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Ask An Author, Win A Book Corner > AC: Natalie Damschroder of Behind the Scenes (October 29 - October 31)

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message 1: by Dee (last edited Oct 26, 2011 05:59AM) (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments About Natalie
Natalie J. Damschroder became a writer the hard way—by avoiding it. Though she wrote her first book at age six (My Very Own Reading Book) and received accolades for her academic writing (Ruth Davies Award for Excellence in Writing for a paper on deforestation her senior year in college), she hated doing it. Colonial food and the habits of the European Starling just weren’t her thing.

Shortly after graduating from college, however, she found her niche—romantic fiction. After an internship with the National Geographic Society, customer service for a phone company just wasn’t that exciting. So she began learning how to write the books she’d loved to read all her life. Four books and six years later, she finally sold. Now she struggles to balance her frenetic writing life (how else can she get all the stories in her head on paper?) with her family, the most supportive husband in the world and two beautiful, intelligent, stubborn, independent daughters (the oldest of whom has become a writer). She somehow also fits in a day job and various volunteer positions in and out of the writing industry.

Website
http://www.nataliedamschroder.com/ind...

Booklist
Kira's Best Friend by Natalie J. Damschroder Sophie's Playboy (Brook Hollow Trilogy, #2) by Natalie J. Damschroder Brianna's Navy SEAL by Natalie J. Damschroder Cat's Claw by Natalie J. Damschroder Indulgence by Natalie J. Damschroder Indulgence II by Natalie J. Damschroder Fight or Flight by Natalie J. Damschroder Letting Go by Natalie J. Damschroder Rebuilding Forever (Blue Silver, #2) by Natalie J. Damschroder Under Control by Natalie J. Damschroder Lost Our Forever (Blue Silver, #1) by Natalie J. Damschroder Afterlife by Natalie J. Damschroder To Catch A Cowboy by Natalie J. Damschroder Slow Build by Natalie J. Damschroder Elemental Passion by Natalie J. Damschroder The Passion of Tanner Black by Natalie J. Damschroder Behind the Scenes by Natalie J. Damschroder

Giveaway
Natalie will be giving away 2 copies of Fight or Flight by Natalie J. Damschroder and it will be open worldwide.


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy (amyvalentini) Hi Natalie,
I must admit that I have not read any of your books but after reading the first chapter of FIGHT OR FLIGHT on Amazon just now, I am going to start reading them. I love finding new authors. Thank you for coming to visit us. I will gladly feature your work on my blog once I have read more. Happy Halloween!
http://unwrappingromance.blogspot.com/


message 3: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Awesome, Amy, I love hearing that! I hope the rest of the book lives up to the first chapter. :)


message 4: by Dee (last edited Nov 08, 2011 09:07AM) (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Welcome Natalie, it's a pleasure to have you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHOR AND PARTICIPANTS:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...

If participants could bold their questions, it makes it easier for Natalie to see them and answer! Thanks!


message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments I have to say Natalie, as I was putting together your profile, your book covers really caught my eye - how much say have you had in the design of them?


message 6: by Ana (new)

Ana Hello Natalie and welcome! Thank you for being here, and hope you'll enjoy it out here. My question would be You wrote so many books, but do you have some favorite character you feel attached to? Thanks in advance and will stop by later on:)


message 7: by Natalie (last edited Oct 29, 2011 06:03AM) (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Dee wrote: "I have to say Natalie, as I was putting together your profile, your book covers really caught my eye - how much say have you had in the design of them?"

I have been SO lucky with my covers, with very little input. I'm not a very visual person, actually. So for each book, no matter who the publisher is, I get to fill out an Art Fact Sheet that says vague things like, "I dunno, there's a helicopter? In one scene? With rock climbing?" And I call the tone "adventury" and "exciting" and the covers for Fight or Flight and Behind the Scenes are what I get.

All my publishers are sensitive to the author's concerns, within reason. :) For Sophie's Playboy, the original cover had palm trees on the golf course. I said "I love it, but it's set in Massachusetts." (For those unfamiliar with U.S. geography, Massachusetts is in the north—no palm trees. :) Florida has palm trees!)

My cover for Under the Moon has such awesome details. I'm in awe of the people who can design such things.


message 8: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Ananda wrote: "Hello Natalie and welcome! Thank you for being here, and hope you'll enjoy it out here. My question would be You wrote so many books, but do you have some favorite character you feel attached to? ..."

