar to one worn by Emily in the books and book swag to one randomly drawn commenter (US only -- an eBook of "Emily's House" will be substituted as the prize for an international winner), so leave your thoughts here and you're entered! If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.
Natalie answered many of my prying questions -- it's a fun interview folks! Natalie, the floor is yours.
Why YA fiction? What draws you to it?
Honestly, I feel like YA came to me, rather than me being drawn to it! My first novel, Emily’s House, began with an adult protagonist. But it wasn’t working. Then one day, out of the blue, I saw a vision of Emily and she was 14, not 25. Once I was clear about my main character, the rest fell into place. So it wasn’t like I planned to write Middle Grade (Emily’s House is best suited to 11-14 year olds), or YA (the other two books in the series are intended for 14 and up). But once I tapped into that “voice”, the writing came more naturally.
The teen “voice” seems to come naturally for me. And I enjoy writing for that age group. They are so intensely into their relationships, into finding out who they are and their place in the world, figuring out their place in their family while stepping toward independence. I find it a rich area to explore.
That’s not to say I’ll never try my hand at writing books intended for older audiences. I’ve got some fun ideas rolling around my brain for older audiences. But right now, I’m finishing up The Akasha Chronicles (Book 3, Emily’s Heart, will be out next year), and I have another teen speculative fiction trilogy planned (working title H.A.L.F.), so it will be a while before I can commit to another large project.
Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens her locker – what will we see inside?
What a fun question! Emily’s locker is a mess! You’ll find books for her classes, of course. Notebooks with papers hanging out of them. There’s a wadded up hoodie, a pair of running shoes, several pairs of dirty running socks. She keeps a small makeup bag on the shelf. Inside you’ll see a dusky, mauve lipstick, a hairbrush and hair ties for ponytails, blush and black mascara. There’s a bottle of sunscreen, a box of strawberry iced Pop Tarts, and a water bottle (the spout looks a bit gnarly from her chewing on it – nervous habit). What you won’t find is a mirror or posters of famous people ;-)
Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?
Hunger Games, all the way. Team Peeta (but the book version of Peeta, not the movie version). From the first paragraph of the first page of the first book of the Hunger Games, I was hooked.
I think my preference for HG over Twilight is all about protagonist. Katniss is my kind of MC. She’s strong, commanding, and capable but flawed. She’s interesting to me. She always ends up doing the right thing, but we see her struggle with choices. And she’s no helpless maiden. Katniss is the kind of female heroine that I aspire to write.
What reality show would you love to be on? Why?
Hmm, well if there’s a reality show about a writers – showing them sitting at their desk, typing away for hours on end, breaking only to swill Diet Coke and coffee and eat chocolate by the case - then I’d be on it! There’s not show like that?
Oh, then put me on the voice – team Cee Lo.
Favorite hot beverage. Why?
European drinking chocolate. If you’ve never had it, it’s a luxurious drink made from best quality chocolate and rich creamy milk. It’s not the same flavor as hot chocolate. It’s more like drinking Swiss milk chocolate. Heaven in a cup! Unfortunately, I’m unable to have this treat often. First, I don’t live in Europe. I haven’t found anyplace in America that makes it like they do in Europe. Starbucks, do you hear me?! Second, I live in Arizona. It can be in the 90’s into November! So I have some special chocolate I ordered from Burdick’s, a good whisk, and I await the weather getting cold enough to whisk me up a batch (*wipes drool from corner of mouth*).
You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?
Brighid, of course. Why? She’s the Goddess of Lucent Energy! I’m thinking if I were stranded on an island, having a Goddess along would be a good plan.
You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?
First, I’d pay off my student loans! Can anyone relate?! It’d be nice to pay that off before my daughter goes to college. I’ve got about eight years – wish me luck! After that, I’d take my family on a lengthy European vacation. There are so many places there I’d like to see. I have family heritage in England, France and Germany, and I’d love to visit my ‘homelands’. And remember that drinking chocolate that I mentioned before? Need I say more ;-)
Of course I’d buy great shoes, fabulous purses and repair all the stuff in my house that needs fixed.
But I’m a woman of relatively simple needs, and there are so many in need. So I’d pay some bills and have some fun, but I’d love to donate significant funds to organizations that help children and critters in need.
Playlist for your current book.
I create “soundtracks” for all of my novels. It’s fun to find music that connects to the mood I’m trying to create while writing.
Emily’s Trial deals with fear, courage, and friendships being tested. To get in the mood to write about that, I created an eclectic playlist of music that hits on all three of these ideas. To set the mood for spooky and fearful, I’ve got “Brackett Finds Annie”, from the Halloween II soundtrack; “To Kill a Demon”, from Halo 3 soundtrack (I really like this one!); “Freddy’s Coming for You”, from A Nightmare on Elm Street soundtrack; “Sonja’s Trial and Execution”, from Underworld: Rise of the Lycans soundtrack; and Le carnival des animaux: Aquarium – a classical piece that is really creepy.
I’ve also got “Heart of Courage” and “Archangel”, both by Two Steps from Hell – very courageous music! I also love “Fortune Teller”, from the Eragon soundtrack, and “Secret Sword”, from The Last Legion soundtrack, both by Patrick Doyle.
As far as popular music goes, I’ve got “The Cave,” by Mumford & Sons, “A Forest”, by The Cure, “The Killing Moon”, by Echo & the Bunnymen, and “Enjoy the Silence”, by Depeche Mode. (Can you tell I like alternative music?!) These songs capture very well the mood of the characters in Emily’s Trial.
Favorite class in high school. Why?
I’m such a geek, I liked them all! Truly, I love learning and I’m curious about everything. But to answer your question, I’m going to cheat and pick two. I loved biology class (it was my best subject). I likely would have gone into a science field if I didn’t suck at higher math (found that out in chemistry class!). My other favorite was – no surprise – English Lit. I particularly enjoyed Shakespeare. I’m one of those rare geeks that actually enjoy analyzing the language, themes and meanings of his works. Hamlet is my favorite – talk about teen angst! And I love Dickens for the message in his books. His social justice themes resonate with me.
Two years ago, Emily’s journey began. She learned the ancient magic of her Celtic ancestors,and became a modern Celtic Priestess. The golden torc, forged by faerie hands, is still wound around her arm, fused to her soul. She was entrusted with powerful magic – secret knowledge.
But even a Priestess can feel desire – temptation – and the quest for love. Will passion entice Emily to use her sacred magic in a forbidden way? Can new love take root in a world of nightmares? And will her friendships survive Emily’s Trial?
The Journey Continues . . .
The Apocalypse didn't start with four horsemen, harbingers of the horror to come. It didn't start with a plague, or pestilence, or even zombies rising from the dead.
It came slowly, and without warning. It crept up on people in the shadows, no more than a vague darkness that spread like an unseen cancer.
And it wasn't set into action by a divine hand. A teenage girl was the catalyst for the End Times.
I should know. I'm the one that started it.
I didn't plan to. I didn't want to start the End Times, and I'm not evil.
Madame Wong taught me to tell the truth, and so here it is. I'm the one responsible for the Apocalypse. And this is the story of how I unwittingly unlocked the door to the darkness; of how a Priestess of the Order of Brighid, entrusted with powerful magic that was supposed to be used for the benefit of all humankind, unleashed a force that would destroy it instead.
And it all began with desire.
Natalie enjoys travel, good wine, and excellent food shared with family and friends. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, now lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a high rise in a big city.
“Books are my friends, ideas my passion.”
Natalie enjoys chatting with readers, so stop by and say hi: