Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

natAuthor Natalie D. Richards

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.

Website * Twitter

 

 Interview

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

Burt’s Bees Chapstick, a laptop with satellite internet, and a Trader Joe’s  (well, you didn’t say what size the things have to be, right?  😉
What is one book everyone should read?

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Jeni’s Almond Butter Brickle (Jeni’s is an Ohio thing that’s making its way nation-wide.  AH-MAY-ZING!)

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Beaufort, North Carolina.  Though I’ll be honest, there aren’t many places in North Carolina I wouldn’t love to call home.

 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

READERS! When I get emails or Tweets or any contact at all from readers who stayed up late or just couldn’t put Six Months Later down….it’s incredible.  I’m flattered and humbled and giddy—all at the same time!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Beaufort, North Carolina.  Though I’ll be honest, there aren’t many places in North Carolina I wouldn’t love to call home.
How did you know you should become an author?

I’ve been writing stories since I could write. I wasn’t some literature prodigy reading Tolstoy in diapers, but I was a storyteller.  I can’t really imagine doing anything else – all paths lead to writing for me.

 

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

Barbara Kingsolver, Libba Bray, John Green, Rainbow Rowell (recent addition), Laurie Halse Anderson, Dr. Seuss, really this list could go on forever and ever.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

Katie McGarry’s Crash Into You!  (EEEEE!! SO CLOSE NOW!) and Catching Fire AND Frozen
Nickname?

Nat
What do you do in your free time?
Free time?  What is this mystical free time you speak of? 😉

 

What’s your favorite season/weather?
Fall.  J  There’s something so magical about crisp October days where the sun is bright and the world smells like falling leaves and apples.  *dreamy sigh*

 

Favorite smell?

The “fall in Ohio” smell.  Leaves and cool weather and the promise of snow not too far in the future.
Favorite sport?
Hockey

 

If you had 24 hours alone how would you spend it?
I doubt I’d make it.  I’m an extrovert.  I’d probably sleep in really late, laze around with books, but eventually I’d crack and go to dinner or take my book somewhere public. I’m not always super social, but I usually like to be around people.

 

 

Favorite quote from a movie?

“We’re all pretty bizarre.  Some of us are just better at hiding it.” – The Breakfast Club

 

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Curled up reading.  And then braving the rain to go out and pick up sushi or something (see above answer)

 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I love being in airports.  If I’m not in a rush, I don’t even mind a delayed flight.  I always have books with me and there’s always an Auntie Anne’s and a Starbucks nearby and the people watching is just AMAZING.  My absolute favorite is O’Hare.  How weird am I?

 

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
Music!  Lots of stuff like the xx, Lana Del Rey, Florence & The Machine, etc.  But I usually edit in silence.

 

 

This or That
Black or White? Black!!

Night owl, or early bird?  Night Owl
Print or Ebook? Print (I love the smell of a book!)
Horror or Romance?  Both, whenever possible!
Summer or Winter? Summer

Harry Potter or Twilight?  Harry Potter

Gum or Breath Mints? Gum

Cats or Dog?  Dog
Heads or Tails? Tails

Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert!

 

six monthsSix Months Later

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?

 

EXCERPT

In Six Months Later, Chloe nods off in Study Hall.  When she opens her eyes, it’s months later, and she has no idea what’s happened or why Adam, who’s nearly a stranger, is here.

 

“You alright, Chlo?” Adam asks.

My nickname sounds right on his lips.  Natural.  He shouldn’t even know I have a nickname, let alone feel right using it.  But he obviously does.

“You look scared to death,” he adds, frowning down at me.

I’m not sure scared is the right word.  I’m not sure there is a right word for all the things I’m feeling.

“I’m fine.  Just tired,” I lie.

He walks right up to me and I swear to God, I can’t remember how to breathe.  My heart is pounding and my fingers are shaking, but somehow the world feels steady anyway.  I’m not afraid.  I should be, but I’m just not.

“Do you need to talk?  Is that why you called?” he asks.  “You know you can talk to me.”

“I know that,” I say automatically, the words coming from a place I can’t find, a great empty space in me where I’m sure a memory should be.

I feel inexplicably sad at this yawning hole, this absence.

What’s happening to me?  What happened to make me forget?

I bite my lip and feel my eyes burn with the threat of tears.  Adam’s expression softens, twisting into something pained.  Not once have I dreamed him possible of this kind of look.  Or  anything in the same zip code as this look, really.

He opens his opens his mouth to say something, and my whole body goes tense, my belly a knot of fluttering things. What is going on with me?

He reaches across the desk between us, almost, but not quite touching my fingers.  Every centimeter between our hands feels charged.  Electric.

“We can’t keep doing this, Chloe,” he says softly.

The words sting and I don’t know why.  I don’t even know what he means, but I desperately want to argue with him.  I want to shake my head and grab his hands and—this is crazy.

Way beyond crazy.

My whole world is sliding into a flat spin.  I can’t have this guy, this total freaking stranger, at the center of it.

If I don’t get away from him, I’m going to do something stupid.  Something I won’t be able to come back from.

 

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Comments

  1. Kathy, thanks so much for having me — I had a GREAT time answering your question — absolutely loved the format of your interview. Thanks so much!!