Interview with Natalie Kiest

What motivated you to become an indie author?
The freedom, and the challenge. I love being able to write topics and scenes that would otherwise be frowned upon by large publishers. It's a great feeling to say, yes, I wrote that novel. It's an even better feeling to say I wrote it, and did all the hard work to publish it. It's a matter of pride.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Experiencing the world through another point of view. Allowing the character to takeover, and think like they would or mimic their behavioral tics. It is a fun and some times annoying venture, and allows me to grow as a person.
What's the inspiration behind The Ravyn Series?
Ravyn, is my subconscious. She tries so hard to do good things with her evil nature, just so the darkness doesn't consume her. I try to do good things with the constant spinning of my mind, so it doesn't destroy me. Kara, is a representation of the unconditional love that we all seek. She is the selfishness that often occurs in a relationship. Ravyn needs her, she needs to be loved in order to keep some good in life.

The inspiration is inner conflict, and how it affects those closest to us. I love writing conflict! I love making readers cry, laugh, and cringe. When a writer can make people feel the sorrow and pain, it's the best feeling in the world.
What is your writing process?
It's weird. I write the last chapter first, then the first chapter. Next, I write an outline with the general plot points I know I need to get from the first chapter to the last. Then, I let the characters take over and tell the story. I don't write on a schedule, that makes it feel more like a forced job. My characters tend to talk to me when they are ready. I flip between 3-4 chapters and write who ever is talking.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on 5 projects. TRS book 3, Lost Souls, is my main concern right now. I'm really excited about it, and am putting tons of work into it. I also have a fun zombie novel, two novella's, an erotica, and a dark fantasy. I have to stay busy or my mind drives me crazy.
How do you approach cover design?
My approach in everything is to not follow the norm. For TRS, I wanted the cover to be as simple and captivating as possible. The simple and effective colors of red, black, and white speak volumes about the story. The illustrations are a reflection of the title. I will never put an illustration of a character on a book cover, ever. I think it ruins the vision of the character for the reader. I want the design to standout next to a traditionally published book cover. People are used to dark covers with a drawing giving away details in the book, so I try to do the exact opposite. I'm a bit defiant when it comes what the industry describes as "normal".
What do your fans mean to you?
Absolutely everything! Without fans there would be no reason to continue publishing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My cat and my muse. My cat is my alarm clock and is never happy when I don't wake up when she is ready to start the day. My muse, is a lovely young woman, who always reminds me to write. As an indie author/publisher my muse is incredibly important, for me at least. She understands that I crave the darkness of my mind and when it is pent up too long, I get very cranky. She inspires me to work, and talk about the ideas in my mind. She also encourages me to take breaks when I get frustrated, instead of forcing the words onto the page. Having someone who inspires creativity, while understanding and supporting the life of an indie author or any writer is an absolute blessing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to puzzle; jigsaw style. It allows me to focus on something and relax my mind. I also love to devour anything on Netflix, I'm on a huge Korean film kick at the moment. They are raw, and unforgiving. So yeah, basically anything that will take my focus away from overthinking my writing.
Do you think being a lesbian, and writing lesbian novels makes it more difficult to be recognized?
No, not at all. It is just like any other genre which limits its readers based on a genre. Readers enjoy certain genre's more than others, that is just life. Being an independent author makes it difficult to be recognized, not the genre. I include many themes in my writing, like religion, morals, death, and love. These tend to get more of a reaction than the lesbian genre. I write what I know, because writing is therapy for me. If someone has an issue with me being a lesbian or the content in my writing, so be it, that is their right to say this isn't for me. There are plenty of other novels to choose from that they can enjoy. I know my genre isn't for everyone. So no, getting recognized involves hard work, and luck in this business.
Published 2015-04-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.