Adam Natali, author of A Message from Roswell

Q1. What inspires your creativity?

Having a creative outlet usually feels more like a physiological need than something I have a choice about. When I don’t take the time to sit down and listen to my thoughts and write them down, my head starts to feel like it’s going to explode. Okay, maybe that’s a little melodramatic, but I do get really cranky.

Q2. What conditions do you like to write in? Standing on your head, sitting on the bus, eaves dropping at a party…

I’m a freelancer who mostly works at home while taking care of my 3 year old son and 18 month old daughter. There’s a brief moment of time everyday where they stop fighting for my attention, and actually play quietly together. I can never predict when this moment will come, but when it does, I rush and get my notebook, sit down a safe distance away, and write as fast as I can.

Q3. Are there any writers that you most strive to be like and why?

I’d love to have a career like Neil Gaiman. He’s written adult novels, YA novels, middle grade novels, picture books, short stories, comic books, movies, TV shows, and probably a bunch of other things I’ve forgotten about. Some people get stuck thinking that writer’s write books, but in my opinion writers just write. He’s a great example of this.

Q4. What is your favorite book and why?

The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I loved the movie as a child, and finally read the book when I was an adult. I know there’s Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain, Faulkner, and all the greats, but in my mind, that is the most amazing book I’ve ever read. It has all the humor and adventure of the movie, but it’s not written as a grandfather reading a story to his grandson. It’s written as a history of a fictional place which the author is pretending to abridge, and there are long hilarious passages where he explains what he’s cutting out and why. I’ve never seen a story written like that. Whenever I feel like my story structure feels too contrived, I flip through that book again.

Q5. Do you have any tips about the writing process?

I’d probably just repeat the cliche that everyone says, “read a lot and write a lot.” I never knew what that really meant though until I read Stephen King’s On Writing. He said that when he was starting out, he had a nail on the wall in his attic. Every time he got a rejection letter he’d stick it on the nail. At some point he didn’t have anymore room on the nail so he replaced it with a railroad spike. That’s a good example of how much you have to write. It’s also a good example of how crazy you have to be to want to share the things you’re writing.

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