SB: Hi Nat! *mwah* *mwah* You know the drill…describe the shoes you are currently wearing and what you love about them.
NGO: Right now I’m wearing a pair of Clark’s flip-flops that I keep by my bedside. They’re the shoes my feet slip in every morning when I get out of bed :). I love them because they are so soft and comfy…and also because they’re this lovely blue color and made of a material that sparkles in the light.
SB: Cute! So, when and why did you begin writing?
NGO: I started quite early, in middle school. I loved essay writing and creating stories. In high school I started writing poetry and then short stories. Writing always made me feel good, complete.
SB: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
NGO: I think it was when I first saw my work in print. When I was 18, I published some articles in college newspapers, then some of my poetry was chosen for a print anthology. It was the best feeling ever – deep down I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but it would be a long time before I took that inner voice seriously.
SB: What inspired you to write your first book?
NGO: My love of romance novels. I wanted to write stories that left readers feeling happy.
SB: How did you come up with the title?
NGO: Not sure I had a specific strategy for thinking up a title. It just popped into my head, lol.
SB: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
NGO: With SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR, I want readers to understand that even in the darkest of moments there is still hope. Life is never over until we say it’s over. And it always helps if there’s a hot guy in the room, lol.
SB: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
NGO: As far as location goes, yes. The story is set in my native Malta and the places I mention and describe are real, such as the hero’s store, the farmhouse, the forest. The characters are just a mish-mash of people I know and characters of my imagination.
SB: What books have most influenced your life most?
NGO: The classics – Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, Oliver Twist, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, etc. These, and a slew of Barbara Cartland novels, lol.
SB: What book are you reading now?
NGO: The Seduction of Miss Fairbourne by Madeline Hunter.
SB: What inspires you as a writer?
NGO: Anything and everything can be a source of inspiration – an anecdote, something someone tells me, a picture, a story, a historical tit-bit.
SB: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Fifteen years ago, one fateful day bound the lives of two perfect strangers…
Melita Saari-Quinn is living the consequences of a traumatizing psychic event that turned her adolescence upside down. Now, disillusioned with her job as a psychotherapist and desiring a change from her lackluster existence, she hopes that something out of her ordinary sphere of existence – something totally uninhibited and spontaneous – will renew her zest for life.
Alex Moncado seems to have it all – good looks, a successful business, and a fun life in “party central” of the Mediterranean: the island of Malta. Except for one day in the year when he can’t help but remember a tragedy that never should have been. One day he’d rather forget, because if he doesn’t, the guilt will consume him.
Can one passionate night together banish the ghosts of the past and give two lost souls a second chance?
Only Fate can tell…
Read an excerpt, as well as what readers are saying about this story at http://www.nataliegowens.com/p/something-to-live-for.html
SB: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
NGO: Plotting the story, especially if it’s a big novel. I’ve just finished my first one and realized how much I tend to over-complicate things sometimes. It drives me up the wall, lol.
SB: Do you ever experience writers block? How do you overcome it?
NGO: Yes, there are times when I sit down to write and nothing comes. My solution: write through it, even if it’s gibberish.
SB: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
NGO: This is one question I cannot answer. There are too many…
SB: I agree! I always have a hard time with that one. I love the cover – who designed it? Were you involved in the process?
NGO: My bestie Zee Monodee who, I feel, did an outstanding job. I gave her an idea of what I wanted and she did the rest.
SB: Oh, Zee! She is wonderful. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
NGO: From any book I write I learn all over again that discipline is always the key.
SB: Do you have any advice for other writers?
NGO: Write the best book you can. Even then, not everyone’s going to like it, but that’s fine. Go back to the drawing board and write another – again, the best book you can. Forget money, forget how you’re going to sell it. Just write the book – a good book. It’s all you can do.
SB: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
NGO: I hope that my books give them the satisfaction they seek as they go through the pages. If I manage that, I’ve done my job.
Thanks for having me here, Sandra! It is such a pleasure for me.
Thanks for joining me on ALL THINGS GIRL today, Natalie.
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