1. Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did you get started writing romance?
I completed a vocational assessment in high school that indicated I should be a writer. It just didn’t initially turn out that way. I studied business and marketing at university and ended up managing IT projects professionally – Go Figure.
I did start writing a Mills and Boon type book in my early twenties. I thought I had the “formula” figured out – I think I wrote about five or six chapters. Where that story is now, I have no idea. Best it stays lost, I would think as well.
Reading or should I say my compulsion/addiction to books is something I’ve always had. I think it started in earnest when I was about nine or ten. I graduated to romance at around fourteen or fifteen. But since that age I’ve devoured books by the truckload. It’s a really good thing e-books came along. My book collection was creating serious issues between my husband and I! I came home from work one day and he’d put up two massive sets of book shelves in our bedroom to house more of my books. He’d even put all the ones that were lying around in the shelves alphabetically. It was very sweet.
The problem became when I very quickly filled those shelves, and the ones in the office and the ones in the barn and the ones in the…….you get the picture. As I said, an addiction to books!
I started writing a book in early 2008. I had no idea what I wanted to really write about or the story, I just decided to do it. I wanted to write a book that had all the things in it that I liked. So I wrote the first twenty five thousand words then put it away. In September last year I came back to it, and finished it. Let me introduce you to Finding Trust!
2. Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?
I laugh every time I get asked this question. Why? Because I’m a project manager for major IT projects, which means I meticulously plan everything to the ‘n’ th degree. When I write, I just write. I start with a vague idea around a couple of people and a concept then I just let them do the rest.
As I’m writing I give “drops” of the novel to my beta-readers. They’ll ask me what’s going to happen next. Most of the time my answer is “I have no !@#$ing idea.” And it’s true. Seriously though, because I am an analytical person, what I think actually happens is that I shut off the analytical side of my brain and let the creative side run. But what’s actually happening in my subconscious is the analytical side is shaping the events, timing, how it’s all going to come together.
I’m speaking from my vast experience of having written two books – cough cough!!! Both books are within 1000 words of each other (around 142,000 words a piece). One has thirty six chapters, the other thirty seven and I didn’t plan it that way. So I’m guessing my analytical side did.
As for how it gets “out”. It’s as if I’m watching a movie and my job is to describe what I’m seeing. Sometimes the characters do make demands that I have to fulfill and I have no idea how what they want could possible work. Case in point, Rory made a demand of me at the beginning of Finding Judgement. I won’t tell you what he demanded but you’ll be able to pick it if you read the book. (If you can’t email me and I’ll let you know – after you’ve read the book!)
3. Are there any romance novel cliché that make you cringe when you read them?
Mmmm, there are a few. I can get on board with most things. But some things are just cringe worthy, and the funny thing is that what makes me cringe will not necessarily make somebody else cringe. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head from another author just now. So I’ll go with an example of my own.
When I was writing Finding Trust I referred to certain female fluids as “cream”. That’s no surprise, we’ve all read that a gazillion times – right? Anyway one of my beta-readers said “NO NO NO. You can’t call it that. It gives me a visual that she’s got an STD.” Apparently this was a pet hate for her. And she made me promise never to write about it as cream again. Hence – no female cream, only double!!!!! (You’ll get that joke – if you’ve read Finding Trust).
4. What is the hardest scene you’ve had to write, and what made it so difficult?
When I started out I thought the sex scenes would be the hardest. The hardest bit about those is keeping it fresh and interesting. Also I’m conscious of having different “bedroom styles” for my couples. So that was a bit strange wondering how different couples would go about getting it on! (I can’t believe I am admitting to this – more’s the point – I’m writing it and no I haven’t been drinking, yet!)
Probably the hardest scenes I’ve written was a couple in Finding Judgement – there’s two maybe three that spring to mind and they’re very emotionally charged. I wrote them with tears running down my face. At one stage I think I was even sobbing. Again – totally out of character for me if you know me!
Seriously, this creative romance writing stuff is screwing with my tough business like image!
