Thursday, June 27, 2013

Special Guest - Natalie Gayle

What prompted me to write romance?

It’s the question I get asked all the time.  And I’m sure I look at people with a really confused look on my face, because to me, and anyone that knows me, the answer is so simple.

I LOVE reading all types of romance.  My tastes are wide and varied and I’ll probably give just about any romance book a go.  So it simply made sense for me to write what I love to read. 

I’ll also answer some of the other questions about romance novels that I get asked regularly.

When did your love of romance start?

I started reading romance when I was about fourteen.  I would escape to the library at school because it was air-conditioned and I hate the heat.  I’m still not sure why I live in Queensland?   Which is one of the hottest states in Australia.  One of the other reasons I sort sanctuary in the library was that I didn’t have much in common with the other kids, so I preferred to take a break from being at school and spend some time somewhere else and novels provided the perfect place to escape to.

I picked up my first Georgette Heyer novel then proceeded to read through the whole shelf and every other book that looked like romance in the library.  I fell in love with the whole “happily ever after” thing.  I was hooked on the comfort that regardless how bad things got, there was always going to be a happy ending. 

Even today I find something very reassuring about this.  Most of us at times feel our life is a bit out of control but knowing there’s going to be a happily ever after is very comforting. 

When did you read your first Mills and Boon?

At age seventeen, when I went away to boarding school I read my first Mills and Boon.  My good friend and room mate and I, would each buy a couple of Mills and Boon books on a Saturday morning, two family size blocks of Cadbury chocolate each and settle in for a weekend of reading and chocolate indulging. 

We learnt a lot about “the adult” world of love and relationships. Upon reflection it should probably be considered a right of passage for any young woman.  We had fun!

When did you realise you loved writing?

I always knew I loved reading.  I read my first real series when I was about ten.  It was not until my final year of high school that I realised I actually enjoyed writing.  I’d always been very good at English but I wouldn’t say I ever had a passion for it.  Then I had an amazing English teacher at boarding school, Mrs Robyn Collins. 

She really turned me “on” to English.  Mrs Collins challenged me, helped me and inspired me to push the boundaries.  She even let me turn in a major assessment piece entitled, “Why every guy should read at least one Mills and Boon.”  How many high school English teachers would let you do that? 

When did you write your first book?

I was in my early twenties when I wrote my first book.  I never finished it.  I wrote about five chapters and got way laid.  What sort of romance novel?  You guessed it.  A Mills and Boon.  In fact I had the whole thing mapped out to the “formula”, but I never finished it.  I don’t even know where it is anymore and that’s probably where it should stay. 

So why Finding Trust?

To be honest I’m not sure.  I’m not the sort of person that sits and wonders why I’m doing something. I’m either doing it, or I’m not.  I felt the need to write so I did.  I started the novel with a very vague idea of what was going to happen. 

The Hendra virus was something that I was dealing with in part of my life at the time and my mind as it often does, got wandering and wondered – what if?  And hence the premise for the plot was born. 

I wrote the first four chapters 2008.  A few people knew I’d started it but I said nothing more.  A few things happened and I got very busy with work and Boards and the novel got put away. 

Last year I had a bit of a reprioritisation in my life and I suddenly had a little bit of free time on my hands.  For those who know me, they’re rolling around on the floor laughing right now.  You see I own an IT company and I’m just in the process of starting another with a good friend.  I also have a husband and two small children plus many other things happening in my life.  So free time for me is a serious joke. 

Some how I found the time and wrote most of it in September 2012.  I booked the editor for the end of January 2013.  Then put the novel away for the next few months.  I had to write software specifications and project plans.  Very non- romance. 

Over Christmas/New Year, I wrote the last five chapters and epilogue.  I did this in six, three hour stints when the kids went to bed each night.  And on the 5th January at around 11pm, I declared Finding Trust finished.    

My husband had been saying for weeks, “Just write the end.”  Well he’s not a reader so he just didn’t get that you can’t do that.  Besides Rihanna and Brayden wouldn’t have that one little bit. 

What’s even funnier was that my husband wanted to open a bottle of Vintage Champagne earlier that afternoon.  (We both love champagne – sometimes guys like it too!).  Anyway I convinced him to hold out until I finished.  So I woke him up off the lounge and we celebrated the finish together. 

Now who do you think I told next?  My FaceBook friends, of course.
And that is the story of how Finding Trust came about. 

What did I learn through the process?

I learnt that I love to write.  That even if I have no idea what’s going to happen in the story, if I sit down at the computer and let the characters take over, they’ll tell me what to write.   

I only hope the same process works as well for Finding Judgement.  I’m working on this one now.  I’m planning to have it published around late June/July.  And I have strong concepts for book three and four in the Centre Games series. 

I hope you enjoy Finding Trust.  I’m really enjoying writing Finding Judgement right now. 


 Brayden and Rihanna He’s hot, sexy, and leads a double life. Sometimes in the limelight, mostly in the shadows. Brayden James holds fast to a secret that’s more than his to share. She’s a singularly focused veterinarian out for a rare night of fun with friends, at a New Year’s Eve rock concert. Going home with the lead guitarist was furthest thing from Rihanna Mason’s mind when the night began. When Rihanna inadvertently becomes the target of a deadly terrorist plot using the Hendra virus as a biological weapon, Brayden is forced to reveal his other life. His job is to keep her safe and together they must stop the terrorists before it’s too late. But what happens when she becomes more to him than just the assignment? Will the secret he cannot disclose ultimately prove too much for Rihanna’s fragile trust in relationships? Or will he finally break through the double brick walls around her heart, where every other man has failed?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amber,

    Thanks so much for hosting my blog tour today.

    Just so you are aware, Finding Trust is currently on sale for 99c at all the normal places, to celebrate this week and the release of Finding Judgement next month. That's 140,000 words of fun, hot romance, action, suspense and no cliffhanger.

    Thanks again