Monday, March 29, 2010

Author Success Story: Natalie Whipple

This week I'm bringing in the big guns: People who've traveled down this long and winding road toward publication. Some of them already have book deals. Some have agents. Some have both. They've "made" it.

I want to spotlight someone each day this week to hopefully inspire you, provide a beam of hope along your way, and really prove that you CAN succeed in this crazy business. You CAN go from slush-pile-nothing to agented to published author. Yes, I'm looking at you. YOU.

But I'm not the only one on-board this positivity wagon. Join us this week for 75 (yes 75!) success stories! Then dream big. Go forth and query. Conquer.

Click here for more inspiration: Lisa and Laura Roecker, Beth Revis, Leah Clifford, Victoria Schwab, Kirsten Hubbard, Susan Adrian, Dawn Metcalf, Kim Harrington, Carrie Harris, Amy Holder, Kathy McCullough, Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins, Gretchen McNeil and Tiffany Schmidt.

I will be featured on Lisa and Laura Roecker's blog this Friday (and just so you know, I asked LiLa to do an interview and they had the idea to spread it across the Interwebz. They are genius personified. So yeah). Please go check out all the posts this week, because you never know who's going to say exactly what you need to hear to keep moving forward.


First up! The loverly Natalie Whipple.

RELAX I'M A NINJA in a tweet: Tosh--nerd/ninja--must figure out who's behind a string of murders and discovers he's more involved than he thought.

Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?

If I'm being honest, I feel like giving up almost every week lately. And I've almost given up probably about four hundred times in the past four or so years. The business is hard to get into. And slow moving. And sometimes you're just going to feel like banging your head against the wall is the better option.

Why don't I give up? The answer changes. Sometimes it's because I want this--I want it so bad it aches that I'm not quite there yet. Sometimes it's because I've already gotten this far [Elana interrupts to say that Natalie's agent is Nathan Bransford, so she has made it quite far], and it would be really lame to give up now. Sometimes it's just the fact that I'm freaking stubborn, and I refuse to let this beat me.

Whatever the reason is on a particular day, I grab onto it and don't let go.

What has been the hardest part of your road to publication so far? And why?

Not knowing where or when the road will "end," so to speak. The wondering, the waiting--that's what has been the most difficult trial through every stage. Is this the day my dreams will be reality? Or is it the day they'll be set back another six weeks?

You can only live in hypotheticals for so long before you start to lose it, before you begin to question everything you do as a writer. And at that point you have to find the inner strength to move forward. You have to make the choice to live as presently as possible, and be okay with things not happening when you hope they will.

What's your best advice to aspiring authors?

I would say not to be so hard on yourself. There are enough people out there waiting to tear you down, don't be one of them.

Super Secret: If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

Hmm, I'm so not good at picking. I want to meet too many people. Today I guess I'll say Tolkien, because he was a linguist and I majored in English linguistics. I'd love to take a class from him or something.

Find Natalie online:
Her blog, Between Fact and Fiction
Natalie tweets!

95 comments:

Carrie Harris said...

YAY, Natalie! What a perfect choice to start the week off with. Her book is sooooo fabulous, and she's such a sweet person. I'm inspired already. :)

Matthew Rush said...

Thanks Elana (and Natalie)!

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who struggles with giving up sometimes. Or rather: obviously I'm not the only one but it really helps to read specific examples of others who didn't give up, persevered, and made it.

Somewhere between Zen and determination lies the path to success. At least I hope it does.

Michelle McLean said...

wonderful interview :)

Crystal Cook said...

Great interview, I love the whole idea. Thanks for the inspiration Natalie and Elana. It's always what I need to hear :)

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Great interview! I have been inspired for the day(and I totally needed it). Thanks, Elana and Natalie!

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

What a great idea. We all need to hear encouragement from people who have "made" it. Congrats to Natalie!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Loved reading this - just what was needed on a Monday morning.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Natalie always has such a bright, positive look on things and is so honest. I love her blog.

Falen said...

woo hoo! What a fun interview!

Summer said...

Great interview! Natalie is one of my favorite bloggers. :-)

Christi Goddard said...

I love posts like this that lead to other writers for me to check out. I headed to Natalie's and read about 'dropping the 'f' bomb' in YA and immediately opened my WIP to see if I did it at all or too much. Phew. 6000 words, one 'f' bomb. :-)

Lisa said...

Great post! I struggle with wanting to give up all the time. And woot on having Nathan Bransford as an agent!

Christine Fonseca said...

great interview...and what a fun week!

Jess of All Trades said...

As usual, the right post at the right time. Thank you for all the work you put into the writing community. You are truly a generous, pay-it-forward person.

Slamdunk said...

Excellent idea for a series and helpful interview.

I like how Natalie emphasizes staying positive since there are so many others who will have negative things to say during the process.

Christina Lee said...

As usual ElenaJ GREAT IDEA!! Welcome Natalie and I wish you much success!!

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

What fun! A dose of healthy inspiration is just what the doctor ordered! I look forward to your guests! See ya at LiLa's on Fri woohoo!

Jennie Englund said...

