Read my review of Naturally, Charlie
S.L. Scott is a former high-tech account manager with a journalism degree pursuing her passion for telling stories. She spends her days escaping into her characters and letting them lead her on their adventures. Live music shows, harvesting jalapenos and eating homemade guacamole are her obsessions she calls hobbies. Scott lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country of Austin with her husband, two young sons, two Papillons and a bowl full of Sea Monkeys. She welcomes your notes at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Source for text and images: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House]
MFN: Hi, and welcome to My Fiction Nook. I'm so glad you could join me today. Let's start off with the first question. What was your inspiration? Are there some autobiographical elements in N.C.?
S.L. Scott: I had this vision of two people who run into each other in a park. They share a name and have met, but aren’t friends. They are both going to specific events and in the span of a few minutes spent together decide to attend them together. It’s almost easier for them to rely on this stranger in these difficult times than their friends and family. The questioned I wondered is: Can two people find love when they meet at unsettled times in their life? That meeting part is the beginning of chapter five and still remains the same as I envisioned.
This is where the last line of the summary came together for me.
This is the tale of two Charlies learning to trust again while fighting their fates to create their own destiny.
No specific scene in the book is autobiographical, but some of the words (the Charlie-isms) and definitely some of Charlie girl’s thoughts are ones I have had. To be more specific, I really did think debaucherous was a word. It is in the Wiktionary sense, but it’s not a Merriam-Webster recognized word, but it totally should be.
MFN: What was your reason for nearly repeating chapters 1 and 2, albeit from two different view points?
S.L. Scott: The time period is the same and the subway and nightclub are the same, but all three from the different point of view. The rest is all new and is the introduction to the characters and a day in their life. It’s how we learn their daily habits, meet their friends, learn what they do for work, but with the twist of being able to get that insider’s perspective into the ‘meetings.’
When I read books written in first person, sometimes I’m wish I knew how that other person felt in that moment – the first time they saw the other person, how they felt when they touched them for the first time, and explore both sides of the ‘first impression.’ I wanted that and wrote it out.
But, with that said, I wouldn’t want an entire story like that. That to me would feel repetitive, so I tried to walk that fine line of showing the ‘day in a life’ without doing it the entire time.
MFN: I really liked that you used the male and female symbols to differentiate between the two POVs. Was that your brilliant idea, or that of a clever editor?
S.L. Scott: I love this question! Actually, my editor is wonderful and has become a good friend, but alas I must give credit where credit is due. My husband came up with that idea and I instantly fell in love with it. I called my editor immediately and she loved the idea, too. We were worried that it wouldn’t translate into publication form. Formatting for print actually has limited symbols you can use. Fortunately, these two were options.
MFN: The title hints at the natural growth in their relationship, something that really impressed me. Did you have the title set before writing the book, or did you write the book first?
S.L. Scott: The title was the title from the first time the idea for the story popped into my head. I had an idea of two people who share the same name who are both struggling in their own ways in life. They meet and bond in a unique way. It felt fitting for the basic idea in my head. It would be a slow, progression, a natural, unforced journey.
It’s a quirky title for sure, but I loved it from the beginning. It’s amusing to me and honestly, if it makes me giggle and smile that’s pure win in my book.
MFN: You touched on a couple of strong subjects, including the pressure some girls put on themselves to find a husband. Are you planning to write Rachel and Justin's story as well?
S.L. Scott: They are funny to me, an opposites attract kind of couple, and yet in some ways, such as fashion, very alike. They are both a bit over the top and have large personalities. They would be a lot of fun to write and it has crossed my mind before. It’s all about development of a solid storyline for me though. If I can’t envision a full story for them, I won’t write it. In other words, I won’t force a storyline just to be writing it. But, I do have a few fun ideas already, so I won’t say no to this question.
MFN: Where can I find a guy like Charlie? Okay, kidding, but does he embody your ideal kind of guy?
S.L. Scott: He’s pretty perfect to me also. I love that he followed his own dreams and has found success in doing so. I find that very attractive. He writes because that’s his passion. I also relate to that.
He had more flaws a few years earlier than he does when we meet him in the story because he worked hard to be the person he wanted to be instead of caving to expectations or abusing the life he was given. Seeing the dark side of things made him want to be a better person.
So, yes, I think he does embody my ideal guy. *Whispers* He also happens to share a lot of characteristics with my husband.
MFN: What do you do for fun, meaning when you're not writing?
S.L. Scott: I like projects. I have lots lined up to do over the next two months. They include etching Martini glasses with an initial, making a growth chart, and making treats for the kids classes. I also love movies and that’s my typical date night with the hubs. I received a Kindle as a gift for my birthday a few weeks ago and I’m reading e-books now. I’m loving that, but I must confess I do love a paperback copy still.
MFN: When can we expect your next novel?
S.L. Scott: I’m always writing. My ideal time period to release another book would be between March and next June. Life is busy and wonderful, so I guess we’ll see.
Thank you so much for the beautiful review and for having me on your blog.
MFN: And thank you for the great interview.
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