Hi, Ananda! Thanks for such a great question. You'd probably be annoyed if I said "all of them!" LOL

It's true to an extent. I write characters I'd want to read about, and often inspired by people I'd like to meet in real life. I wrote Rogan St. James after I became a little obsessed with passionate about Lord of the Rings, and he's inspired by Orlando Bloom. I am DYING to meet Sam and Dean Winchester (from the TV show Supernatural) in real life, but since they don't exist, several of my characters have been...flavored...by my love of them. :)

And has heroines go, they all have some of me in them, whether it's attitude or personal tastes or just how I'd want to be if I lived in that world, so it's really hard to pick one. If you forced me to, though, I'd probably say Kira Macgregor in Kira's Best Friend , because her emotions are so strong.


message 9: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Good Morning Natalie - I would like to know what book is on your nightstand? Also who is your favorite author or what is your favorite book? I think your book sounds great and will be putting in on my list for my next shopping trip.
Thanks
Debbie


message 10: by Sassafrass (last edited Oct 29, 2011 07:19AM) (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 2043 comments Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for being here. I noticed that you write a lot of romantic suspense novels (YUM!), I was wondering:

if you had to choose any other type of novels to write, what kind would they be and why?

Thanks again,

Sass


message 11: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Hi, Debbie! Thanks for your interest in my book!

What book is on your nightstand?

I'm actually in between books! I just finished Cold Sight by Leslie Parrish, a great paranormal romantic suspense. The Goddess Test is in my backpack, but I haven't started it yet. Probably next up on my Kindle will be Don't Look Back by M.J. Fredrick, or Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs or The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan. I can't decide! :)

Who is your favorite author or what is your favorite book?

I hate this question. LOL It's so hard! Well, no, I guess it's not. Favoritest ever would have to be Harry Potter, which would mean JK Rowling. I never read the books, but the audiobooks are magnificent. I listen to them all every year, after the New England Patriots are knocked out of the playoffs. At that point, I'm too depressed to listen to sports podcasts on my daily commute, and Harry always makes me feel better.

Favorite authors include Suzanne Brockmann, Jim Butcher, and JD Robb, as well as Megan Hart, Misty Simon, MJ Fredrick, and Shannon Stacey. And I'll stop there or my list will go on forever. LOL


message 12: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Sassafrass wrote: "Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for being here. I noticed that you write a lot of romantic suspense novels (YUM!), I was wondering:

if you had to choose any other type of novels to write, what..."


Hi, Sass! Thank YOU for being here! I love having so many great questions!

This one is probably the easiest so far to answer, though you might consider it a little bit of a cheat. :) I'd write young adult, and in fact have already written a couple, but they haven't found publishers yet. (One is just a first draft, the other has been submitted.) My young adult books are also paranormal romantic adventures, but the genre allows more flexibility with the romantic aspects, and that's really exciting for me both as a reader and a writer. I grew up reading YA romance, and for years after I started writing, there wasn't very much of it available. When the current explosion started, I very much wanted to be part of it, but it took a little while for me to get my head into that realm. I wasn't a very typical teenager even when I wasn't 40. LOL


message 13: by Ana (new)

Ana Thanks for the answer Natalie. Just love reading your answers, they are so fun and we can really get to know you better. So I have another question What's the hardest and the most fun part about being a writer?
Have a lovely Saturday:)


message 14: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments I'm so glad I'm not boring the heck out of you! LOL

Ananda wrote: "Thanks for the answer Natalie. Just love reading your answers, they are so fun and we can really get to know you better. So I have another question What's the hardest and the most fun part about b..."

The hardest part of being a writer is having to work a day job. Our family was in a position in 2006 for me to quit the day job, and I worked at home for 4 years, splitting my time between freelance editing and writing fiction. Last summer, circumstances changed again and I went back to a day job. It's perfect as far as hours and stuff, but I really miss spending all day at my computer, creating. :)

The most fun part is having someone tell me they loved something about one of my books, especially when it was something I really loved. When a reader (reviewer, friend, editor, random person I don't know, it doesn't matter!) really *gets* what I was doing, there is no thrill better.

