Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Go Crazy with Guest Bloger Natalie Dae!

Win a Copy of His Beautiful Wench and meet guest author Natalie Dae today at the Book Boost!

Ever wonder what it is like to be a writer? Here what Natalie had to say about it...

I’ve noticed, especially over the past year, since writing became a full-time job, that I talk to myself more than usual. I spend five days a week alone, my children at school and Hubby at work, and love the time I get to write in peace. However, as my characters gabble away in my head, I’m more distracted by them than ever before and tend to…do odd things. As well as talking to myself, trying to remind myself why I’m standing at the bottom of the stairs, and what I wanted to go up there for, I’ve been making bizarre drinks. I made a tea and coffee combo, having made the tea then added coffee because I’d left my characters having a cup of java themselves and was thinking where to take the scene next. I’ve put gravy in my cup instead of coffee. I’ve put cheese in the oven instead of the fridge, milk in the sink (!!!), and a whole toilet roll down the toilet.

Soon, I fear the men in white coats will come my way, but for now, I’m just about hanging on to my sanity and pretending everything is hunky dory. Why admit you’re nuts until you absolutely have to, eh? I’m not alone in this weird behaviour. Thousands of other writers suffer with the same thing. Countless people who drift through their days with their minds half in reality and half in the world they’ve created on the page. You might notice them as the people who wander aimlessly through your town centre, glazed eyes staring at the ground, bumping into every poor so-and-so who happens to be in their path. Or the people on the train, who gaze out the window, miss their stop by several stations, and end up muttering to themselves that they should pay more attention. Or the people in Starbucks, laptops open on the table in front of them, either staring blankly at the empty Word document or bashing the keys so hard blood splashes from their fingertips.

This is a mad profession, one not to be entered lightly if you value your sanity and how you smell. Yes, many authors forego washing in order to get those words down, staying in their pyjamas all day or, even if they do get dressed, some stay up and pull an all-nighter, remaining in the clothes they wore that day. Only until they smell decidedly ripe do they realise they’ve been at their desks for 32 hours straight. Of course, there are authors out there who are very disciplined and get dressed every day, eat at the proper times, and actually live a life outside of their books.

Um, how do they do that? Please tell me!

I envisage myself in twenty years still writing, still in my pyjamas, and still standing at the bottom of the stairs from time to time. I’ve also gone to our cupboard under the stairs—used for hanging coats and keeping shoes in one place—and expected to find the sandwich I’d made earlier. Of course, the lack of a light, glass shelves, and the complete absence of food alerted me to the fact that I was supposed to be standing at the fridge, but there you go. My body drifts from place to place in the house, thinking it knows where I need to go, while my mind entertains my characters, who have completely taken over my life lately.

I think about them while out walking, while I’m in the bath, while I’m falling asleep. And sometimes I’ve been known to mutter a very rude curse word, telling them impolitely to go away. It gets too much at times, but this is a small price to pay for the freedom I feel when writing. In my “cave”, I can make things happen that I can’t in real life, ensuring my characters have a happy-ever-after and a beaming smile once they come out the other side of whatever it is I’ve put them through beforehand. I can create forever sunny skies, beautiful locations, lovely people—and some not so lovely villains—and walk away when the book is complete, thankful that at least a few of the people in my head have been heard and have stopped nattering. But then new ones come, and the process starts all over again.

Would I change a thing? No. Well, maybe the memory loss and doing odd things, because Lord knows what I’ll do next while my mind is elsewhere. But I wouldn’t have any other job than the one I have now. I’m happy with my solitude, my worlds, and my people, and all I can hope is that I make my readers happy too.

A Note from the Book Boost: You know, the definition of insanity is repeating the same task over and over again and still expecting different results. So, if this is true then all writers must be truly insane. We write, rewrite, submit, re-submit, get rejections and more rejections and we just keep coming back for more. And let's not even talk about those voices that live in our heads! Great post and please share more of your book with us. Thanks!


Drawn to the attic in her new home, Amelia finds a saucy nineteenth-century wench dress. At first glance, it’s just a dress, but once she dons it, desire streaks through her and she’s transported to the past. Overwhelmed by lust, she is caught pleasuring herself, discovered by the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen, who turns out to be—her lover?

Amelia and Emmet join in an explosive sexual union, erasing the months—or is it centuries?—they have been apart as though they never existed. But suddenly Amelia awakes—alone.

Until the dress calls again.

Emmett’s not the only one lusting after Amelia. Lord Graham wants her and he doesn’t fight fair. He kidnaps her, sends Emmett on a deadly errand and forces Amelia to participate in his voyeuristic games. Although Amelia’s body betrays her, she vows to remain true to Emmett, but will he return? And can she escape the clutches of Lord Graham’s debauchery? Amidst subterfuge, treachery and murder, Amelia and Emmet’s love grows and they reach new heights of carnal passions.


