Guest Interview: Nathalie Gray
Please welcome our special guest, Nathalie Gray!

Nat Gray used to spend inordinately long periods camping out with five hundred men, walking when she would have preferred driving, and having her hairstyle cramped in an epic way. After twelve years in the Canadian military, Nat decided to recycle all her skills and became a writer. Seriously. After many awards, including the 2007 Romantic Times award for best futuristic, Nat is well on her way to her ultimate goal—world domination. You can browse her books or follow her on her many travels at http://www.nathaliegray.com/ .

Nat is also Kanaxa, cover artist for Red Sage Publishing and Samhain Publishing. Check out her portfolio at http://www.kanaxa.com/ .

What an exciting life, Nat! Please tell us about Chimera in Secrets Volume 29 Indulge Your Fantasies.

Chimera is about the forbidden fruit, that minute of intimacy carved from danger, that stolen glance and stubborn hope it’s going to be all right as the enemy reloads its guns. All of which are bigger than yours. Chimera is love in the face of bullets. But primarily, it’s the story of a woman who shares her sanctuary while the man she loves shares his wounded soul.

I love mixing romance and danger! Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

The story’s hero, Agent Corinth. I’ve always had a penchant for the tortured loner. I’d probably run the other way if I were met with a real-life tortured loner, but hey, this is a book. Anything can happen, right!

Absolutely! Tortured loners make some of the best heroes. What is the story behind the story?

Okay, this is best played out in pseudo dialogue form. Here we go.

Me, to most excellent editor: Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if I had this bodyguard story on an orbital station? There’d be big honking scifi guns, love in zero-g, and a woman who smokes! (where are all the women smokers in romance books?!)

Editor: Absolutely. Have you thought about the conflict—

Me: Oooh! And then! There could be some big inner demons the dude has, you know like he has these obsessions and phobias that mean he hardly gets any sleep so he’s slowly turning into—

Editor: Erm, Nat, slow down here. Tell me more about the emotional gravitas that makes—

Me: Oh, wait! I know! At one point, he has to choose between jumping off a building to save his woman, or jumping off the building to kill the bad guy, which would tear him up inside because he’s been trained, right out of the streets, to always, always get the target. But she’s too important to him. He’ll sacrifice everything for her! Did I mention the big honking scifi guns?

Editor: *headdesk*

LOL! What element of story creation is your favorite?

Plotting and brainstorming. Absolutely. To me, that’s where the purest form of artistic creation happens. You’re not thinking about language, about the mechanics, or the gears. Again, different vibes for different authors. But me, I love plotting. Over the years, I’ve use time lines, spreadsheets, sticky notes, character sheets like I used to do while playing Dungeons & Dragons. I have to plot, you see, because otherwise I’d veer off into the ditch and completely lose sight of the main idea. Kind of like I’m doing now. But worse. Much, much worse. Tremble.

See, I find this fascinating because a lot of people say characters. Very cool that plot is your favorite! Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?

Every time someone asks me that, I want to run the other way screaming like my hair is on fire. Unpublished authors shouldn’t take advice. They should get out the machete and aim for the beautiful and scary wilderness that is publishing, baby. Yeah, it’s intimidating at first. But it’s also awesome!

Fantastic advice (or non-advice, whichever you prefer!) :) Please tell us about another of your recent releases.

2010 was/is a busy year! As such, let me give it to you bullet style!

February 2010: Metal Reign (part of Samhain Publishing space opera anthology, out in ebook, coming in print December 2010). A hero who cooks, a heroine who leads an armada, and lots of ugly aliens.

April 2010: Full Steam Ahead (Red Sage publishing). My second steampunk novel . A mouthy heroine, sky pirates, and cities built on stiles!

August 2010: The Demon’s Secret (The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2, Constable & Robinson UK, Running Press US). Fashion-conscious demons, sneaky angels, a hero with a gold shotgun and a heroine with an even bigger gold shotgun.

December 2010: Metal Reign in print, my lovelies!

Wow, you have been busy! Congratulations! Do you have a question for blog readers?

Yes! I always have many, many questions to readers. Here’s one; why read romance? For baguette’s sake, we know it’s not easy reading romance when people look at it down their noses (and at you the same way). So why read romance? Personally, I read romance because it takes me somewhere that’s not where I am at the moment I’m reading. And, because I like it.

Nathalie is giving away an ebook of their choice to someone who comments!

Thanks for being our guest today, Nat!

Want to tweet Nat? She’s riiiiight here, baby. @nathaliegray

Also please visit her website!
http://www.nathaliegray.com/
8 Responses
  1. NathalieGray Says:

    Thank you, Fierce Romance, for rocking! I can't wait to share my special kind of author madness with your audience. :)

    Oh, in December, Metal Reign comes out in print. Not Meal Reign as it's written above. Although when I read that, I giggled, because, DUDE, that's an awesome idea for a book! Plus, I love to eat.


  2. Carly Carson Says:

    Romance has the best characters...and...romance gives us something positive and hopeful when life gets us down.

    And you are my current cover artist! Who knew? thanks!


  3. NathalieGray Says:

    Hey Carly! LOVED doing the cover for your Star Necklace.

    Yes, romance takes us away from bad juju, doesn't it? I just wish there were more EXPLOSIONS in romance, you know. LOL But that's just my natural tastes for science fiction adventures.

    Another wish of mine: that people would stop making a face when I tell them I write scifi romance. They look all surprised. I don't know if they're surprised that *I* would write that stuff, or that it exists. LOL


  4. Nicole North Says:

    Thanks for being our guest today Nathalie! We love your kind of madness! Sorry about the "meal" vs. "metal." LOL! I'll go fix it.


  5. Rebecca Lynn Says:

    Fantastic advice to unpubbed writers, Nathalie. I bought Secrets 29 for Nicole's novella, and read yours as well, now. I enjoyed it.

    You have a great voice!


  6. Sherry Says:

    I love reading romance books and I read just about any kind of romance. I love to try different genres. I read romance because most of them have a happy ending or at least a HFN ending. I work with a lady that makes fun of me and my books but she read all of the Twilight series which I consider a romance book. I've only read one of your books (Femme Metal) I loved it and I've read it a couple of times.

    sstrode@scrtc.com


  7. NathalieGray Says:

    Hi Nicole!

    And thanks for inviting me.

    Rebecca, you bought vol. 29! Thank you so much. Everyone's dollars are stretched thin, so I appreciate someone buying a book, any book. But buying mine is especially exciting to me because it helps with my ultimate goal, which is, as you know, World Domination. :P

    Sherry, so you like big blue sexy aliens covered in tattoos, eh? Trivia: Sekmeth was supposed to die at the end. Femme Metal was my first romance, and I didn't know it was extremely bad form to kill one's romance hero. Mfft! So he had a miraculous recovery and lived to appear in books 2 and 3.


  8. NathalieGray Says:

    SHERRY! My lovely, where are you? You won one of my books. You did! Feel free to choose an ebook from my catalog (www.nathaliegray.com), then contact me at mail at nathaliegray dot com with your choice.

    Thanks everyone for chatting with me :)


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