I also squee inside every time I see one of my titles, in any context. LOL


message 15: by Habrewer (new)

Habrewer | 4 comments Hey Natalie,

Had to stop by and support my fellow blog mate!!! You've had some great questions asked. Enjoy and have a great weekend.


message 16: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Hi, Barbara! Your question is not at ALL boring. I'm sure there are other people like me who really love hearing the behind-the-scenes stuff (no pun intended LOL).

Barbara wrote: "After you finish writing a book, how long does the whole process take until the finished product shows up on the shelf?

This varies quite a bit, and depends on if the book is contracted when I write it or not. :) Before this year, I always wrote a book, revised it, polished it, and submitted it. I'm a pretty prolific writer, but I like to let a first draft go cold before I revise, and sometimes, years go by before I get back to it. The whole process for one book, pre-sale, probably takes me about 4 months of actual work.

For my romantic adventures with Carina Press, it takes one to two months after I submit a book for them to make a decision on it. I get the contract a couple/few weeks after that, and my editor's revision letter at the same time. I have a month or so to complete those. Then I get line edits a month or so later, and copy edits a couple of weeks after that. The cover and final book come to me a couple of months before the release date.

My Goddesses Rising books (starting with Under the Moon ) were contracted as a trilogy right off the bat. I've turned in the second book, which I think will be out in April. The time frame for all the revisions, etc., should be about the same, but I'm already writing book 3. Which brings me to:

While it's in the editing/polishing stages, do you work on the next book or do you need time to just get away from writing?"

In theory, I'm always working on a book. Whether it's writing something completely new or editing something I plan to submit or working on something I've contracted to a publisher... I'm very lucky, and very happy to say I haven't really stopped working for a couple of years.

But absolutely, I sometimes need a break from writing. I've done National Novel Writing Month for several years (but not this year :( ), so I rarely write in December. Lately, though, a "break" has been one day off, or maybe a whole weekend. :) And in reality (as opposed to theory), some days my other obligations keep me away from fiction, but I plan on doing it. :)

I'm right in the middle of the big snowstorm. I posted some photos on my blog, and we already have twice as much as the last picture!

How many of you are in the storm today?

And I love the Patriots beyond all rationality. LOL


message 17: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Habrewer wrote: "Hey Natalie,

Had to stop by and support my fellow blog mate!!! You've had some great questions asked. Enjoy and have a great weekend."


*waves at Heather* Thanks for stopping! :)


message 18: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvana77) | 15 comments Hi Natalie and thank you for being here with us!
You wrote to Ananda that some of your character is inspired of Orlando Bloom,so my question is:
If all of your characters is inspired by some famous people or some of them is that you meet in real life?


message 19: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Silvana wrote: "Hi Natalie and thank you for being here with us!
You wrote to Ananda that some of your character is inspired of Orlando Bloom,so my question is:
If all of your characters is inspired by some fam..."


Hi, Silvana!

Actually, if you add up all my characters, a very small percentage are inspired by a particular person, so I probably shouldn't have said "often." :) It's usually people I WANT to meet, but never have. I can't meet them, so writing about someone I imagine might be like them is the next best thing. LOL

Most of my characters are distinct personalities to me, and in my head they look only like themselves, no one else. Even Rogan St. James didn't feel like Orlando to me after I'd started writing him. Usually I can't even cast them after the fact...you know, say what actors should play them in the movies?


message 20: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvana77) | 15 comments Thanks for detailed answer.I can hardly wait to read some of your books.


message 21: by Teri (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments Hello Natalie ^-^

what was the first book you can remember absolutely loving?


message 22: by Angela (new)

Angela Campbell (Angela_Campbell) | 2 comments Howdy, Natalie. No question here. Just wanted to congratulate you on your upcoming release of Behind the Scenes and let you know I'm enjoying your Q&A!


message 23: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Teri wrote: "Hello Natalie ^-^

what was the first book you can remember absolutely loving?"


Hmmmm.

I'm not sure I can pinpoint it that specifically. I did love the Nancy Drew mysteries, and read them over and over, and the Little House books.

I remember being somewhere between 5 and 7, sitting at the table in the room I shared with my brother, sobbing my heart out over Jack being missing when they crossed the river with their covered wagon in Little House on the Prairie. I was being called to dinner, but had to read to the part where he came creeping up to the fire, making them think he was a coyote or something, before they saw it was him. Yes, I knew he was okay. This was, like, the fourth time I'd read the book! :)

For many years after that, I'd open one of the books to the Christmas chapter, and be caught up and just read to the end. :)


message 24: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Angela wrote: "Howdy, Natalie. No question here. Just wanted to congratulate you on your upcoming release of Behind the Scenes and let you know I'm enjoying your Q&A!"

