Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Interview with Chloe, from Natalie Richards' SIX MONTHS LATER

Dear readers, I am so excited to bring you another interview today, this time with the amazingly talented Natalie Richards and the spunky, irreverent, and lovable heroine of her debut novel, SIX MONTHS LATER, Chloe Spinnaker. I've got to say, though, as excited as I was to meet Chloe, when Natalie told me the venue of our interview, I was a little...nervous.

Pintip: *looks around darkened classroom* Um, guys? Are you absolutely sure it's okay for us to be here?

Natalie:  Oh, Chloe has spent plenty of time in the dark in this classroom.  She should be used to it.

Chloe:  Used to it?  I can think of dumpsters I like better than this classroom.  *squirms in her chair*

Pintip: *winces* Sorry to bring up bad memories, Chloe. This was where you fell asleep in study hall, right? 

Chloe: Yeah. When I woke up, it was several months later, but I wasn't really sleeping.  I just couldn't remember.  It was like I hit fast forward.  For six months. And before anyone gets the wrong idea, yes I did fall asleep, but it was Study Hall.  Who doesn't fall asleep in Study Hall? Though after what happened to me the last time, you'd better believe I won't be doing it again.  *shudder* I don't even like to blink in here.

Pintip: Ha. I don't know how long you can go without blinking, but I'll try to get you out of here soon. What was the craziest thing about losing six months of your life? Were there any advantages at all?

Chloe: Well, there's the distinct advantage of not remembering the dozens of extra credit assignments I cranked out.  Seriously, I did a paper on the molecular properties of table salt.  Who wants to read that, let alone write it?

As for the craziest thing?  My whole brain was totally blank when it came to those six months.  Just empty, you know?  Except... *looks down with a smile* Except when I was with Adam.  Every time I touched him, I remembered things.  It was crazy.  Crazy and good.

Pintip: Ah, Adam. Yes, I can see that. *sighs dreamily and then realizing she's speaking to his girlfriend, straightens abruptly* So Natalie. Any six-month-period you'd like to lose?

Natalie: I've had some very tragic things happen that I sure wanted to skip.  Hard times bring that out, I think.  You just want whatever it is (sickness, a bad teacher, a painful breakup) to be over.  But honestly, I think skipping the hard things would be a terrible idea.  The heartbreaking things in life have to be endured, because they shape us.  I think we need them.

Pintip: You're absolutely right, Natalie. I'll have to remember that next time I wish I could skip out on heartbreak. 

Natalie, there were some really creepy moments in this book. One of my favorite lines is: "Boyfriend is my job, not yours." I still get chills just thinking about it! Did you ever scare yourself writing this book?

Natalie: I didn't exactly scare myself, but I did get goose-bumps in a few places and I did feel tense writing a lot of the book.  I really dragged Chloe through some eerie stuff, so I guess that makes sense.

Pintip: Yes, you certainly did! Poor Chloe! 

Chloe: It's not like I have anything against eerie stuff. I love scary movies.  Once, I even took a dare to watch The Ring alone in my basement in pitch dark.  It was awesome! But being dragged through one in real life?  *pointed look at Natalie*  Less than awesome.

Pintip: *grins* See, this is one of the reasons I love this book. Chloe's voice is so natural and effortless. Natalie, was Chloe a difficult character to write? How does she compare with your other heroines?

Natalie: Well, Chloe's always difficult.

Chloe: I prefer the word spirited.

Natalie: Like I said--difficult.  It took me a few writes of the first couple of chapters before I felt like I found my feet in her voice.  Once I knew her a little better, it got easier.  Relatively speaking.  Chloe was very scattered and frantic compared to my other heroines--

Chloe: Well, did your other heroines wake up with dirt under their fingernails and six months of their lives just gone?  Did they?

Natalie: No, they didn't.  So, as I said, Chloe was frantic, but understandably so.

Chloe: Thank you!

Pintip: I love not only your voice, Chloe, but also the voices of the secondary characters. In fact, one of the most endearing things about this book is your friendship with Maggie. What do you value most about her?

Chloe: Mags is a wild card.  Everybody underestimates her.  See, she has a minor stutter.  Because of that, some idio--*stops and clears throat* I mean, some people--think she's slow or shy, but she's totally not.  Mags is wicked smart and a shameless flirt.  And I guess I love her for snowing them all over, you know?  

Pintip: I totally agree. So now that we're on the subject of boys... Chloe, you had two hot guys within arm's reach during most of this story. *** lowers voice *** Just between us. And the Honestly YA readers. Who was the better kisser?

