Nathalie M.L. Römer is an author of many books, including The Wolf Riders of Keldarra series, Subject (The Utopus Series), The Mystery of Priory Mansion, The Keldarra Series (novella spin-off series based on The Wolf Riders of Keldarra) plus a lot more in progress. That’s a lot, so tell us about your main series.
My main series is The Wolf Riders of Keldarra, and it’s fantasy set in the land Keldarra. It is the story of Marrida and Alagur, who come from different backgrounds which are at odds with one another. She is a Keeper, a part of the secretive Order of Truth; he is a Wolf Rider, who gets wounded and ends up healed by her. Their chance meeting sets in motion events foretold in a prophesy of more than three thousand years ago, which until now by most is dismissed as “myth”. They discover that the prophesy is a lot more, that there’s a plot going on to bring back the events that caused Keldarra to become enslaved by “the northern invaders”, and by the end of book two war has started in Keldarra and that complicates things even more. In book three and beyond you’ll discover who is behind all these events, and why the Order of Truth is not quite the benevolent organisation it claims to be.
Tell us about yourself and what inspired your writing.
My writing journey is a long one. As a child and teen, even in my early twenties I wanted to write, but life always got in the way of it somehow. In my twenties and thirties it was an abusive marriage. But then in 2008 I met a new guy and after a few years of him helping me heal, I started to think about the dream of writing again. In 2014, after a few years of trying to find a job I could do with the debilitating back problems I have, I started to think about an idea for a story I had. I wrote that story down. These days I joke about the fact it was just 1,600 words long, and in a way you can consider it as “flash fiction”. It featured Marrida from the series I mentioned above. I play World of Warcraft, and it’s a game based on the idea of conflict between two factions, and one day I was thinking about Marrida and how I wanted to make a longer, better story for her. I decided I had to create a world of conflict myself. But I decided to base my conflicts on real events that govern our own world. Around the time I was thinking about this I saw a news report about the boy soldiers in Africa and also another one where they talked about the abduction of the girls in Africa. I immediate was deeply moved by this, and decided to feature a world in which children might not be safe from the conflict going on. The next inspiration came from World of Warcraft. I logged in to the game one day on a Horde character, and that character had to jump aside when I saw some new non-player characters (“NPC”) riding past… it was these NPCs who were the direct inspiration for the theme of The Wolf Riders of Keldarra. A lot of my plot revolves around things that happen in our world, or as I always say on my book bio “the rights and wrongs of our world”. I developed the series to cover a lot of politics of our world, conflicts of our world, beliefs of our world, behaviours and social norms of our worlds. I guess any social science or political science student will have a field day with figuring out what in my books is based on the real events that happen in our own world. So my inspiration to start writing is because I want to tell people what goes on in this world of ours, but in a subtle way so it makes you think about it.
Awe, intertwining the real with the fiction, such a fun thing to do. How did you go about getting published?
I am an independent author. I own my own imprint Emerentsia Publications, and I use KDP, CreateSpace, Ingram Spark and Kobo to get my books out there. To me publishing is an evolutionary process. I never stop trying to improve what I wrote and what I am writing. One day, perhaps, I’ll have at least one book also published with a traditional publisher. I am working (slowly!) on the plot of that book. If I make the book good enough, this dream will happen.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I am a night owl. I function best at night. I don’t watch television, and everyone else sleeps so there’s no outside noises to distract me. My writing process begins when I see something that touches my heart. I may see a news story on the news when I do watch television, or I read something inspirational on the internet, or I may just get an interesting “what if” idea in my head. Usually the title comes first. I write that down. I think my “possible titles” list is now six pages long in a notepad I keep next to me on my desk. Then a plot idea is written down. Most of the idea I come up with a sub-plot first and then the main plot of a story. For example, in my book The Mystery of Priory Mansion, the relationship between Lucas Cayton and his girlfriend is the sub-plot, but coming up with the sub-plot leaves me to come up with a good main plot because of it usually. Marrida’s story is also a sub-plot. The real story, well, err like Dr. River Song from Dr. Who says “Spoilers…” so I won’t tell what the real plot is about, but the clues ARE there if you pay attention to the story.
‘Night owl’ that is definitely not me, though it would be nice since that’s the only time it is quiet here. So, what do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I am creative as an artist and doing crafts as well. That’s what I do when I need to “meditate” so to speak. I love cooking (something I planted squarely into the books). My partner claims reading my stories makes him hungry. In addition I love photography, I’d have a Alsatian if I didn’t live in an apartment on the first floor and I had somewhere with a garden, and if I had more money I would travel (need to tick off all the places on the bucket list). My partner and I are planning to visit Curaçao at the end of 2017, because that’s where my father’s family is from. We also both want to visit New Zealand at some point. When I don’t write or do any of this or any of the dreaming about places to visit, my partner and I are working on a business we want to get going.
Business, business are so much ‘fun’. 😉 What’s your all time favorite animal? It can be mythical.
Someone sounds pretty sure! Do you have a favorite myth? If so, tell us about it!
I’ve always read books with myths of different countries. But my all time favourite one is a story from South America with the story of how “man” and “woman” came into existence. In this story, they both were created from clay and at the same time. In the story were first two formless creatures with no will of their own. Then one day the woman goes bathing in a small pond, and washes all the clay away. The man walks by and sees an unfamiliar naked woman standing there. She tells him to wash too. When he does it, they fall in love and have many children and with it start the human race. In a small way I recreated this myth in my first book in the series The Wolf Riders of Keldarra as homage to it.
I’ve actually heard of that myth before, I just can’t place where. Either way, before you go, tell us about what you’re working on.
I have been working on the third book in The Wolf Riders of Keldarra, which just came out on 9 February 2017, and one of the next books out is Code Word Indigo which continues the story started in my book Subject 37.
That’s awesome! Well, thank you for coming! As for our readers, learn more about Nathalie M.L. Römer at https://www.facebook.com/nathaliemlromer/