Thursday, January 29, 2015

Author interview: Natalie Scott




Today on the blog: An interview with author Natalie Scott, who shares a bunch of random facts about herself. It can't be all about books, now can it?


Personal questions:

What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
Writing a novel and putting yourself out there is pretty scary! I’m not sure if it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s definitely up there. I am lucky because most of my reviews have been fairly positive, but there is always one or two that turn my stomach. Still, I say no guts, no glory!

How do you take your coffee?
I have a wicked sweet tooth! I put sweet cream by Coldstone in my coffee every morning.

If you were given the chance to take the place of one Fairy Tale character, who would you choose?
I would choose Cinderella. Doesn’t every girl want to be Cinderella and find her handsome prince? Unfortunately, life is not like a fairy tale… if you lose your shoe at 12 o’clock at night you are probably drunk!

Questions about your writing:

What makes you feel inspired to write?
I have a deep love of stories and of books. Whenever I am upset or overwhelmed, there is nothing like losing yourself in a really great book. Not only do the books I read inspire me, but the authors who write them.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
My favorite scene in the book is when the main character, Bebe, is getting to ready to compete in the Grand Prix and she has an attack on the nerves. Her trainer Billy takes her aside and says, “You’re a good rider, Bebe, maybe a great one, but you’re fear-driven. You always have been. Despite all of your training, I’ve never been able to knock that out of you.” I love this part of the book because we all have our fears and our doubts and we have to learn how to push through them!

What is your usual writing routine?
I like to write in a public place, like a coffee shop or café. I like having background noise or listening to music while I write.

What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author?
I think every writer secretly wants an audience that is swept away and totally relates to their works. One of my favorite reviews starts off with, “What child hasn’t wanted to be a cowboy/cowgirl or own their own horse?” It’s a great feeling when a reader connects with your book.

Questions about your reading:

The best book you've ever read?
My favorite book is JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. I know most people prefer third person, but I love first person stories. I enjoy the immediacy, which is why I decided to write my own novel in first person.

Five books that inspire you.
1-Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
2-Gone With the Wind
3-The Fault in our Stars
4-To Kill a Mockingbird
5- The Hunger Games

Do you feel scared to pick up a book about which you've heard a lot of different opinions?
Not really, I’m a very definitive person. I try not to get sucked into the hype. I think it’s really important to make up your own mind and not be swayed by public opinion. I’ve read books that have had a lot of buzz and been disappointed, then I’ve read books I’ve never heard of and been blown away!

How long does it take you to fall in love with a book?
It takes me just as long to fall in love with a book as it does a person… about 5 minutes! People talk about love at first sight… I think it’s the same with a novel.

Your favorite book genres:
Young Adult, New Adult, and Romance

Things you crave/covet:

One thing you're ready to beg for.
Beg might be a little extreme, but good reviews are always welcome! I think most writers pray for great reviews.

Five desserts that make your mouth water.
I’m a chocoholic, so my favorite desserts would be: Chocolate mousse, chocolate brownie, chocolate soufflĂ©, chocolate chip cookies, and a hot fudge sundae.

I could totally recommend a book that features a GIANT sundae. It's called Zeus is Dead by Michael G. Munz. And that sundae? It bites. Anyway, what do you collect?
Is that a trick question? I love collecting books.

Random:

If you were put to the task to create your own soulmate, how would he/she look like?
I think it was very subconscious, but my main character Billy O’Reilly is in many ways my ideal of romantic love.

What are you wearing right at this moment?
I am a fashionista, so normally I can’t resist a little black dress! However right now, answering interview questions, I am in my trusty black leggings!

What do you think is the most important thing in life?
I think love is the most important thing in life. That’s why the romance genre is so popular!
 


About the book:

Rules for Riders, by Natalie Scott, was published in August 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in eBook and paperback. Genres: Young Adult / Romance

Synopsis:


Rules for Riders is a fast paced coming-of-age novel set in the competitive world of equestrian riding.

After a near fatal riding accident, Bebe Barkley is banned from riding and sent off to boarding school. There, she meets her roommate and fellow equestrian rider, Finn Foxley. The girls devise a scheme to get themselves kicked out of boarding school in order to return to the world that they love. Once back on the circuit, former friends become deadly rivals. 

Bebe's handsome trainer, Billy O'Reilly, gives her seven rules to follow in order to successfully compete. Through a series of tragic events, both girls are forced to abandon their dreams of Olympic gold. Bebe ventures down a dark road of self-destruction as she breaks every rule Billy taught her, only to be forced to relearn them in order to reclaim her life. Rules for Riders is a tale of lost dreams and the struggle to create new ones.


