Natalie C. Parker: “There are pieces of myself in nearly every character I write.”

5 Questions With...

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[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Natalie C. Parker and ask her five(ish) questions. Natalie’s novel Steel Tide is out now!]

Aurora: Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.

Natalie: The spoiler-free version is that Steel Tide is the second novel in the Seafire trilogy in which the adventure of Caledonia Styx and her crew gets even more dangerous and daring. This is a futuristic, high seas, high-stakes, high-action tale of sisterhood and doing what it takes to change the world and make it better. 

The slightly spoilery version is that after she’s been separated from her crew (!), Caledonia finds herself in the custody of former Bullets (aka the Bad Guys) and she must redefine her understanding of the world before she can attempt to get back on the water and resume her fight.

What was your inspiration?

In a word: adventure. In more than a word, I started writing this trilogy because I adore epic stories and was getting a little desperate for one that centered a group of girls. I wanted to write a story about girls who fight with each other and for each other and let their combined strengths and weaknesses take them into sweeping adventures. I think it’s important that we give young readers the opportunity to see themselves as heroes and I wanted to do that in a space that I love.

What character do you most relate to and why?

There are pieces of myself in nearly every character I write, but the one I most identify with is Caledonia. She is the leader of the crew and one of her greatest strengths is trusting herself and her friends to make the best choices they can in supremely difficult situations. In my own life, I’m a Gryffindor and a Sagittarius, (a Gryffittarius!) and that has made me great at blazing the trail, but not so great at remembering not to leap before I look. I definitely survive because my friends make me smarter and that’s something that is also true for Caledonia.

Why do you feel fantasy young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?

When I was a young reader, I consumed every fantasy story I could get my hands on, whether it was for young readers, adult readers, or movies. I don’t think I was unusual or unique in my love of fantasy and sci-fi, but I do think there’s more of it available now. I think that fantasy provides both an escape from the real world and a chance to see it differently, perhaps a way to ask questions about the way our world is now in ways that aren’t as immediately threatening.

What’s next for you in the book world?

Book three—the conclusion to this series—is well underway. We’ll be revealing the title and cover very soon! After that, I have a few projects in the works that will take me in new directions and I cannot wait to tell you all about them.

Who is your favorite writer right now and why?

I’m going to have to say: my wife, Tessa Gratton. Because who chooses someone other than their wife?! But in all honesty, she is writing some of the most complex and beautiful stories right now and I’m in awe of her every day.

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About the Author:

Natalie C. Parker is the author of the Beware the Wild duology, the Seafire trilogy, and the editor of Three Sides of a Heart. She earned her BA in English literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MA in gender studies from the University of Cincinnati. She grew up in a Navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan. Now, she lives surprisingly far from any ocean on the Kansas prairie where she runs Madcap Retreats with her wife. She tweets @nataliecparker.

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