Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude Giveaways and Interview With Natalie Palmer

Hi all.  It's time for another awesome giveaway.  And in the attitude of gratitude, let me just say that I'm so grateful for greater minds than mine that have organized this whole thing.  Thanks Kathy.  Over 180 blogs are all linked together and giving away good stuff to thank you, the reader.  So THANKS to all of you too!!!

Now for my giveaway...
Let me introduce you to Natalie Palmer.  She's a new author who's first book Second Kiss comes out at the end of the month.  For this giveaway I thought it would be great to interview her and let readers get to know her a little.  She has very generously agreed to give away TWO books.  That's right, that means we'll have TWO winners AND you can enter up to four times!  Here's how:
1.  Read the interview and leave a comment (be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win).
+1  Become a GFC follower (or mention if you already are one)
+1 Become a GFC follower of Natalie's Blog  www.nataliepalmerbooks.blogspot.com 
+1 Spread the word:  Blog, Tweet, Link, etc.

The contest will run from November 17th to November 28th.  I'll post the winners some time the next week.  Now, here's some more about Natalie and her book (great cover, don't you think?):

Synopsis:  Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she's the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He's popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can't get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine's Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he's holding on to her for dear life. 
Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other.

And now for the interview:
Second Kiss is Natalie's first published book.  She has a degree in English Literature from University of Utah and currently lives in Westlake Ohio with her husband James and son Scott (and a little girl on the way).

First, some fun, get-to-know-you questions:

1. What music do you listen to?

I love this question because I LOVE music. Some of my classic favorites will always be Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band and randomly enough, The Beach Boys.

Recently I became a fan of Taylor Swift because every song she writes is like a mini young adult novel. But I have to say that the group motivates me to write more than any other is Dashboard Confessionals. Their song “Don’t Wait” basically inspired the whole ending to Second Kiss. And whenever I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with writing I tune my IPod to one of their songs and the ideas start flowing.

2. If you could either breathe underwater or fly, which would you choose?

Definitely fly. Water is actually one of my favorite things in the world but I like looking at it from the top. Going beneath the surface to see all the gross things floating around under there really isn’t that appealing to me.

3. What is the square root of pie? Just kidding, what is your favorite kind of pie (mine's chocolate mousse or coconut cream)?

Hot Razzleberry Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. My mouth is watering right now.

4. What's your least favorite thing to do during the day? What is your favorite thing?

Least favorite: Doing the dishes. It’s unoriginal but I hate doing them and they are always there!

Most favorite: Sometimes when I’m working on the computer I’ll have my little boy watch a movie on the couch next to me. He’ll rest his sweet little head on my shoulder with his hand perched on mine and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

5. Do you floss?

Yes, but not as often as I should. I come from a family of strong teeth so I’ve been spoiled by not having a lot of cavities (knock on wood).

All right, now for some more serious writing questions:

1. Second Kiss is your first published novel. What was your writing process? Did you know the entire story before you began writing, or did it come to you as you went along?

My process was to write and keep writing. No matter how discouraged I was with the story line I just kept at it. That’s really the best way for me. I had a very vague idea of where I wanted the story to go but the final product was completely different than I had imagined. And I found that even if I did have a solid direction in my head the characters kind of took it their own way as they developed.

I tried being more organized with my second book that I’m currently working on. I wrote out an entire outline of the book with a summary of how each chapter would go. It was horrible. It was like I was writing a book that was already written. I hated it. I had to start from scratch and just let it flow naturally from my head. It’s so much more fun and I think it turns out a lot better… at least for me.

2. Second Kiss is a young adult, coming-of-age story. What made you interested in writing for the YA audience? What do you think makes this audience unique?

When I was a young girl I had one drama after another. Nothing too serious, just a lot of funny, embarrassing, romantic (the list goes on) situations that I loved telling or writing to friends. I had so many stories to tell and a lot of people responded with, “You should write a book one day.” So I did. And I hope to write a lot more. Second Kiss itself is definitely a fictional novel but there are a lot of individual stories within the story that are based off of true events in my own life.

I think the young adult audience is unique because they are experiencing everything for the first time. It is an extremely impressionable time with learning experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. What other time in their lives will they be stuck in a building for 8 hours a day with hundreds of other kids their age? Everyone is fighting for attention, for friends and for love and grasping on to something that resembles an identity. It’s a once in a life time opportunity and I love to capture that in a story.

