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Natalie Parker, contemporary romance author!

Natalie was kind enough to answer some questions for me before I read her rockstar romance series. Make sure to check out all about Natalie here and then stay tuned for my review of See Her: 2nd edition next week!

When did you first start writing?

Natalie: June of 2019

Why did you start writing?

Natalie: It’s something I’d always thought about but didn’t think I’d have the patience to do. Then I was inspired by a song I heard and a scene came to me and I just had to get it out, not caring if I was going to publish or not.

What or who inspires your writing?

Natalie: Usually music!

Is writing a therapeutic process for you? How does your writing help you?

Natalie: Sometimes it helps me live vicariously through the characters so that in a way I feel I did things I wish I had done at that point in my life.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Natalie: Not comparing myself to other authors. I’m a mood writer, so I can only write when the characters are very vivid in my head, which makes me slow to put out books.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Natalie: Total pantster, but wish I was a plotter. It would make the above issue so much easier!

What comes first for you – the plot or the characters – and why?

Natalie: Usually neither. Normally, a single scene takes form in my head and I build a story off that.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

Natalie: A poignant scene, as mentioned, comes to me first and so I write that first, then I find ways to write up to it.

How do you use social media as an author?

Natalie: I post on IG a lot. I do have fun using tiktok but have pulled away from it some as it doesn’t push my videos out which makes my time and energy feel wasted. So I just post if and when I feel like it, when inspiration strikes.

How do you handle writer’s block?

Natalie: Not well! LOL. I get very frustrated. Sometimes taking a shower helps, or watching a movie that has the vibe of what I’m trying to write.

How do you process and deal with a negative book review?

Natalie: If it’s mean-spirited, I ignore it. If it’s constructive, I take it with me moving forward, and if I can, reach out to the reviewer and thank them for being honest but kind.

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Natalie: Find themselves a good alpha reader.

What is your favorite part of publishing? What is your least favorite part?

Natalie: A little cliché, but I love seeing a positive response when I see people enjoying a story I told. My least favorite is marketing. It feels like you’ve tap dancing nonstop and doing giveaways trying to get people to even look at your work.

What do you think is the most important part of publishing after you finish writing your manuscript?

Natalie: Allowing plenty of time for edits and arc reads and any curveballs life throws. Take time to get your launch in order or you will stress yourself out trying to make the deadline.

Did you choose to write romance or did it choose you?

Natalie: I guess it chose me, there was just never any question.

Which book is your favorite that you have published so far?

Natalie: Where You Are – rockstar/brother’s best friend. I think it’s a truly beautiful story and I’m proud of how deep I went with the writing.

Are any of your books part of a series or are they all standalones?

Natalie: I have a rockstar series, called Turn it Up that has a couple of spin offs. See Her, Where You Are, Picture Us, and Somewhere in Between can be read as stand alones. The other’s contain spoilers from other books.

Do you base your characters on real people?

Natalie: Not usually, but there is a side character in Where You Are that is a real person, and the man that will be modeling on Chris’s book (the drummer) has been a significant muse for his character.

Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?

Natalie: I would say Kasey, from Read Between the Stars. She struggles a lot and though she needs help from loved ones, she has a hard time asking for/receiving it.

How much research do you need for your books?

Natalie: Usually just a moderate amount. I like to read articles written by real life people that endured something my character has. In Where You Are, I researched a few foreign countries since Melanie travels across the world, and in Read Between the Stars, Ben is a widower and I read some articles on finding love after loss.

What was the hardest scene to write, and why?

Natalie: I would have to say the climax of book 2 in my romantic suspense series. This is the Karma Society duet, and the 2nd book is called Karma’s Law. I won’t give any spoilers, but it’s intense with action and emotion. After I finished that I felt like I could breathe again.

If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?

Natalie: Let’s go get a beer!

What is your favorite quote from one of your books?

Natalie: “In this moment, I know for sure that if this had happened before I left, I never would have gone. I would have stayed right here.” – Melanie, Where You Are

What tropes are in each book?

See Her is Rockstar with instalove, quickie marriage

Picture Us is a surprise pregnancy/romantic comedy

Where You Are is Rockstar with brother’s best friend

Read Between the Stars has a grumpy widower and single mother in recovery.

