Greetings! This is Alexis Alvarez, and today I’d like to introduce you to accomplished author Natasha Knight. She’s published over twenty books, many of which rocketed to the top rankings on Amazon shortly after release. Her books usually involve themes of dominance and submission, and many explore the darker urges that lurk inside her heroes and heroines, delving into the complex emotions and needs that drive them. There are lots of sexy spankings and there’s always an HEA.
Natasha is incredibly welcoming and helpful to new authors and is well-respected in the writing community. She leads a fascinating life as an ex-pat American living in Amsterdam, and she let me interview her to get a glimpse into her unique world, even providing me with some cell-phone snapshots of her daily life (which is very different from my Arizona routine!)
Here’s my interview with Natasha…I know you’ll love getting some insight into her life and creative process.
Thanks for joining me, Natasha! First of all, how long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for about four years and published for three.
How would you describe your books?
Well, I guess it depends. I started out writing spanking romance and have moved to darker romances. At this moment, probably the best way to describe my books is full of emotion, heavy on the angst and drama. I feel the best when I am grabbing tissue after tissue to dry tears or my belly goes funny at some interaction between hero and heroine.
What did you do before writing?
Well, I studied business administration but really didn’t know what I wanted to do for a long time. After having kids, I stayed home for a while and taught yoga, which I loved, but when we moved to Holland, I stopped teaching and started writing.
Are you kinky/spanky in real life?
Yes. I write what I like. I don’t share much publicly of this part of my life and won’t here, but I can tell you if I don’t find it hot, I won’t write it. I started writing spanking romance because I was in the closet for a very long time, feeling shame over it mostly. You should have seen how I told my husband… When I had a first story accepted (for a whopping $75), I was so excited that I called him at work to tell him ‘hey, just so you know, I’ve been writing, you know, to pass the time. And it’s erotic.’ That revelation was met with silence…
A few weeks later, another acceptance and it went something like this ‘So, you know how I said it was erotic? Well, it’s BDSM.’ Crickets….
Then, finally… months later ‘It’s spanking romance actually, but I don’t want that myself, you know. I mean, of course not. Why would I want you to spank me?’ nervous laughter on my part, strange look on his…
Finally, I think it was Christmas a couple of years ago, I told him what I wanted and that’s how it all began! Now, he just keeps asking me ‘where have you been all these years?’ It’s a good feeling to just be comfortable and no longer hiding, you know? Oh, and for any readers of this interview thinking it’s all blissful happiness in the Knight household, it’s not. We’re human. We have good and bad and it’s not always like the books!
What prompted you to move away from traditional to self publishing?
I think it started for me when I wrote Given to the Savage. It was darker than the spanking romances I’d been writing and I kind of fell in love with it. I struggled a little after that book, trying to figure out what I wanted to do and where I fit. That was about the time I had talked to Trent Evans who co-authored Captive, Mine with me. We self published that book and the idea of trying one out on my own was already forming in my mind so when Captive, Mine was received well, it gave me courage to try another and once I did, I was hooked. I love the control, I love that I have final say over everything (although I admit sometimes, it’s daunting and think back to the days of ‘this is your cover’ and think it wasn’t so bad).
It’s definitely more work and more time to self publish and it’s all on you, but ultimately, what I love most is that there are no restrictions, not guidelines I have to follow. I can write whatever I want and not have to censor myself. That said, my publisher was awesome, absolutely no complaints, but right now, I like being independent very much.
Does your husband read your books, either before or after publication?
He has read some but not all. Although sometimes, he’ll do something and I think ‘hey, is that from… my book?’ 😉
Do your kids know what you write about?
They are young so they don’t know about the erotic piece, but they know I write romance. My younger one even plots them out with me! PG versions at least…
How long have you lived in Amsterdam? 4 ½ years.
What was the most challenging thing about adapting to life in Amsterdam as an American?
Well, before we got here, I thought people are people wherever you go, but that’s not quite right. They’re different, and I guess that’s with every culture. I miss the friendly, easy-going manner of Americans (from Colorado where I lived). I miss people smiling back when I smile and am still stunned at times at what is considered okay to say here. I miss sunshine, very much, and I miss my old friends, the ones who were around when the kids first came.
Do you ride bikes all the time?
Yep! I do love that! It’s a flat country and traffic is a freaking disaster here! I do have a tiny little Fiat 500 for when I can’t bike!
Are there a lot of flowers & tulips around town?
Yep! Seriously, flowers everywhere – everyone has them in their house all the time and it’s so green here. It’s beautiful, but I miss the vast blue skies of Colorado.
Do you hang out with Europeans, other American ex-pats, or both? Both.
Are you fluent in Dutch? How long did it take to learn the language?
Not fluent, but I do speak. I took lessons for over a year. Pretty much everyone speaks English with me as soon as they hear the American accent, which I so appreciate, but it does keep you from ever truly learning a language.
What do you miss most about living in the USA? Least?
Most are friendly people and sunshine, least – Oh, I know! Driving!! The distances are so great there – at least where I was from. Oh, I miss great beer too (here at most bars is Heineken so we just started to brew our own). Best IPA ever at Golden City Brewery! I pay a visit every time I’m back home.
Are your winters cold & snowy?
They’re grey and cold, but not super snowy, at least not in the time I’ve been here.
Do any of your family and friends know that you write under a pen name? If some do, what made you decide to trust them with the info?