3. Most authors have books or stories that have inspired them. Do you have any books that did that for you? What inspired you to want to write?

The first book that made me love literature was A Separate Peace by John Knowles. I had to read it in high school but it stayed with me like no other book has. I loved the fact that the real meaning – the real lessons in the book weren’t written plainly before your eyes. There was so much depth, so much to figure out and to feel. I’ve always wanted to write like that.

One of my more current favorites is The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. I still can’t put my finger on what I like about it so much but I guess that’s the art of good writing.

4. Which of your characters in your book is most like you? Why?

The main character, Gemma Mitchell, definitely represents me most. However, we are definitely not the same person. We’re similar in that we’re both a bit naïve, a bit dramatic and a bit of a spit fire at times. But Gemma is a lot more fearless than I am. She knows what she wants and she goes for it. I would like to be more like her in that way, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

5. Are there other projects you're working on that you would like to share?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Second Kiss. I’m hoping to make it into three books but we’ll see how it goes. This book has been a lot of fun to write because Gemma is now in high school. There are difficulties, however, because high school means more issues such as drugs and sex. This means finding a way to address these issues without condoning them like so much young adult media does these days.

Okay, that's it folks.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Make sure you take the time to enter the giveaway and remember it's a blog hop, so you can simply click on any of the links below and enter any of the 180+  giveaways!!!  


  1. I'd probably choose underwater - scared of heights! But your right about the gunk in the water :) Excellent interview!

    wendyhines at hotmail dot com

  2. I follow GFC
    wendyhines at hotmail dot com

  3. I am a gfc follower.

    I follow Natalie's blog.

    I tweeted the giveaway.

    megankyser at gmail dot com

  4. This looks like an AWESOME book and I can't wait to read it!
    I am a GFC follower (Lexie Hogan). I also follow Natalie's blog. And I blogged about the giveaway at http://thebookbug-hogan.blogspot.com/2010/11/gratitude-giveaway-wings-by-aprilynne.html

  5. New GFC follower here and on Natalie's blog...thanks for this giveaway!

    Second Kiss sounds great...and I love the cover! (And I have a weird thing about stuff lurking under water, too!)


  6. Love her writing process! I wonder how I would be......
    Follow your blog, Follow Natalie's Blog, and Posted on my blog Thanks!

  7. +1 Natalie, Second Kiss sounds like such a great book! I would absolutely love to read it :)

    +1 GFC follower on this blog

    +1 GFC follower on Natalie's blog

    +3 total


  8. Natalie, you rock! I totally get having your little Scott snuggling up to you!

  9. Love you both! I better win...

  10. +1 Good interview.Second Kiss sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.
    +1 GFC follower on this blog

    +1 GFC follower on Natalie's blog

    +3 total augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

  11. Officially entered. You know where to find me when I win :)

  12. Thanks so much for the great interview and chance to win this book. It sounds like a good read
    I tweeted

    tanyainjville at yahoo dot com

  13. Sounds like an amazing book. I love those stories were best friends end up together.

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  14. Great interview! I've always wished I could fly like a bird!
    I'm a GFC follower - Michele
    I follow Natalie via GFC

  15. I'm a new GFC follower! thanks!

  16. I have never heard of Razzleberry Pie, but now I want some.
    I'm a new GFC follower of both this blog and Natalie's.


  17. great giveaway!
    follow via gfc

  18. +1 Natalie, Second Kiss sounds like such a great book! I'd love to read it!
    +1 GFC follow you
    +1 GFC follower Natalie
    +3 total
    Thanks for a chance to win this giveaway!

  19. This sounds like such a good read! I added it to my TBR list. Loved the interview!

    +1 GFC follower (jacmom)

    +1 http://twitter.com/#!/jacmom1/status/5697010355150849


  20. I'm afraid of water and heights. So I would stay as I am.

    I follow you on GFC.

    I follow Natalie on GFC

    3 total

    ke7yca at gmail dot com

  21. I look forward to reading this book and it's sequel. Looks great!

    +1 GFC follower
    +1 Natalie GFC follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  22. I enjoyed the interview! I love finding new authors and learning about them.