Somewhere In Between is Rockstar with a slight age gap

Wishing on Snowflakes is a romantic comedy novella

My Karma Society books are written under the name Niko K. and are romantic suspense/secret society/vigilante justice

What is your favorite trope to write?

Natalie: I’m going to go with romantic comedy.

How long did it take you to write each book? If one book took longer to write, why?

Natalie: Typically around 4 months although the Karma duet took about 8 months due to writer’s block.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

Natalie: Someone easy going but enthusiastic about what they read.

Are your books wide or only in Amazon?

Natalie: Only Amazon, but on KU

Tell us a little about each book? (If you're interested in a book, be sure to grab a copy to read! I have added the links for each book.)

See Her: an aspiring musician falls deeply in love with a dancer. She appears in his music video and he gets the crazy idea to run off and get married. They have scarcely anytime for a newlywed phase however, as his band gains fame shortly after, throwing them into the grind of the music industry.

Still Her: Jack and Mayzie’s love story continues when she is sexually harassed by his PR agent.

Picture Us: A bar manager who is a renowned player falls for his one night stand and knocks her up. She’s happy to just coparent, given his reputation but he’s determined to prove to her that she’s it for him in this hilarious story.

Where You Are: Bass player has always been into his bandmate’s sister and when she comes home from travelling the world, he finally has his chance. They have a beautiful summer romance until out of the blue, she is forced to disappear without a word. Aching for each other from opposite sides of the world, their love goes up against the test of exile.

Read Between the Stars: A grumpy widower who is introduced in Where You Are (and contains spoilers) falls hard for a single mother who is in recovery, as well as her spunky kid. In this story, these two work on themselves separately as well as build each other up.

Somewhere In Between: the broody badboy of the band meets his match in a young intern that goes on tour with them. She may be young and a virgin, but she is smart as a whip with enough snark and sass to put him in his place.

For Her – a Jack and Mayzie novella, comically revolving around preparing for their first baby.

Wishing on Snowflakes: A romantic comedy novella of a clutzy heroine who catches her boyfriend cheating and soon after, falls for a hot nerd who happens to be a snowboard instructor. Despite her clumsiness, he’s smitten and determined he can teach her to snowboard. Oh, and there’s a hilarious geriatric that brings laughter to the story.

Karma Society: The Cape Hazard Duet by Niko K. – Karma’s Rule and Karma’s Law: a young woman is at her lowest point when she’s made an offer to join a vigilante society that serves karma to those who have it coming. Her first mission is to reep her own revenge on those who did her dirty while dodging a cop who’s a little obsessed with her!

What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

Natalie: Total silence. While I get inspired by music, when it comes time to sit down and write, I can’t have anything going on in the background. With small children and a high-stress day job, my mind is a very noisy place to be and quiet helps clear it.

What is your favorite writing snack or drink?

Natalie: Coffee!

If you could spend a day with another author, whom would you choose and why?

Natalie: Well… I have an upcoming trip and will get to spend a day with Lizzie Stanley! She is the author of What We Deserve. She’s brilliant, fun and a wonderful friend.

Other than that, J.D. Hollyfield. She writes great books and I adore her personality.

How do you celebrate when you finish your book?

Natalie: I actually don’t have a ritual, I should get one!

What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?

Natalie: I hate approaching people, but DM-ing readers to ask if they would like to read my books has helped some.

What has helped or hindered you the most when writing a book?

Natalie: Brainstorming with other authors helps a lot. Sometimes we won’t even say anything regarding the book but simply talking through it just sparks something sometimes.

What advice would you give to help others create plotlines?

Natalie: I’m quite the wrong person for that one, lol.

How many hours a day do you write?

Natalie: It depends on inspiration, but 2-6 hours if I find the time at all.

What are your favorite or most helpful author resources?

Natalie: Other authors is number one, but I also have a few books that help with structure.

Be sure to follow Natalie on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see all about her books!

Thank you to the wonderful Natalie Parker for sharing a little about herself and her writing with all of us:)

Stay tuned next week! I will be sharing my review on See Her: 2nd edition on Thursday!

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