Hey everyone! Today, we’re joined by Natasha Boyd, author of All That Jazz and so many more, for a special Q&A! See what Natasha thinks about writing romantic comedies and overcoming writer’s block. Plus, we have an extra special giveaway for our UK readers… FOUR signed copies of All That Jazz, plus swag!!!
Interview with Natasha Boyd
You’ve written quite a few books! What themes do you try to include in each of them?
I never try per se, but I do find that most of my books have a few elements in common that I guess reflect my values. Those are that my heroines are independent, or struggling to be independent. They are strong in the ways that count, even if they have weak moments, or cry and get upset sometimes, at their core they are resilient and don’t stand for being pushed around. Their big struggle is usually how to rely on THEMSELVES, even while accepting (emotional) support from the man in their life. Sure they love champagne and first class as much as the next person, but these things don’t motivate them, they’re just perks.
You usually write contemporary romances. What made you decide to branch out into historical fiction with Indigo Girl?
It was never really a decision to branch out to another genre as much as I had heard of this story about a real life sixteen-year-old girl who had done something so extraordinary, and NO ONE HAD HEARD OF HER! So I had to write her story. Her story just happened to be historical and therefore I was writing historical fiction.
Many of your books are set in the southern United States. What made you choose this area particularly?
My husband is from an area of the Southern United States called the Lowcountry. Over the course of visiting there, and moving there for a short time, I just fell in love with it. It’s such a different part of the world. It feels magical to me. The air, the smells, the gnarly old oak trees, the architecture, the history. It inspired me.
What is your writing process? Do you have a schedule that you follow?
I am working on this. I try to have a daily word count (or weekly when my schedule with kids gets a bit hectic) and then fit everything else in around that. The muse doesn’t always show up, but I’d hate for her to show up and I wasn’t there lol.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I struggle with this. Writer’s block can manifest in so many ways and for so many reasons. If I’m in the flow of a book and it happens, I know it’s usually because I’m trying to make the story go a certain way, and my characters or the natural genesis of the situation just don’t lean that way. In these instances you just have to let the story tell itself, and then see if you can go back afterward to make sure it fits with your lot or if you have to adjust the plot. Other times, writer’s block happens to me because of massive psychological resistance (like fear of failure, or many times fear of success <~ that is legit). In these cases, I have to take a moment and go do something very different, and trick my brain into calming down and thinking about something else. Some people write through it, I find this hard.
You attended RARE18 this year, where we had the awesome opportunity to meet you. I also see from your blog that you attend a lot of similar reader events. What is your favourite part of attending this kind of gathering?
Meeting readers! Attending one of these events as a signing author after travel and hotels etc. is never about making money back on book sales. Book sales are great, it really helps and we always really appreciate when a reader wants a physical copy of your book signed. But getting to know our readers on a personal level is to me the most rewarding aspect. Sometimes we’ve met on facebook or through email and it’s just so wonderful to meet them in person and have a big hug!
On your website you’ve created curated playlists for many of your books, which is such a good idea! What made you start this?
Sometimes when I’m driving and listening to music, stories start unfolding in my head, and I start feeling the emotions of the characters. This means that more often than not I replay certain songs a lot during the process of the book. Those songs usually get curated to playlist on spotify so I can easily access them and then well, I guess they become the official playlist of the book! I’ve done this since my very first book.
Your newest book, An Accidental Tryst, just came out this year. It’s billed as a romantic comedy. How is the writing process different for romantic comedies to contemporary romance? Did any particular movies, other books, or specific events inspire you?
Romantic Comedy comes in all shapes and sizes. I don’t enjoy slapstick humor (straight comedy) in books, but I do enjoy the lighter comedic moments of life set against the backdrop of more serious stuff. It helps us appreciate them (the lighter moments) more.
One of my favorite romantic comedy writers and producers is Nora Ephron (RIP) she wrote such classics as When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. In the course of writing Accidental Tryst, when I realized my two main characters were going to fall in lust (and love) before ever really meeting in real life, I immediately noticed the parallels with You’ve Got Mail, and went and watched it again to see how she pulled it off. Keeping the chemistry and the heat level up between two people in separate states is no easy feat, but once I figured out their personalities it all seemed to work well.
The writing process is no different than for my other books, but I definitely tried not to sink too far into dark emotional back stories, (they’re there, I just don’t wallow in them too much). And as far as events — yes. Firstly, I have friends who are on dating apps right now and I can’t believe some of the stuff they’ve shared with me. People are f*cking weird. LOL. Certainly, finding a good guy on a dating app is nigh impossible. Kudos to those who have a success story! Secondly, the event that sparked the story idea was because I almost took someone else’s phone once off the charging station on my way to Dallas (they had the same teal colored case as mine). So of course, the idea really took shape then. If I’d been late for my flight and frazzled, I may not have noticed.
Final question, what books are you most looking forward to this year?
I was looking forward to another installment of The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole, and that released, I bought it and read it IMMEDIATELY. So now I wait for another. Bookworm problems … But mostly this year, I’m looking forward to my own release schedule all going as planned. I’m being slightly ambitious, but then I normally work best under some pressure 🙂
About the book
All that JazzAuthor: Natasha Boyd
Series: Butler Cove #3
Release date: March 22nd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository | Kobo | Audible
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There's something totally inconvenient about falling for your best friend's brother. Especially when he's turned into a pompous, arrogant, albeit annoyingly sexy a-hole that you'd like to punch or kiss to death at any given moment.
Jazz Fraser learned her lesson early on that men can't be trusted to stick around. First her father, and then her first love. Finally over her childhood infatuation with Joey Butler, her best friend's brother, she's looking forward to the end of college and fulfilling her dream of travelling the world. She's determined that experiences and relationships wil be fun, casual and easy. But when her best friend gets herself into a relationship with a celebrity, Jazz has to do the one thing she never thought she'd do, call Joey and ask for help.
Joey Butler is determined not to hold anyone back. Least of all his sister's best friend. And one thing he knows is that he's never been as attracted to someone as he is to Jazz Fraser. Even though she presses his buttons and drives him crazy. He just has to keep hiding it. He knows she deserves better than him. Her free gypsy spirit and her talent should be shared with the world, not be shackled to a small town guy. He saw firsthand what being married to his father did to his mother, and no matter how much he wants her, he'll never do that to Jazz.
Repeatedly thrown together, Jazz tries everything she can to protect her heart and not fall back in love with Joey. But when Joey finally admits that Jazz is the one he's always wanted, all bets are off.