I hope you’re having a great week! Mine’s been hectic but good! Still trying to catch up on posts here and on the youtubes, so please bare with me a little longer as I get some of this TO DO’s list TO DONE! This one is something I’ve been wanting to share with you guys over a month, already!
I recently got to interview author Natalie Corbett Sampson! Natalie’s new book Game Plan was recently released by FierceInk Press!
I hope you enjoy the interview!
What inspired you to write your first book, and what was it? Tell us about it.
Game Plan is my first published book. The strongest driving force to write it were the characters – Ella, Charlie and Ben but I initially didn’t have anything for them to do. Opposite them I had my own adoption experience that I had blogged through and wanted to tell. I realized I could pair the two ideas to build a worthwhile story. Once I put them together the story came pretty quickly. The linear timeline made it pretty easy to tell – just start at the beginning and tell through the end. The real work was moving deeper into the story to make sure the characters were real, the emotions worthwhile.
What genre do you usually write? Do you see yourself venturing into others?
I’m terribly confused by the whole genre thing. I like a story, I tell a story and somehow it’ll fall into a genre. Game Plan wasn’t written as a YA novel, but when it was done it seemed that Ella’s story was the strongest and leant well to being a YA novel. That said, many adults have enjoyed it as well. My second story takes place in the future but only because I needed an obstacle or a problem for the characters to solve – I think the story could have just as easily been structured as a historical fiction novel. The story and characters are paramount – for me the genre becomes part of the problem solving.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Impossible question – I can’t pick one! I love character-based stories with emotion and realism. I like long books that let me get to know the characters. Wally Lamb and Phillipa Gregory are both good at that. I like history too, and love to learn the facts through fictional representation. For me a good book, by any author, is one that I can read easily but think about later. I don’t like trudging through a book, and I don’t like it when I can leave a book behind without learning or thinking of anything new from reading it.
It’s got to be exciting getting published! What was that journey like for you? Was there a lot of rejection, etc?
I was terribly lucky –Game Plan was picked up on my first submission. That only terrifies me for the future though! For me, the biggest struggle with publication was taking a very private, personal product and giving it to other people for them to judge. I did so at a workshop in Banff, with beta readers and with editors. It’s easy to say “Not everyone will love it” but it’s much harder to realize the truth or reality of that. That’s the rejection I felt this time – even, or maybe especially, when the feedback was constructive and accurate. I was fortunate that the editors and publishers I worked with were very good at providing constructive suggestions in open dialogue. It made Game Plan a much much better book!
So tell us about your book! What’s it about, where’d the idea for it come from?
Game Plan is about a teenage pregnancy and adoption story, told from both sides of the adoption over the course of a year before the baby is born. My husband and I adopted our youngest child when she was two and a half. The adoption in Game Plan is totally different and yet there are incidents and truths that happen in many adoptions so I was able to write some of the experiences we had into the story. The teen characters were very real to me and I wanted to tell a story of friendship, love and loss, sport and finding oneself. Often those things are found through crisis, and the pregnancy seemed to be a good one to work with.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think there’s a message of being true to yourself, to finding out who you are and what you need in life. There are a few love stories – successful ones and toxic ones, learning how to discriminate between the two. The characters do a lot of growing up – I hope even the adults do – and there are always lessons to learn from that process.
What are you working on now / what’s next for you?
Ahhh, I wish I knew for sure! I’ve got a second book that I’m submitting to publishers. I hope it gets picked up because I really love that story. I have a third idea bouncing around in my brain. I get snippets and scenes popping into my head at odd times. I need to get back to my computer and write them down. I think that’s shaping up to be a worthwhile project once the craziness of the holiday season is done I’ll be able to devote more concentrated time to finding out how all those snippets fit together.
And because our readers would LOVE to know: What book are you READING right now?
Right now I’m reading We Are Water: A Novel by Wally Lamb. It’s beautiful.
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about Game Plan and for including me in your blog.
Thank YOU so much for taking the time to talk to us, Natalie!
If you would like to check out Natalie’s work:
Game Plan was released 2013-10-30. The synopsis says “Just because the play goes wrong, doesn’t mean you quit the game. Ella Parker seems to have everything: great friends, an awesome family and a star position on her high school basketball team. The only thing missing from her life is a boyfriend. That changes once she catches the eye of Sam Cleveland. With Sam by her side Ella has it all. When a drunken night results in an unwanted pregnancy, her perfect life is turned upside down and she’s faced with an impossible decision. Katherine Frayne has always wanted to be a mother. But with the last results of her in vitro fertilization pointing to no chance of a baby, her hopes are dashed. Then her husband Danny suggests they adopt. At first Kat is resistant, but she soon warms to the idea. Ella and Katherine must navigate their lives amidst tough decisions, the consequences of which not only affect them but those they love the most. “
Better yet, how would you like to WIN a copy?
Good luck, have a great week guys!