N.L. Hudson interview - anything worth having doesn’t come easy
Natasha Latrice Hudson goes by the penname of N.L. Hudson. She describes herself as a mother, wife, new author, and blogger. Married with three children, she's penned a total of six books.
Sam Hunter: So, whereabouts are you from?
N.L. Hudson: I was born in St. Louis, Mo, raised in Southaven, Mississippi, which is a small city right outside of Memphis, TN. Currently, I reside in Northwest, Arkansas (the home of the Razorbacks & The U of A University).
Sam: How did you get started with writing?
N.L. Hudson: Well, I’ve always been a writer ever since I was a little girl. I used to write poems, short stories, and songs for my own pleasure. Writing has always allowed me to express myself. It was also an outlet for me whenever I was sad or just needed to release some stress.
Sam: How did you break into the publishing world?
N.L. Hudson: My husband had been trying for a while to get me to complete a book, but honestly, I didn’t know if I could or not. However, the opportunity presented itself when I went on my maternity leave late, last year. I’m not sure what it was, but something just gave me the courage to go ahead and complete one of the stories that I’d had in my head for a while. Once I finished my manuscript, I contacted several small publishers; all of which I heard back from, except for one. At that point, I prayed about it, talked it over with my husband and the rest of my family, and then I made my decision. The publisher I chose then, is the same one that I’m still with now - Natavia Presents.
Sam: How has the journey been since you’ve become published?
N.L. Hudson: Interesting! I have met some great readers and other authors whom I’ve connected with. Overall, I would say the experience has been good thus far. Now, there are times that I question myself as a writer, and that’s not because I feel that my work isn’t good. It’s for the fact that I haven’t quite gotten to where I would like to be. But then, I realize that anything worth having doesn’t come easy. So, that’s when I suck it up and continue with my passion. I know for a fact that my time will come, and I’m just going to patiently wait.
Sam: What inspires you?
N.L. Hudson: My inspiration comes from many things. I would say the main one being the readers. It makes me feel so good to hear someone say that they’ve genuinely enjoyed one of my books and that they could relate to some of my characters. Secondly, I have great support from some of my extended family members. A few of them have read every book that I’ve published, and they encourage me regularly to continue writing. Lastly, my children, my husband, my mother, brother and sister. They’ve been there since day one rooting me on. My husband and mom have actually pushed some of my paperbacks at their jobs. They believe in me a hundred percent even when I don’t believe in myself. So, it is with that foundation of love that I’ve received on this journey that inspires me to keep doing what I thoroughly enjoy.
Sam: What genre would your stories mainly fit into?
N.L. Hudson: My stories are Urban, Women’s fiction, Romance with a twist of suspense. They are all considered African American literature.
Sam: What are your three top fiction books of all time?
Sam: If you could collaborate with any author, who would that be?
Sam: What is it about those authors that has you feeling that way?
N.L. Hudson: I would say for Carl Weber, he is the epitome of creating real-life stories. His books are those that I grew up reading before the new Urban Fiction stories took over. I love a relatable story, so that’s why I would collaborate with him. Mary B. Morrison is another author who is great at spinning a tale. I’ve read every book that she has written, except for her newest non-fiction book. Mary is one of my inspirations; therefore working with her would be an honor. Nicole Jackson is a new age author who can reel you in from the very first page of her stories all the way to the end. And even after the story has ended, you’re still left wanting more. She talks about subjects that go on throughout the hood; they are real, raw, and gritty. I love an author who isn’t afraid to talk about the reality of our black communities, and how real people live. So, for that reason, it would also be an honor to work with Nicole as well.
Sam: What are you working on now?
N.L. Hudson: I am currently working on a part 2 finale of a two-book series. The first title is I Was Everything He Wanted. The second book will be titled, I Was Everything He Had. What the story is about is a young, ambitious married couple who feels as though they have the perfect life and marriage. They host parties, have date nights, support one another. The two love one another more than they probably love themselves; at least that’s what it seems like. But deep down the couple has problems that they are both overlooking. They would rather keep up the façade that everything is perfect. But when something tragic happens, it causes the once seemingly tight bond between the two, to slowly unravel. And from there, the couple find themselves questioning the perfect love that everyone, including themselves, thought they had.
Sam: What do you love most about the writing process?
