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!!!