Interview with Natalie Cline Bright

How long does it take to write a book?
Every book is different. Sometimes it takes several months to finish a book, and sometimes it takes many years. Since I like writing historical fiction, it seems that I can never do enough research. I am constantly checking and rechecking facts, and learning something new is a continual distraction which keeps me from the actual writing process. The research is as much fun as the writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
One of my writing quirks is that I love using family names for my characters. The fictional characters that are in my stories are nothing like the real live person whose name I've used. Our family genealogical records are a great resource for character names.
What is your writing process?
The strangest thing about my writing process is that I don't really have one. I can't seem to settle into a routine that makes me more productive. Every book is different. I wrote the story about Silver Belle and Jeremiah in HANGIN' DAY over several years during my lunch breaks. My kids were in intermediate and Jr. High, plus all the practices and activities that go along with that age, so I usually worked on edits while waiting in my car. One thing that has changed in the past few years, is that I do not worry about writing the book in order, such as Chapter 1, then Chapter 2, etc. Instead, I have learned to not questions the muse and write the scene that has been occupying space in my head or waking me up at night. Whether it's the WIP or something entirely new, those are the scenes that I'm able to dig deep, and write with more emotion and imagery. The scene is so much more vivid in my head. Scrivener makes it so easy to put the manuscript in order later. The perfect writing day for me would be early morning writing time with no interruptions in a completely silent office. That rarely happens.
If you didn't write, what would you do for work?
If I had not chosen to be a full-time writer, I would still be using every spare second as a volunteer editor of several club newsletters, and sending articles out to various venues. I'm certain that I'd still be blogging about cowboys, Texas history, and life in the Texas Panhandle. I'd be working at the same day job as an office manger. Instead of majoring in history or English, my father suggested that I take more business classes in college. Looking back now, how could he have possibly known about the opportunities for Indie Authors in today's publishing world? Those business finance, marketing, and accounting classes, and my B.B.A. has served me well as an Indie Author.
What did you give up to be a full-time author?
In order to have more time to write, I gave up several of my hobbies. I used to cross-stitch and I enjoyed scrapbooking. I really miss those marathon events on Saturdays with other scrapbooking enthusiasts. I also gave up watching television in the evenings. A successful author told me to identify three times every day that could be spent writing. What are you willing to give up? How bad do you want to finish that book?
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Stop doubting yourself and the stories that are inside you head. Your writing will improve with every draft and new idea, if you stay at it. Keep writing. Fill notebook after notebook with your ideas, and NEVER think for a minute that you will be able to recall it later. Always have pen and paper with you. You will learn how to make the story better. People in this industry are very generous and giving of their knowledge, and you will meet people that help you.
What are you working on next?
The adventures of a young mule skinner and his greatest enemy, a Comanche brave, become blood brothers in a frontier adventure for young adults. The first book in the series, WOLF'S WAR, introduces the unlikely pair of friends as they battle against a group of outlaws who leave them for dead. As I am now working on edits for Book 1 in this new series, their continuing adventures for Book 2 are knocking around in my head. As for the TROUBLE IN TEXAS series, of course there will be more adventures with Silver Belle and Jeremiah. In Book 2, The Great Train Caper, Belle and Jeremiah infiltrate a gang of train robbers. In Book 3, Murder in the Morning, the friends save Sheriff Luther from a murderous ambush. Stay tuned for more Wild West adventures. For the nonfiction RESCUE ANIMALS Series, I'm excited about two early readers coming this year featuring the true stories of two very special rescue horses named Flash and Taz.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Stories set in the Wild West with horse and buggy and tough, determined people have always held my interest. American history and westward expansion are my favorite subjects. After trying the traditional publishing route for many years, I realized that the stories I write are probably not marketable to a world wide, mainstream audience. How can a group of mystery solving frontier kids ever compete again teen assassins in an apocalyptic world? They're all great books I think, but the stories inside my head choose me. I was inspired by other authors of the same genre to write what I love and to work harder at finding readers who love the same things. Becoming an Indie Author will allow me to write the kinds of stories that I love.
Published 2017-03-25.
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Books by This Author

Maggie's Betrayal
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 26,180. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
A gripping novella of family betrayal, deep despair, and finding the strength to follow your heart.
Hangin' Day
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 27,880. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / United States / 19th Century, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Set in 1887 Texas frontier, two kids try to save their teacher who is wrongly accused of stealing a horse. The results are hilarious and the town of Justice will never be the same.