So! Nathan Bransford DOES have real life clients.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing, both of you.

Elena said...

"I would say not to be so hard on yourself. There are enough people out there waiting to tear you down, don't be one of them."

Thank you!

Linda Kage said...

Awesome interview. I love that "never-give-up" mentality. I'm in awe.

Lydia Kang said...

Great interview! now must visit others...

~Jamie said...

Yaay Natalie! I love this because I already think she's such a ninja superstar anyway. :)

Don't give up woman, I know that six weeks feeling all too well!

Cassandra Frear said...

"If I'm being honest, I feel like giving up almost every week lately. And I've almost given up probably about four hundred times in the past four or so years."

Love this little tidbit. I feel like maybe I should frame the quote and hang it above my computer.

Liza said...

It's inspiring to read these posts. Congratulations Natalie and thank you Elana.

lbdiamond said...

Yay! So much excitement around here, it's hard not to feel it! Thanks for sharing!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Such a positive and inspiring interview! Thank you both!! :-)

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

I love Natalie's blog! I have been following her for awhile. Her art is beautiful & her sense of humor tops the charts.

Thanks for such wonderful insight enter her success and the other links.

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Patti said...

Great idea Elana.

Best line: You can only live in hypotheticals for so long before you start to lose it, before you begin to question everything you do as a writer.

I feel like that everyday.

Great interview.

Amanda J. said...

I love interviews. :) The funny thing is, I was just saying I'd like to do an interview with her because she's so cool haha, and now you've gone and done one! YAy for Natalie!!

Thanks for the inspiration, Elana! :D

Sara B. Larson said...

I can so relate to so many of her answers!! Having just (FINALLY!!) accepted an offer from an agent, I totally know what she means about wanting to quit 400 times. But I am so glad now that I didn't!!

And having Nathan for an agent is awesome, I'm sure she's going places!! :-)

Hardygirl said...

Totally inspiring. And honest.

Can't wait to read Natalie's book!

sf

Tara said...

Terrific idea, Elena! Thanks. And great interview :)

PJ Hoover said...

I love these interviews! And, of course, Tolkien rocks.

Kristi said...

Great interview and I love the positivity of the Pay It Forward premise. Elana, you're awesome!

Kristi said...

Great interview and I love the positivity of the Pay It Forward premise. Elana, you're awesome!

Talli Roland said...

What a great way to start the week. Thanks Natalie and Elana!

Sara Tribble said...

Awesome Interview! I am stoked about the rest to come! YAY! =D

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Thanks - I love it when you post "insider" stuff! It's grounding to know that your journey SO doesn't end when you snag an agent. Hope I have the intestinal fortitude for all of that waiting and not knowing when it's my turn. Ack!

Candyland said...

Great post:)

Crimey said...

Great interview! I'm always so excited by and motivated by success stories. Keep it up, Natalie and all my fellow writers striving for publication! :)

V. Roth said...

I LOVE this piece of advice: "There are enough people out there waiting to tear you down, don't be one of them." Really. I might write that on a notecard and stick it on my bulletin board.

Great interview!

HWPetty said...

My need to read about a nerdy ninja is OVERWHELMING.

I will now send out completely selfish publication vibes for Natalie!

(This is such a brilliant idea, Elana. Love it!)

VR Barkowski said...

Way to roll on a Monday, Natalie & Elana! Can't tell you how much I needed a boost of 'never give up' to get through this week. Terrific interview!

Amy Holder said...

Love this interview & the wonderful advice! Congrats on your success, Natalie!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

This is such a great idea and what an awesome interview. I can't wait to read all the interviews! They'll be just what I need as I struggle through these revisions, which are intense! Laura does not pull punches in her editorial letters!

Kirsten Hubbard said...

Great interview, Natalie -- love your book title!

And another thanks to Elana for managing this interview series. You are beyond amazing, girl.

Kimberly said...

Great post concept Elana! Thanks for the kick of motivation, it was muchly needed today.

Kayeleen said...

I love reading Natalie's blog. She's so inspiring, even when she's feeling down. Thanks for the post today!

Natalie Whipple said...

Thanks for including me, Elana! Can't wait for the rest of the week, since I happen to know you have an AWESOME line up:)

Solvang Sherrie said...

This quote is awesome -- There are enough people out there waiting to tear you down, don't be one of them. LOVE IT!

Abby Stevens said...

Aw, Natalie is the best. I didn't know she has a degree in linguistics! From time to time I think about going back for a master's in linguistics, but I'm having too much fun writing right now. :-)

Katie said...

fab interview! Thanks guys!!

Sarah said...

Elana, you rock! I'm loving reading all these fantastic interviews, and they're making my Monday.

Awesome interview!

Krispy said...

Author appreciation posts are a great idea! Good for insight and inspiration. Thanks!

foldingfields said...

Natalie's great, nice choice!

T. Anne said...

Love Natalie! What a fun series you have going Elana! Good luck to Natalie as she embarks on publication!!!! I'm rooting for you!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great week of posts Elana. What a great idea.
Natalie, your book sounds great. I cna't wait to read it. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who weekly or daily contemplates giving up.

