Hey I’m Natasha, also known as N.D. Jackson! I’m originally from Chicago but I’ve lived all over the US and I’m making my way through Europe, oh and I love stories! I love to read them, to watch them on television and the big screen, and most of all I love to write them. I find people fascinating and frustrating, which in my opinion makes the most interesting stories!
I also love politics and true crime so in addition to writing romance, I also write political satire. It has been my dream to make a living as a writer since I was a kid and got lost in Judy Blume, The Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High (is my age showing?). When I’m not writing I can be found engaging in one-sided conversations with everyone from Rachel Maddow to the food I’m preparing, singing very loudly and very badly, and trying out new recipes from around the world.
I love to laugh, I gave my husband a sappy pet name and I think answers to most of life’s dilemmas can be found in an episode of Dawson’s Creek.
My first series, Mustang Prairie, is small town romance because I feel they offer a variety of fun characters whose lives are interconnected. It is based loosely on my college town, which was the smallest town I’ve ever lived in…Go Panthers! My second series, Rebel Girlz, is about a group of women bucking tradition and finding true love in the most unexpected places.
If you’re a fan of political comedy, check out Cordially Invited. It is a satire on the death penalty in the US.
What inspires you to write?
People. Two of things you can find me doing when I’m not writing, watching true crime documentaries and reading because people provide me with so much inspiration. It’s the best part of writing, figuring out how people think and what motivates them to act the way they do. I try to build my stories around complex characters, whether it is romance or satire, because you never know how each person will react in the same situation.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’d like to say I have some great streamlined process, but I don’t. My most recent novel, Feels Like Love, started with Sadie, the heroine. As soon as I introduced her in A Little Bit In Love, I knew she needed her own story. I started with her back story and immediately started to think of the perfect guy for her.
When I wrote Cordially Invited I started with an idea: Gatsby style parties being held to celebrate executions. It’s macabre but I thought it was the perfect starting point for that story. So, long story short my process is whatever I need it to be to help me build a story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, I definitely talk to them! My first published romance, Conflict Of Interest, I spent so much time talking to Shellie. She refused to follow the plans I had for her and I would ask “Shellie what are you thinking, girl?” I find it a frequent occurrence and this is why I try not to outline my stories too much. The characters turn into living, breathing–frustrating–beings who do what they want despite what the writer wants!
Who are your favorite authors?
There are plenty of authors who can easily make me lose a night of sleep: Christopher Buckley, Susan Mallery, Jill Shalvis, Marquita Valentine and Maisey Yates. These are authors I can be guaranteed to one-click right away. Some of my favorite titles include Boomsday and Pride & Prejudice…not exactly in the same genre but two of my favorites anyway. Every year I have this special copy of Jane Eyre with gold edged pages that I read. It is hands down my favorite story and I never get sick of it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had tried for years to go the traditional publishing route but I spent more time sending my manuscript to agents than I did writing and it didn’t amount to much. Living in LA I knew how fickle agents could be so when we made the move to Europe my husband just said “why don’t you do it yourself?” And by that time all the doubts and misconceptions I had about self-publishing were gone.
I still hope to get a publishing deal because what they don’t tell you when you self-publish is that you are a one man team or you need to pay and find your own awesome team.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think we’re already seeing where the future of book publishing is headed. We are headed toward an even more digital age where traditional publishing won’t be sustainable. The price differential for digital versus paperback is one reason but also our desire for instant gratification. You can click order on a digital book and have it in your device in seconds…can’t top that.
I will always love the feel of pages between my fingers, but I travel a lot and I like that I can take hundreds of books with me for my downtime.
What genres do you write?
contemporary romance, political comedy/satire, romance, interracial romance, humor
What formats are your books in?