Sarah Avery had spent years carefully re-constructing her broken life back together, after her husband Thomas, the love of her life, drowned 14 years earlier. When suddenly she comes face to face with a man named Collin, who is Thomas’ exact look-alike, on the streets of Wilmington, NC. She convinces herself that he is somehow, actually Thomas, come back to her. Yet in response, he has no recognition of her or their life together. However, the attraction between the two of them is powerful and immediate. But, even as Sarah finds herself falling in love with Collin, she is still haunted by questions about his true identity and the secret guilt she carries over Thomas’ death. And little does she know, Collin himself holds some secrets of his own, that threatens to destroy everything they have together.
Will the secrets that Colin holds destroy this new relationship? To find out if this relationship will withstand the challenges ahead I’ve set aside some time to chat with the author of ‘The Water is Wide’, Natalie Banks. Natalie, what sparked your desire to explore the relationships in Sarah’s life?
The plot for The Water is Wide came to me and I wrote the first chapter on the notepad on my phone. I was enthralled with the idea of epic romances, so I wanted to create one that would forever impact anyone who read it.
The central part of an epic romance is always the characters. How did you go about creating characters that would impact the reader forever?
They introduced themselves to me as the story unfolded.
I love it when that happens. When they were introducing themselves to you, did they pull events of your life into the story to add greater depth?
I always draw upon life to write authentically. However, this story is purely fictional in nature.
Fiction still is a very important tool in the world to share ideas. What was the most important idea that you wanted to share in this fictional tale?
Destiny and love are the most powerful forces in this world.
Looking back, what did you learn about putting the forces of destiny and love on paper?
The most important thing that I learned was to enjoy every moment of the writing process because once the book is finished, that is when the real work begins. Marketing is no fun!
*Laughs* We’ll chat a little about marketing later, but first I’d love to know a little about which moments you enjoyed most while writing?
Writing The Water is Wide brought me more joy than I could ever describe. The story was a gift that just poured out of me and onto paper. I enjoyed it writing it immensely.
I’m so glad you had so much fun. And with that much fun, I have no doubt that you’ve already returned to writing your next project. What can you tell us about it?
The Dark Room is editing for release in early February 2018. Straight-laced Anna finds herself in a steamy extramarital affair with a noir film photographer Alec Prentice. He’s sexy and irresistible, drawing her into his world of sex and seduction. But soon his bad boy ways, and her guilty conscious consumes her and pushes her to end the affair abruptly. Not long after ending the affair, she frighteningly realizes she is being stalked. As she continues her attempt to keep the affair a secret, the stalking escalates. Even when it begins to jeopardize her safety, she refuses to get help for fear of her secret being exposed. Forcing her to take matters into her own hands and leads her down a path of deception and violence. As a hurricane bears down on the coastal city of Wilmington North Carolina, she finds herself alone with a gun clutched to her chest as she faces her stalker and his terrifying secret. Leaving her fighting for her life and for everything else that ever mattered. To receive information about the release of this novel, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. www.NatalieBanks.net (we never share your email address)
That’s a great taster for The Dark Room. I’m sure you’ll find a few new intrigued readers who wish to explore this world of secrets and stalkers. This taster feels quite different from The Water is Wide. What has drawn you to write about such differing experiences?
I write because I love bringing stories to life that give readers an experience that they will never forget. They will walk away feeling positive, no matter what my plotline is. I don’t believe in sad endings.
The world is sad enough without sad books. So, what thoughts are kicking around in your mind when you are working towards that positive ending?
I want the reader to have an authentic first-hand experience. To feel the feelings of my characters and be so vested that they will feel the characters are good friends.
What does the process of creating this authenticity look like? Are you planning and creating structure, or do you let the ideas and plot flow to you?
Usually, I have an idea in my mind when I start. Then the book presents itself as it is meant to be. I try to let my creative mind guide the story and not overanalyze it.
What techniques do you use to make sure that you’re not overanalysing it?
I write most every day when I am working on a novel. I try to get at least one chapter down each sitting. I write at my desk in my sunroom overlooking the marsh in beautiful coastal Carolina.
That sounds really lovely. I can see why you’ve picked that location. Does that location help you edit?
Editing is so hard. It is very difficult to gain an outside perspective, so I hire editors and beta readers to help me out.
Outside perspective is a great tool to improve your writing. How has your writing progressed over time since you’ve been using tools like this?
As I was writing The Dark Room, I noticed that I was conscious of the fact that someone would be reading it, which inhibited the creative process a little. I had to blank that thought out and just write for myself like I did with The Water is Wide. There is a lot more freedom in that mindset.
How does your author brand fit in alongside this mindset of writing for yourself?
Author brand is huge if you want to make a career out of writing. Letting people in and letting them get to know you as a person is key. Social media has been a great tool for this. I found Instagram and Facebook to be a great meeting place. You start with your friends circle and let it grow from there. And try to be your most authentic self.
What are your best tips for other authors looking to work on their writing and promotional techniques?
Keep writing, first of all. The more you write the better you get. And keep reading! There is so much to learn from other successful authors. And don’t give up! Self-publishing is a difficult road but not impossible. I am using every resource I can and succeeding. It might take a few books before your brand takes off, so keep writing and enjoy! Being a writer is an amazing gift!
Indeed it is! As much as I’d love to chat all day with you about writing our time is up. To make sure we don’t leave the interview on a sad note, can share your favourite line from your gift to the world, ‘The Water is Wide’.
Wherever I go after I leave this earth, know that I will be waiting for you there.
Natalie, I love that idea and I hope there’s someone waiting there for all of us. Thanks so much for chatting with me today about writing and I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming release ‘The Dark Room’.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘The Water is Wide ( ASIN: 0692969896 )‘.
Want to find out more about Natalie Banks? Connect here!