About the Author:

Natalie Scott grew up in Melbourne, often referred as the cultural capital of Australia because of its great restaurants, trendy cafes and great shopping! Natalie developed a love of books when her fourth grade teacher read the book Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis.

In high school Natalie devoured the classics, her favorite being Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger. At University she studied English Literature and Communications, though she will openly admit to spending a lot of time at the college pub where she liked to make up outrageous stories before traveling extensively through Europe and the United States.

Throughout her travels, she fell in love with sunny California where she attended classes at UCLA Writer’s Program. Natalie also attended numerous writers’ conferences including Santa Barbara, San Diego State and Grubstreet. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Fiction award given at the Southern California Writers Conference. In her spare time, Scott worked as a spokes model for companies including the AMC Network,, We Entertainment, Hasbro, Adobe and Sony.

The Aussie gal is a foodie who loves Vegemite and currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona where she enjoys sharing her passion for food, enjoys exploring new restaurants, happy hour, traveling, and a passion for books and fashion.

Natalie Scott’s debut novel Rules for Riders was published in August 2014.

Connect with Natalie on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to http://www.nataliescott.com/




KING
CHAPTER 1

I can still remember the first time I saw him...

He’s seventeen hands high, a dark bay, almost black, a white star on his forehead, and two white socks on his hind legs. I’m fifteen years old when I spy King bucking and rearing and giving the grooms a terrible time. I think he’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I point straight at him, “I want that horse.”

My father (otherwise known as the Colonel) rolls his eyes. “No, he’s wild. You just want him because he’s difficult like you.”

We’re at our neighbors, the O’Rileys, on a crisp Sunday morning. Jim O’Riley owns Starlight stables and is one of the best horse trainers in Connecticut. Jim winks at me. “For God’s sake, Colonel, everyone knows you made a ton of money in the stock market. Let her have the damn horse.”

“I said no,” shrieks the Colonel, remaining unconvinced. “Besides, who’ll train her?”

“I will,” Billy O’Riley, Jim’s oldest son, steps forward. His clear green eyes stare straight at King. “He’s a warm blood, sir, from Holland. We just bought him.”

The Colonel growls at Billy. “Listen son, I don’t care if he’s from friggin’ Japan! For God’s sake you’re only a couple of years older than my daughter.”

We all stand there watching, while his face turns bright red with rage. There’s no way in hell he's going to let me have this horse now. That would be too perfect. Instead, he shocks the pants off of me!

“Fine, but if you break your neck, don’t blame me.”

First thing the next morning I race over to the O’Rileys. By the time I reach the stables, I’m out of breath. Billy’s busy brushing down his horse, Stargazer. I walk over to King and stroke his mane. Then I pull a sugar cube out of my pocket. “Hey, boy.”

Billy looks up. “That’s funny, he doesn’t usually take to people so quickly. So let me guess, you want to take a ride?”

God, I’ve been riding since I was six! Okay, I admit it— Billy’s a hottie. I’ve had a crush on him forever. But it makes me crazy the way he still treats me like a little kid. He leans closer and places his hands firmly on his hips.

“Bebe, if I’m going to train you, there are rules for riders. The first one’s commitment. Without it, none of the other rules exist. If I agree to train you, you’ve got to give me 100 percent.”

I stare right back at him, giving him my best killer smile. “I’m all yours!”

For the next few weeks, he insists I do nothing but flat work. He hardly lets me ride across the yard without making sure I am doing it properly. Unlike the Colonel, Billy brings out the best in me and plays down the worst. Whatever I lack, he teaches me with infinite slowness; guiding King and I so we both gain confidence.

“That’s right. Keep your back straight, hold your head up, shoulders back.”

I learn from Billy that difficult horses become easy once you know how to handle them. With Billy’s training, I’m right on course. The Colonel’s threats don’t scare me. Instead, they fuel me, making me even more determined to succeed.

A few days later, I get to the stables early for some quiet time with King. Billy sneaks up behind me. I can feel his breath against my neck.

When I turn around, he has an amused look on his face. “So, do you finally want to take a ride? Isn’t that what you’ve been dying to do—jump every fence this side of Connecticut?”

I have this wild urge to hug him. Instead, I saddle up King. “C’mon, boy.”

King and I take off.

“Tell me what you’ve learned when you get back!” Billy shouts.