Well, it’s me talking about Transgressive Writing all the time and having a chance to be able to interview another female writer in the same genre. Natalie Nider, a beautiful young lady, is the writer of the upcoming anthology collection, “For My Amusement”, she has created this place to acknowledge the complicated individuals, characters, their experiences, and how those stories stay with us long after the last page. Natalie writes stories in her own fictional works as well as on her blog Trainwreck Tendencies, where a reader can find trainwrecks who have lived their lives deeply, reviews on novels that have captured that same gritty area, and interviews with others who have their own stories to tell. Here’s a quick chat with Natalie.
Hi, Natalie, first thing first, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? And as a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I've been writing stories since I was six years old. I don't think there was ever a moment where I realized or decided I wanted to be a writer because I've always been one. I've never known any different. Throughout the years, especially as a child, I've wanted to be quite a few things when I grew up aside from being a published author ... A forensic psychologist, a graphic designer, an English teacher … I even have a few college credits for the times where I attempted to go through with becoming something reality. It just always felt like a waste of time to pursue things that I didn't love.
That’s awesome, it makes me curious when did you decide to become a writer in the Transgressive Genre as I see this is normally a genre mainly male dominant.
There was a long time where I went back and forth on my genres that I wrote in and none of them felt quite right. I had already been writing transgressive fiction and just didn't know it. When I first came upon the official name of the genre it was like a light bulb went off. I decided to continue to write transgressive fiction, despite its abundant population of men because it's what I want to write. Being a woman has never put me off to the genre or has ever intimidated me. Women can be just as vulgar and as unorthodox as men, if not more so. I want to see more women in transgressive fiction for that reason. Society tends to be more offended when a woman is all of the things that transgressive fiction represents than when a man is. Such is the point of the genre in the first place: it should offend someone.
We’ve got that in common. I agree with you and I hope we see more female writers in this genre. Tell us what about Transgressive Genre attracts you?
It's raw, unorthodox, and gritty, it caters to the trainwrecks … the transgressive genre demands to be heard but doesn't feel like it has to convince anyone to listen.
True but some believe Transgressive Fiction is not something they want to read. It’s too dark and pessimistic. So, as a writer in this genre, what do you think makes a good story?
Struggle. A grand one. A struggle that doesn't almost break the protagonist I feel that it should shatter them. The basis of a great story is whether or not that character is shattered and then whether or not they recover from it. As a reader and as a writer those are the stories that are worth reading to me. I don't have the time to read something that I won't spend time thinking about after it's over.
How long does it take you to write a book normally?
Writing them takes less time than editing and getting them ready for the world. A whole manuscript of a novel takes me about a year to a year and a half. A novella takes me a few months, three to six. Each short story I write takes me about a week to perfect. For My Amusement took me about 10 weeks to write and it is a collection of nine short stories. It has taken almost the same amount of time to put it together to publish.
Do you have any writing routines? What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When I have it my way I write at night time when the world is quiet. A pack of cigarettes, something to drink, an ashtray by the window, ballpoint pens, and either the laptop/notebook all are a part of the routine when I can sit on the floor and write in the late hours. During the day my writing routine looks less like a routine and more like sneaking in any words I can get down. As for my work schedule, my toddler is my full-time job -- he makes the hours. He's great, I don't write any less because of his schedule. I write during his nap, after he's gone to bed for the night, and off and on throughout the day when he is awake and preoccupied. My full-time job doesn't affect my writing schedule since I had almost the same writing schedule since before I had him.
I’m a night owl too when it comes to writing. If I have to write during the day, the daylight is blinded by the curtains. Another question. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Real-life is the best inspiration for transgressive fiction. Life has a way of putting us and the people around us in some fucked situations. I draw the majority of inspiration from that.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I've written a few unpublished books. The very first was when I was six, The Boy. It was more or less a story about this little boy's mother dying and the father getting remarried the next day. Honesty couldn't tell you where the inspiration came from for that story at six … dark ass imagination, I guess. The first book I've written and intend on publishing ... For My Amusement. It will come out early this summer of 2021. I will be twenty-two.
That’s great. Can’t wait to read it. What does your family think of your writing?
Well, it makes for interesting small talk at the extended family get-together. I haven't exactly found a way to explain the genre I write without making someone's eyes get big or their eyebrows raise. My closest family members are supportive of it. My mother isn't stunned by what I write, she's been broken in from reading everything I've ever written -- including the one when I was six years old.
Well, that makes two of us. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
You never quite know what you'll be writing until you've written it. Even in the drafting and outlining phase I never really know exactly how the story is going to unfold or how it is going to end because I'm constantly allowing things to change in the story. It's important to be flexible.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've written about six that are unpublished and will more than likely remain that way … about a dozen outlines of manuscripts that have gotten thrown away over the years. For My Amusement will be my debut … but not the only book to be published this year from me. *hint hint* For My Amusement is my favorite as of right now. It is heavily inspired by the people I've met and the circumstances I've lived during a chaotic time period in my life. As I've said before, the fuckery of real life is a tremendous thing to draw inspiration from.
Wonderful. Do you have any suggestions to help others to become better writers? If so, what are they?
In the words of Charles Bukowski, don't try. Fiction that tries too hard tends to be obvious and does not come off as organic storytelling. Don't overthink it.
Totally agree as a Bukowski fan. Thank you so much, Natalie. Look forward to reading your book.
If you'd like to know more about Natalie check below:
The website https://www.trainwrecktendencies.com/
To know more about the upcoming book, a collection of short stories called For My Amusement check: https://www.trainwrecktendencies.com/post/for-my-amusement-a-little-something-something-about-my-upcoming-debut