Today, author Natalie D. Richards stops by The Hiding Spot to chat about her debut YA thriller, Six Months Later, and reveal some telling details about herself... like her favorite word, which make me wonder if her main character's confusion stems from some personal experience. ;) And don't miss my review of Six Months Later, found here.
Did you have trouble writing any of your characters or specific scenes within the novel? Or, were any characters or scenes particularly easy to write?
Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication?
What a fantastic question! The characters never give me much trouble because I tend to get to know them as I write them. During edits, I'll go back and fix all the things that feel wrong. As for scenes...there were definitely a couple of scenes in Six Months Later that gave me fits. It usually happens when it's a particularly important scene and I don't feel right until everything's PERFECT. There were a couple of scenes in Six Months Later I radically changed or deleted because they were just wrong. And boy howdy do I mean WRONG. ;-)
What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general?
My title took a drastic change and I really love the new one. The book was nominated as a finalist in the 2012 RWA Golden Heart Contest as Pandora's Clock. But my amazing editor at Sourcebooks said she really felt like Six Months Later was perfect because it sort of sums up the whole book on three words. I think she was right! While I loved Pandora's Clock, I think it indicates paranormal elements that aren’t at play in Six Months Later.
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing?
This is definitely not a one-author/one-book answer! LOL! I think there have been dozens of authors that have inspired me and challenged me and, really, changed the way I view books and even reality. At the very top of that list would be Libba Bray, Barbara Kingsolver, Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, Neil Gaiman, Gayle Forman. This isn't a complete list by any stretch of the imagination.
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
Well, let's see, I've been an executive assistant, a third-shirt waitress at a pancake joint, a business analyst, a customer service representative, a paralegal, a stay-at-home-mom, a clinical informatics coach for orthopedic surgeons....it's a long and crazy list! In particular my analyst and paralegal roles taught me the practice of writing on deadline which is crucial in this industry!
Discombobulated. First, because it's fun to say. Second, because it's often my state of mind!
I also like incandescent, mostly because it sounds so pretty. ;-)
Find out more about Natalie and her book here!