Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A new season celebration! - by Natalie Anderson

So it’s the last day of August already! And what a month it’s been I can tell you – so full of super exciting stuff!
Firstly, it was the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference a couple of weeks ago. I’m still on a high. We had the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G international speakers – Christopher Vogler, Stephanie Laurens and Jane Porter.
The three dove-tailed so beautifully – combining to highlight and give real validation on what we do as romance writers and reminding us why we love our genre so much. It was very inspirational – if ever you get a chance to hear any of those guys speak, LEAP at it – regardless of whether you’re a writer or a reader. It was so great to be in a room full of other writers where we were all excited and passionate and challenged to push through to the next level in our work. It was only my third conference but definitely the best for me so far – those speakers really were fabulous.
But the best thing to happen in August was just at the very end. I have the most fabulous writing buddy – we’re not actually ‘critique partners’, more each other’s support crew. We met almost five years ago and really hit if off from the start because we were both very committed to writing. She writes sweet and I write saucy. I was very fortunate to sell to Mills & Boon less than a year after we met. Meanwhile she kept on writing and writing and honing her craft. Through our respective ups and downs we’ve been each other’s head cheerleader.
We email or phone each other every day and report to each other on our progress – word count tallies and stuff. We’ve commiserated with each other on rejections and revisions and celebrated requests and reviews and crack the whip over each other when necessary.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have a someone who totally knows and understands the process and who is there simply to be a friend, ally and colleague and I love to be the same for her.
We rarely swap actual stories although we do brainstorm plot and sound out ideas. If we do send each other an actual file, it’s a ‘quick read and say its fabulous’ kind of support. But last year she sent through a first chapter that made me draw breath. She’d really nailed it. She won a contest with that, got a request, some revisions , more contest finals and wins. But last week, just a few days after conference where she’d been up and down from the stage getting all these rosettes, she got THE CALL.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. Soraya has worked so hard and is such a talented writer with a huge future ahead of her with Harlequin Mills & Boon Romance. If you want to join in her party, there’s a thread over at
And be sure to keep an eye out for her first release which I *think* will be out at the end of 2011 – but I’ll be back to remind you well before then and I’m sure she’ll be here too!
Meanwhile, I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere are looking forward to the beauty of Autumn. I can tell you we’re certainly looking forward to Spring down here in New Zealand! Already we’re seeing signs with lambs in the paddocks and daffodils along the fence line and the light is lasting longer with each day – it’s bliss.

So, to celebrate a wonderful month, I’m giving away a copy of one of my backlist books – PLEASURED IN THE PLAYBOY’S PENTHOUSE – which is one I dedicated to Soraya when she did another ‘quick support read’ for me. To be in to win, just comment below and let us know what you love most about either Autumn or Spring!!!

EDITED TO ADD: Thank you for your comments!!! Spring & Autumn are glorious seasons I think. Meanwhile PRACTIMOM you've won the book so please email me your postal address to I can send it out to you - natalie(at)natalie-anderson(dot)com


host said...

Congrats to your friend!!!
I live in Europe so I'm looking forward to the Autumn; I love the rich colours of it, the warmth without the heath, the beautiful sunsets... I LOVE Autumn :)

Alison said...

I love both - but living in the UK we can feel autumn over the horizon, with crisp mornings, golden leaves and bright blue skies, and when I'm enjoying that I always feel that autumn is my favourite season.

Laurie said...

I too enjoy the fall. I like the beautiful fall colors. We always take a drive through the Kettle Moraine to the Holy Hill area in Wisconsin. It's so gorgeous! I like the warm days, cool nights. Great for sleeping! Football tailgate parties! I love wearing sweaters and jeans. Comfortable but not stifling. The smell and beauty of a fire in the fireplace. Cooking stews and potpies. Back to school for the kids -so I have a little more free time. Great time to read outside- fewer bugs. Less visitors.

Laney4 said...

I love the smell in the air, the feel of leaves lightly falling, keeping my windows open, and having no air conditioning/heating bills (for a few days or weeks, depending on the year).

Virginia C said...

