July 20, 2016
Over the weekend I had the chance to interview author Natalie J Damschroder. I’ve stocked my ereader with of few of her books and am loving The Color of Courage. Of course, whats not to love about a superhero romance?
Me: Thank you for agreeing to my interview. So I’ve done my homework and we actually have loads of stuff in common. Two daughters who are pretty opposite of each other, married a long time to great men, cat people, and we each write with either suspense or paranormal elements. All awesome things. What do you feel you bring to your books and the romance genre that allows you to stand out?
Natalie: Thanks for inviting me to BE interviewed! Isn’t it cool to find commonalities like that when you first start to get to know someone? 🙂
Man, you started off with a really hard question! Let’s see… One thing I think I bring is naturally strong heroines. That’s something editors, reviewers, and readers are always saying they want, and it’s always been a hallmark of my characters. Sometimes they’re TOO strong, and I have to tone them down. LOL I’m also always looking for the twist on an old trope or common element, and I try to infuse my books with a sense of adventure.
Me: Yes, you do kick-ass-heroines really well. In fact the first in your superhero series The Color of Courage has great female characters. What inspired the story about a super chick with confidence issues? Did you grow up reading comic books?
Natalie: Well, thank you! 🙂 I confess, growing up, I mostly read Betty and Veronica comics. But superheroes permeated the culture in the 80s, and I loved the Justice League cartoon (my brother and I would often pretend to be the Wonder Twins). Wonder Woman is, of course, my favorite, though I’m more of a Marvel fan nowadays.
For The Color of Courage, I wanted to write about superheroes with everyday problems. If they really existed, they’d have bills to pay and relationship issues, and those might conflict with their “jobs” as superheroes–which isn’t something that probably pays well. So that’s how I started. I’m not sure exactly what triggered it, but Daley not knowing what her boyfriend felt about her as he broke up with her was the idea that started the whole thing.
Me: I think that is why Spider-Man has been such a global favorite. He is this young guy with every day issues, not some mega millionaire with plenty of time on his hands. You mentioned in a previous QA (Goodreads) that writing through a mini block felt like running while attached to a bungee cord. Great description! To face that grueling task, do you have a reward system? What motivates you to keep going?
Natalie: Ugh, I am so unable to be inspiring when it comes to that kind of thing. First, because rewards don’t work for me because you have to deny yourself in order for the reward to mean anything, and I’m bad at denial. That kind, anyway. LOL I often cave to inertia or a story obstacle for days or weeks before I force myself back to it. That’s mostly driven by guilt and self-recrimination.
Sometimes it gets bad enough that I chastise myself in my dreams. Like last night. I’ve gone a couple of weeks without writing more than a couple hundred words, and yesterday I wasted prime writing time. All day! So last night I dreamed I was on a writing retreat and couldn’t get anything done. My subconscious kicking me in the ass. 🙂
(And it worked. I’m almost up to 1000 words for the day. LOL)
Me: I might need to borrow your subconscious. Heck, it would be cool if you could lend it out to kick other authors into gear. We all bring elements of our own lives into our writing but we also make stuff up and do our homework. What is the weirdest or coolest thing you had to research and how did you use it in a story?
Natalie: I would love to loan out my subconscious and get rid of it for a while! LOL
I write paranormal and “unusual” romantic adventure because I don’t like to do research. LOL Of course, you can’t escape it completely. For my second YA novel, Shadow Mission, I did a lot of scientific research at a high-school level, so that I could base my very unreal events on stuff like solar flares and breaking bonds. For Soul Deep, my next Soul Series book, I was researching different kinds of sharks for the aquarium my heroine works at. Even for someone like me, it’s easy to start following threads and lose a lot of time learning cool little tidbits!
Me: You’ve been great, thank you so much. It feels like we are just chatting as friends. As a final question, what are you working on now and what comes out next?
Natalie: You’re a wonderful interviewer, Amberly, thank you so much!
I’m working on a lot right now. I’m hoping to hear soon on a romantic suspense series proposal I’ve submitted to Carina Press. In the meantime, I’m focusing on finishing The Light of Redemption (book 2 of my superhero series), which features a female superhero in small-town Ohio. Then there’s Soul Deep, a paranormal romantic adventure featuring Ke’an, a woman who can breathe underwater who was a secondary character in Soulflight, and Tars Suinn, the misguided mage from Soul of the Dragon. And finally there’s Perfect Vision, the concluding book in my YA series about an 18-year-old who is half human, half angel, who keeps discovering more and more about the world she was meant to save…or destroy.
Thanks again, Amberly! This has been fun!