The Writer Behind the Words – Natalie Monk

I’ve been excited about introducing a new feature to my blog this year. In the coming weeks and months – along with my usual author interviews and book reviews – I will also be introducing aspiring authors who are still on the road to publication.

I thought it would be fun for you all to get to know some of these great writers before you even pick up their books. πŸ™‚ Their dedication to the craft and their calling have blessed and encouraged me. Hope you’ll love meeting them too!

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Writer Behind the Words

natalie-monk

Natalie Monk writes historical romance full of laughter, love, and redemption. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Natalie is represented by the Steve Laube Agency and is currently plotting her third novel. She is a home school graduate, gospel singer, portrait photographer, devotional speaker and former post-hole digger. She loves sweet tea, book talk, porch swings, and watching musicals and action movies with her family.

For more, visit her website atΒ http://www.nataliemonk.com/

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Welcome to the blog, Natalie! I’m so excited to have you join us today! When did you first start writing?

Let’s see. I wrote a partial story about a newborn pony named β€œFlower” going around to meet all the other farm animals. It fizzled out after about three sentences. I was always one to avoid conflict, and that showed up in my storiesβ€”even up in my teen years until I learned you can’t have a story without conflict. πŸ™‚ I thought, who’d want to write about that? I hate the stuff. Now, of course, I see how conflict makes us grow to overcome obstacles, and the same holds true for our characters as well. πŸ™‚

What are you working on right now?

I’m plotting a project in hopes of submitting to Love Inspired Historical, about Ellie Stratton, a destitute farm girl whose elderly father suddenly marries the mother of a handsome cattle baronβ€”a man who just refused Ellie’s plea for help. The plot’s still in need of refining, but there you have it. πŸ™‚

Can you tell us about one of your favorite characters you’ve written so far?

Jesse Roeper is the hero in my trade-length manuscript Lead Me Home, and right now my favorite. He’s quiet, efficient, good-humored, and self-sacrificial, (think James from the movie First Daughter) but Jesse’s far too concerned about his reputation. Imagine his bewilderment when his runaway bride shows up after seven years without word. And she’s brought a deadly scandal along with her.

What’s something you love about your home state?

Ah, my beloved Mississippi… there’s no lack of Southern warmth or historical richness here. Also, the dirt roads, small convenience stores, and country landscapes I grew up with…there’s a peacefulness about them that brings back sweet memories.

What’s one of your favorite books?

Choosing a favorite book is like choosing which of your body parts you’d prefer NOT to be amputated. πŸ™‚ But one I’ll always go back to is To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer. There’s also Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Those authors’ works have majorly influenced in my writing.

What is one of your favorite Scripture verses?

Psalm 139:7-14. There’s such comfort in the thought that wherever we must go, God’s already there.

Can you share with us a special moment from your writing journey so far?

One special moment happened January 15 when my agent called to offer representation. I actually MISSED HER CALL!! I was in Texas working on a missions project and helping my dad put siding on a building when I checked my phone and saw a strange number. When I heard the voice mail my heart cut a flip and I floated around a few minutes until I asked my family to β€œpray for me, I’m fixin’ to call her back.” Despite all my apprehension about saying something goofy that would cause Tamela to change her mind, that phone call went off incredibly smooth, mostly due to Tamela’s expertise and professionalism I’m sure.

What’s been one of the most challenging aspects of writing?

Getting precise emotions onto the page, especially for characters with whom I don’t have lots in common. To dip the pen in deep emotion one must first pierce his own heart.

Name a few authors who inspire you.

Through their fiction and their friendship, and in no particular order, Tina Radcliffe, Karen Witemeyer, Brandy Vallance, Nancy Kimball, Pam Hillman, Kate Breslin, Francine Rivers, Elaine Manders, Piper Huguley, Courtney Ballinger. Agh, I know I must be leaving some out. All the cool people at ACFW.

Can you share a word of advice to other writers out there on the road to publication?

Be teachable, no matter your level of skill or years in the businessβ€”something I learned from watching Francine Rivers sit in a writing class full of beginners like me. When questioned about it later, she said it’s always good to keep the basics fresh in your mind.

Also, when someone makes a suggestion about your writing, try it on for size. Keep the adjustment or notβ€”your prerogative, but the change may be more beneficial than you thought.

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Natalie. I’m so excited to read your work! πŸ™‚ Have a blessed 2016!

Let’s spread the love, reading friends! You can help encourage and support Natalie’s writing by connecting with her on the following sites.

Website: http://www.nataliemonk.com/
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/NatalieMonkAuthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/NatalieDMonk
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nataliedmonk

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GIVEAWAY!!

Natalie is giving away a “surprise” Christian historical romance book to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!Β Contest is open to US residents only and ends May 10, 2016.Β  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!

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Posted in Aspiring Authors, Giveaways
60 comments on “The Writer Behind the Words – Natalie Monk
  1. Joan Arning says:

    I love our different seasons and the variety of flat prairies in the north and southeast and St. Francois and Ozark Mountains in the south.

