Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meet Harlequin Presents Author Natasha Tate

AN INCONVENIENT OBSESSION (from the back blurb):

He loved her, lost her – and now he’ll have her once more…

The Carrington family’s island is up for auction, and it’s an opportunity Ethan Hardesty just can’t refuse. This groundskeeper’s son turned global entrepreneur has it all. All, that is, except a piece of the Carrington estate—the island that holds all his most pleasurable and painful memories.

Ethan doesn’t count on the beautiful Cate Carrington handling the transaction—and providing him with the perfect opportunity to take her into the bargain. But toying with the woman who was once the girl he loved and lost soon turns from a game into an all-out obsession…

Romantic Times' reviewers  have nominated An Inconvenient Obsession for The Best 2011 First Series.  Congratulations Natasha, I loved this book as well..

ONCE TOUCHED, NEVER FORGOTTEN (from the back blurb):

Too good to forget …

Super-exec Stephen Whitfield and high-flying colleague Colette Huntington both understand the rules of their attraction. One: it will never be anything more than a fling. Two: either can walk away at any time they wish…

Only, Colette hasn’t counted on walking away pregnant. And, to Stephen’s frustration, after Colette other women don’t seem to provide quite the same satisfaction.

Now Stephen’s going to lay down some new rules—rules that will most definitely give him the opportunity to indulge his craving for Colette once more….

Natasha's Bio:

Natasha stumbled upon the Harlequin® Presents series at the ripe old age of eleven, when the local library’s bookmobile made its first neighborhood stop for the summer. As an Army brat with wanderlust in her genes, the exotic settings and jet set lifestyle of the Harelquin® characters made for love at first page. An unapologetic romantic with a weakness for fairy tale endings, she returned time and time again to the stories of strong alpha heroes tamed by the fiercely independent women who loved them. Now, as a mother whose testosterone laden home leaves little time for idyllic getaways, Natasha finds her escape not only by reading, but by writing her own happily ever afters.

Welcome Natasha Tate to Romance Author Buzz.

Thanks, Marilyn! It’s such a treat to be featured by one of my favorite people!

What makes An Inconvenient Obsession special to you?

An Inconvenient Obsession combines many of my favorite themes. We as writers are often told to write the book of our hearts, and Ethan and Cate’s story is definitely one that resonates with my own beliefs regarding love, forgiveness, and redemption. I adore reunion romances, revenge motives, sexy rags-to-riches alpha heroes, strong heroines with wounded hearts, family conflicts, and glamorous settings. An Inconvenient Obsession integrates all of these, along with some steamy love scenes and a happily ever after ending that will hopefully tug on readers’ emotional heartstrings.

What makes Once Touched, Never Forgotten special to you?

Once Touched, Never Forgotten is a secret baby story that takes place nearly five years after the baby’s birth. Colette is very protective of her little girl, and her top priority is to keep her daughter safe from harm. Because of this, she opts to leave Stephen, believing that he does not want children and is incapable of giving their daughter the love she deserves. She’s wrong, of course, and the book explores how both Colette and Stephen must overcome the scars of their past to embrace a future filled with love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Just like An Inconvenient Obsession, Colette is a strong heroine with wounded heart and Stephen comes from a past rifled with pain and rejection. Add in a few steamy love scenes and a happily ever after ending, and it’s a story that hopefully will have readers coming back for more!

How long have you been writing and what was your call story?

I have been writing for 15 years and didn’t sell until last October. It took me a long time to figure out how to craft a story. With countless false starts, seven manuscripts, and a teetering pile of rejections under my belt, I finally wrote a book that was more than a tome of meandering, go-nowhere prose last year. I pitched it during the 2010 Romance Writers of America ® conference, and received a request for the full manuscript. After emailing it off, I settled in for the interminable wait that tends to accompany any new submission. So you can imagine my shock when a reply arrived a mere fifteen minutes later! My soon-to-be agent read the manuscript that night and offered representation the next morning! I can’t remember the details of what happened following that call, but I’m pretty sure it involved some screeching and a clumsy pirouette or two. My husband reports that I talked nothing but nonsensical, delirious jibberish for hours.

 As I’m sure is the case for many writers, I also worked at a day job while awaiting that elusive offer of publication. I told myself it was a good distraction; I wasn’t hovering by the phone every day, biting my nails and waiting. In hindsight, I probably should have checked my messages more frequently because I was over four hours late returning my agent’s call. I was on my way from work to have lunch when I noticed I’d missed her.

