Hello friends! For this month's installation of the Literary Ladies interviews, I'm tickled to present to you all a dear friend, Miss Natalie. I've been reading Natalie's blog, Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens for a while now, and have been so blessed to get to know this sweet girl! She's like the Anne Shirley of my circle of blogging friends. :-) Her blog is a haven of literary characters, photography, vintage-everything, and all sorts of delightful things. Do have a look!
And now, here's Natalie:
Introduce yourself! Tell us your name, your age (if you don’t mind sharing), three of you biggest passion and one thing you love about May.
Hello! My name is Natalie, I am 16 going on 17 (no, of course I didn't sing that aloud, who do you think I am?) and love reading, writing, and photography.
Hmmm...May...I love that spring is finally here and it's becoming warm and flowery and fresh outside. :)
Where is home for you? (Be as vague or specific as you like.)
I live outside of a lovely small town in Michigan, but home is where my family and familiar objects are. I recently moved, so it was a little hard adjusting to a new house and place, but it has finally felt like home for awhile now, and I'm so happy here. :)
What is your current situation academically? (For example, what grade are you in, are you homeschooled, our of school, go to public school, or take lessons from an elderly spinster aunt.)
Haha, the last option. ;) Just kidding, I am a homeschooled high school junior (11th grade).
What would you describe your writing style as?
Hmm.....I'm not sure. Quiet, simple, and emotion-driven, I think. (I'm still trying to "find" my writing style, so forgive my weak answer! :))
Is there one author who has particularly influenced you in your writing?
Not really, although I have many favorites. L. M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, Maud Hart Lovelace, Jennifer Erin Valent....shall I continue?
Favorite book series?
Oh, goodness. What a hard question. I will list three of my favorites: The Anne of Green Gables books, The Betsy-Tacy series, and the A Life of Faith: Millie Keith books.
Favorite childhood book?
Any of the American Girl books, namely Felicity and Samantha.
I know it can be hard sometimes for us bookish personalities to pick a favorite author, but if you had to choose just one, who would you pick?
Uuugghh....all these questions are so hard! Emma, how can you ask these things??
I'm going to say L. M. Montgomery. Although I have many favorites.
What’s your favorite book that’s been made into a movie? How do you feel about the film adaptation as compared with the book?
Probably Anne of Green Gables. The book is so wonderful, and the movie version is perfect. I know I don't even have to say which movie version, because there's only one perfect one. :) Anyone who says otherwise….well, let’s just say I will try to be civil.
Who is one literary character you feel you are most like?
I really related to Emily Webster in Emily of Deep Valley, by Maud Hart Lovelace. She is quiet, reflective, kind, and caring of others. She felt different from all the other girls her age, which I have myself felt many times at different churches my family has attended and such. I have a close group of friends now that I didn’t have quite as much when I first read the book, but I still feel for her. I just think she and I would get along quite well in real life. :)
Where is your favorite place to read? What about writing?
I read just about anywhere, but my favorites places would be in bed or outside in the sun-or shade depending on the weather! To write, I prefer sitting in my bed (sometimes even at night with a flashlight because I can concentrate best when there is absolutely NO noise or family members moving about, haha).
Do you normally write first drafts on a computer, or do you prefer old-fashioned pen and paper?
So far in my illustrious writing career (ahem) I write my first draft on pen and paper. If I can ever finish a whole story, then my second draft will obviously be on the computer. :)
Be honest: what is your handwriting like?
Ehhh....it's better than it used to be but I can still see room for (a lot of) improvement. Especially in my cursive. I tend to write fast (too fast) and my letters end up scrunched and slanted and pretty illegible. If I take my time, however, it can look pretty decent. :)
How long does it generally take you to read a good book? (Of course I know it depends on just HOW good it is, but in general.)
A week, perhaps? Of course less if I have time and it's a REALLY good book.
What’s your record time for finishing a book?
Oh goodness. I really don't know! I could tell you my record time for taking the LONGEST to read a book (Les Miserables, about 6 months). But as for the quickest time....well, I've read an American Girl 6-book series in one day when I was about 10...but that doesn't really count since the books are so small. Does it?
Name five of the best books you’ve ever read that you recommend to other fellow bluestockings.
-Rubs hand with glee-
If you like World War 2 and nurses, I'd recommend With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin.
If you like the South, tense drama, sisters, and a sarcastic, funny heroine who gets herself into trouble nearly every day, I'd recommend Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent
If you like the early 1900’s, sweet "growing up" stories, and funny, girlish escapades, then you must read the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace.
If you like a dramatic, sweeping tale from the first person perspective of a quiet governess, you have to read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. (trust me, the book is better than ANY of the movies!)
Okay...I've been staring at my bookshelf trying to pick only one more book to recommend, when I could easily recommend a thousand more........
If you’ve never read the Little House on the Prairie books then you should do so as soon as possible. Childhood is not the same without them, and if you still haven’t read them, then you are missing out on one of the best things ever,
Tell about the things you think are most important in a good novel.
I love a story that has a relatable hero/heroine with great character development. I think the characters are usually the first thing I notice in a book I'm reading for the first time-if I don't connect with the characters, I probably won't connect with the book. I also think writing style can be important, especially in the first few pages. If the first chapter is draggy and boring, it'll take me longer to get into the story. And, of course, the plot should be exciting (or at least interesting) and not have any disappointing anticlimaxes or anything!
About what age did you start writing stories? Do you still have your early works?
I started writing stories pretty much as soon as I could write! I still have many early "books" I wrote (complete with an illustration on every page, of course, haha) and love to look through them and read them. It's encouraging to see how far I've come in my writing since I was about 7 years old. ;) hahaha
Are you currently working on a novel/story/project?
Yes, I am! I know I've talked too much about this story in all my recent writing interviews, but I'm currently writing a loose retelling of The Princess and the Pea. I'm about halfway through, yay! :)
Thank you SO much for interviewing me, Emma! I enjoyed all your questions and am honored to be featured on your blog!
Thank you, Natalie!