Hi, Natalie! Congrats on a great month! I am already blessed simply by living in the beautiful mountains of Southwestern Virginia. However, in the Autumn of the year, I feel truly alive. The humidity is gone, and the air becomes dry with a sharper edge. The sky is so blue it almost hurts your eyes! I love the Fall mums with their gorgeous colors and their unique spicy scent. There are festivals and apple orchards and pumpkins to delight young and old. When my mountains put on their Autumn finery, they truly steal my breath! The deep red hues are my favorite, but each color in the mountain tapestry is a wonder from Nature's own paint box.

tweetybrd22 said...

Hey Congrats Natalie,
Thanks for the giveaway although I have read some of your books I haven't read all of them.

Michele L. said...

Wow! Many congrats Natalie! Woohoo!
Autumn is always beautiful but Spring is my favorite month. It signals rebirth, green grass and flowers, warmth and sunshine, after a long cold winter. We get really cold, harsh winters where I live so I love when Spring is here!

runner10 said...

I'll keep my eyes open for Soraya.
I love spring. I love new beginnings.

Linda Henderson said...

I love autumn (fall), it's my favorite time of year. My favorite color is brown, so when everything starts turning to different shades of brown in the fall I really enjoy it. The first fire in the fireplace, putting out my fall decorations. I just love everything about this season.

seriousreader at live dot com

Denise said...

Congratulations to Soraya, that's fantastic!

I LOVE fall. It is my absolute favorite time of's no longer frying hot, but it's also not freezing cold yet. And I love feeling the air change, watching the leaves turn colors and fall, drinking hot tea, grabbing blankets and curling up with a good book, or just sitting outside doing nothing. I can't wait!

practimom said...

Hey Natalie,

I think my both are my fav too. August is my son's b-day (7 this year) and sept is my sis's b-day (the BIG 3-0 for her *_*)! I love getting into the cooler weather, and by cooler i mean 89 instead of 99 (it is so hot here!) I have not been to any conferences yet, but i plan on going to RT next year in CA. i am really excited for the chance to hear from my fav authors!!

Estella said...

Congrats to Soraya!
Fall is my favorite season. I love the leaves changing color, the cooler weather and FOOTBALL!

chey said...

What I like best about spring is no snow.

TashNz75 said...

Spring is the month where you can wring out the wetness of Winter and spring clean and just start new with a clear and positive attitude and just know that it's going to get better with the sun and the warmth... and not stress out too much about the roll downhill into christmas :))) Spring is just plain exciting!!!

Julieann Thomas said...

Hi Natalie,

Yes definitely huge congratulations to Soraya with all the hard work she's put in finally paying off.

Right now I'd say that Spring is my favorite time, but that's just because the spring sun is shining in my office window.

Amazingrose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robynl said...

I love the Autumn colors and the crunch of leaves on the ground; I love the newness of life that Spring brings to us-new grass, new buds on trees

Jane said...

I love autumn for the comfortable cool weather and because it's the season for apple picking(which also means cider) and pumpkin pie.

Amazingrose said...

Congratulation Soraya for the hard work.

I live in a tropical island Seychelles and we dont have either Autumn or Spring. Just have the wonderful tropical sun on us, with beautiful beaches and peaceful nature.

Donna Alward said...

Fall is also my favourite time of year.

And Natalie - I had the exact same reaction when I read Soraya's first chapter. I'm so pleased for her and thrilled she's going to be part of the Romance line!

Natalie Anderson said...

Thanks so much for your comments - seems like both Spring and Autumn are popular seasons.. I think they're both very beautiful with all the changing colours - can't imagine living in a place where there is no Autumn or Spring though Amazingrose!!! but then you must be used to it :)

I've done the random draw and the winner of Pleasured in the Playboy's Penthouse is practimom!!! Please email me your snail mail address so I can get the book in the post to you :)
natalie (at) natalie-anderson(dot) com

Amazingrose said...

I live in a tropical country and it is more or less autumn, spring, summer in one package, we have 2 monsoon periods; the south east monsoon from May to October is the cool and with less rain and the north east monsoon from December to March is calmer but warmer with heavier rain. And yes am already use to it.