Natalie J. Damschroder’s new novel, HEAVY METAL is out in trade paperback in August 2013 from Entangled Publishing LLC. With advance praise from Megan Hart, NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author of SWITCH promising, “Fast paced adventure and sizzling romance, HEAVY METAL has it all. Sam’s a to-die-for hero, and I couldn’t get enough.” That was enough to pique my interest. I was lucky enough to catch up with Natalie to talk about it.
On the run from those who’ve targeted her, all goddess Riley Kordek wants is a chance to figure out her new ability to bend metal’s energy. When a hot guy who knows more than he should helps her escape her attackers, she thinks she might’ve found someone who can lead her to the answers she needs. Three years ago, Sam Remington walked away from his employer and the woman he loved, and now, all he’s looking to do is fill the gaping hole left behind. Except, when Sam takes Riley to the Society for Goddess Education and Defense, the stakes rise beyond what either of them could have imagined. Riley uncovers a plot with disastrous ramifications not only for herself, but for Sam and the people he loves—and potentially every goddess in the country.
Hi Natalie, okay let’s dive right in at the deep end, to paraphrase Woody Allen, tell us everything about your goddess we are afraid to ask…
Riley Kordek is an orphan who lost her parents and sister in a car accident when she was only 20. Within a year, she turned 21 and strange things began happening to her—or more accurately, around her. Metal seemed to have an affinity for her, and she unwittingly tapped into her newfound powers as a goddess…even while believing, as she’d been taught her entire life, that goddesses aren’t real.
Then the harassment began. She’s lost her job, her home, and almost everything else and is desperate to find her place in the world. That’s why she approaches Sam Remington, who has worked with the Society for Goddess Education and Defense. She doesn’t trust the organization her mother and grandmother despised, but Sam’s not a goddess, so maybe she can trust him.
It turns out, she has more than an affinity for metal. It gives her access to energy that lends her a tremendous amount of power. So those people after her, whoever they are, had better watch out.
So we’re not looking at a straightforward thriller here, but something tinged with the paranormal/mythological. Do you mind if I ask what drew you to the mythological in your storytelling?
I love writing the paranormal because I can make everything up without having to do research. I’ve always been intrigued by myth and the relationships between gods and goddesses, but I prefer contemporary to ancient society. So I imagined what living as a goddess would be like today, and what kinds of threats might exist in a goddess’s world.
Fascinating, now putting yourself in your reader’s shoes for a moment, what do you look for in books? And extrapolating that, as a writer how do you try to satisfy your inner reader?
I love excitement, pulse-pounding, fast-paced stories full of action with stakes raised even higher when the main characters find someone to love. I read for an escape from real-life stress, and as a way to explore people and circumstances I could never live. So those are the same things I try to give my readers. I want them to experience the satisfaction of defeating a bad guy without having to face one in real life.
Okay so let’s pretend we’re in a bookshop, not in fleeting pixels and pulses of energy in a cyberworld, seeing as I’ve got you talking about what you like as a reader and how you try to feed your inner reader, what books would you recommend I must read and why?
Yikes, way to put me on the spot! I could never make a reasonable list. But if you liked high stakes with tough heroes and heroines, I’d recommend Roxanne St. Claire’s BULLET CATCHERS and GUARDIAN ANGELINOS. If you preferred a paranormal world, especially one so well wrought you’d think it could manifest the second you fell asleep, I’d say go get Jody Wallace’s Tangible tout suite. Prefer humor with your serial killer chasing? Darynda Jones’ Grave series is unbeatable. I could name hundreds more!
I’ve noticed that HEAVY METAL is part of a series, are they standalone or do you need to have read the first to follow the second, etc?
HEAVY METAL is the second book in the Goddesses Rising trilogy that began with UNDER THE MOON (where a well-known goddess and her team seek to defeat a leech who is draining power from goddesses) and will conclude in December with SUNROPER (when a threat to the entire goddess community is shockingly found to come from within). The books can stand on their own, but for a full understanding of the intertwining storylines, it’s best to start at the beginning. More information can be found here. While readers who prefer “real life” to the paranormal might be interested in my romantic adventures. ACCEPTABLE RISKS recently won the 2013 EPIC eBook Award for Romantic Suspense, and it’s the third of my high-stakes standalone titles from Carina Press. You can read more here.
Have you found over the course of writing the series-and your other books, of course-that you are attacking them in a different way? I know from personal experience that for me each book feels very different, radically so, and I find myself creating whole new rituals for them. How about you?
While my early writing focused on straight contemporary romance, in the past decade I’ve been compelled to have some kind of suspense plot as the foundation for my romances (or vice versa!). Each side of the genre feeds the other. The suspense adds immediacy and urgency to the romance, and the love story makes the stakes in the suspense/adventure personal and more intense.
Thanks ever so much for taking the time to share some insights into your work and your process, and your taste in books.
Natalie J. Damschroder grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she’s not writing romantic adventure for Carina Press and paranormal romance for Entangled Publishing, she does freelance editing and works part time as a chiropractic assistant. She and her husband have two daughters they’ve dubbed “the anti-teenagers,” one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.)
To learn more about Natalie, please visit her website.