28 October 2013

Caged, Caffeinated, and Kick-Ass: Amber Lynn Natusch

By now, it is probably very late at night, and you have stayed up to read this book when you should have gone to sleep. If this is the case, then I commend you for falling into my trap. It is a writer's greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others.

Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry...
~ Brandon Sanderson

In October, I am writing about all things autumnal: from art to spooky books, author interviews, recipes, and autumn-inspired writing prompts AND participating in the Two Pages-a-Day writing challenge.

mber Lynn Natusch’s bio in Caged gives you a hint of the wild ride that awaits you between the covers:

At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word “rectum” (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband).

That, plus the fact that she uses smileys as much as I do, made these interview answers the funniest one I've read yet.

Image Credit: Amber Lynn Natusch

Caged was the first paranormal urban fantasy I picked up and thank God and hairy werewolves that it was my introduction to the genre.  The story was engaging, masterfully told, tightly written, and kept me up late into the night.  I read the entire series (that was published at the time) in less than two weeks. 

Five books in ten days.

Not because it was scary (although there was a little of that), or sexy (although there was just the right amount of that!).   I devoured the Caged series because I believed in the world she had created.   

And in the characters who lived there.

Image Credit: Amber Lynn Natusch
Amber’s characters are very much alive.  They rise out of the pages like Frankenstein’s monster, only with better dancing and communication skills.  And if you follow her on Facebook, you know that Amber’s characters talk to her, tell her their story.  She just writes it down.  And we are all grateful for her keen hearing and love of caffeine.

Even if we hate her the morning after a good read.

Why do you write?
Because the voices in my head are too loud to ignore. ;)

Name two mentors who influenced your writing.
Karen Marie Moning
Patricia Briggs

Name 5 writers you recommend (any genre)
Amy Bartol
Karen Marie Moning
Susan Ee
Richelle Mead
James Patterson (the early Cross series novels)

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Sleep. It's highly underrated and impossible to get with a newborn around.

Describe your writing process.  
Chaotic, nonsensical, never linear, and poorly timed.

What does your writing space look like?
A hot ass mess.

Your series, Caged, is a paranormal romance about werewolves. Why were you drawn to this genre?
I love the surreal, the paranormal, and all things that go bump in the night. There's something alluring about inserting supernatural characters into a natural world and seeing what happens as a result. Urban Fantasy is my cup of tea.

Your new book, Undertow, which comes out October 30, is NOT paranormal.  What inspired the story about an Alaskan of Norwegian descent?
I'm mildly obsessed with the Discovery Channel's “Deadliest Catch” show. I started having a recurring dream after season two or three, and it just wouldn't let me be. I eventually broke down and wrote what I had seen (after three years of torment), and Undertow was born.

Which character is most like you?
If we're talking about a character from ANY of my books, it would be Ruby from CAGED, though I maintain that my judgment is FAR superior to hers.

Give 2-3 pieces of advice for writers.

Write what you see.
Write it when you can.
Surround yourself with a team whose opinions you trust, but don't sell out your vision to appease anyone. Your name goes on that novel when it's done. If you can't stand behind it, don't publish it.

Favorite Doctor?
My favorite doctor would be my husband :) He's pretty dreamy.

Image Credit: Amber Lynn Natusch
It pains me to say this, but the last question, Jeremy Brett or Benedict Cumberbatch? wasn’t answered because it was treated as part of the Doctor question ~ which is just appalling to this Cumberbabe.  But since Amber is one of my favorite authors, I’ll forgive her for not being as obsessed with Sherlock as  the rest of us.  She’s busy writing the next installment of Ruby, Sean, and Cooper’s story. 

Now there’s a question I should have asked: if Caged were made into a movie or a TV series, which actors would you pick to play them?

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Tomorrow, catch my review of Undertow, which comes out on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo this Wednesday, October 30.

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