Thursday, March 15, 2012

From Reader to Writer in three not-so-easy steps!

For several years before I even formulated an idea for my first book, I was reviewing books. Being a voracious reader since I was a child, reviewing seemed like the natural choice for me.

When I was still in school, my teacher assigned us students to choose three books each semester and write a few paragraphs about them. This was my first taste of book reviewing! While I was reading and reviewing Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon, my teacher came to me and said, You really should be reading the classics.

To me, Sheldon and Robbins were the Masters.

Book reviewing is an art that requires a special skill set. Book reviewing sites are professionally run, and most require interested applicants to audition. Book reviewers know how a book is put together, they understand the elements of plot, setting, scene, and point of view. They look for flow, for consistency, and most of all, they know how to remain neutral.

So if a book reviewer understands the mechanics of how a good book is put together, can they become writers themselves? Maybe.

About a year ago, I decided to make the leap into writing. First and foremost, I stopped reviewing contemporary and paranormal romance (the genres I was interested in). I did this by my own choice. I now review mostly mystery and inspirational romance.

I already had my idea for a contemporary romance, and I signed up for an intensive six month course in the art of novel writing. This past summer, I sold my first novel, Change of Address, which is now available at Secret Cravings Publishing. Within a few weeks of my sale, I was offered a contract for my short paranormal, Antique Charming, which is now available at Books To Go Now. Back To You followed, which is now available from Bradley Publishing.

I have made successful leaps from avid reader, to reviewer, to finally, writer. But everyone’s journey is individual. Not all reviewers will become writers, not all writers review. When people ask me, how did you know you wanted to review? How did you know you wanted to write? I tell them my truth. For me, it was a burn inside of me that would not let up until I started reviewing, until I started writing. Each reader, reviewer, and writer must follow her own path to personal satisfaction.


Change of Address
by Natalie-Nicole Bates


Saved from a traumatic past and successful in her present as a home care nurse, Josselyn Adler’s dream of home ownership in the idyllic town of Unity are dashed to pieces when Dr Ben Parnell, a cancer specialist, shows up on her doorstep claiming to be the rightful owner of the house—and Ben has a will to prove it! To Josselyn, the house represents a new start in her life. With a stable home, hopefully a much wanted family wouldn’t be far behind.

After a near career-ending allegation is made, Ben has returned home to lick his wounds. But now he must prove Josselyn’s claim to be a fake, that she used her position as a live-in nurse to his sick father to ingratiate herself into his good graces. But as he gets to know her, he can tell by her shy, often standoffish behavior, that Josselyn is a woman who has been deeply hurt in her past. Although he is attracted to the dark haired beauty that has invaded his life, he is still suspicious of her true motives and her past involvement with his father.

EXCERPT

When she arrived at the foot of the stairs, the front door rattled. Fear, cold and stark, rose up in her throat and choked her as she heard the lock snap and watched, rooted to the floor, the creaky old door jiggle in its frame. The anticipation mingled with fright, produced a potent, sick feeling churning inside her like the bad horror movie she’d recently viewed on late-night cable television.

After what seemed an eternity, the door flung open. The first thought entering her brain was a ghost had entered her home. A younger, blonder visage of Morgan stood in the threshold. Before she could utter his name, a second, more coherent thought followed; a ghost wouldn’t use a key.

The man in the doorway took one step inside and stopped abruptly, clenched his jaw, and stared. The familiar stranger invading her new home could only be one person.

“My goodness, you’re Ben! You’re Morgan’s son!” she exclaimed.

“Well, we know who I am. Now who the hell are you, and why are you trespassing in my house?”

“Your house?” she asked with disbelief. “This is my home. Morgan gave it to me!”

“I don’t know who you are, lady, but I suggest you get a move on it. I’ll give you five minutes before I call the police.” He pointed to his platinum-cased wristwatch for emphasis.

“Don’t bother waiting.” She reached into her handbag and removed her cell phone. With shaking fingers, she punched in 911.

The line connected after the second ring. “911, what is your emergency?” asked the female dispatcher.

“My name is Josselyn Adler. I’m the new owner of 22 Little Pine Road. A man has let himself into my home and is now threatening me.” Although she was quaking on the inside, she strove to keep her voice and demeanor strong and confident.

“I have an officer on the way, Ms. Adler. Would you like to stay on the line with me until he arrives?” she offered.

“No, thank you. I’ll be fine,” she assured her.

As she disconnected her phone, Ben’s gaze burned into her. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of showing any fear. While growing up, she had dealt with her share of tormentors. One forty-year-old, blond-haired bully was not going to intimidate her or drive her from a home that was rightfully hers.

“Very nice performance,” he said snidely.

“Excuse me?” She furrowed her brow and made eye contact. Ben Parnell had his father’s glacial, blue eyes.

“Any moment one of Unity’s finest will be arriving to play knight in shining armor and save the poor maiden from the big, bad wolf.”

Before she could utter a word in reply, a black patrol car came to a screeching halt on the street. An officer threw open the car door and made long, quick strides to the house. His uniform and Unity Police Department baseball cap matched the color of his car.

A lump formed in her throat. As she was growing up, a police car in front of the house and an officer at the door meant her father was in some sort of trouble yet again.

“Good evening, Miss. I’m Officer Smith.” He looked to Ben. “It’s certainly been a long time since you’ve been around, Ben.” Not waiting for an answer from him, he turned his attention back to Josselyn. “What seems to be the problem tonight?”

He knew Ben by his first name. They looked to be about the same age, and in this small town, it was likely they knew each other growing up. Although Officer Smith seemed friendly enough, would he side with the hometown boy rather than with the stranger girl?

“This is my house. Morgan Parnell left it to me in his will. Now he...” She paused and pointed at Ben. “He thinks it’s his house.”

“I have a will, too,” Ben loudly interrupted. “And mine is legitimate!”

His deep voice vibrated through her, causing her head to ache. Flustered, she pulled an envelope from her handbag. Morgan’s attorney gave to her a copy of the will a few days earlier. She handed it to Officer Smith. To her dismay, Ben also produced a document from a briefcase.

This is very bad.

She hoped Ben had been bluffing.

_________________________

Natalie-Nicole Bates
Website

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for allowing me to guest post at your fantastic blog! I very much appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete