September 20, 2005

GCC|: 3 Questions with Natalie R. Collins

It is my absolute pleasure to have Natalie R. Collins here today. I've talked about Nat before, so you know I like her and have a great deal of respect for her talent. Nat's first novel, Wives and Sisters earned out in about 15 minutes, an extremely difficult accomplishment for a first novel, especially a hardbacjk release, and it got universally good reviews. Even one shall-remain-nameless hardcore industry mag that has a reputation for excoriating novelists basically had a LOVE FEST in honor of her book.


I'm going to shut up and let Nat talk now:

Me: I know you got a lot of flack when this book was first released as your portrayal of the power hierarchy in the Mormon church was less than flattering and you continue to live in have you handled that?

NC: At first it bothered me, even though I knew it would happen. You think you're prepared, and then when it hits you realize that you had no idea how hard it was going to be, hearing the constant negative from the people you've grown up around. But soon you realize you are getting scolded from people who have no point of reason. What I mean by that is, they are scolding you, saying things like "you should KNOW better, because the prophet says it is so," or "you need to pray more and then you will realize the truth," and not from a factual basis. And at that point, you start to laugh. It's funny. Scold me when I have my facts wrong, or correct me if I'm spouting mistruths or distortions or lies, but WHEN I AM TELLING THE TRUTH, don't mess with me. If you do that, I can make you look stupid. Some of the things I have heard from angry Mormons are hilarious. One threatened to tell my parents (hello?! I am 42-years-old!); another told me I KNEW the truth, and would be going to Outer Darkness for my apostacy. One threatened to burn my books. Hello, can you say PUBLICITY? Several have asked me who offended me. This is a common Mormon belief: people don't leave because they don't believe, they leave because someone makes them mad. Please! My kids make me mad all the time, and I don't leave them, even if they deserve it. And sometimes they do.

I expect there will be a resurgence of hate when the paperback comes out in March of 2006. But Mormons beware: I blog my hatemail, and I THINK IT'S funny!!! Once you get that, it's not as much fun to write to me, huh?

JJ: This is a very tense and suspenseful novel---and it starts off with a bang. Did that first, harrowing scene come to you wholesale or what image or idea in it sparked it for you?

NC: Well, it's based in fact. I was held at gunpoint when I was six-years-old. We were on some secluded property in Farmington (which is where the novel takes place), and we heard a gunshot, and looked over to see a man hiding behind some trees, pointing a rifle at us. He threatened us, and told us to take off our clothes or he would kill us, and we refused. He finally told us to run and not look back. We ran, and I lost my shoes, and remember thinking how much trouble I would be in for that. I put ALL of that feeling, all of that emotion, which is still very real to me all these years later, into that opening scene.

JJ: What are you working on now?

I just finished revisions on Behind Closed Doors, my second book for St. Martin's, and turned it in to my editor. Now I have a new idea ruminating, with a great character. And I have a fun cozy, dance mystery set in Utah. It's pretty funny, especially with all the attention dance has been getting. And God knows dance moms are psycho.

JJ: THANKS NAT! I JUST became a dance mom, too. Maisy is taking TAP, Lord help me. It's so cute to watch her spaz around in clicky shoes and a leotard that it makes my eyes bleed...

Posted by joshilyn at September 20, 2005 9:38 AM

Wives and Sisters is one of the best books I have ever read. It is one of those "grips you to the end" reads like gods , and when you're finished with it, go online and order a copy of Sisterwife, Natalie's first book. Great reads.

Posted by: Cele at September 20, 2005 11:35 AM

Ohhhh, I just adore books that diss the Mormon Church. Looking forward to a satisfying read.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at September 20, 2005 4:08 PM

Apparently no one ever taught Natalie that sometimes if you poke Mormons with a stick, they try to bite you. Or maybe they taught her and it just didn't outweight the fun of the poking. I like her already. ;)

Posted by: Mir at September 20, 2005 11:35 PM