It is my pleasure to bring to you this author who is a member of the RAVE WRITER’S INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA)
Let’s see what Natalie has to share with us today.
- How long have you been writing?
Writing is my passion and my saving grace, as I discovered in 2014. In January 2014, at the age of 39, I embraced the stillness and, without judgement or fear, listened to my soul. I really listened. The truth is … I was tired. The sheer weight of the compilation of my heart’s journey was about to break me. The vast remnants of loss, sorrow, and regret suddenly chose to show their presence after I thought I had nestled them away in a place where they could no longer touch me. I felt everything with such acuity, it was as if I stepped back in time. My mind knew I couldn’t dwell there, but my heart was so eager to stay. So, I began to write. It was my saving grace; as the words flowed so did my healing.
- How many books have you authored? Please give us up to 3 titles?
In February 2015, I published my first book of poetry The Heart’s Journey Home. It is a collection of poems that capture the essence of the fragility and the resiliency of our hearts – the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.
- Do you have a writing schedule?
Ideas come to me during the day, but it’s usually late in the evening, when the day settles, that the words flow and poems emerge. I think finding what works for you and then committing to writing every day is key for all writers. Quite simply, writers must write.
- If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?
I would love to spend a day with Maya Angelou. Her soulful spirit and fierce determination to defy the odds has inspired me deeply. She left a profound legacy as an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist.
She said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” In my late 30’s, the profound truth of her words resonated deep within and gave rise to my writing journey. She was a remarkable woman, indeed.
- As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I aspire to be a writer of poetry that truly resonates with people around the world. With a BA in Psychology, I have had the privilege of working in the counselling field for approximately 15 years. Through my work and personal journey, I have witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. I strongly believe that we are connected by similar and relatable experiences, and through my poetry I try to capture the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.
It is my goal to publish two more books of poetry, and through my words continue to offer some measure of hope and solace to others.
- What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?
I joined Rave Reviews Book Club in August 2015 and can honestly say, as an author, it has been the best decision I have ever made. After publishing my book of poetry, I quickly learned that writing was the easy part, connecting it to readers was something entirely different. But I love a challenge and love learning new things, so I developed a Facebook page, then entered the world of Twitter. That is when everything changed: I discovered RRBC. RRBC is not like any other book club; it truly is a community of authors supporting authors.
The talent within the club is extraordinary and the level of peer support is undeniably inspiring. By observing and engaging with fellow members, I learned how to effectively use social media (particularly Twitter). The truth is, I rarely promote my book on Twitter because the incredibly supportive RRBC members do shout-outs all the time. In return, I promote fellow members and just love it! This is the kind of support fostered in the community of RRBC.
- Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?
Mae Clair is an extraordinarily gifted writer. After reading Eclipse Lake, I became an instant fan of her writing style. I’ve since read two more books and can honestly say I see bestseller headlines in her future. In addition to her talent, her support for fellow authors is tremendous and inspiring. Without hesitation, I can say she should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members.
- If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?
If my book wasn’t polished to perfection I simply would not release it into the world. As writers, I believe it’s our duty to honour the craft of writing. Producing poor quality work to meet a deadline is a disservice to the craft, the industry as a whole, and most definitely the readers who expect and deserve a product they can ultimately enjoy.
- In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”
My experience and connection with every book differs for various reasons. The books that I’ll never part with are those that ultimately transformed me. The writing is brilliant, eloquent, poignant and commands and earns my attention. For example, To Kill a Mocking Bird is my favourite book because of the brilliant, eloquent writing first, the plot second. These are books that I take my time reading and ingest every word. I’m not in a hurry to finish them.
Then, there are other books that I simply can’t put down because the author has masterfully captivated me with a story that is plot driven with well-developed characters.
I would define both types as great books, they just affect me differently.
- If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?
This is something I would never dismiss. It would be a shame to do so.
It’s our duty to produce polished work; but, we are human, editors are human, and mistakes may get by a thorough screening process. Regardless, we can always make necessary changes/edits after publication. To dismiss a comment that addresses editing issues would be a shame and, consequently, stain our work and reputation in the industry.
What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?
“We can’t do it alone.”
One piece of advice that I’d like to share with those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers is to join a supportive writing community, such as Rave Reviews Book Club or any writing group or club that offers support, engagement, and guidance. We can’t do it alone. Writing is such a solitary process that we need to connect with others, to interact, engage, exchange ideas and learn from each other.
As I said before, joining Rave Reviews Book Club was the best decision I have ever made as a writer. But here’s the key piece: you have to interact and engage.
The talent within RRBC is extraordinary and the level of peer support is undeniably inspiring. By observing and engaging with fellow members, I learned how to effectively use social media and discovered the wonderful world of blogging. I’m ecstatic to say I host fellow authors on my blog now. There is a strong community framework within the world of blogging. It’s all a learning process, but a fun one. A lot of what I’ve learned is directly linked to my interaction with fellow writers. I immersed myself into the wealth of knowledge that exists within RRBC. I believe, wholeheartedly, that I’m learning from the best, and I’m elated to say so.
I’ve met so many talented authors and have the privilege of reading and reviewing their work. It continues to be a remarkable journey of learning, friendship, and gratitude.
If you’re not a member already, I highly recommend joining. It’s not like any other book club; it truly is a community of authors supporting authors. But if RRBC isn’t for you, find another writing support group, a place for interaction and learning. Please don’t try to do it alone.
Book and Contact links…
The Heart’s Journey Home https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZO1KJDI/
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/myheartspoetry/
Twitter https://twitter.com/NatalieDucey @NatalieDucey