Debut romance novel, Unfinished Business, atop a pile of books

Interview: A Day in the Life of a Romance (and Suspense) Author

Natasha Carter is a romance author and soon-to-be suspense author. Her debut romance novel, Unfinished Business, was released in March 2023 to immediate success, with 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Graphic of romance novel Unfinished Business, with text overlay: What happens when the one who got away... comes back? Available now

Unfinished Business, by Natasha Carter

Do we ever really move on from the one that got away?

Charissa Collins is a newly published author who embodies both strength and vulnerability. She embraces her sexuality and isn’t afraid to go after anything she wants.

At her first book signing, she runs into her old flame, Robert Lockland. The magnetic pull between them is irresistible, but the pain from their past runs deep. Then, Charissa connects with a warm and intriguing stranger named Tristen Mickelson, who helps her forget her long-lost lover – for a little while.

Charissa finds herself in an unconventional situation that makes her question everything she’s ever believed about relationships. She struggles to make a choice, uncertain if either option will fulfill her desires – or if she really needs to choose at all…

Romance author, Natasha Carter, holding newly published book, Unfinished Business, and biting her lip

First of all, tell us about yourself!

I’m a freelance writer and social media manager who loves coffee, wine, and great conversations. I live in the Midwest, have a BA in psychology, and I’m raising two fire-breathing dragons (a.k.a. daughters). We have a couple of cats and plan on getting a dog eventually. I love astrology, tarot cards, and anything esoteric. I also won’t say no to a true crime show. Summer is my favorite season, and you’ll find me outside – usually on or near the water – for the next 3 months.

You just released your debut novel, Unfinished Business. Can you tell us about it?

Unfinished Business is an unconventional love story that colors outside the lines and makes people think. This book was written on a dare. It was meant to be a simple writing exercise to push me out of my comfort zone, but the story kept going. Despite being a “fun” book, there is a lot of depth, and the main character learns and grows a lot.

Why did you decide to self-publish rather than pursue a traditional publisher?

I received about a dozen rejections from agents. The last one was after a full request, and I lost patience for the process. A friend of mine had an agent for over 2 years and remained unpublished. I didn’t have time to waste.

What do you think were the main factors in the success of Unfinished Business?

I worked hard to build my audience over the last 3 years and made a lot of friends. Relationship building is a key component in any sales and marketing venture. I’ve been talking about my novel since I first started writing it and there were many who snatched it up right away simply because they like what I have to say. It’s also a very spicy book and those are popular – even if the mainstream media tries to sweep them under the rug.

Follow Natasha on:

Twitter: NatashaCL7

Instagram: natashacl7_

TikTok: natashacl714

A Day in the Life of a Romance (and Suspense) Author

I’m in a state of transition right now. I was working Full time at a marketing agency, but I needed to make a change. Soon, I will be starting a part time position. In the interim, I’m using the extra time to write and edit my next couple of projects.

I usually wake up around 7 am and have coffee and breakfast and bring my kids to school. Then, I work on whatever paid work I have before diving into my personal stuff – or head to the gym first – depending on the day. I try to make it there 3-4 days a week as my schedule allows.

On days I stay home, I start around 8:30 am and usually take a break around noon and go for a jog. Then, I eat lunch, shower, and switch gears. To hold myself accountable, I edit my finished draft for 1 hour and then draft my newest WIP for an hour. I’d rather write than edit, so I reward myself for being self-disciplined and doing what I don’t want to do. Haha.

Being a published Author isn’t all that much different from being a writer, other than there are now people waiting for my next book and I want to build off my momentum and get it out ASAP. I’m still trying to find a balance between my business and creative goals. I have to market my book, but I need time to write too. Trying to create content daily can be exhausting, but it is necessary.

Being a self-published author means you are a one-person show. You don’t have a marketing or PR team or anyone to help with the grunt work. You are responsible to respond to messages on all social media accounts and ensure people are buying, reading, and reviewing your work. If someone wants a signed copy of my book, I order it myself off amazon, sign it and ship it to them. There is a lot that goes into it that isn’t seen by anyone but me.

I like to work until 5 pm, but my husband usually gets home around 3:45 and interrupts me! I unwind by socializing and getting out of the house. I love live music and anything outdoors in the summer.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since you published Unfinished Business?

That some people will do anything they can to derail your progress and you have to keep going no matter what. 

You’re probably sick of this question, but I have to ask… how do you see the industry changing with the current boom in AI?

Honestly, I don’t know what will happen but using A.I. to write isn’t writing at all. That’s not why creators do what we do. I’d never use it. To me, anything created by A.I. is an imitation. It is soulless and will never be considered art to me. I think readers will be able to distinguish the difference between real writing and A.I. — and choose real human emotion vs. whatever A.I. creates. 

What do you wish everyone knew about being an author?

That it is not an easy path. It’s filled with challenges and obstacles to overcome. But it’s worth it.

What’s next for you? Can you tell us about your next book?

I’m planning on releasing my second book, Hidden Obsession by September of 2023, and the sequel six months later. Then, I plan to release my fourth book on or before my 40th birthday in December 2024. My goal is to have four published novels before I turn 4-0.

2 thoughts on “Interview: A Day in the Life of a Romance (and Suspense) Author”

  1. Love her book as it was different than the guy stuff I usually read. This was a great read and exciting following the lead character to hope she has a happy ending. Highly recommend!

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