My mom knows and my sisters know. My in-laws, honestly, I’d tell my father-in-law if I knew he wouldn’t tell my MIL. My SIL and her husband know what I write but don’t know my pen name. As far as what made me trust those who know, well, I’d made a mistake once on Facebook so people found out, which turned out to be okay for the most part. As far as deciding whom I tell, I think it’s just a matter of whether or not I truly trust them in general, you know? And truly, I’m in a place at the moment where I think ‘if you’re going to judge me, I’m not that concerned with you anyway’. That is a great place to be!
How do Amsterdam natives feel about the legalization of marijuana in the US? Do they think we’re a little slow/backward for taking so long to make it legal? Do they even really care, lol?
I don’t think they care so much. They think we’re all behind but IMO, they’re behind in so many different ways so it’s a wash! LOL
Have you ever visited the Red Light district?
Yep. You kind of run into it almost all the time! Even my kids know it well. Should I not say that out loud?? 😉 When you come for a visit, I will take you there.
Do you feel that people in your city have a more tolerant view towards sexuality because prostitution is legalized?
I’m not sure if it’s because prostitution is legalized but the Dutch in general are a very tolerant culture.
I’ve heard really good things about the educational system in Europe, spec. Amsterdam. Are there things you find especially good about it compared to US?
Okay, I can say with kids who are now in grade and middle school, they learn so much stuff I can’t remember learning! My older daughter is studying German, English (easy for her), French, Spanish and Dutch at school in addition to all the usual classes like math, geography, history, etc…
What do you do in your city for fun on a weekend?
Oh, you know, the red light district…coffee houses… 😉 Nah! On Friday nights we usually have what’s called a borrel with friends. It means happy hour. It’s one of the first Dutch words I learned. Saturdays are busy with sports for the kids and Sundays we try to do something with the four of us at least for a few hours (annoying the kids while we’re at it). That ends up being a museum or visiting a new village and then lunch. Always food with us…
Do you get to travel around Europe a lot? Do you have a favorite city or place besides your home town?
We travel more than we used to in the US, but not enough! My favorite place? I love Venice and Tuscany. I love Italians, they’re some of the warmest people I’ve ever met and I’d love to buy a home there someday. My husband just says ‘go check out some prices and come back to me’. Stick in the mud, that one.
Do you think you’ll ever move back to the USA?
I don’t know. I say yes, I want to, but there are things about Europe I love too, so I just really don’t know.
What do you like to read for fun when you’re not writing?
All kinds of books, just depends on the moment.
Do you have any hobbies you’d like to share?
Apart from reading? Yoga. I love yoga. I also like to cook and bake and decorate cakes.
Do you have another job in addition to writing, or is this your main work? This is it, apart from taking care of the kids.
Any advice you’d like to give to other authors?
‘Just write’. That’s my advice. Get off line, don’t worry what anyone else is up to, and just write. Write your stories and leave the rest be. You have no control over how things go once you publish, not really, but the more you write the better you’ll get so just write!
Thanks so much to Natasha for opening up to us and sharing part of her life and her thoughts. It’s a privilege to be trusted with this kind of information. One reason I wanted to interview Natasha is because I genuinely enjoy her books. In fact, reading one of her books was part of what got me started on my own journey of writing erotic romance. I’d read a certain popular book-turned-movie that deals with BDSM and a billionaire, and was frustrated with the writing style. Then I read Natasha’s book Aching to Submit and thought, Yes! This is done right — beautifully written, artistic, sexy and real.
Natasha was warm, friendly and incredibly helpful to me as a new author, and offered excellent advice in many areas with absolutely no expectations of getting anything in return. I’ve found that romance/erotica authors are some of the most supportive authors around, and Natasha really role-models the concept of authors helping each other out and propping each other up. So I wanted to let you all know how cool she is as a person, in addition to being a best-selling author. I think that her dedication to her craft shows in all aspects of her life – not just the writing, but how she interacts with and supports others in the genre.
Although Natasha has many book available on Amazon, I want to show you her most recent two (which I loved) and the one that first inspired me.
Click on each title below to visit the book on Amazon.
Natasha’s latest release, Alpha, is a shape-shifting paranormal romance, dark and gritty, with D/s sex and an HEA. This is a fascinating story of love between a woman who’s searching for the truth and the man who isn’t sure she’s ready to hear it. Aria is a strong, feisty heroine who meets her match in Zane, a man (or is he?) who’s fighting demons of his own. Their path to true love is twisted and carries tragedy, but passion gets them through it. Natasha integrates fantasy and reality in an alluring mix that is guaranteed to keep you reading until the last page. If you’ve been looking for a rough, hard, sexy alpha hero? You just found him.
Her recent release, Deviant, is a fascinating, dark read, dealing with people who live on the most extreme fringes of society and slowly work their way back to a safe place, back to humanity; it’s redemption through love and trust. It’s not an easy read, but it’s exhilarating and will probably make you cry. I recommend it to anyone who likes dark erotica with a happy ending.
In Aching to Submit, a young wife struggles with secret desires that she’s afraid to disclose to her husband, fearful that he’ll react with disgust and disappointment. But when he finds out that she’s been doing a little exploration behind his back, he steps up his dominance and surprises her with hidden needs and desires of his own – and lets her know in no uncertain terms exactly what he will expect in the future. Their D/s agreement has everything it takes to launch their marriage into new heights, with punishments, consensual kink, and a heat level that’s off the charts.
You can find Natasha here:
Are you a member of Kindle Unlimited? If so, you’re in luck! Natasha has some select titles available through the KU program. Click on the title below to visit the book on Amazon.
Natasha, thanks for joining me today. I wish you continued success with your writing.
Thanks to all of my readers for joining me today for the interview with Natasha.