    I am a follower GFC-judy
    I am a follower GFC Natalies blog-judy


  23. Wow, this book sounds amazing. Kind of brings me back to a time(long ago) when I was a teenager and struggling with my selfishness and not always seeing others around me and at the same time trying to grow up. That was such a special carefree time in my life I can never go back to, but I can relive it through others in books like this. These characters have a kind of innocence about them that are heartwarming and your watching circumstances that shape their very lifes. Ok, done to the nitty gritty :)
    GFC follower
    follow Natalie's blog

  24. Please enter me into your contest I am an old follower- Lora1967

  25. left a comment on the interview.-Lora1967

  26. i am a follower of natalies- lora1967

  27. great interview, i learned a lot about her

  28. Great interview and thanks for the giveaway! I am an old GFC follower!

    Kelsey O.
    kopsahl48 AT gmail DOT com

  29. Great interview. I love the cover on second kiss and look forward to possibly winning it and reading the sequel she's working on.

    Please enter me in the giveaway.


  30. Awesome interview and great giveaway idea!
    I am following both blogs. Email is hopedavis AT gmail.com

  31. Thanks for the great interview. I hate doing the dishes too and I also have a similar taste in music with the author. The book sounds great.

    GFC of this blog.
    caliblue7 at gmail dot com

  32. Enjoyed reading the interview. Sounds like a great book!

  33. I enjoyed the candide answers int eh interview.


  34. I will be buying this book! (if I don't win;) )

    How did you become friends a BYu and U of U alumni?

    It is "holy War" week in Utah

    1 Become a GFC follower (or mention if you already are one)
    +1 Become a GFC follower of Natalie's Blog www.nataliepalmerbooks.blogspot.com
    +1 Spread the word: Blog, Tweet, Link, etc. (kjovus.blogspot.com)


  35. Great interview! I love that the authors main character's personality is a bit of her own and a bit of what she'd like to be.
    I'm a GFC follower of both yours and Natalie's blog.
    dsfrankj @ gmail dot com

  36. this soudns liek such an awesome book great interview i was chekcing uyt ur blog Natalie and wow im impressed cant wiat for the realse would love tor ead it


  37. 1 Became a GFC follower


  38. following Natalies blog


  39. tweeted about the contest


  40. This book sounds great! I am adding it to my TBR list. Great interview and I totally agree about Taylor Swift's music. Love it! Thanks for the chance to win. seescootread[at]gmail[dot]com

  41. I love Taylor Swift's music too!

    +1 Become a GFC follower
    +1 Become a GFC follower of Natalie's Blog
    +1 Spread the word: Tweet

    On my blog:
    Win a Signed Copy of Afterlight by Elle Jasper
    International, ends 11/30

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  42. What a blog hop! Nice interview!
    twinmomx5 at gmail dot com

  43. Thanks for the giveaway :D Great interview! I feel live I've seen this book somewhere, but I'm not sure :)

    +1 GFC follower
    +1 GFC follower of Natalie's blog
    +1 I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/ramen_addict/status/7514518661890049


  44. This looks like a really good book!

    +1 gfc follower
    +1 tweet http://twitter.com/vampficionada/status/7625244319678464
    +1 gfc follower of natalies blog

    jessica b

  45. What a great idea to tie the interview into the Gratitude Giveaway. Thanks, Melinda, for introducing us to Natalie's work. Sounds like a great book. I am a new GFC follower of both your blogs. Feel free to check out my giveaway, #86, if you haven't already.

    stacy at stacyjuba.com

  46. Wonderful interview! It sounds like a great book too! Thanks for sharing it! I'm a new follower! laceybug35 at yahoo dot com
    You can enter my giveaway too at The Delusional Diaries

  47. Ooh, a Separate Peace. What a great novel to be inspired by. :) This book sounds sooo good! :)

    +1 I've been a GFC follower of your blog <3
    +1 Became a GFC follower of Natalie's blog
    +1 Spread the word: http://frazzledbooknommer.blogspot.com/p/giveaways.html


  48. +1 New GFC follower

    maryinhb @gmail.com

  49. It's nice to hear from new authors
    story sounds good would like to read..

    +1 gfc follower
    +1 gfc follower at nataliepalmerbooks


  50. I enjoyed the interview very much, it sounds like a great story.

    GFC Follower as seriousreader
    GFC Follower on Natalie's blog as seriousreader
    Tweeted http://twitter.com/BookOwner/status/8656437815287808

    seriousreader at live dot com

  51. This book sounds great! Thanks for the interview and giveaway.
    GFC follower.

  52. +1 GFC follower
    +1 GFC follower of Natalie's blog
    =2 total

    Thanks so much!

  53. My favorite book is the evernight series. I would choose AFTERLIFE. Thank you for the giveaway I am an older follower