I am very pleased to be welcoming Natalie to Novel Kicks today and her blog tour for her new novel. To celebrate the release of Love You Better, Natalie tells us about her typical writing day. Over to you, Natalie.
Being a bit of a nomad, typical days are few and far between now, let alone a typical writing one, but one thing I always try to incorporate is yoga. It’s a nice way to stay constant with so many physical and environmental changes and I find it really helps to get my mind settled, especially because I tend to have a million things going around in my head at once and it only increases when I’m writing.
After yoga and breakfast, I usually start with checking my social media, emails and then get a cup of tea going. I tend to go back and re-read a couple of the previous chapters to get me back into the groove again, and start from there. My ideal working spot is somewhere quiet, where I can disconnect from the distraction of the internet and plug in my music, but since I’m travelling a lot I tend to end up in buys hub cafe’s. It can sometimes stretch my day out by a few hours with people dropping by to say hello, but it can also be pretty precious, and let’s face it, working in a cafe in Goa, or Cornwall by the beach is hardly a chore! I’ve met lots of people in situations like that who’ve inspired aspects of my characters, or situations.
My new nomadic lifestyle has taken some getting used to, but it’s done wonders for my writing. Right now, my typical day sees me working at the kitchen table in a crazily decorated house full of successful session musicians where I’m staying with Air BnB. Finding the time to write is difficult, but the people I’ve met and the situations I’ve found myself in have given me countless material I can use in future books. It’d be hard not to, staying in places like this!
I’ll keep going until I get hungry or square eyed from the laptop, usually around dinner time, at which point I’ll do another social media check before logging off. Most of the time, I’ll be thinking about the book before I fall asleep and plot out a few extra points in the storyline or character personalities, and that becomes the starting point for work the next day.
After breaking up with her boyfriend of ten years, Sheffield born Natalie Martin decided to leave her corporate job in London and experience the world – heading off on travels that would take her as far as Cambodia, North India, Goa, and Thailand, and would change her outlook on life for good. Whilst travelling in India, her debut novel Together Apart, became a No.1 bestseller on Amazon charts. Love You Better is her second novel. Natalie’s base is now London, but she is very much a modern day nomad, never quite knowing where she’ll end up next. A trained Yoga instructor, Natalie is still travelling, and is currently exploring Germany. Natalie is a lover of books, music, chocolate peanuts and all things French.
and at www.nataliekmartin.com
My verdict on Love You Better….
After a soul-destroying breakup with her ex, Smith, Effie Abbott has met the man of her dreams. She’s had the whirlwind romance and the fairy-tale wedding to the charming and suave Oliver Barton-Cole, and life seems firmly back on track.
Things were never simple between Smith and Effie, so when he forces his way back into her life, Effie knows he’s a complication she doesn’t want or need. After all, she has Oliver, a man who loves her better than Smith ever did.
But when cracks in her marriage begin to emerge and Oliver shows flashes of a darker side, Effie has to question just how well she really knows her husband, and whether Smith is back to derail her seemingly perfect marriage or save her from it.
Having broken up with her previous boyfriend, Smith, Effie’s life now seems to be perfect. The book opens up on her wedding to Oliver who is charming, devoted to Effie and is totally the opposite to Smith.
Oliver did seem too good to be true for me and I was waiting for the moment where he would begin to show his true colours. He really is a nasty character.
One of the themes in the novel (domestic violence) is something that should be taken seriously and I feel that Natalie handled it well and with sensitivity within the plot.
Natalie does try to explain why Oliver would be like he is (not that ANYTHING excuses what he does) but he becomes a little more dimensional as a character. I really had a dislike for him. He’s passive aggressive before graduating to physical abuse and he’s just basically not a nice man.
I felt for Effie. She wants love, stability and the family life she feels she missed out on as a child. She feels she can have all of this with Oliver but he turns out to be quite different to what she imagined and as the book progresses, you can see Effie become more and more passive in her own life as Oliver takes over.
The relationship I found most interesting was the one between Effie and her mother. To begin with, you assume Penny to be quite a shallow character but as the plot progressed, I saw other sides to her and I liked how things were left between Penny and Effie.
Smith begins the story being the bad guy and it’s revealed that he is not all that he seems either.
There are a few plot twists and turns which made me want to keep reading (when I should have been sleeping.) I read this within about a day and a half which considering I had twelve hour shifts too it was not bad going.
The story is shocking in places and I was a mixture of happy, sad and angry as I progressed through the novel.
Overall, despite one the themes being slightly hard to read, I liked this novel. It was complex, compelling and Natalie’s writing style is great to fall into. This book is about love and betrayal (not always in it’s most obvious forms.)
It has romance but it is a hard hitting novel in places.
I recommend this novel to anyone who is looking to get engrossed into a good book.