Thanks so much, Angela! I appreciate you coming by!


message 25: by Iris (new)

Iris (Ipro) | 277 comments Welcome, Natalie.
Your bio states your daughter is also a writer. Do you ever bounce ideas or story plots off each other?


message 26: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Iris wrote: "Welcome, Natalie.
Your bio states your daughter is also a writer. Do you ever bounce ideas or story plots off each other?"


Hi, Iris!

Definitely, some, but not as much as you'd expect, mainly because we write really different things.

Her first book, which she finished when she was 14, is a thriller in which nearly everyone dies in gruesome, horrible ways. I started to critique it for her, but it's super-long and I got super-busy and she super-didn't-care, so I stopped. :)

When she gets excited about a story, she'll talk about it, but not really to get my feedback. More as a sounding board, if that.

I did have her read my first YA and give me her input, which was mainly fury when she thought the heroine was going to wind up with the "wrong" guy, but the way I ended the book (hopefully the first in a series) satisfied her.

What we share far more is the camaraderie of living with another writer, someone who can really understand us. Her sister and their father are very understanding, but they're math people, so they don't "get" it that clearly. :)


message 27: by Teri (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments ^-^ Nice

what got you in to writing Romance?


message 28: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Teri wrote: "what got you in to writing Romance?"

Terri, it was pretty inevitable.

Romance was always the best part of any book I read, whether it was Arthur Dent and Fenchurch, the Sweet Valley High books, Robert Heinlein, or the Silhouette YA Romance series.

My mother was a writer, too. She worked in advertising (among many, many other things :) ) and was nominated for a Copyeditor of the Year award. But she really loved fiction, and was published in a few of the confession magazines and Playgirl. She even got a revise and resubmit letter once from Silhouette, but she didn't have connections to any other writers and didn't realize until many years later that she'd dropped the ball. So all of that was a definite influence, even if it actually contributed to me NOT wanting to be a writer until I got out of college. LOL

Anyway, I think love raises the stakes on any kind of story. I prefer to read books that have people falling for each other, so there was no way I'd go into writing without that as the central element. :)


message 29: by Teri (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments I see Cool =)

How many books would you say you own?


message 30: by Iris (new)

Iris (Ipro) | 277 comments Natalie, you've written so many books! How long does it typically take you to write one?


message 31: by Ana (new)

Ana Hello Natalie, hope you're having a great weekend. I am back for more questions:) My first question Were there moments in your life when you regretted the fact you became a writer? and According to you,what qualities should a writer posses to become a successful one? How important is interaction with the readers to you? Sorry if I am asking lots of question, will make some space now for the other members:) Have a lovely day:)


message 32: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 9669 comments Welcome Natalie!

Your book Afterlife Afterlife by Natalie J. Damschroder really caught my attention. I am really looking forward to reading it :)

Where did the idea for Afterlife come from? Was it fun or difficult (or both) to write about 3 totally different guys and their very different relationships with the heroine?

The synopsis has me intrigued as to who she chooses and why...


message 33: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Whoa! I go away to eat dinner and fall way behind! Sorry! :)

Let me catch up...


message 34: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Teri wrote: "How many books would you say you own?"

I've actually become quite ruthless with clearing out my bookshelves. :) When things were getting overrun, I donated even a lot of signed copies that I'd been keeping, so now it's just the books my closest friends wrote. Add the ones I haven't read yet, and it's probably about a hundred.

Now, if you asked how many I've BOUGHT, that would be in the uncountable thousands. LOL


message 35: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Iris wrote: "Natalie, you've written so many books! How long does it typically take you to write one?"

It depends on what else is going on. During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for anyone who isn't familiar with it), I've written 90,000-word books in less than 30 days. (Just first draft, though! The editing takes even longer. LOL) A comfortable pace for me, from first word to submittable manuscript, is about 4 months. But if I have to do revisions for contracted books in between, it can take me far, far longer to write a first draft. :)


message 36: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Ananda wrote: "Hello Natalie, hope you're having a great weekend."

I am! It's been great, with the snow and sunshine and fantastic questions. :) I hope you all are, too!