Nicole said...

Great interview. I needed to get inspired. Now off to go work on WIP!

Shrinky said...

I am new in here, and found this extremely inspiring, so glad I called by!

Julie Musil said...

Great interview! Thank you

Alyssa said...

She's fun!

And what a great post to help us all keep plugging away!

L.T. Elliot said...

This is an incredible idea, Elana. Figures you'd take the awesome sauce up a notch. ;)

I loved what Natalie said, especially about living in the land of hypotheticals. I'm crossing all my fingers and toes for you, Natalie!

Kristan said...

Great interview! I love Natalie (here via her Twitter) and this interview just goes to show why. She's so honest and genuine. And a talented, imaginative writer to boot! Can't wait to buy her books. ;)

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks, Elana! Natalie's blog is one of my favorites.

B. Miller said...

Awesome! Thanks for doing this week-long spot on your blog, Elena! I need all the inspiration I can get.

Natalie sounds like a great writer! I've followed her on Twitter and am looking forward to checking out her work.

Lisa and Laura said...

Elana, you are awesome thanks for all the shout outs lady. What would we ever do without you? And Natalie I can't freaking WAIT to read your book. I feel like I'll know the second we get a book deal due to our psychic connection.

Danyelle said...

You are pure genius, Elana! Love the idea, and *heart* the interview!

catwoods said...

Thanks for inspiring us through your interviews. This was a great post and a wonderful idea.

Natalie, thanks for sharing your story and congrats on your catch. NB is about as close to an agenting god as they come.

Best~

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great interview. Thanks for admitting to being scared and wanting to give up, AND for showing us what happens when you don't. Congrats on "making it!"

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Great interview. I recently discovered Natalie and her blog. Love her positive attitude. Look forward to reading your book.

Southpaw said...

I enjoyed that interview.

Bish Denham said...

Nice interview!

Yamile said...

I really like Natalie. And not only is she a great writer, her illustrations are awesome too!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great interview :) Looking forward to going and reading the rest now.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great interview :) Looking forward to going and reading the rest now.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great interview. Thanks.

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Wow, I feel like saying, "Yes, I hear you!" after everything she said. I had a couple of bang my head against the wall moments this weekend. :p

Thanks fot putting this up, Elana. It is a tough business to be in, but it's good to know other people who understand are out there. :)

corrinejackson said...

“You can only live in hypotheticals for so long before you start to lose it, before you begin to question everything you do as a writer.”

This is amazing. It perfectly encapsulates how I feel every day.

sharigreen said...

Thanks, Natalie & Elana! (Great idea, these interviews... but now I know I'll get nothing done but blog reading all week, lol! I want to read them all!)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Rocking interview! Thanks!!

Palindrome said...

Thank you, Natalie for providing your humble words of encouragementJ

And thank you, Elana for doing this. You are our angel of inspiration.

Sara B. Larson said...

Hey Elana,

Thanks for the congrats, and for the comment! I responded to your comment on my blog, but I never know if I should just respond there, or back on your blog or what... So I guess I'll do both. ;-) I am in UT! I'm not going to be at LDStorymakers though, it's my DH's bday on the 24th. I'd love to do lunch that day or some other time though! Let me know.

Jill Kemerer said...

I needed this today, Elana. And Natalie, thanks for sharing. Your book (love the tweet version) sounds intriguing!

Valerie Ipson said...

Thanks, Elana and Natalie! Love the idea of your book in a tweet, too.

Kathy McCullough said...

What a great interview. Very sincere and inspirational. Thanks!

Tiffany Schmidt said...

It's so great to know that those feelings of uncertainty, impatience and can-I-do-this are universal.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Jemi Fraser said...

This is a truly awesome idea! This is the 3rd one I've read (so far) and the answers are so different!! Love it - we are unique :)

Love Natalie's advice - that's sometimes hard for me - but I'm working at it!

Thanks ladies!

Tara McClendon said...

This is a truly awesome endeavor. Elana, thanks for taking the time to put this together. And Natalie, thanks for sharing. :] Congrats on the agent and progressing forward on this journey.

Elana Johnson said...

And this, THIS is why I love the writing community. You guys all here saying how Natalie inspires you and giving me undue props.

You guys are the best. I hope you enjoy the series this week. It's been really fun to put it all together and meet all these amazing authors!

So to you, I bow.

Ian said...

Thanks for posting this interview Elana - I know I'm late to read and comment but I'm glad I did, this is a great interview and a timely pick-me-up that I needed.

Cheers.

Theresa Milstein said...

The author stories that are about years of struggle and self-doubt are my favorite because that's similar to my story. (Without the agent or contract right now.)

Great interview and I wish you much success!

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Another great incentive to keep us going when the molehill starts looking like Mt. Everest.
Keep them coming... I just hope that I don't develop an inferiority complex...
THANKS ELANA!

Christina Farley said...

Chocolate and Elana for my inspiration! Thanks for the fab interview.

Linda G. said...

Good advice, Natalie! Thanks for sharing your story. :)

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