Interview with Natalie Rivener

Published 2015-03-12.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is a very cathartic experience. It allows you to take your own experiences and use them to create something greater and more inspiring. It gives you the chance to look at all of it from a different angle and sometimes provides you with greater insights into your own life.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a short story for Flight of the Phoenix, a fantasy/science fiction/horror anthology I will be publishing with a group of South African writers in July 2015.
How do you approach cover design?
As a fantasy author, I often find that contemporary cover designs involving photos don't really bring across the atmosphere of a fantastical setting. This leaves me with digital manipulation (that I don't really have much experience with) and physically creating art that would appeal to my readers.
Lucky for me, I am not entirely ungifted in the latter. And, until I finally have the chance to learn more about digital manipulation, I'm going to have to keep sketching and painting as I go.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I take care of my daughter (she turned two this January), teach pole dancing classes, catch a TV show or two with my hubby and try to catch up with my giant reading list (which is over 100 books long).
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Mmm...the very first story I ever read on my own was an illustrated book about a haunted house. Coming to think of it, I was rather unimpressed. My first grade teacher had brought me a few books to read while I was in bed with chickenpox and that was the first one in the pile. Even at seven years of age, I really expected a lot more substance from a story than what that ten pager gave me. Hahaha. Can you tell I have high standards for the books I read?
Who are your favorite authors?
Ooo, tough one. I have a lot of favourite authors and I can never decide who really belongs at the very top of my list.

Jim Butcher
Melanie Rawn
Ann McCaffrey
David Eddings
Terry Goodkind
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Garth Nix
JK Rowling
JRR Tolkien
Terry Brooks
Dalene Mathee
Terry Prachett
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Though I've read the series only twice (I am actually currently reading it again), I must say that Mr Butcher has influenced my writing the most by far. There's just something about the way that the characters also flop some of their plans and the way that the bad stuff sticks (when you make a bad deal with a dark fairy, the deal doesn't just suddenly stays just as bad as it was when you made it) that makes me cheer this author on. Heck, these books have made me want to go see Chicago with my own eyes.

The Ruins of Ambrai by Melanie Rawn
I read this book every test series and every exam from the day I bought it. It's 900 plus pages of everything I want from a slightly feminist fantasy. I have lost count of the times I've read this story...and I actually have had two copies (the first one fell apart).

Dragonsong by Ann McCaffrey
This book speaks so deeply to me that, even though I've read it at least thirteen times, I am still captivated by it every time I crack it open. I suffer with Menolly, I discover with Menolly, I triumph with Menolly. Even my mother, who doesn't enjoy fantasy and science fiction at all, enjoyed this book.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This magical book took me on a much-needed holiday from the harsh settings created by the likes of George Martin. The beautiful journey opened my eyes to what prose can be. I will definitely add this book to my reread pile. And when I say reread, I mean in the order of ten to twelve times.

The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks
This was the very first fantasy book I ever read. I've reread it at least eleven times and I still love it. It's simple. It's pure. It's really just what a novice fantasy reader needs to spark a lifelong love for the genre.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
KINDLE!!! Best gift my husband ever bought me!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh dear, yes. I was twelve. It was a five-page Hardy Boys fan fiction. I shudder to think about what twelve-year-old me would have come up with. Luckily, the oldest piece of writing I still have is an abomination I started writing when I was fourteen.
Describe your desk
There's a 12-inch pile of papers, notebooks, files and other stationary to my left (I just found my Kindle in there). I've got a picture of my husband giving me a mischievous smile and another of me and my daughter right in front of me and I can just see my plush Kuroneko-sama peaking out from between my two computer screens.

Home sweet home :D
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I want to show the world what I've got and I am not waiting for a horde of publishers and agents to keep me on a line or for the world to give me a break. If there's one thing I've learnt in life, it's that there is no magical fairy out there that will make things happen for you. You are your very own magical fairy. It's up to you to claim your dream.
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Books by This Author

Snake for Argannon: A Scroll of Yrthull's End
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,940. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
When Prince Zehnnar’s elder brother, Remnarez, returns badly hurt from a sortie against their greedy northern neighbours, Zehnnar has to step up as the next in line for the Arganian throne. Problem is, he’s never held a sword or attended a council meeting in his life, but his brother will never let him live it down if he doesn’t at least try.
The Gravic Exacerbation
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,020. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
It is a day like any other when the ripples of two greater castings shake the grounds of the University of Yithnisia. No one pays it much heed...except for Corvic, arguably the most hated person at the University. It is now up to him to convince everyone of the mortal danger they have landed themselves in. But...will they listen?
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,030. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Adventure » Action
The Myrrh of Yrthull are dying but, if they can fill Birr Rhellor's prophecy, they will be freed of their doom. A small group of warriors now head out on this quest and ahead of them lies the fearsome Serpent Storm. Will they be able to cross this deadly barrier and return to fulfill they prophecy?
Storm Volume I
Series: Storm. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 68,660. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
STORM is an anthology of short stories around a common theme - a storm. Volume I is a mix of fantasy, science fiction and dystopian stories where people's lives are influenced by the occurrence of a storm, physical, moral or magical. Set in worlds apart from our own, authors of the Pretoria Writers' Group give life to characters who may not seem so far away from us after all.
The Mystic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,810. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
In the magical realm of the fairies, EL Tianne, queen of the fairies, is watching the sand of a young adept's life running out. The young man is about to die in the storm of his own power tearing him apart. Only one can be sent to save him. Only one has the power to bring him back alive. But the Mystic is late. He might not make it in time.