Dear God, who could that be? The hammering continued. Amelia opened her eyes and stared around the empty attic. Sunlight streamed through the dirty windowpanes and she squinted. Her dry mouth ached for water. Had she been drinking last night? And why the hell was she on the attic floor again? The previous night’s dream and the happenings of the evening before crashed into her mind. She’d come up here to hide from a man. Did he wait downstairs now?

Had he let her sleep, bided his time until she woke? But… Nothing made sense. Was he real? He couldn’t be, surely. And why was the Madam in her dream a woman she knew in this life as Matilda? Was Amelia subconsciously bringing the woman into her dreams because she was the only friendly face she’d encountered since moving to Turner’s Point?

“I’m about ready for the nuthouse,” she muttered. Standing, she looked down at herself.

“Naked again. Now there’s a surprise.”

The knocking came again. Her heart sped and she glanced around for her clothes, remembering she’d come up here naked. The wench dress lay in a heap on the floor. She stooped to pick it up and shoved it on. Another set of raps filtered to her and she sidled over to the window, standing to the side so she could peer out undetected.

A blond man stood in front of her door. His gray suit looked expensive and a white shirt and black tie completed his business attire. Shiny black shoes peeked from beneath his trouser hems, leather if she wasn’t mistaken. He glanced up and she jerked back with a gasp. Who the fuck was he? Had he seen her? She’d hardly had time to take in his features so didn’t recognize him.

He knocked again.


Amelia raced down the two flights of stairs. At the front door she inhaled and exhaled to steady her panting breaths, hands clenched at her sides.

“Anyone home?” he called.

She jumped and a startled yelp flew from her mouth before she could stop it. Who the hell, apart from Matilda, would call on her without seeing if she was in first? The cottage was a long walk from town, and so out of the way a passing motorist was highly unlikely.

“Are you all right?” he asked, his voice muffled as though he’d pressed his lips to the doorframe.

“Yes, hang on.”

She unhooked the chain and opened the door. Her legs weakened and her mouth hung open.

The blond man from her dream stood on the doorstep, minus the scar.

Oh, for God’s sake! This just isn’t possible. Besides, Crowe is dead. Find out what he wants and get rid of him.

“Can I help you?” she asked, annoyed that his gaze raked her from head to toe and lingered on her chest. She lifted her hand to her cleavage in an attempt to hide it.

“Going to a fancy dress party?” he asked, one eyebrow quirked. He smiled and nodded at her chest, a stupid grin on his face that she wanted to slap away.


“The dress. Or do you like wearing old-fashioned clothes?”

Heat burned her cheeks. “Oh. It’s just something I like to sleep in.” She paused and stared at him. Unease crept into her mind along with images from her dream. Refusing to believe that his looks were anything but a coincidence, she asked, “What do you want?” And then a shocking thought hit her. What if he was the man who had been in her house? The man who had written in the sugar, thrown the dress, followed her up the attic stairs? What if he had come back, decided to try a different approach to getting inside her home? And what did he want anyway? It wasn’t like she owned anything worth stealing.

“I fancied a walk and popped by on the off chance you’d be in. I heard someone in town say you offer piano lessons.”

This man wanted lessons? She almost laughed but held it back. Relieved, she cleared her throat. “You would like lessons?”

“Indeed I would. May I come in?” He moved one foot over the threshold.

His forwardness annoyed her and she remained where she was. “Forgive me, but I don’t know you. To let you in my home would be a little foolish, don’t you think?” She gripped the door handle in one hand, the jamb in the other. “Do you have identification with you?”

He frowned and again reminded her of Crowe, although his jawline was less rigid, his dark eyes rounder. His hair was different, too, a short crop that stuck up in all directions, a far cry from Crowe’s oiled back locks. He reached inside his jacket and produced a business card.

Holding it out to her, he said, “I hope this will suffice. Of course, I have my driver’s license in my wallet if you’d like to see that too.” He rolled his eyes, letting her know that if she asked for it he’d think her a paranoid woman.

She took what he offered and looked at it. He was a lawyer named Leon Fields. “In this day and age, you can’t be too careful. I had an intruder last night.”

His eyes bugged and he pushed the door wide, grasping her elbow and propelling her inside.

“Are you all right? Would you like me to check the house?” He closed the door. “If he’s still here, he’ll regret the day he broke in, I can assure you!” His chest puffed out and his gaze darted around the room then down the hallway to the kitchen. “May I?”

Though indecisive, Amelia said, “Okay, but I’ll come with you.”

He nodded curtly and stalked down the hallway to the kitchen, stopping in the center of the room, his back to her. Amelia reached for her cell and hid it behind her back.

“No sign of the scoundrel here,” he said, hands on hips.

Scoundrel? Amelia nearly laughed. Who the fuck uses words like that these days?

He spun to face her as if he’d heard her thoughts and she blushed. Eyes narrowed, he stared at her and, uncomfortable under his scrutiny, she shuffled her weight from one foot to the other, feeling vulnerable and ludicrous in the wench dress.

