• The Book Goat

Natalie Williamson: Rules We're Meant to Break

Yay June! A beautiful time of year for weather and for books! Dive into these brand new novels and get your summer started right!

Rules We're Meant to Break

by Natalie Williamson

Rule #1: Don't get attached.

Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mother’s love life: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected to Mom's boyfriends.

But after they move in with Kevin, the latest of her mom's “soul mates,” the rules become increasingly difficult to follow. Kevin’s daughter, Cammie, keeps acting like Amber’s friend, even though she’s definitely not. And Jordan—star basketball player, hottest boy in school, and Cammie's best friend—keeps showing up at the most inconvenient moments.

Amber has reasons for every one of her rules, and following them is the only way to protect her heart when her mom inevitably moves on. But as she spends more time with Kevin, his daughter, and especially Jordan, she starts to wonder if the rules might be worth breaking this time.

June 11th, 2019

Introduce yourself and your debut novel!

Hi there! I’m Natalie Williamson, author of Rules We’re Meant to Break. I work in HR by day and write whenever I have time—usually while my toddler is sleeping. My husband and I are total pet people, and we have two dogs, a cat, and more fish than I can count. And also an eel, who is probably the coolest animal in our house.

What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?

Honestly, the fact that it’s finally happening. This has been a dream of mine for so long, and it’s still wild to me most days that I’ll actually have a book out in the world instead of just in my head.

Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!

Hearts and squish hugs to my fellow Swoon authors debuting this year! And to Mara Rutherford and RuthAnne Snow, who I’ve known since Pitch Wars 2014. It’s so fun getting to debut with all of you.

Who is your favorite character?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, because honestly I love everyone equally. But Amber’s friend Ryan really grew on me during revisions. His scenes always make me smile.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The prologue! It was the very last significant scene I wrote, and it didn’t get added until my final major revision. I got stalled for almost a week because I loved the existing opening chapter and couldn’t figure out how to push the beginning back. But once I finally got going, I wrote basically the whole thing in one sitting, and we only make a few small changes between that first version I wrote and the final version that ended up in the book.

Describe your writing space.

I used to write curled up on the couch; I actually spent a large chunk of last year that way, working on revisions for Rules. But lately I’ve been working at the dining room table. It’s closer to the snacks in the pantry, and whenever I’m drafting I definitely need snacks.

How do you select character names?

I’m obsessed with baby name websites, and lately I’ve been really into using the Social Security website to look up popular names from specific decades. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to name my characters right away, but other times I scroll through those sites and make a list of names I like until I find one that feels right.

What are two of your favorite covers of all time?

I am obsessed with the covers for The Raven Boys series. I read mostly on my Kindle these days—much easier to sneak in pages when I’m chasing a toddler around—but I bought the whole series in hardcover just because they’re so beautiful. Same goes for Claudia Gray’s Firebird series. Those covers are soooo dreamy.

Share an inspiration picture!

This is a picture of the only character in Rules who is based on someone real. Amber’s dog, Buffy, was inspired by my dog, Gracie. I got her when I was 14 and had her for 12 wonderful years. She came to college with me and was the first heart I ever took care of by myself; she was also the first one my now-husband and I ever took care of together. It’s been a few years since we had to say goodbye to her, and I still miss those pointy ears like crazy. This photo was taken the day we “graduated” from her obedience class, and I smile every time I see it.

Thanks for chatting with me, Natalie! Everyone, go buy this book on 6/11/19!




#interview #novel19s #june

meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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