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Friday, November 16, 2012

Interview with Author Natale Stenzel and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome to RFTC, author Natale Stenzel. Natale is currently on tour promoting the release of her book Wedding Dress For Sale and has stopped by to answer a few questions. Please give Natale a warm welcome.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Natale Stenzel endured your average childhood with two brothers to annoy and parents to baffle. She attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, earning bachelor's degrees in English literature and magazine journalism. At this logical point in time, she decided that being a reporter or technical writer did not appeal to her in the least. But she tried.

She moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, did some business and technical-type writing, married her adorable engineering geek, then quit the tech writing job to churn out babies. At home full time and uncomfortable in June Cleaver mode, she tried her hand at book-length fiction.

She spent several years shooting in the dark, writing her heart out only to face rejection after rejection. Then, after a move to lovely central Virginia, she sold her first book in July 2002 at a Romance Writers of America conference in Denver, Colorado (Forget Prince Charming, Harlequin Flipside, November 2003). In total, she published four romantic comedies with Harlequin Flipside.

Her fifth book, PANDORA'S BOX (to be released in February 2008) is the first in a series of funny paranormal romances to be published by Dorchester for its Love Spell line. Sequels are scheduled for release in August 2008 and February 2009.

Places to find Natale:

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I grew up in St. Louis, lived in Baton Rouge for several years, and currently live in central Virginia. I have a husband and two kids who recklessly humor me and my weirdness. I also have two oversized, completely undisciplined hounds who entertain me when they’re not driving me batty. I like chocolate, wine, romance novels, yarn, candles, autumn, tropical beaches, fussy office supplies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, shopping for bargains, and many other things--but I think you’re falling asleep now?

Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve always been a writer, but as far as want, well, it’s always been a love/hate relationship between writing and me. Writing’s tough. It’s not comfortable. You’re either giddy/euphoric or deeply depressed/frustrated. It seems to be in the blood, though. I wrote for school newspapers and literary magazines throughout my teen years, then went on to major in English literature and magazine journalism in college, did some technical writing and editing after that, and now we have the books. I guess you could call writing a chronic illness of mine.

What kind of writer are you? Pantser or Plotter?
I was born a pantser, then was dragged kicking and screaming into a world demanding plotting. I still kick a lot. And whine. There’s a lot of whining about that.

Where do your ideas come from?
Primarily, they come from whatever tangent I’m following as I procrastinate instead of write whatever I’m supposed to be writing. Often, the ideas come when I’m doing research. I love pursuing weird things I see online. Then, weird point A wants to connect with weird point B. The eventual hope is for a fresh if quirky--rather than uncomfortably odd--result C, but there’s no guarantee.

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
NS: My editor and I briefly went back and forth on a tagline for the book, and I really love it. It just fits the story so well, both the tone and the meaning:

The bride’s chasing her fairytale…and he’s chasing the bride.

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I have a soft spot for paranormal romances, especially the quirky ones. It’s all about the characters, though; I just think a paranormal setting opens up the boundaries for some interesting and not always politically correct personalities and story types. Like anyone, I always love a good contemporary romance, too--the kind that rakes you over the coals a bit but leaves you with a warm fuzzy at the end. I can do tears, but the ending had better justify the tears or I get cranky.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
This may shock those who know me, but it shouldn’t. My favorite book, one that’s endured for me since my teen years, is These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. If she had any mercy, that librarian who saw me week after week would have given the copy to me. I checked it out over and over. Now I own my own copy, and it’s dog-eared.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Love scenes. When I write, I don’t really know my characters completely until I write the ending; intimacy before that point feels intrusive, so I have to fly blindly through it the first time. It feels so irresponsible.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Oh, that’s tough. I’d love to choose writer friends, but I’d hate to have to choose only three. My friends write good books. So, I’m going to worm out of this one and list only dead people. First, we’ll go with Georgette Heyer. Anyone who can write dialogue like hers has to be an entertaining dinner companion. Then I’d add Jane Austen, for much the same reason. Plus, I think it would be great to see how she and Ms. Heyer interacted. Can I cheat and add a playwright/actor for my third? Shakespeare would give us all a thrill, I think.

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Always, but I’m one of those writers who can’t talk about works in progress. However, I do have another book coming out early next year, also through Entangled. We’re bringing back the heroine’s best friend, Drusilla, for some romantic adventures of her own. She’s returning home incognito and ends up falling all over again for her first love. Ah, but there are secrets. I love secrets.

If you could be any storybook character from any genre, which one would you be and why?

Not even the bride could deny a certain punch-line quality to her current situation: hard-nosed divorce attorney dumps her fiancé and her career to take a job selling wedding gowns.

Sydney Garfield has always approached relationships rationally—none of this emotional head-over-heels or opposites-attract business. Marrying Jack Kaiser is the smart thing to do—after all, he’ll be the “perfect” husband. But after a life-changing shake-up at work, Sydney abandons logic—and her fiancĂ©—to chase the fairy tale.

Real-estate mogul Jack can’t believe the woman he’s head-over-heels for is ditching her hard-won success—and him—to work as a small-town shop clerk. That’s her idea of a fairy tale? Hoping she's merely in need of time, Jack follows Sydney to Smizer Mill, where he invests in the quaint coffee shop next door. Now, he’s got a few new challenges: make a failing coffee shop a success and convince Sydney that theirs is a romance worthy of a true happily ever after.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
1 lucky winner will win a eBook copy of Wedding Dress For Sale

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment answering this question: If you could be any storybook character from any genre, which one would you be and why?
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck =)
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  1. I would be torn between Elizabeth Bennett and Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I love Jane Austen and would love a happily ever after with a grand romance first, just like Lizzie. Belle because she gets her true love without all the superficial judgements, that is true love.

  2. i would want to be Danielle from the movie ever after. she is the kind of 'cinderella' i'd like to be

  3. Giselle from Enchanted! Happiness reigns!

  4. Thanks for the awesome post and congrats to Natale on the new release! It sounds fantastic!

    I'd want to be Mulan :)

  5. Beth from The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. It was such a wonderful book ans Ian loved Beth enough to do the difficult thing and try to live in the world around them.

  6. Col. Brandon from Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY is a favorite of mine, so I'd want to be Marianne.

  7. I want to be Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews' series. Even though people are always trying to kill her, she's got a ton of power and strength, and gets Curran, the shapeshifting Beast Lord as a mate, so it can't be too bad.

  8. I can't think of anyone I would like to be in a book, so guess I will say Scarlet O'Hara from GONE WITH THE WIND. There were a lot of times I didn't like her, but she was a very, very strong woman with all she went through.

    kscathy AT yahoo DOT com

  9. I think Princess Arwen Evenstar, Aragorn's love, in Lord of the Rings. To have a guy that is so brave and fierce, yet loyal, humble, gentle and loving...heaven.

  10. I would probably be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I'm so like her that I don't get my head out of books. lol.