N.L. Hudson: I love creating my characters, even the villains. It may seem a little weird, but it’s the most fun thing about writing. The power that I get from making a story come to life is the most intriguing thing ever because you get to choose how you want that story to play out, and how you want those characters to touch your readers. Now, sometimes I can listen to some of the readers' opinions, and go off their feedback. That’s fun too, as it allows you to connect with them on a more personal level. It makes them feel good to know that they’ve been included in your writing process. But mainly, it’s those characters in your head that tells you how the book will and will not go.
Sam: Who has been your fiercest critic? What have they said, was it useful, did you take anything away from it?
N.L. Hudson: I would say besides myself, my mom is my biggest critic. When she read my first book, she was brutally honest about the areas that I needed to work on. She has always told me to think outside of the box, be original, and think big. So, far I’ve taken her advice in those regards. It is a little challenging because I am aware of the type of stories that others write, and the fan base that they have from some of those books. In a world where you have a trend of people doing what they see it becomes tough to stand out. At times, it does make you question if you should just do what others are doing. However, I think about it and I tell myself that’s not staying true to who I am. I’d rather gain a loyal fan base that won't switch on me as the time changes.
Sam: Did you make any mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?
N.L. Hudson: Absolutely! I’ve made a ton of mistakes. The biggest one that I’ve made is not starting early. Although, the idea of creating a book had been in place for years; I didn’t think out the process when I finally decided to execute on that plan. There is so much that goes into being an author than just writing. You have to begin early by building your audience, networking, setting budgets, researching, and other things. I just sort of jumped right in when I figured it was time for me to complete my story. So, now I’m having to do all that I should have done in the beginning while also trying to complete stories. You live, and you learn though; therefore, I’m just taking each experience and applying them to my future endeavors.
Sam: What advice would you give another author that is starting out like you?
N.L. Hudson: I would say begin early, research, don’t get caught up in the industry’s drama, never allow anyone to make you doubt yourself. This gift was given to us by God so no one can take that away. Stay consistent with your work, write what’s in your heart. Also, make sure to connect with your readers, never give up, and have faith no matter how long it takes you to become successful. If this is truly your passion, then it will one day pay off.
Sam: Tell the readers a little about your most recent book?
N.L. Hudson: It's called All I Ever Wanted Was to Stay Down for You and is a spin-off book from All I Ever Wanted Was A Love Like Yours. As of right now, it is on Amazon, Goodreads, & my website as an e-book only. However, it will soon be released in paperback format as well.
Sam: That's the one I've just reviewed. As it's a spin-off, how essential is it to have read the other book?
N.L. Hudson: It's not necessary to read the first book unless you want to know about Chaz and Ises, who were the main characters in that story. Micah and Vic were just the supporting characters, and the first story only tells of how they got together. I believe that I provided a sufficient amount of backstory to where the story could be read alone.
Sam: Sure, for me it worked just fine as a standalone story. But Vic and Micah, let me get into them for a second. When I read it, I had this overwhelming urge to just smack their heads together. To me they were a frustrating couple that seemed to invite drama to rain down on them. Is that the usual reaction you get from your readers, and was it what you intended?
N.L. Hudson: Yes, this is the reaction I get whenever someone encounters Micah and Vic. See, these two are both stubborn and chaos seems to be in both of their DNA. Their similar characteristics are what attracted them to one another. At the same time, their alikeness is also what causes them to bump heads. Neither Vic nor Micah ever wants to admit that they are a part of the problem. It’s just easier for them to point the blame at the other. And because of their childish thinking it makes them both behave irresponsibly which leads to disastrous results.
Sam: A big feature in the story was Micah's relationship with her future mother-in-law, who was continually sabotaging the relationship. Okay, so I'm going a bit rogue with this question - has your mother-in-law read this story, and were you scared to ask her what she thought?
N.L. Hudson: I don't believe that she has read it yet. She hasn't mentioned anything to me about it. If she does decide to read it, I don't think that I would be afraid of her thoughts.
Sam: Okay, that's good. So, what’s next for you as a writer?
N.L. Hudson: I want to continue to connect with readers by bringing them good, quality stories that they can relate to positively. I want to travel around the world and meet new people. Also, I plan to continue branding myself, networking and doing what I love to do, which is writing.