After listening to her message, it felt like one of those out-of-body experiences that normal people aren’t supposed to have. The thoughts that ricocheted through my brain ran the gamut of “We’ve made a mistake and nobody wants your horrible story” to “We have ten publishers all wanting to go to auction on your brilliant masterpiece!” I know. There’s optimism, there’s pessimism, and then there’s the craziness that plagues us writers.

By the time I met up with my writer friend for lunch, I was jittery, excited, and shaking from the news that the editors at Presents had made an offer. We writers are used to making dreams come true on paper, not in real life! We ordered celebratory margaritas and then I texted my critique partner, Jennie Lucas, with the amazing news. She was in London at the time, at the AMBA Conference with Lynn Raye Harris. Sharing the squeals of three favorite writing friends as we celebrated my sale was the highlight of my year. Can you imagine anything better?

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? Have you had other jobs along the way?

I have always enjoyed writing, even as a child, but I never thought about pursuing it as a career until after my third child was born and I was home with three preschoolers all day long. I’ve had A LOT of jobs along the way, sometimes as many as three at a time. Other than that year home with the boys, I don’t think I’ve worked less than full-time since I was 17. I’m happiest when I have lots of things to juggle; I guess I’m a stress junkie!

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Every book is a little different, and I’m still figuring out my process. Sometimes, the story comes to me fully formed and I just have to take the time to write it down. Others are much more challenging to write, and I don’t discover the story I’m trying to tell until I’m 50K words into the book. But generally, I’d say I’m led more by my characters than by my plots.

Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

I just wrote my fourth book, which features a set of identical twins. Though I’m not a twin, I really identify with my heroine, Laura. She has a hard time going after what she wants and she spends her time serving others and trying to make others happy. I think this happens a lot with women in our roles of nurturer and mother, so writing a heroine who had to learn to demand happiness for herself was very cathartic.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just started my fifth book and it’s still pretty amorphous right now. So far, I’ve got a Brazilian hero (I love those dark, wounded alphas!) and an American heroine who is struggling to keep the family business afloat while taking care of her flighty, irresponsible little sister. We’ll see how it goes from here.

What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

The best thing is the actual writing and the contact with readers who’ve enjoyed my books. There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story that I’ve created, or finding out that my characters have in some way impacted a reader’s life. There’s nothing quite like the high of creating a really good, emotional scene that resonates with readers.

The hardest thing, by far, is balancing all the demands on my time. Writing, because it’s something I do just for me, often takes a back seat to the demands of children, husband, house, and the day job, so finding time to really dig into my stories is always a bit of a trick.

If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?

The theme would be that everyone deserves love, no matter their past or the mistakes they’ve made.

Describe a day in the life of Natasha Tate.

If it’s a weekday, I get up at 4:30, head to the gym to work out, go to the day job for eight hours, then do Mom duty until about 8 or 9 PM. If I’ve got ANY creative energy left after that, I go to my computer and write for about an hour before crashing into bed. Weekends are a little better. I get up early before the teenagers are sleeping and get a few hours of uninterrupted writing time before they start clamoring for food. I typically generate most my pages on the weekend, when I’ve got time to focus. I do most my revisions on the weekends as well, and a lot of the time, I’ll do it all while on my treadmill.

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

That I love writing about love, and that bringing stories of redemption and happiness to the world is one of the best things I do.

When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Oddly enough, I don’t ever see myself retiring from writing. I’d retire from the day job in a heartbeat. But writing? Never. Writing has become part of who I am. I can’t imagine ever not writing, so as long as I can find a market for my books, I’ll still be putting them out there.

After I’m gone, though, and if any of my books survive me, I’d like for readers to remember how my stories made them feel. I would hope they would leave with a feeling of hope and a confirmed belief that love can heal any wound.

Who is your favorite author?

There are WAY too many to list and I’d worry that I’d leave someone out were I to start. But the one who probably influenced me most as an adolescent and the one who made me want to become a writer was LaVyrle Spencer. Her books are amazing.

What are you currently reading?

It kills me that I don’t have time to read more, as I’m constantly searching for time to write instead! But when I do have time to read, I find that I reach for historical novels. I’m also in a book club where we read a lot of essays and fiction by male authors. What I read now is different enough from what I write that I don’t analyze the structure and the writing as much. I’m able to lose myself in the story.

Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

I want them to know that I appreciate every one of them who’s willing to spend their hard-earned money on a book I’ve written. I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Presents family and I’m thrilled with the support fellow authors and the editorial team offer.

Natasha, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!  Where can readers find you?

Natasha onTwitter:

Natasha's Blog:


Facebook Page

Romance Author Buzz would like to offer a $10.00 gift card to one lucky International winner.  All you have to do to win is to follow Natasha on Facebook.  Please tell her how much you enjoyed her interview.  Come back and post your comments here as well.  Don't forget to leave your email address so that  you can be contacted.  Contest will end December 15th.


Angela MacIntyre said...

Hi, Marilyn! Great interview! I haven't read anything by Natasha, but I'm certainly going to look for her in the stores now! I love the second chance at romance books! I did friend her on FB and will let her know once she accepts my request. Thanks for turning me on to another great author!!

chey said...

I liked Natasha Tate on facebook.
Oh my goodness, 4:30 am every weekday!
Great excerpts!

Char...... said...

Hello Marilyn, awesome interview, I will go out tomorrow and buy her book and read it and post on your page what I think. I love to read new authors books to see how they get along and share their emotions in a book. Thanks for the heads up on the newbie Author, Congrats to her as well....

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Thanks all of you for your comments. I've read both books and loved them both. It's always fun to read a debut author and this one is very special to me. Why? I've followed her career and her dream has finally come true!

Robyn Grady said...

Hi Natasha and Marilyn! What a fabulous interview! I totally love reunion stories too, and that call story was brilliant. And now you're writing your fifth?? WTG!
I know what you mean about never retiring from writing. It's a part of us we never want to lose.

JenelTX said...

Great interview! I'm very intrigued by the premise of AN INCONVENIENT OBSESSION. I love the idea of a hero who is rich enough to buy a tropical island. That would be the life!

Natasha, I hope you'll get to quit your day job very soon!

Natasha Tate said...

Wow, Marilyn! What a treat to be hosted on your blog! And you're pretty special to me, too. I have such fond memories of waiting in the ECWC bookfair line with you, talking about my writing dreams and then sharing drinks with you and Jennie Lucas! You've been with me every step of the way and I can't imagine having a nicer person to share the journey with!

I'll watch for your FB friend request and add you ASAP. Thanks!

Thanks for the FB thumbs up! And yes, the 4:30 AM wakeup call certainly takes its toll. But it makes Daylight Savings time that much sweeter, so I can't complain!

Thanks for your willingness to try out a new author! I certainly have enjoyed writing for Presents and I hope you like the story! Let me know what you think once you've had a chance to read it; I love to hear feedback!

You're doing your fair share of writing yourself! I can't believe you manage to keep up with both a Presents AND a Desire schedule!! Do you ever sleep?

Don't we all love heroes with more money than God? On days when the day job starts to wear thin, I love to escape into my writing and the fantasy of wealthy, sexy, alpha males willing to spoil their women both in bed and out! Being able to share my escape with readers is just the icing on the cake!

Annie West said...

Hi Natasha,

Congratulations on your books and thanks so much for sharing your call story in particular. They're always so inspiring. I'm looking forward to reading your books.

Natasha Tate said...

Thanks, Annie!

I like call stories, too, and being able to share mine via Marilyn's generous hosting was a real treat. Hearing about others' perseverance in the trenches is always so inspirational, especially after a string of rejections!

Na said...

Hi Natasha! Congratulations on your book's nomination for Best 2011 Series. Woot! I love stories about second chances and they really draw me in emotionally and Ethan and Cate sounds like a couple I can really cheer on. Thank you for the interview.


Laurie G said...

Hi Natasha,

I recently read your interview on Marilyn Shumaker's Romance Author Buzz website. I was interested in your travels as an Army brat and how those experiences may have influenced your writing. Also, how long did you work for Harlequin? What was your job?

1)Romantic Times' reviewers have nominated An Inconvenient Obsession for The Best 2011 First Series. WOW! CONGRATS!

20ONCE TOUCHED, NEVER FORGOTTEN =One: it will never be anything more than a fling. Two: either can walk away at any time they wish.

Sounds like two books I will have to look for. I enjoyed meeting you. Best wishes for continued success with your writing!

Laurie G

johnslake at usa dot com


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