  2. Natalie Monk says:

    Hi, Joan! Great to see you here, lady! πŸ™‚ Best wishes in the giveaway!

  3. So enjoyed this interview, my friend! *waves to Nattlie* Great getting to see a peek into your writing!

  4. Natalie Monk says:

    Meghan!!! Great to see you here, girl! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for commenting. Glad you enjoyed the interview!

  5. Jan Hall says:

    I love that there is so much you can do in this state. And, I Love the warm winter months.

  6. Jennifer Hess says:

    I’m originally from Oregon and I love the weather. The rain!!! Love,love,Love it!

  7. Melanie Backus says:

    My home state has a great state fair and people are warm and friendly.

  8. Sydney says:

    I love all the mountains. Where I live now there are mountains, but “home” is those big mountains along the Wasatch Front! πŸ™‚

  9. Natalie Monk says:

    Hi, Jan! Best wishes in the giveaway. Thanks for entering!

  10. Natalie Monk says:

    Melanie, sounds like a fun place to live! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Diana Guz says:

    I love the mild weather here in California, and that I’m only a few hours away from both the beach and the mountain lakes. I like that plot you’re working on, Natalie! Sounds fun!

  12. Becky B says:

    Ohio. . . I love the cities on the river. πŸ™‚

  13. Lucy Reynolds says:

    I love the four seasons and the beautiful mountains and rivers of WV. Wild flowers and birds are abundant.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      That sounds beautiful, Lucy. I’d love to see more of WV someday. I only drove through once and didn’t get to stop. Enjoyed the view from the highway, though. πŸ˜‰

  14. Connie Saunders says:

    Kentucky is a beautiful state known for its horseracing and bourbon and a grass that looks blue in the sunlight.

  15. Stella Potts says:

    Indiana (the part I live in) doesn’t have much in the way of beautiful scenery, but spring is so beautiful with all the green lawns and flowering trees. Also I love that we have the Indianapolis 500, the Colts and the Pacers.

  16. Heather Olsen says:

    I am from North Idaho. I love that in the Summer, the days are hot, but the evenings cool down nicely.

  17. Debbie Clatterbuck says:

    My grandbabies live here, as do a big chunk of my family. Thanks what I love about Ohio.

  18. Alison Boss says:

    My home state is Michigan! I love the four seasons. Spring is so beautiful when all the flowers begin blooming and the lush beauty of nature’s greenery comes back to life. My favorite season though is SUMMER!!! I LOVE the lazy days of summer with the warmth and sunshine. The other thing I love about Michigan is all the lakes we have. Our family loves going to the beach on Lake Michigan. Our favorite beach is at Holland State Park!

  19. Cara Frandle says:

    Enjoyed seeing a new face and name. I’m represented by the Steve Laube agency as well. Heading over to peek at your blog now. Happy writing.

  20. kim hansen says:

    New Jersey still has lots of trees. So that’s what I love about it.

  21. Kim Potter says:

    Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the chance to win.

  22. Love that you’re doing this, Savanna! Great way to get to meet other aspiring authors. The best to you Natalie, in your writing journey.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Cynthia!! Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! I’m having so much fun featuring fellow writers here. Can’t wait for your interview! πŸ™‚

  23. Sunsets and complete season changes! πŸ™‚

    Many Blessings, Amada (a.m.a.th.a)

  24. carylkane says:

    I love the Texas sunsets and bluebonnets. Savanna, thank you for having Natalie on the blog!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Perfect! I’d like to spend some more time in Texas myself. Every time I’ve been there it’s been for work. Hopefully one of these times it will be for vacation instead. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by, Caryl!

  25. Deanne Patterson says:

    Savanna, good morning to you. Great to see you.
    Natalie, it’s a true pleasure to meet you. I really enjoy reading Love Inspired Historicals and am looking forward to reading yours.
    What I enjoy most about Pennsylvania is the greenery all around. It’s quite a lush state.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Deanne! It’s great to see you here. I hope you’ll get to read Natalie’s books in the future too. πŸ™‚ The one time I’ve been to Pennsylvania… I noticed all the beautiful greenery too. So pretty!

  26. Karen Hadley says:

    I prefer mountains to the beach.

  27. Sylvia M. says:

    I live in North Carolina and love that we have a little bit of everything. All four seasons are present, but not too much of any of them. We have the coast, beach, mountains, Biltmore, BBQ, Mt. Airy (Mayberry), Blowing Rock (Mitford), and much more! I love it here.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      HI Sylvia! Yes, I LOVE North Carolina. I’ve only been there a couple times and still have so many places I want to see. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing!

  28. Hey Natalie,
    I’m so excited that you are writing for Love Inspired Historical! Some of my favorite books come from that line–I can’t wait to pick yours up!
    Heather πŸ™‚

  29. Donna Parker says:

    I like the changing seasons. Would be boring to be the same all the time.

  30. Patty says:

    Michigan is my home state, but I live in SC now. Michigan has beautiful lakes and shoreline. The UP is really special to see.

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