Home - Author's Avenue - Interview with Natasha Blackthorne Oct 2011
Interview for Natasha Blackthorne
Posted October 6th 2011
Interviewed by Barb
Natasha Blackthorne has always been a bit of a day dreamer, especially
when it came to romance and love. She has a B.A in history and married her real life hero (lucky girl).
Natasha never stopped dreaming and soon those dreams
demanded to be heard. And what better way than to combine her dreams with her love of history. So her dreams took flight and became erotic Historical Romances from the Georgian and Regency Eras, set in both England and America.
Natasha heroines are both strong and shy with desires and needs that will not be denied. These women are the driving force in her stories plots. And the men are about to find out what a women really is. But don’t worry they get over their shock and soon begin to see the benefits can be quite pleasant…snicker! It’s the journey getting there that holds all the fun.
Welcome Natasha to Risqué Reviews! We’re here to talk about her new release Grey’s Lady, but I am also interested in finding out about the person as well as the author.
So let’s begin there shall we…
1. How difficult is it to separate the author form the person?
I am not sure how to take that question. I write about all kinds of people
and situations that do not reflect on my life or my mindsets. Many times they
think and behave in ways I never would. I write about people living in
circumstances and time periods that have nothing to do with my daily life. I am not sure I can be found in my writing, but my writing consumes me. It consumes me, fascinates me, tests me endlessly and will not let me go but it does not define me. I don’t think I can necessarily be found in my writing but my writing is interwoven in me.
2. What did you do before becoming a writer?
I don’t really look at my life as being “at this point I became a Writer.” I
was a writer for years before I took it seriously and started learning to write
for publication. Even when I was a child, my mind showed me stories and I felt internal pressure to capture these stories in some fashion and record them. I
drew pictures before I could write. When I learned how to write, I started
putting stories into prose in a little notebook. This really wasn’t something my
adult authority figures valued and I felt pressure to hide it. It was sort of a
forbidden thing after a time. This whole aspect delayed me seeing writing as
something I could take seriously.
3. What other creative outlets do you have besides writing?
I enjoyed making my book trailers. LOL, I’ll leave it up to others to say if
the results are worthy or not. But I am not really good with crafts and things
like that. I admire people who are creative with their hands, people who can sew or draw or do woodworking.
4. What was the driving force behind Grey’s Lady?
The inspiration for Grey’s Lady came after I had read deeply about the era.
Philadelphia in this time is the Athens of America. It is a city filled with
beautiful houses hidden behind garden walls and bricked sidewalks lined with shade trees. It is also a city known for its elegant ladies. It is a
sophisticated city, very different in mood from the commercial New York City and the still quite Puritan Boston.
At the same time, the New England merchants and their world appealed to me. I was fascinated by the stories of the men who earned their fortunes at sea
privateering and then spawned the legacies that would create our rising national commerce.
In a quiet moment, Grey, the hero, “showed” me the story through his
perspective. He was staring out the bookseller’s windows at the rain and the
gray sky. He made eye contact with Beth, the heroine and in that moment she
touched him deeply with her sadness that mirrored his own feelings that he was disconnected from.
So the idea came to me, through the character of Grey, to have one of these
staid, business-minded merchants from the north come and fall in love with one of these beautiful, beguiling women from the lower class in Philadelphia. And through Grey, I saw Beth. I saw first that moment in the booksellers when he first saw her. And then little by little I saw why she did what she did.
As the story opens, Philadelphia was holding its collective breath. President
Madison had signed the Embargo Act and set America on ninety-day countdown to war with Great Britain. This is springtime in the year 1812 and Grey Sexton, a merchant prince from New York, has come to Philadelphia to gather investors for his privateering voyages. Because of the depredations of both the French and the British, especially with the upcoming war and the current embargo, privateering, and shared risk of investors, became even more attractive. Besides, it was the patriotic thing to do.
All business, Grey lives his life free from emotional attachments and drama.
He is in total control of his personal world and likes it that way.
But he’s about to be broad-sided by a force he cannot control.
To her family, Beth is a respectable young unmarried woman who works hard to help her older half-brother, Charlie, and her half-sister, Ruth, run their shop.
But her family would never dream that she has a secret life as a temptress who
seduces wealthy, powerful men for the thrill of it. In this era, women from the
Lower Sort sometimes gave sexual favors to gentleman from the Better Sort in
exchange for monetary gains. A sort freelance prostitution when they needed to
make some extra money. Even “nice” women might find themselves in the position of temporary mistress when their financial situation called for it. But they would do what they had to do and keep it secret and protect their good
But for Beth it’s not about money. She wants to prove to herself that even
though she’s poor and lacks social position, she can attract and enchant
powerful, dynamic gentlemen. There are deep, painful reasons why she’s driven to do this and that’s something the sequel to Grey’s Lady, White Lace and Promises goes into in deeper detail. And yes, it’s risky behavior; if she were
caught there would be terrible consequences. This is a time of duels and
fighting over matters of honor. A man like her brother, who is poor but proud,
would have little else but his honor and being protective of his family to feel
good about. Beth knows this but the excitement and challenge of the hunt is
something she uses to cover over a deeper need that she cannot admit to herself.
She loves her family and does not want to shame them. So she tricks herself into believing if she follows certain rules—only meet a gentleman once and always leave them burning for more--she won’t get caught.
Yet Grey’s appeal is too strong. Beth can’t help herself. She breaks her own
rule and meets with him a second time. My story began to develop with an
unconventional, seductive heroine and a different sort of Cinderella story at
its core. I enjoy the themes of self-protection, surrender and rescue and I
enjoyed exploring them in this story. As often is asked in these types of
stories, who really rescues who? Can deep sexual intimacy they share work a
miracle and lead to the opening of their hearts?
