Saturday, 29 October 2016

Author Interview: Natalie Rios

One of the great things I have loved since I set up the blog is discovering new authors to read and that is definitely true for today’s guest author Natalie Rios. Her debut novel How to Catch an Heiress was published this month. It is the first book in the Heiress Series and all books in the series can be read as a standalone.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
Writing is a bit of an outlet for me. I’m an engineer during my day job and work can get, well…kind of stressful and overwhelming at times. In order to prevent myself from burning out, I started taking 15-minute writing breaks where I could transport myself to another world and give my brain a time out. Before I knew it, the manuscript for How to Catch an Heiress was finished.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
I enjoyed putting a twist on a couple of old tropes (Vegas wedding and billionaire matched with a not-so-rich person). There aren’t too many billionaire stories out there where it’s the woman who has the money and it was fun trying something new.

Were any characters inspired by anyone in real life? 
Yes and no. Anthony’s kind of mashup of a lot of the male engineering majors I went to school with. Robbie (Liz’s brother who you briefly meet in How to Catch an Heiress) is based on a couple of patients I met way back when I worked at a psych hospital. And yes, I worked in a psych hospital once upon a time. Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of interesting jobs in my lifetime :)

What is a typical writing day like?
I write during my work breaks and on weekends so this can vary widely. Some days, everything comes easy and I can crank out 2-3k words. Other days, it’s like pulling teeth just to get 500.

What essentials do you need to have close to hand when you are in writing mode? 
A spiral notebook and a pen. Of course I type all of my writing, but there are some things that are easier for me to keep track of in a good old fashioned notebook. I keep a page for each character and usually, it’s the little details I need to keep in there. For example, when I first started writing, I kept messing up how many ex-wives Liz’s father has. With the notebook, I just had to flip to his page to double check before I continued writing.

What authors have influenced you as a writer?
So many! Nora Roberts sparked my interest in contemporary romance way back when. I still read her books to this day. Melanie Harlow, Penny Reid, and LH Cosway are a few current indie authors that have influenced me.

When planning a new novel which comes first, the plot or the characters?
Plot first, but they’re kind of intertwined. I try to think up of what sorts of characters would go with this plot, but I have changed the plot to suit the characters and vice versa.

If you get a plot block during the initial writing phase, how do you work your way through it? 
I jump into another story. I’m kind of a mood writer. Some days, I really want to write about these characters. But other days, I’m feeling a different set of characters. As a result, I have about 10 unfinished manuscripts, most of which are 50% or more of the way done. We’ll see how many of these actually make it to publishing.

What are your current projects?
I’m about 90% done with Charlotte’s story, The Scene Queen, which will be the second book in the Heiress series. I’m also working on my first new adult romance, Playboy. Neither have release dates for now, though fingers crossed I can still finish up Charlotte’s story in 2016.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
If you want to see the covers for The Scene Queen and Playboy, make sure you sign up for my mailing list! All subscribers will also receive the first 4 chapters of The Scene Queen FREE just for signing up. Newsletter subscribers get access to deleted scenes, exclusive content, giveaways, as well as first dibs on ARC copies ;)

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Many thanks to Natalie for taking the time to do the interview!

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