Author Chat with Natalie Mae (The Kinder Poison), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Natalie Mae author of
The Kinder Poison.
Read on for more about Natalie and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Natalie Mae!
Natalie Mae is an ex-programmer, dark chocolate enthusiast, and author of young adult novels. She has also been a freelance editor and Pitch Wars mentor, and feels it notable to mention she once held a job where she had to feed spiders. When not writing, Natalie can be found wandering the Colorado wilderness with her family.
Meet The Kinder Poison!
Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.
Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, her power to commune with animals means that her place is serving in the royal stables until the day her magic runs dry.
All that changes when the ailing ruler invokes the Crossing: a death-defying race across the desert, in which the first of his heirs to finish—and take the life of a human sacrifice at the journey’s end—will ascend to the throne and be granted unparalleled abilities.
With all of the kingdom abuzz, Zahru leaps at the chance to change her fate if just for a night by sneaking into the palace for a taste of the revelry. But the minor indiscretion turns into a deadly mistake when she gets caught up in a feud between the heirs and is forced to become the Crossing’s human sacrifice. Zahru is left with only one hope for survival: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Initially, the inspiration for this story came from an article I read about archaeologists finding the bones of children who'd been sacrificed on an ancient mountain. The children didn't appear to have struggled or suffered, which made me wonder what it would be like to live in a time when human sacrifice was revered - and of course, what it might be like to be *chosen* for such a thing. But once I finished the first draft, I realized the book wasn't about that at all. It was about a girl who'd been told all her life that no matter how hard she worked or what good she tried to do, her worth was measured by something completely out of her control: the power she was (or in this case, wasn't) born with. It's the grounds for how she ends up as the sacrifice, and as soon as I drew that parallel to my own life, that was it. It became a story of defiance, of pressing back on a world that often favors wealth and physical strength over all.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first! For the longest time, the book was simply titled "The Crossing," which is the name of the race in the story. Before we shopped the book to editors, my brilliant agent suggested we think of something more unique and eye-catching. I reread the draft, focusing on a couple of key scenes toward the end - and bam, the title hit me in the face. Readers will easily be able to pinpoint this moment when they read it!
YABC: Do you have a favorite writing snack?
I will eat a thousand goldfish crackers in a sitting if I don't portion them out.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Honestly, I think the most important thing I've learned is patience. Not only with the process, because publishing exists in a time warp separate of the rest of the world where things can take literal years longer than you'd expect, but also with myself. When I first started, everything was about speed. How much I could write. How fast I could get an agent. How quickly I could get my words out into the world. Now I'm much more focused. It's more important to me to be careful, to do things right and create the best book I can, than to try and make 5000 words in a day. I've also learned to be patient with myself when I *can't* write, so I can come back to the page refreshed the next day and not beat myself up for the time I missed.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
IS there even another choice here except the scorpion?
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
This is a hard choice! I put pieces of real people I know and love into each of my characters, so all of them are special to me. But I’d have to say my favorite to write is probably the villain. I’ve always had a soft spot for darker characters, and I especially love those who aren’t all the way gone, because there’s this delicious ongoing battle within them between the extremes they’re willing to go to and the fear that maybe they’ve gone too far. I think that makes them unpredictable and so very human, which always makes for a compelling story.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
My superpower is emailing people when they're out of the office. Seriously, the only time questions and pressing matters occur to me is when my agent/editor/whoever is out and about enjoying the world, or also when they are insanely busy. Luckily, because I know this about myself, I have grown even more patient over the years.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Right now I'm working on edits for THE KINDER POISON’s sequel, which will release in 2021, but I have a couple other books in progress I hope to be able to share more about soon ...
The Kinder Poison
By: Natalie Mae
Release Date: June 16th, 2020
One winner will receive a copy of The Kinder Poison (Natalie Mae) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I can't wait to see the bookstagram pictures that this cover inspires. The purple is gorgeous. This is definitely on my TBR list.