Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Natalie Monk {Writer Wednesday}

So excited for today's interview with writer Natalie Monk! She's been gracious to do a GIVEAWAY as well so make sure you leave a comment below for Natalie! I'll announce the winner next Tuesday, November 5th.

A little bit about Natalie...

A farm girl from the time she could shimmy under a string of barbed wire, Natalie Monk writes Inspirational Historical Romance spiced with southern humor and small-town oddities. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and winner of the 2013 NWHRWA Lone Star Contest in the Inspirational category.

Natalie is a homeschooled preacher’s kid from North Mississippi, a piano teacher, her church pianist, part-time portrait photographer, and certified wedding planner. She loves sweet tea, reading, girl talk (usually about books), porch swings, and watching old movies with her family.

How to connect with Natalie...

Blog: http://sweetsouthblog.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6500254-natalie
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NatalieMonkAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NatalieDMonk 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nataliedmonk

Writer Interview | Natalie Monk 


You & Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...My mom introduced me to Microsoft Word at 13 years old. I began three or four stories, wrote a couple chapters, and lost momentum. I found out why when I started studying the writing craft (what I didn’t know I didn’t know) two years ago.
...In praying about a career course, writing always came back as the major thing. Sometimes giving up looks so easy. And it is. But that’s when a writer has to decide what or Who he/she is writing for. My mom also keeps me going. She’s been my cheerleader and coach wrapped up in one.



Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
Here’s a little blurb about Heart of Valor:
Former drunk Blane and Temperance activist Valor must ignore their mutual heartbreak and work together to care for his injured brother. While they struggle to save his farm from auction, make the town dry, and fight long dormant attraction, a killer watches with plans of his own.
...I was inspired to write Heart of Valor when my hometown divided over the issue of legalizing alcohol. I attended meetings for the Citizens for an Alcohol-Free County, which sparked my research of The Temperance Movement. I have seen the effects of alcohol abuse in people I love and desire to bring a message of hope and redemption through this story.
...Set in 1878 Mississippi as the farming community regains their feet after the Reconstruction Era, the story has recurring themes of alcoholism, domestic abuse, prohibition, and forgiveness.


What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...God’s love and redemption are always available to us. Most of the time it is our own pride or stubbornness that stands in the way of healing. We have to be willing to relinquish that pride in order to accept it.


Writing

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...The initial spark for this story came from the Biblical parable of the Prodigal Son. My characters mostly come from imagination. To see my visual inspiration for the characters, visit my Character Inspiration Pinterest board.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...To bring them characters and situations that will let them know they are not alone, whether in laughter, love or loss. Most of all, I hope to draw readers to a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ, Who is everything to me. If I get to heaven and one person was encouraged in their Christian walk, or came to a saving knowledge of Jesus because of my writing, that would be my greatest reward.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?

...Read! Recent fiction in your genre, books and blogs on writing and publishing… Learn how to write your queries, proposals, and marketing materials way before you think you’ll need them! Start building a following of readers early on. And most of all, WRITE. Write what you love, and never forget why you love it.

You

In honor of the fall, what’s your favorite fall treat? ...Apple Cider with Red Hot cinnamon candies melted in. Oh, and those candy corn pumpkins on the side! Mmm!

When you were a child, what did you dream of growing up to be?
...Midwife, private investigator, archaeologist, Criminal Justice sketch artist, drama teacher… So, I decided to write novels and “be” them all. :)

GIVEAWAY
...Thanks for having me, Emilie. What a fun interview! Since my story is set in Mississippi, I’m giving away this boutique burlap pillow, handmade-in-Mississippi and embellished with chevrons and a cotton boll. Cotton plays a significant role in Heart of Valor and is a widespread symbol of the South.

______________________

Thank you so much for your interview, Natalie. We have much in common and I hope that I will soon be reading a copy of Heart of Valor! I also enjoy using Pinterest to do research for my books :) It makes it so fun!  

And thank you for this amazing giveaway. Someone will be lucky to win this cute pillow. Can't wait to hear from about your writing in the near future!