Another week over and, what does that mean?
It means I’m interviewing another author. This week it’s Natalie Duvall. She’s a romance writer and two-time graduate of Seton Hill University. The first time in 2002, she got her MA in Writing Popular Fiction. Nine years later in 2011, she went back, as they say in the higher education world, to get her “F” for “Fine.” She was in the first class of Seton Hill’s program to receive an MFA rather than just an MA. She did both of these with her husband, Matt Duvall, and now, she’s here to talk about her writing. Floor’s yours, Natalie.
-What book and/or experience made you want to be a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed reading. Everyone in my family did. It must be genetic – like the penchant we all share for pizza and funnel cake.
I think wanting to write grows naturally from being a voracious reader with an imagination. I have faded and crinkled scraps of paper from when I was super-young and wrote down my story ideas on notebook pages. I never had the fortitude to finish a story, though, so those papers are all beginnings and no ends! When I was looking for a grad school and saw Seton Hill, which said it would make me write an entire romance novel, I just had to jump in and try. The rest, as they say, is history.
-What genre(s) do you write?
I write Regency-set historical romances. For those who don’t know, those are romances set during Jane Austen’s time period. I love it because who wouldn’t want to fall in love with a duke, have servants perform their bidding, and dance through the night at balls? Plus, the wealthy got to stay up late and sleep in equally late. I’d travel back in time to live there if they had better dental care.
-What project are you working on now?
Right now I’m revising a book called His Mistress. It combines two of my favorite Regency tropes – the marriage of convenience and the unrequited childhood love. This is probably my fifth revision of the piece. *Sigh* I have high hopes for it, which will surely be dashed upon submission!
One of the things I’m working on in His Mistress is fixing how my heroine, Helena’s, father is portrayed. I want him to be a sympathetic character, but he’s forcing his daughter to marry a man she doesn’t love. Back then that wouldn’t have been seen as bad parenting. Today, however, it would/
-For other aspiring writers, any tips?
Write every day. Every. Single. Day. Oh, and honestly, it helps to do an outline first (I hear the shrieks of seat-of-your-pants writers right now!).
-What’s your favorite book/genre to read?
I love Regencies! I’m reading a great one now. It’s called Along Came a Duke, by Elizabeth Boyle. If you’ve never read a Regency, I highly recommend Julia Quinn. She’s funny and does a great job of creating characters with believable flaws.
-What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
I’m going to cheat a bit here. I’m not going to tell you about my favorite thing I’ve ever written, I’m going to tell you about my favorite project. It’s a book called Hazard Yet Forward. It’s a multi-genre book featuring over 700 pages of short fiction. My husband, best writing friend and I put this book together to benefit our friend Donna Munro, who’s fighting breast cancer. I’m not being biased when I say it contains some amazingly awesome stories. At 14 cents a story, it’s a great buy for a great cause. You can find it here.
Want more from Natalie? Says she…
I have a low-functioning website that can be found here. My slightly-higher-functioning Facebook page is here. Last, and probably least, my Twitter name is natt444. For as much as I love putzing around on the internet, you’d think I could keep up with my website, wouldn’t you?