Once upon a time there was an author who tried and tried to get her book traditionally published, but the evil overlords of the Publishing Kingdom would not open the gates. They all knew each other inside and were quite content not to make any new friends – especially not with outsiders – foreigners! – like Natalie.

So one day, Natalie got fed up with knocking on the gates politely. She decided to go to a neighboring village, where the people were much more amiable –
and bought some dynamite.

She returned to the Kingdom and blew the F**er to the ground. It was no more – and Natalie marched in, surrounded on all sides by hundreds of villagers, all holding their indie books tight to their chests.

They created a new kingdom from the bones and rubble; they built a city from the antiquated fallen walls.

Oh, and they all lived happily ever after.

My newly-(self) published YA/Fantasy book, The Woods. Now available on Kindle:

I’m not sure if this is typical of writers, or if this is just typical of me, but when my mind gets focused on something it’s hard for me to allow anything else in. I call it my Dog Brain – just like when a dog sees a ball or a treat, the whole rest of the world seems to disappear. Funnily enough, that’s precisely what’s been on my mind lately: dogs.

As many of you know I’m in London for the summer working on the sequel to The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able and while the going was slow at first, I’m happy to report that now, I am almost done with the first draft.

So of course, as this book is winding down, my brain, like a dog with a ball, had decided that no, it can’t possibly just rest and relax. It needs a new something to ponder and just the other day as I was walking through the park, the perfect new obsession entered my mind: You have to get a dog.

And no, my brain didn’t say, “maybe you should get a dog when you get back home,” or “perhaps it would be nice; think about it.” It said “you have to get a dog,” in a voice rather like the voice of God’s, or perhaps James Earl Jones, I always get them confused. And so here I am, a few days away from finishing my book, and now obsessing over, not the finale, but what type of dog should I get?

Psychologists out there, go ahead and tell me I am undoubtedly prolonging finishing this book, as it has been my project and my doted upon baby for the past months. Go on.

Truth be told, I know this already. It’s always the same finishing a book, whether you’re writing it or reading it. It’s exciting, liberating, and at the same time, rather depressing. What will happen to the characters when you’re gone? What will you do with the time?

Well, luckily, I still have one more book in this series to write, which I’ll begin later on this year.

In the meantime, though, I have to get a dog.

So which kind should I get?