Today I’m VERY excited to have Natalie D. Richards stop by to promote her new release, Six Months Later. Six Month Later is a young adult mystery/thriller (that will leave you on the edge of your seat!) that was released October 1, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire.
About the Book
Author: Natalie D. Richards
Pub Date: 10/1/13
Format: e-book, hardcover
Pages: 336 pages
Pub: Sourcebooks Fire
Read: August 16, 2013
Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com • Author’s Website
Book Type: YA, mystery, thriller
Chloe didn’t think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But 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?
And why can’t she remember? (From Goodreads.com)
Why You Should Buy It
This creeptastic mystery will grab you by the lapels from the first word and won’t let go until the very end. Six Months Later is everything to love in a great mystery thriller book.
*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*
There are some books that you have to get into to. You have to push through the first few chapters before the rewards pay off. And then there are those books that grab you from the first word. Six Months Later happened to fall in the later category. From the first moment I opened it, I was hooked. I spent the entire book confused, stomach in knots, wondering what was going on. This book was downright creepy!
The writing was great, but beyond that the story was so captivating. I mean, pages into the story she is waking up six months in the future, so you spend most of the book wondering what happened to this poor girl. The confusion, twists and turns were just enough to propel the story through to the end.
There is one other thing I want to mention about the book. I LOVE how Chloe realizes that all the changes in her life that everyone seems to love are just not her. She is a strong enough individual to understand that being things you aren’t just to please others is not what life is about. And especially when she comes to the conclusion that the things she has to be to date a boy she liked aren’t who she is, we really get to see what a mature and intelligent character we are dealing with.
As a person who normally figures the plot out early in a book, I was pleasantly surprised to NOT know what was going on for most of the book. I had all kinds of wild theories going on: pod people, aliens, mind control, comas, etc. Trying to figure out what was going on was just as fun as reading the book.
And even when you find out what is going on, there still isn’t relief. I was so nervous, so invested in Chloe that I couldn’t slow down until I knew she was safe. And that, my friends, is why I enjoyed this book so much. It was everything to love in a mystery thriller.
Inside the Author’s Head
Welcome to the blog! Can you first tell readers where the idea came from for Six Months Later?
Thank you so much, Jessica! It’s lovely to be here — thank you for having me!
Six Months Later was actually born from a work nightmare I had. LOL! In the dream, I’d dozed off at my desk and when I opened my eyes, it felt like only a few moments had passed, but outside it was a totally different season. The dream was like a nanosecond long, but it left me so chilled. And that question, “What if you fell asleep and woke up missing a huge chunk of time?” stayed with me, slowly unfolding into something much bigger.
This story was completely fascinating and terrifying. What kind of research did you have to do to prepare yourself to write it?
Jessica, I’m going to cut this question out and keep it in my pocket for yucky days — how sweet of you!! I’ll be honest, creepy is right in my wheelhouse. My friends don’t tend to ask me if I’m going to write something dark. They ask “How Dark This Time?” It’s actually sort of weird because I’m a total class clown who loves to laugh, so who knows why I’ve got this eerie streak running through me, but I obviously do!
It’s not really just about the fear for me, it’s more about what a character is going to do with that fear. When things in life go horribly wrong, we all find out what we’re really made of. So for my books, and especially Six Months Later, the most important research I did was on my characters. I needed to really understand them. A lot of it happens in edits, to be honest. I learn so much as I write characters that I have to go back and fix things in the beginning that don’t feel right now that I know them better.
How did your studies and experiences in life help shape who you are as a writer?
I’ve studied writing and literature since I was very young and in my career path, I’ve practiced technical, legal, and business writing. I’ve also pursued several fiction writing classes and joined writing groups, which is enormously helpful. That said, I’m still a firm believer that the best way to become a good writer is to read. A Lot. I think it’s a critical part of the job. There are loads of classes and books that are helpful. If asked for recommendations, I’d have to say Stephen King’s “On Writing” is at the top of the stack for me.
Okay, so I always like to see what authors read. What are your top five favorite books and why?
Oh, man. There’s just no way I can pick my top five. And that’s really because I probably have a top 100. I love books. I mean, I love them so much I might have attachment issues I should discuss with a therapist! But here’s five that have been in that top list for a long while.
1. Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere (because the setting and concept are beyond words)
2. Barbara Kingsolver – The Poisonwood Bible (killed my soul and gave me hope at the same time)
3. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (her voice is magical and this book is simply amazing)
4. Laurie Halse Anderson – Wintergirls (because her honesty is necessary and still beautiful)
5. JK Rowling – Harry Potter (I think Harry Potter is bigger than any explanation I can offer – it’s brilliant from beginning to end in a thousand ways.)
Night owl or early bird? How does it help with your writing process?
NIGHT OWL! This would help much more with my writing process if my productive time actually peaked in the evening. But mostly, I find myself on YouTube watching random trailers or on eBay trying to justify the purchase of a cotton candy maker (or something equally ridiculous.)
Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
Yes. I think I wanted to be an author before I knew what they were called.
If you could live in one ‘book world’ which one would it be and why?
Wow, great question! Love this! Hmm, off the top of my head I’d go with Rivendell from the Lord of the Rings because everything about it sounds gorgeous, serene, and magical.
What projects do you think you’ll work on next now that Six Months Later has been published?
I’ve already finished my next YA thriller, One Name a Week, which I’m super excited about. I’m still in the edit/rewrites phase, so I can’t say too much, but I can tell you it’s about a girl who discovers some very dark things going on in her high school. When she discovers a way to make things right, she goes for it, but it will cost her more than she’s willing to pay. 😉
I also have a few other things in the works including a middle grade adventure and a couple of other dark YA books, one with a little edge of sci-fi.
I hope those answers don’t scare anyone off!! J Thanks again so much for having me — it’s been a blast to be here!!
About the Author
Natalie D. Richards won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn’t dare do the dishes.)
Now she writes about awesome girls, broody boys, and all things dark and creepy. When she’s not writing or shopping her manuscripts, you can probably find her wading through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom.
Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her techno-wiz husband, three amazing kids, and a seventy pound dust-mop who swears he’s the family dog.
Connect with Natalie