The sequel to Grey’s Lady is titled White Lace and Promises and is scheduled
for release Dec 26, 2011. I offer your reader’s a sneak peek at the lovely
cover art that the Total-e-Bound Art Department designed for it: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-URVWcQJsCw0/TnlSz0MbhhI/AAAAAAAAALk/QTW5kcdFmks/s330/WhiteLaceandPromises_800.jpg
5. How do you decide on what qualities you give your hero?
My characters come to me as whole people, fully dimensional images and
profiles. It is up to me then to decide if I can use that character in a
6. Writers paint with words, but smell/scent also plays an important
factor in books, why do you think that is?
If a writer is painting with words, then the words would also be used to
describe the scents the character experiences just the same. Fiction writing is
not exactly like a painting. I think fiction writing should get right into the
head of the character and describe their direct experience. In my opinion, for
those moments described in the prose fiction writing is not just showing a
picture of a life. It is living a life.
7. Do prefer books where the problem is plot and external to the
relationship or where the character has a “hang up”?
For a Romance, I think it is best when the conflicts come from differences
between the hero and heroine that come from their past conditioning and
experiences. External antogonistic forces are good when used to apply pressure
to already existing conflict between the hero and heroine. But for some other
genres, I think conflict based more on external forces can work fine.
8. Are there any guiding factors involved when you are writing a love
Just the individual characters and the story. When drafting a scene, I think
if I were to impose my will and guidance on the scene, it would come out
clunkier than if I just watch and let it unfold. But polishing a scene
afterwards is different.
9. What do you think is sexier an implied love scene or the actual scene
from the first kiss to the grand finale?
I write graphic erotic romance. I find graphic erotic romance interesting and
sexy. But I also read many different genres and subgenres. As a reader, I enjoy
a good inspirational Romance where the brush of a hand carries all the sexual
tension. It just depends on what suits the story and the characters well. I
really don’t think in rigid terms of what is sexier than something else. Sexy is
like beauty, it comes in many different variations. To compare an implied love
scene to a erotic love scene would be like comparing a snowflake to a rainbow.
Who can say which is more beautiful or sexy? It depends on the story and the
scene and how the writer crafts it.
10. How do you get into the head of your characters when writing a sex
I just let the flimstrip roll. Being in the character’s heads is the only way
I can see what happens. They show it to me.
11. How do you keep the sex fresh? How do you keep it from feeling
repetitive from story to story?
Each story has different circumstances and/or different characters. If the
sexual scenes are growing out of the character’s interactions and the needs of
the circumstances, I think this keeps things fresh.
12. When you completed your novels do you breathe a sigh of relief, or
do you feel sad the experience has ended?
Mostly I am sad. The emotions from the story will haunt me for a while
afterwards; the scenes will play out in my dreams.
13. Have you ever had one of those profound “AH-HA!” moments while you were writing? Would you be willing to share it?
I get those all the time when I am rough drafting. The basis for Grey’s Lady
came to me like that.
14. Have you ever thought of venturing out to different avenues/genres
with your writing?
I might someday write women’s historical fiction.
15. I’ve often wondered when I read about authors that say, I write only
from 8-2, or whatever. How is that so? When a scene is going so well, would you be able to just stop and say “ok time to cook dinner” and walk away?
I don’t follow a rigid schedule. I look at my writing day more from a scene
approach. I write what I see in a story at that point. If see a scene, I write
until it is done. The only thing I have had to impose discipline on myself is
the issue with breaks when really into a scene or, more commonly, a group of
related scenes. When I have a scene pressing on me to be put into text, I force
myself to take breaks. And a break means laying down and closing my eyes and letting my mind float free. LOL, it doesn’t mean doing housework or talking on phone or chatting on IM.
I used to have a real problem with breaking or being disturbed when writing a
scene. But now it gets easier and easier to break and come back and get into the scene. I actually do some of my most productive writing when my husband is home.
Ok last question...
It’s been a long week of writing, editing and coming up with new
ideas. Now the weekend is here and you can actually relax, how would you spend the next 24 hours? One restriction, you’re unable to pick up a book...
I’ll be writing some portion of this weekend. I write everyday. From my
perspective, writing really isn’t like a 9-5 job that can be put aside and there
just aren’t days off. If the muse calls, I better answer. That’s just the way it
is. My mind is always working on stories, always running scenes through, always taking in information. I have internal goals I need to meet this year and there’s so much reading that goes along with writing that if I spent a whole day without reading anything, I’d fall behind. And it’s just not good for my processes for me to skip days without writing or at least thinking about
But I will also spend time with my husband, listen to music. I spend most of
my day surrounded by music. I like Old School R&B, New Wave, Soft Rock from 70 & 80s, 90s jazz-funk/dance, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, disco and funk, oldies from the 40s-60s, Baroque and Classical, Reggae, Folk, Blue Grass, old style country and western. Mostly when it comes to music I like it all it just depends on my mood.
I don’t watch much TV, but do I enjoy watching period movies on Netflix,
British Comedies or series like Dark Shadows, Twin Peaks or original series Star
Trek. I like all genres of emotional, character-driven movies. I have been into
a real Film Noir phase lately. I am currently watching the series Mad Men and loving it.
Well that brings us to the end of our interview with Natasha Blackthorne. I
want to thank Natasha for letting us into her world and taking the time to let us do this interview with her.
If you’d like to leave any comments you can go to our questions and comments section or you visit us at our blog Reviewer Extraordinaire where this interview will also be posted on.
You can find out more information about Natasha Blackthorne go to her blog @ http://natashablackthorne.blogspot.com/