Interview with Awesomegang

I had an ‪interview with awesome gang. Read it here! http://awesomegang.com/m-j-natali/‬

M J Natali

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have written three books so far and working on my fourth. I strive to have my books contain the love aspect, whether it’s a friendship, self love, or love for a romantic partner.

It may be the Fantasy writer in me, but I look at the world for more than what it is. I enjoy people watching, and for some reason, whenever I look at a person, the writer in me wonders what type of animal they look like. When I’m listening to my music while out for a walk, people passing by are dancing to the music. I love talking to strangers, despite being told not to as a child. I dance to my own beat, not caring what others think. I’m a romantic and a softie at heart and cry at tender moments in movies. Hallmark commercials get me to tears every time.

Everyone should be kind to strangers, and look for any level of kindness in others. I do my best to do this myself, even to the most mean person I meet. I’ve seen the positive effect it has countless times, and strive to have others do the same.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Of Beasts and Raven is my latest work, which I am in the midst of writing. When I sat down to write the concepts of this book, and what next challenge my protagonist would face, I kept thinking about the Holy Trinity, Heaven and loved ones who passed away. I was brought up Roman Catholic, which means bible study, Sunday School, and church. I believe in Angels, God and the afterlife. I was meditating one day and wondered what it would be like to visit Heaven, talk to Jesus, and have time with a loved one who passed away. What would heaven look like to me? What would I say when I met Jesus? Who would I meet?

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I can’t write without a pot of coffee and my dry eraser board. If I have an idea or part of the story I need to focus on, I have to see it on the wall. My dry eraser board is a step up from the various pages taped to my wall.

The coffee may seem cliché’ but honestly, without my coffee on a Saturday and Sunday morning when I sit down to write, I can’t think. When I’m stuck on a section of my work, taking a walk outside while surrounded by nature, clears my head and opens up my creative juices.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
Authors who have influenced me are Shakespeare, Stoker, Tolkein, Austin, and Rowling. Each author has their own unique voice, and how they share their stories capture my imagination. I love their style and ability to capture readers hearts.

What are you working on now?
Currently I am working on book three of the Wendael Series, OF Beasts and Raven, which ties up the story of the characters Raina, Charles, and Lanai. Raina is the main focus of this book, focusing as she faces her next challenge. She has a mission from the Goddess, which tests her faith, her friendships, and the rules of society, even though it’s for the greater good. She finds herself facing questions of morality in regards to the antagonist: Maven, a man who is against the societal norm which harms the citizens of the realm of Wendael.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Each person finds a method that works for them, depending on their network. Some are successful with virtual blog tours, others at pod-cast interviews, while others market on websites aimed at readers. For me, it’s the face-to-face marketing that works best. I find people like to ask questions, share their thoughts, what they like, and what they know. I love seeing their eyes light up. The face to face human interaction is more personal, and potential readers enjoy getting to know authors.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Learn all you can. There is so much free information out there, and never stop learning how to write, to hone your craft, and show the world what you have to offer. Learn your own marketing, book cover creating, and don’t be afraid to talk to people about you and your work. Always carry business cards with you, because you never know when you might meet a new reader. Stick to about two social media platforms, along with your own website.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The best advice I’ve read and heard is to be myself as an author. When writing my books, my author’s voice is essentially a part of who I am. To walk the unbeaten path in sharing my art, to show the world my visions and stories is a part of the unique person I am. Each person is a unique individual, and somewhere out there, someone will read my blog posts, or one of my books and can see it’s okay to be who you truly are.

What are you reading now?
Dracula by Bram Stoker. I enjoy reading this along with the other classics. There’s something about how grammar and story telling used to be which isn’t done today. Despite the growth and evolution of writing styles, the classics always have me coming back.

What’s next for you as a writer?
I hope to someday gain a publishing contract with a traditional publisher and write as a full time author. This is my greatest goal and ambition. Someday I wish to see my books turn into a movie.

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
If I were stranded on a desert island, I would bring one book which outlines survival: building shelter, gardening, and the like. I would make sure I have the bible to read so I can retain my faith that things will work out. Of course my book The Great American Poets is a must, with Whitman, Dickenson, and Frost. Poetry and music go hand in hand, and I can’t live without them. The final book would be Gone With the Wind, so when times are rough, I can ask myself, “What would Scarlet do?”