“Upstairs. That’s where he’ll be!” He pointed to the ceiling and brushed past her, his gait purposeful and stiff.

“Umm, Mr. Fields. Wait!”

In the living room, he clasped the newel post and swung onto the bottom step. Peering over the banister, he said, “It may well be to your advantage if you remain down here.”

His words chilled her. She had the sense he referred to more than the possibility of them encountering someone upstairs. But why should they? He’d only said what countless others might say in the same situation. Pressing down her paranoia, she rushed through the living room.

“No, I’ll come with you.”

Christ, Amelia! How did you let yourself get into this mess?

Mr. Fields puffed out a breath and gave her a scathing glance before walking up the stairs. “As you wish…”

Her heart lurched and she followed him, fingers feeling for the button of her cell to switch it on. She coughed and stomped on each step to hide the tinkle of music that indicated the phone booting up. Mr. Fields appeared not to notice and once again swung himself around the newel post, heading directly for the attic door.

“Wouldn’t it be better to check the bedrooms and bathroom first?” she asked as she walked along the landing.

He waved a hand and grabbed the door handle. With his rigid back to her, she couldn’t see his expression to gauge his mood, but he seemed angry, impatient. Her stomach rolled and she cursed herself for allowing him inside.

She shuddered as a ripple of foreboding snuck up her spine to make the hairs on her neck stand up. “I seriously doubt you’ll find anything up there.”

“I won’t unless you’ve moved it.”

“What?” she said, unsure she’d heard him correctly.

“I won’t unless he’s hoofed it,” he said, spinning to smile tightly at her as he flung the door wide.

Fields took the steps two at a time and Amelia stood still for a few seconds, debating what to do. Should she follow him? Wouldn’t it put her in danger if he turned nasty? At least being down here she’d have a better chance of escape.

My car keys. Where did I leave them?

She mentally checked her bag, unable to remember if she’d put them in there or tossed them on the living room table. Panic surged up her windpipe and resulted in a low whimper. Her pulse pained her neck and she dithered, placing one foot on the first step. It creaked and she jumped back, knees weak and hands shaking. The attic door banged into the wall and she shrieked.

Want More Natalie?

Visit her website here: http://nataliedae.webs.com
Visit her blog here: www.nataliedae.blogspot.com

Pick up your own copy of her book today! Click here!

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Natalie and be entered to win a copy of His Beautiful Wench. Winner selected in about a week and posted in the Recent Winners box on the right hand side of the column. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize!


Tess MacKall said...

I do a lot of the same things as you well know, Natalie. So I guess it's just part of the territory. We're always in someone else's head besides our own. lol

Beautiful cover and the excerpt is amazing. Great book.

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

The book sounds awesome! I'd love to read it.

I envy you being able to write as a full-time job. Unfortunately, I have no one to share the bills with, so I have to do it alone. I wish I knew how to succeed in doing it with just my writing, royalties are so undependable.

If you are insane, then I fear there are a whole lot of others just like you out there, myself included!

Unknown said...

If you find a cure for wandering and wondering where you were going and what you were looking for, let me know! I'm guilty of doing that at least once a day.

Great excerpt. The book sounds awesome.

KarennaC said...

Amazing excerpt, Natalie!

I'm one of those weird authors who gets up every morning, showers, and gets dressed...then again my daughters would probably have stern words for me if I didn't. I have, however, been known to forget to eat, lose count of how many cups of coffee I've had to drink, and suddenly discover that four hours have passed even though I could swear it had only been 20 minutes.

Natalie Dae said...

It's got really bad lately, Tess. It's like they are real people in my head. SCARY!


Natalie Dae said...

I agree, Jules. Wouldn't big royalties just be the icing on the cake?

I love being insane hahahaha! Glad to know I'm not alone!


Natalie Dae said...

Hiya Amber,

I doubt I'll find a cure, love. It can only get worse...


Natalie Dae said...

Hey Karenna! Nice to see you.

God, those lost hours. I've done the same. Sat down at 9 to write, then found it's time to pick the little one up from school. I forget to eat, drink, wee, you name it. Gawd!


Lily Harlem said...

Oh my god! You sum it all up so brilliantly, Nat. That is me you just described - I do however get dressed each day I'm writing but the odd blends of clothing I inflict upon my family and pets are really something the fashion police should be hunting me down for. A friend just called round and I've been in the middle of a steamy chapter all day and barely paused like you say to eat,wee etc - she was 'so' glam just back from her posh office job and if you could have bottled the look I got (it was a mix of sympathy, curiosity, about to intervene for the sake of my reputation look) Bless her, she also came armed with an invite for wine at hers tomorrow eve so I can take a break fromn all those characters making out in my head - hee hee.


Natalie Dae said...

Oh, you poor love. I've felt like that many times. Really unfeminine in my jamas and my hair sticking up all over the place. FUNNY!