Were there moments in your life when you regretted the fact you became a writer?

I love the way you phrased that question. My immediate response was "Oh, YEAH." This is a very punishing business, and it's so, so hard to achieve anything. Every little success is hard fought and often followed by something discouraging. So I've often thought about quitting.

But then I realized that wasn't what you asked. So no, I'd have to say, I've never regretted it for a minute. That comes from just knowing deep down that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Every job or career has a downside, so for any chance at happiness, you have to have something you're passionate about. And I really love being a writer.

"According to you,what qualities should a writer posses to become a successful one?"

Passion for the written word, perseverance, stubbornness, and an openness to learning your craft at every level.

"How important is interaction with the readers to you?"

I would write even if it wasn't possible to have much interaction with fans, so it's not what drives me. But I LOVE being able to do things like this, or see a tweet, or a review on a regular reader's blog, or talk to readers at a booksigning or conference. Knowing the people I'm writing for just adds depth and richness to my writing life. I've met (in person or online) some pretty awesome people I would never have otherwise had the opportunity to know.

Don't apologize for asking questions! You and everyone else are all asking such awesome stuff! I love it! :)


message 37: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Fran wrote: "Where did the idea for Afterlife come from? Was it fun or difficult (or both) to write about 3 totally different guys and their very different relationships with the heroine? "

Hi, Fran! I'm so glad you're intrigued by Afterlife!

I'm not sure exactly where I got the idea. I think I'd read something about everyone having one true soulmate—a pretty common concept in romantic fiction. And I started thinking, "What if you had MORE than one?"

I couldn't make it that easy, though. Having to choose between just two people seemed too mundane, and I felt compelled to throw in the "could have been" guy. It was SO much fun writing the three different men, and I had no idea what her decision would be until I got to the end, and it was the only one she could have made. :)


message 38: by Rayka (new)

Rayka Mennen (Rayka_Mennen) | 1 comments Natalie,
What great questions you're getting. I think I've gotten to know you better already. This isn't a question..I love the premise behind Afterlife. And now I have to go read this to find who was picked.


message 39: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Awesome, thanks, Rayka! :)


message 40: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 9669 comments I bought Afterlife today from Fictionwise, can't wait to read it!


message 41: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Wow, thanks, Fran!


message 42: by Iris (new)

Iris (Ipro) | 277 comments Natalie, of all the books you've written, which did you have the most fun writing?


message 43: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Iris wrote: "Natalie, of all the books you've written, which did you have the most fun writing?"

Without a doubt, Iris, it was Under the Moon !

It was the first book I wrote during NaNoWriMo, where you try to write 50,000 words in 30 days (I actually wanted to write the whole thing, and I did, and it was such a rush!). I got the idea for the book just a few days before November 1, just enough information to be able to dive in to the story.

I LOVE the characters, and the banter between Nick and Sam made me happy. When I went back to edit the book later, some parts I didn't even remember writing, and it was so much fun to read them fresh. :)


message 44: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments I don't know what time zone this thread is on for the "official" end of my session, but I wanted to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone for hosting me, and for the fantastic questions. I had a great deal of fun (especially on Saturday, with the snow falling inside, it really felt like a party! LOL).

I'll be here to answer any additional questions you have. In the meantime, check out Behind the Scenes, which releases today, and Under the Moon, out in two weeks.

Thank you!


message 45: by Ana (new)

Ana Thank for being with us Natalie and for allowing us to get to know you better. It's always such a fun to get to know the person behind the author:) I added your newest book and can't wait to read it. Congrats!!! and wish you the best of luck in the future:)


message 46: by Natalie (last edited Oct 31, 2011 02:04PM) (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Thank you, Ananda! The same to you! :)


message 47: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Okay, everyone, I used random.org to draw the winners, and they are...

Dee and Debbie! *wild applause*

Please e-mail me at nujii @ aol.com (without the spaces) and I'll send you Fight or Flight.

Thanks again!

Natalie


message 48: by Ana (new)

Ana Yay! Congrats Dee and Congrats Debbie:) Enjoy your books:) And once again thank you Natalie for joining us, it was really a pleasure meeting you and a real fun reading your comments on our questions:)


message 49: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Damschroder (NatalieJDamschroder) | 44 comments Thanks, Ananda! You've been fantastic!


message 50: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments yay! after my crappy night, this is great!


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