Chloe: *sinks low in chair* Can we not talk about this?  Because Adam will read this.  He reads everything.  I once caught him reading the user instruction manual in my car.

Natalie: It's not like he doesn't know all of this anyway.

Chloe: Still.  There's knowing and then there's knowing. *grimaces* But, okay, fine.  From a technical standpoint, Blake is perfectly qualified in the kissing department.  But kissing Adam...yeah.  Well, there's kissing.  And then there's kissing.

Pintip: Yeah, I bet! Now, Chloe, you've known Adam for years. What was the moment that made you realize he's not who you thought?

Chloe: Adam was like an urban legend -- all hot and troubled or whatever.  I mostly avoided him.  *goes quiet*  But there was this night outside of Maggie's house when I was trying to figure out what had happened to me.  I was still so freaked out and I was yelling at him, and he just--he kept me calm.  He somehow slowed the world down so I could breathe again.  I guess I sort of knew how wrong I'd been about him.

Pintip: Oooh, I love that! Slowed the world down, huh? Now that's a great description of love! Okay, Natalie, 'fess up. Who was more fun to write, Blake or Adam? 

Natalie: Blake was easier to write, but Adam was more interesting.

Pintip: Pretend for a moment that you don't know what you know. Which one is more your type?

Natalie: I've always been a sucker for the hot and troubled type.

Pintip: Me, too! Imagine that. Well, girls, this has been so much fun, but Chloe's eyes are getting watery from not blinking. Adam's going to think we made his girlfriend cry, and we don't want that. So, one last question. Natalie, what's next for you?

I have another YA thriller in the works, but sadly I can't talk too much about it because it's in edits now.  I can tell you I'm beyond excited about this project.  It deals with an amazing heroine who discovers a couple of really disturbing things.  When she gets the chance to set things right, it ends up costing her more than she ever dreamed.  It's really just intense, and I can't wait to say more.

Pintip: Oh wow. That sounds so amazing. I can't wait to read it. Thanks so much for being here, Natalie and Chloe!

Natalie: Thanks so much for having me here today!!  I'm super excited to be a part of the blog and I know Chloe was, too, even if she is looking longingly at the door letting her out of this classroom.

She Has Everything She Ever Wanted. But Not Her Memory...
When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life.
Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.
What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows...

Lost for years in a maze of cubicles and file rooms, Natalie found her way back to her love of writing. Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, their three amazing kids, and a giant dust-mop who swears he's the family dog.  Follow her on Twitter @natdrichards or visit her at


Natalie D Richards said...

Oh no, I think it ate my comment!! LOL! Thank you so much for having me today, Pintip! I had an asbolute blast doing the interview with you and I'm super excited to be here! :-) I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of Six Months Later.

Sheri Adkins said...

What a fun interview! I was lucky enough to get an early reading copy of this book and LOVED it more than words can say. Such a great read. Go out right now and buy, borrow or steel a copy of Six Months Later... you will not be sorry!

Susan Gee Heino said...

Cool, I just started reading this and I love it. Natalie's voice is great--it's like my best friend walking me through a creepy cool story. It's kind of "out there" so I really don't know what's going to happen from one page to the next. But don't tell me! I want to find out for myself. lol

Lorie Langdon said...

Thanks so much for being with us today, Natalie! Great interview!!

Pintip said...

Thanks so much for being here, Natalie! I always love hanging out with you, and it was so great to meet Chloe, too! She is one cool gal. ;)

Darcy said...

I would very much like to forget the 6 months I wore blue eye shadow, Madonna gloves, and mall bangs in middle school.

Still, I'm guessing Chloe's got me beat ;)

Fabulous interview Pintip, Natalie, & of course, Chloe! Can't wait to dive into this story! Which I will totally read WITH the lights on because I'm the queen of all wussies.

Margaret said...

I'm in the middle of SIX MONTHS LATER and I've decided to sleep with the lights on tonight. :) So Nat, what was your least favorite part of this book to write.

BTW, I am loving the book!

Lea Nolan said...

This sounds great! Congrats, Natalie!!! :)

Romily Bernard said...

SUCH a great interview, Pintip and Natalie!! I am grinning like an idiot!!

Kimberly said...

OMG! If this eats my comment again, I give up! This is my third try...
Pintip, Natalie, (and Chloe),
What a great interview! I feel so invested in these characters now that I absolutely have to buy the book! The characters sound amazing.
I can't even imagine losing six months of my life. The idea of the book is both interesting and creepy. I can't wait to figure it all out.
Good luck with the book!

Unknown said...

Love the interview, Pintip and Natalie! And Chloe, of course. I'm halfway in love with Adam, myself :)