Q&A with Natalie

Q: Natalie, what inspired you to write the Second Kiss trilogy?

A: Second Kiss began as a fun writing exercise. I decided to write about embarrassing moments I experienced throughout my life and tweak them just enough to make them fiction. A new level of embarrassment came when the book was actually published and people involved in these moments were reading about them!

Q: Which events in Gemma's life actually happened to you?

A: This is a little hard to admit, but here we go:

  • I accidently took a picture of my crush's leg in English class.

  • I went to the wrong locker right next to my crush and after several attempts to open it, he was the one who let me know I was at the wrong locker.

  • My friends told my crush that I liked him and told him to ask me to dance the last dance if he liked me back.

  • I really was invited by the cool girl in German class to do a video with her and her friends that had practically nothing to do with Germany whatsoever and the teacher really did love it.

  • The cool girl really did become one of my very best friends.

  • She really did decide to have a fake birthday party at my house while my parents were out of town and twenty or more people really came (including my crush) and my parents found out and I got in big trouble. (Totally not her fault though.)

  • My dad really did get cancer which ultimately took his life. And I really do feel him helping me when I need him.

  • I really did have a huge crush on a super cute, intelligent, popular guy just like Jess and he really did fall in love with me despite all my idiosyncrasies. And we really did get married.

Q: What's your favorite part about writing?

A: Being able to create my own movies in my head. I get to have the characters do and say whatever I want them to. But sometimes they fight me on that and ultimately they'll do and say what they want.

Q: What's your biggest challenge in writing?

A: Writing several thousand words and realizing they've been leading me down the wrong path. I've been known to delete dozens and dozens of pages in an effort to get on the right track again. Writing has created in me a belief that these stories in my head already exist somewhere in the atmosphere; I'm just trying to find them and put them down on paper.

Q: What type of music do you like and did any of it inspire you books?

Music is a huge part of my life and many of the scenes from my books develop in my brain when I'm listening to a good song. Dashboard Confessionals' "Don't Wait" heavily influenced Second Kiss (ages me a bit, doesn't it?) Gary Lightbody was in my head a lot when writing Second to No One and Jon Bellion's "Good Things Fall Apart" is pretty much Jake Jonathon's ballad to Gemma in Last Second