Word-Slingers – Guest Natalie Anderson

Today’s guest is Natalie Anderson, who is touring to promote her Harlequin Presents book, Dating and Other Dangers. Being that HP is my crack, I’m soooo psyched to have her here today!

1) How long have you been writing?

I was one of those kids who always wrote stories and then when I got older I got stuck into life and travelled about a bit and came back to writing later when I had kids of my own. I was very fortunate and sold the first book I submitted and that was six years ago this October. I’ve been writing about four books a year since then so it’s been very busy but just amazing.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I’m always dropping one! I do think finding balance is extremely hard for working mothers. I have four young children (ages 10, 8 and 6 year old twins) and a husband who travels a lot for work. So it can be pretty crazy. I thought once the twins started school I’d have so much time but it really hasn’t worked out that way at all! I don’t watch telly (though I do watch at least one film on DVD a week) and I don’t get out that much (except in chaffeur capacity)—I’m either mothering or writing. But I think writing is a great career that can work well with kids. It’s great to be able to be at home when they get home from school etc and I can fit my schedule around important events at school so I can be there for sports day or whatever. This year I finally got my own ‘space’ to write in—a gorgeous wooden shed in the garden. It’s so cute and smells so yummy and it’s all mine! It only took me five years of writing professionally to get my own office—but good things come to those who wait, right? And it’s so very fabulous. Check out the pics of it on my Facebook page! (TM – TWINS! Woot. I have 18 m/o twins -. It gets easier…right????)

3) What can you tell us about your release Dating and Other Dangers? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

I’d been chatting with my editor about what to write next and she was pushing for something really ‘current’ and ‘modern’. She also wanted fun. After the call, I had a glass of wine—drowning my sorrows because she’d said no to another idea I’d had (that I’ve since forgotten!) and I needed to come up with something else quick. I was tinkering around on the Internet. I’m always keeping an eye on the papers and checking out what people are doing online because I think social media is a really interesting thing and is definitely current. I think forums and communities online can be amazing—and terrifying. And I’d read about the dating reputation websites. This idea really nagged at me. What if I had a heroine who ran an online community (with the very best of intentions) and then had a hero who gets bashed on it—unjustifiably in his opinion? What would he do? What would she, if he appeared and challenged her on it? What happens when the anonymity of the online persona is taken away?
 I thought it was the perfect set-up for a real ‘battle of the sexes’ story—taking my inspiration from some of those fabulous 1940s movies with fast-paced banter and smart talk.
Then the rest of it came in a rush and it was so much fun to write and my editor loved it. So did readers! I’ve had some fabulous reviews for it – for example, Romance Novel News said this: “Dating and Other Dangers” is a fantastic contemporary romance. It is sexy and very flirty. Its hero and heroine are so very human – flawed, but good at heart. The romance pulled at my heartstrings, and the happily ever after delighted. This is an example of what category romance should be.”

4) What’s it like, getting to be published with Harlequin Presents? (HP’s my personal crack.) Dish, dish, dish!

Being a Mills & Boon/Harlequin author rocks, it really does!!! Twenty books on I still pinch myself. You wouldn’t believe the excitement of holding your book in your hands and with Harlequin you get the most amazing translations as well—Russian, Greek, Latvian… and I’ve had some books turned into Manga as well which is just the coolest thing ever, ever, ever 😉
I love the classic romance stories—all that passion and those hot alpha guys! My stories have more of a lighter, flirt-sauce with them, with a bit of a modern twist and from next year they’ll be out in the new KISS imprint and no longer within the Presents line-up—it is an exciting development to have our new home J (TM – Awesome. Can I be you when I grow up?)

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre (or beyond the HP subset of contemporary romances), and if yes, what to and when?

I love writing city-based, contemporary, sexy romances and do think that’s a natural fit for me but I have been working on some other projects as well. I’ve had a couple of novellas out with Entangled Publishing (FLIRTING TO WIN, three novellas in one anthology is available now!) and I’ve got a paranormal project on the go. I’m also working on some stories that are a little hotter and edgier for the digital-only market. And, would you believe, I’m also tinkering with a humorous middle grade book! It is so different from what I usually write—but it is for my kids J

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet and sour – I think you always need some sugar with your vinegar and some vinegar with your sugar, right?!

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Oh this one is tricky! I love both a LOT but I think I’m going to have to choose by the scent—so I’m going with vanilla. I got a whiff of the most gorgeous caramel vanilla candle the other day, it was divine. I love using those sticky vanilla pods in cooking and seeing all the seeds. Never use imitation vanilla. Never ever. The real thing is so rich and decadent!

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Nadia Keenan’s first date Do’s and Don’ts:
  1. Do boost your confidence by looking hot
  2. Don’t put out until at lease date two
  3. If the man is trouble (however sexy!) do report all on www.WomanBWarned.com
After being trashed on Nadia’s website, serial dater-and-dumper Ethan Rush is about to put Nadia’s rules to the test. He’s determined to change her mind about him. She’s determined to prove him for the cad he is.

Let the battle of the dates begin…


Fabulous having her here, isn’t it? Thank you so, so, so very much, Natalie! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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