As you know, I snagged a spot at the Second City Signing in Birmingham, UK in July 2015. I decided it would be great to get to know all the other confirmed authors who will be appearing at the event with me.
I hope everyone will share these posts around and comment on them, wishing each author well. Maybe even some of you will come along to the event to meet us all in person.
Up this week is…. Natalie Martin
Natalie is a lover of anything remotely artistic: music, books, art, video games, chocolate peanuts. Oh, wait – they’re not artistic? Well, she loves them anyway! Originally from Sheffield, Natalie is currently based in London and loves all things French (okay, *most* things).
After five years of endless rewrites, Natalie decided to publish Together Apart and slung a backpack over her shoulder to head to India to do it. Because, why not? Now back in the UK, her feet are itching to go somewhere else.
And now for the interview:
First the ‘business bit’…
- Tell me about yourself… the usual, age, name, (penname if different – if it is different, explain your choice behind it), location.
I’m Natalie Martin but my pen name is Natalie K Martin. Imaginitive, right? I share my name with about a billion other people so I’ve put my middle initial in for the distinction. I’m 30 and originally from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. I’ve been based in London for years now but I’ve started to spend a lot of time abroad, mostly India and South France.
- What genre do you predominantly write in? What drew you to that genre?
I write contemporary romance, erring on the New Adult spectrum. I’ve always written romance but I LOVE the broad margins in New Adult. It’s fun!
- How many books to you have on sale right now?
I have my debut novel, Together Apart, on sale now. It’s about Adam and Sarah, a couple who have an idyllic relationship until he decides to propose. Less than forty-eight hours later, he’s single and heartbroken, all because Sarah has a secret she’s willing to sacrifice everything for to keep.
- When do you plan to have your next release available? Tell me about it.
My next release is called Heart Shaped Bruise and should be out before the end of the year. It’s about a woman who gets married after a whirlwind romance to the guy of her dreams. The only problem is she wasn’t quite single to begin with and her husband turns out to be a nasty so and so. Her badboy not-quite-ex comes back from travelling and sparks fly.
- When did you start writing? Was it for fun at first, or did you want to write for publication from day one?
I started writing at primary school. The first story I can properly remember was based around the board game Ludo. After that I wrote random things, dabbling across genres.
- When you decided to write that 1st book, what motivated you to keep going?
I was on holiday in Santorini in 2008 and wondered what would happen if a guy proposed to his girlfriend and she turned him down. I didn’t have a laptop with me so I wrote the beginnings of it on my phone. My motivation didn’t really come back until I started posting chapters online and getting positive feedback.
- Are you a planner or a pantser or a mix of both?
I didn’t plan Together Apart at all. As a result it went through a lot of twists and turns and seeped into literary fiction for a while. I eventually got my act together and cleared it up. I’ve since learned my lesson and Heart Shaped Bruise has been plotted from beginning to end.
- Who is the favourite character you have ever written? Why?
Smith, from Heart Shaped Bruise. He’s incredibly complex and he feels immensely (maybe unhealthily) real to me. It helps that he’s drop dead gorgeous too!
- Where do you draw inspiration from?
All kinds of things – music, films, people I come across, personal experiences. Most often I’d say it’s a lyric from a song that will get me thinking.
- What do you find hardest, naming characters or thinking of an overall title?
Yikes! Can I say both? I tend to name characters at the beginning and realise they share the same initials or they sound too similar, it’s a nightmare. As for titles…don’t even get me started!
Now for the ‘fun bit’…
- Would you rather have hands for feet or feet for hands?
Hands for feet, without a doubt. Much more practical!
- If you could have written any book, what would it be and why?
The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It’s so incredibly beautiful and a fantastic idea. Wish I’d have come up with it!
- If you had a superpower for the day, what would it be and what would you do with it?
I’d be able to make any kind of food that I imagined instantly appear. I love eating and I hate the waiting around to enjoy a meal!
- If you could start on your writing journey from the beginning, would you do anything differently?
Loads. I’d share my work earlier, I’d publish earlier. I’d plan better, too.
- If someone gave you an elephant to hide, where would you hide it?
In the bottom of my wardrobe. Because I’d have a wardrobe that big!
- When writing, do you need total silence or background noise?
Noise. I always listen to music when I’m writing. I find it incredibly hard not to.
- You’re having a dinner party, and can invite 5 authors (alive or dead), who do you invite and why?
Alex Garland, Marian Keys, Sebastian Fauks, Kate Furnivall and Martina Cole. I reckon Martina would be a great laugh and have a whole heap of interesting stories to tell.
- If you listen to music, do you have a specific CD or playlist, or do you live life on the edge and shuffle everything?
In everyday life, I shuffle but I have specific playlists for my books to get me in the right mood with some songs specifically chosen for specific chapters.
- If you could have the experience of reading a book for the first time, which would it be and why?
Ooh. Can I choose two? I’d choose The Beach, because it’s just fantastic. The first time I read it, it blew me away and made me want to travel. I’d also choose Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. It’s non-fiction but it’s so heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
- Who do you fangirl over? (Doesn’t have to be an author)
Gosh, loads of people. At the moment, Kit Harrington is way up on my list.
What are your top tips for aspiring writers/authors?
Be confident, write what you really want to write, not what you think people want to read. And be focussed.
Can you tell us (and maybe tease us) about your latest WIP or next release?
After a whirlwind romance, Cassie and Oliver tie the knot. She’s got the perfect man, the perfect life and had the perfect wedding – until Smith turned up. He’d disappeared with a backpack when trouble caught up with him but now he’s back, just in time to find the girl he left behind has shacked up with someone else. Smith’s return is a complication Cassie doesn’t need, but when Oliver starts to show his menacing side its Smith, the badboy who’d toyed with her heart t breaking point who wants to put it back together again.
Give us all your social media links so we can all stalk you (legally and pay you money to do so)
What are you hoping to gain from attending the signing in Birmingham?
Well, apart from feeling like a rockstar, I want to geek out about books! It’s so nice to connect with other authors as it can be pretty lonely at times. And, I’ve never been to Birmingham before!
Thanks for taking part and I wish you lots of luck and oodles of cash at the event. See you there!