Print Release for Love’s Intensity – July 11, 2020

I am pleased to announce that the long-awaited print version for Love’s Intensity will be available for purchase on July 11th via Amazon. What a long haul this has been! There have been many requests for this format, and I look forward to autographing lots of copies for my readers. I appreciate everyone who will be leaving reviews for that story.

Upon its release, I will be turning my attention to the prequel and sequel of this YA paranormal romance. I hope to introduce to you the early days when Nina first met Bradford and continue the drama involving their children, Kressa and Brad.

Thanks again for your patience.

Print copy proof. Photo credit: Cassandra Ulrich.

Harnessing emotions from trauma in your writing

We are all currently living through a worldwide pandemic, the cause of all sorts of emotions. Sadness. Loneliness. Devastation. Grief. Contentment. Happiness. It’s often said that writers write what they know. Following this period in our lives, we writers will have much fodder to scribble about. But, how do we snatch the intensity of those feelings and express them in all their rawness?

Some folks journal. I don’t. Instead, I write scenes that relate to what I’m experiencing at the time, though not necessarily the exact same event. Many of my readers have said that the characters’ emotions spill off the page and affect them at a deep level. I think it’s because I’m at the height of those emotions when I write about them.

I wonder what my writing will be like in the near future.

Getting there

Under normal circumstances, working toward a goal can be challenging. But the current time is anything but normal anywhere on planet Earth. So, pushing ahead despite the daily news on how to help myself and others remain healthy is like pulling bricks through mud sometimes.

I take a deep breath, away from others, and keep typing and working on the many stories floating around in my mind. There are three that have a good chance of making it to your devices or doorsteps later this year.

With the proofreading of Love’s Intensity done, I’ve begun copy editing on both digital and print versions. I recently received second edits of If It Kills Me from an editor, so I’m working through those. Second edits on Danny R.O.S.S. are complete, so I reached out to a graphic artist to work on the cover. I am extremely grateful this person agreed to work with me in the midst of everything crazy. As for the story I finished in December, it’s still with the Beta Reader. No worries since my hands are full with the other three stories in addition to adjusting to the changes over the past couple months.

Continuing to stay busy is helping to center me in the midst of turmoil. I take breaks to hang out with my family too. Sticking to a schedule is working for me right now. I pray you’re doing well too.

A “C” word

It’s probably not what you’re thinking. Everyday, we face “challenges” which sometimes turn our world upside down. Take “characters” for example. How do I bring them to life so that the reader will remember them long after the last sentence is read? Will the dialogue bring out their quirky personalities? Working through scenes take a certain type of “courage” to build up heart-pumping action. “Challenges” keep coming, but we press on, doing our best to use what we know to make the future stories better.

We’re two months in, so how’s it going?

Most of us start out the New Year with goals. The first month usually gets off to a great start. However, by month two, the momentum may begin to dwindle.

I’ve been diligently editing three manuscripts in the hopes of reprinting one or releasing the other two this year. So far, I’m on track, but keeping the pace has been met with a few challenges: pop up tasks, other responsibilities, and tough scenes.

I’m also determined to post something on both my sites each month in addition to social media. That’s quite an undertaking when writing isn’t my full-time job. Excitement is building, though, as each hour of work brings me closer to a finished product.

So, even if your goals have taken a downward turn, don’t give up. Perseverance is the key to achieving what we set out to accomplish. We got this!

Interview with Brad Natali of Love’s Intensity

Interview question from J.J.: Brad, why are you so arrogant? I want to smack you sometimes.

Brad’s response: Wow! <Brad chuckles> You really know how to hurt a guy and knock him down a few notches. Very direct, but I like direct. Hate secrets. So…wow! <Brad sighs>

If I’m going to be honest with myself, the short answer is I’m a mess. I didn’t start out that way. I remember being polite, waiting my turn, caring about others more than myself. However, when my mom got sick and died of cancer, I grew bitter. I spiraled when my dad remarried a woman I could never accept as my mom. She was mean and out for her own interests. So, I guess I figured I should look out for my own interests too. <Brad sighs again>

I surrounded myself with friends who thought like I did. I ignored my dad most of the time. I only listened sometimes because I loved my mom so much and that’s what she’d have wanted me to do. I want to change, though. Be more humble, but I need help.

Boy, that got deep real fast. Good question. Thanks for asking.

Happy New Year! It’s 2020.

The New Year means new goals and the hope that many things will be accomplished. I remember thinking the same at the beginning of 2019. Although I accomplished a bunch of things, my efforts were not without many challenges. See 2019 in Review for more details.

What are some of my goals? Finishing the editing of and releasing three stories in print. There may even be a fourth, but that depends on how things go with the first three. I also plan on entering a few contests like I did in 2019. Wish me good fortune.

Thanks so much for following my posts and reading my books. Don’t forget to leave book reviews online.

Writing in the Midst of Chaos

Many people have told me they’d like to write a memoir or a story but just can’t seem to find the time. They’ve either given up on the idea or figure they’ll get to it when they retire.

I didn’t want to wait. With the unpredictable nature of life, I decided to make the most of the time I do have. I ignored the famous writers who said not to bother if I can’t write everyday. Over the years, I read and wrote as much as I could even after a eight to nine hour day-job and two little ones at home. In ten years, I’ve released as many stories/poetry books into the world and have received excellent ratings for my efforts. I’m so glad I ignored the “can’t do” attitude swirling around my brain. And guess what? I still make time to have fun with people.

So, if you want to write, write. If you want to publish, search the internet for options. Seize the opportunities that come your way. We all have twenty-four hours in every day. What will you do with your time?

Writing over 1000 in a day.

Some authors write thousands of words every day. It’s their main job and source of income, and I applaud them for sticking with it. However, for me, after a brain-draining nine-hour day job, writing one-thousand words in a coherent scene is nothing short of amazing. As a result, this fingers-on-fire kind of thing doesn’t happen often.

On August 6th, I posted on FaceBook that I wrote 1,472 words for a Work in Progress (WIP) I call #ZnT. I’ve been merging files into a first draft for this WIP, but every once in a while, my brain comes up with new scenes to fit into some spot I haven’t gotten to yet. So, I type it into a file with some notes on where it should go in the plot. I’m happy to report that these 1,472 words have found a place in the draft. I’m determined and working really hard to finish this story by the end of 2019. And onward I go!

Visiting Schools are Fun!

During my “I’m Back!” and “What’s been happening so far in 2019?” posts, I mentioned two occasions when I visited and spoke to middle school students.

Back in April, I attended the USVI Literary Festival and Book Fair in St. Croix and spoke to students about self-publishing and life as an author with respect to inspiration and creating an entire story from my imagination. They enjoyed listening to a scene from one of my short stories and asked many questions from how do I research to how much time do I spend writing each day. The students listened intently and didn’t want the time to end.

In June, I participated in a Career Day where I spoke about the various skills and events that are a part of being an author. During my twenty minute time limit, I fit in a reading from another short story. After interacting with four sets of students, my voice needed a well-deserved rest.

I look forward to more events like these as I’m always eager to help the next generation of writers get started.