5. Which of your heroines would you say is most like you, and why?
None really. There’s probably elements of me in all of them. I’m quite academic like Rihanna and Jazz and I do like to solve puzzles or know why something is as it is – very much like Jazz. I’m quite an outgoing sort of person like Jazz as well, but I’m not such a nosey thing! (although my daughter is – I call her honey nose when she gets too bad! – If you’re not sure what that reference is about – you’ll need to read Finding Trust).
I’m very family orientated like TJ (heroine from Finding Judgement). And yes I have had quite a bit of experience driving trucks, jetskiing and many of the other activities that you’ll read about in my books. I refuse to confirm or deny personal experience with any of the intimate scenes. Although I have discovered my husband is a little more forthcoming with details when asked.
6. What are you working on now?
Today – nothing. The only writing I’m doing is this blog and some technical stuff for an IT project. (I’m writing this first because it’s more fun).
Finding Judgement is being formatted and in the last stages before release. I’ll start Finding Justice (Dylan and Vanessa’s story) in the next couple of weeks. I’m just discussing dates with my editor. I could put myself under pressure and write another 140,000 word novel in ten weeks plus work twelve or more hours a day and travel overseas from Australia to Europe twice for work in that time period, or I could give myself another few weeks.
Forgive me – I think I’m going to take a little more time..... Ahhhhhh – not sure I hate to let people down.
Let me think about it for a day or so, maybe if I got a good chunk written by the end of the month………… It has felt weird not to have a novel on the go for that last couple of weeks.
Sure, I'd always liked English and had already developed a ravenous appetite for romance novels by the age of sixteen--but who becomes a writer straight out of school? So to cut a long story short, I went to Uni and studied Business and ended up managing large-scale IT projects shortly after.
I can't complain: it's been a great career. I've done some awesome projects and met some incredible people and I won't be giving it up anytime soon. Anyway, I've messed around with a couple of "secret" novels over the years and I finally decided to get serious and finish one. Hence "Finding Trust" came about. And about twenty years later, I've finally proved a vocational assessment correct, because I love writing!
As to some other stuff about me: I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I love spending time with my family and friends. When I'm not sitting behind a screen playing with IT or writing, you might find me down the beach playing in the waves on a Jet Ski or a bogey board (both are uber cool). When the weather turns a bit cooler (doesn't really happen on the Gold Coast), we like to head for the snow. I've discovered I have two kids who are kamikaze skiers--they must take after their father. He's always at me to "release the handbrake." Apparently I'd ski so much better. I call it a healthy understanding of self-preservation and gravity!
I like to think I can fit in a few workouts and martial arts classes each week. This tends to be a figment of my imagination more than reality, unfortunately. I am trying to remedy this, but those damn characters just keep demanding to have their stories told and, well, there's always another good book to read!
I hope you enjoy mine.
Please drop me a line. I'm active on Facebook, Twitter, and via email Natalie@nataliegayle.com.au. I'd love to know what you think of my books and well, let's be truthful--I love talking about books, whether they're mine or someone else's. Fiction is just so much more fun than reality!!!
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Brayden and Rihanna He’s hot, sexy, and leads a double life. Sometimes in the limelight, mostly in the shadows. Brayden James holds fast to a secret that’s more than his to share. She’s a singularly focused veterinarian out for a rare night of fun with friends, at a New Year’s Eve rock concert. Going home with the lead guitarist was furthest thing from Rihanna Mason’s mind when the night began. When Rihanna inadvertently becomes the target of a deadly terrorist plot using the Hendra virus as a biological weapon, Brayden is forced to reveal his other life. His job is to keep her safe and together they must stop the terrorists before it’s too late. But what happens when she becomes more to him than just the assignment? Will the secret he cannot disclose ultimately prove too much for Rihanna’s fragile trust in relationships? Or will he finally break through the double brick walls around her heart, where every other man has failed?
Buy Finding Trust ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Trust-Centre-Games-ebook/dp/B00BMHKBDG/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1371316771&sr=8-1
Buy Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Trust-Centre-Games-Volume/dp/0987514202/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1371316771&sr=8-1