Wednesday 1 November 2017

Interview With Author Nathalie M.L. Römer

Today I have an interview for you dear readers, with author Nathalie M.L. Römer, who chats about her writing and her fantasy books. Enjoy!

Interview With Nathalie M.L. Römer

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Hi, my name is Nathalie M.L. Römer, and I'm a author living in Sweden. I primarily write fantasy, science fiction and mystery but recent developments on the front on "coming up with new stories" means I've decided to embrace other genres as well, some of which will start being published in 2018. I own my own publishing company, and I've embarked on building an additional career as a book cover designer too now (I was already artistic long before I even wrote). I sold my first design recently so I feel really pumped up about this venture now. My career as a professional writer started in November 2014 when an inspirational short story made me want to make it into a long meaningful book...It became a series instead. I guess I had way too much story tucked away in my mind for just one book. When I'm not writing, or the little bit of designing, I play computer games (mostly World of Warcraft which was the direct inspiration for my book series The Wolf Riders of Keldarra), I'm an accomplished cook, I love to watch a good movie, and I like doing crafts.

How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

My writing career started in November 2014, and I've published nine books to date. It was only by chance that I decided to start writing but I've never looked back and I'm loving every day of my life because of the choices made.

Of all the books you've written, do you have a favourite?

To date I love The Wolf Riders of Keldarra. In the world building I've created such an expansive world that I just couldn't leave it at the seven books planned for this series. I will be writing other books in the future set in the same universe. It would be announced on my Facebook page what books are planned of course. I can reveal that the first book in the series is available free of charge on  November 1st and 2nd, 2017, so to start discovering this world you can go here on those days: The Wolf Riders of Keldarra

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

Marrida is my favourite character as she is a reflection of me. Like me she is vulnerable, compassionate and kind. Like me she loves mysteries. She cares about the people around her which will be seen in Book 2: Second Elder of Ruh'nar. I love writing characters with a depth of character, where their personality is uncovered bit by bit. A real person consists of many layers of personality so a character in a story should too. Readers will uncover Marrida's characteristics and personality as they read more of the story, and in a way that also introduces them to me too. She's not a carbon copy of me but she does have similarities to me so writing is one way that allows me to let people into my life a little bit.

You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?

So far I've written epic fantasy, science fiction and mystery, and of the three it's epic fantasy that sways me as favourite. In 2014 when I started writing I had been playing World of Warcraft for almost seven years. I had seen a living, breathing fantasy world by playing, so to me it was easy to do the world building for a world of my own creation. This DOESN'T mean I don't like other genres though. I've been introduced to amazing stories by connecting to other authors in this journey, and that opened my eyes to the possibilities of what other genres could offer. I've got a long list of ideas that I'm going to put on paper as a story. In the end it may be that my favourite genre will shift, but only time will tell in which direction.

Who is your intended readership?

I decided to answer this question because the idea of an intended readership for a book intrigues me. I'd say I like people to approach my stories with an open mind. I know my prose isn't the best (I'm far from being another J.K. Rowling or James Patterson in that respect), but I do attempt to deliver a story that will intrigue a reader. A review for my first book reads as follows: "I completed the book and did enjoy it enough to get book 2 which was even better. It lead me to get book 3 which some parts were heart warming. I can't wait till I get book 4. If you pick up the books If you give them a chance, I think you will enjoy them as much as I did."

I would guess by this reaction I'm doing something right with the story telling. I just hope more and more readers will agree with this reviewer.

What did you find most challenging about writing your book?

I kind of answered it in the last question. It's the writing down the words that worry me. I constantly ask myself: Does this make sense? Is it interesting enough for a reader? Am I putting in too much info dump here? Is the grammar right? For me grammar is the biggest challenge as originally I'm Dutch and never really unlearned the Dutch grammar rules, even after using English as my native language for over 25 years. But I guess that's why I have my amazing professional editor Alison Jack to edit these mistakes away for me. As I don't have a daytime job other than my writing there's been a lack of income so paying for the editing is a challenge. So far she's done my first novel as a professional edit, and is almost done with the second. I would want to REMIND every person who may read this that work to improve my books is an organic process. If you purchase book NOW and find it not so good, please give me the chance to have it edited to be better. Income from my books would help here, and the more sales I get the fast ALL my books are professionally edited. I guess I'm learning from my editor how to be a better writer though as she's said she's seen improvements the second book being edited. It will mean that it gets easier to write a better book next time as I'm the sort of person who wants to learn from my mistakes.

Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book?

That there a lot more involved in the process. Before I started writing I did have a vague idea of what it took to be an author, but what you learn from interviews with authors on tv and the reality are two different matters. I'd say the writing is the tip of the iceberg. The other 95% is what makes the writing process complete, most notably publicity and marketing.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

I'd say that the best thing is to DO your research and find a good, reliable editor even before you start on your first book if you want to be an author. A good editor is expensive (don't bother with Fiverr in this respect!!!). While you write, ask other authors for recommendations. Check them out. While you write, save up for the cost of editing. I found Alison (my editor) in the directory of vetter partner members of Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) that I'm a member of. Because of that the process of "checking them out" was done partly for me, though I still asked her questions about her work to see if I could work with her. A good editor doesn't rewrite your work, they improve the delivery of the technical part of writing. Make sure you have all the spell checking done, and gone through the writing at least once to spot issues, then let the editor DO his or her work. That's what they're there for. They are are the second pear of eyes to spot errors. --- See what I did there? Did you spot the deliberate mistakes made in that sentence? Now you see why the editor is so good for YOU!!!

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

My next project is going to be my first urban fantasy novel. I've done a fair bit of research into the typical "clichés" and tropes and I hope that when the book is written I've pushed the reader far away from both. Okay, I'll drop some hints of upcoming work. A fairytale, a book set in an alternate historic setting, a humorous book about an iconic creature, a space opera, and last but not least a book I'm looking forward to reading which ties in with the series The Wolf Riders of Keldarra that is called "Mountain Ghost". In my series my readers will be familiar with who she is. She's the wolf of the first person to ride a wolf, but long before there were any Wolf Riders. The book is set in a time of almost three thousand years before my current series when riding a wolf would mean the difference between continued slavery or the defeat of those enslaving it, when the defeat of that enemy would be the beginning of the land now known as Keldarra. I look forward to bringing all these books to life.

For more on Nathalie and her books check out these sites:

And don't forget The Wolf Riders of Keldarra is free November 1st and 2nd.

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