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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Guest Spot: Nadja Notariani

Not sure how I came about finding Nadja’s webpage but I had gone by there a couple of times to see what she was all about. I don’t read romance novels, and at first glance I was a bit turned off (hahaha) By the fact that that was the genre that she wrote in…I figured that the horrible books I had started to read (I read way too much, so when I run out of things to read I pick up whatever is handy) were what she wrote, and what her blog would look like. Oh how I was wrong! I read two or three postings of hers and was surprised by the humor and sharp wit that I read. Again my own preconceptions almost got in the way of what has turned out to be a good friendship.
One day Nadja posed a question on her blog and rather than answering (I’m a peach aren’t IJ) I asked one in turn...I think it went something like this “Nadja why don’t you ask your readers what brought them to your blog, and what keeps them coming back…” I guess this sparked a curiosity in her so she came over to visit my blog. Then she did something that still amazes me; Nadja asked me if I would be willing to be interviewed on her blog. I was shoked and still am to this day that she thought to do that .
I would like to thank Nadja for agreeing to come over today, and for being a friend.

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۩                   Nadja Notariani 'Wanders' By ...۩ 

Thank you, Wander, for having me over today!  It's great to be here.

What kind of student were you?  The kind that acted all sweet but would secretly take the rubber bands from your teacher?

Oh!  (smiles impishly)  I'll have to out myself right away! 

As a student I was well behaved and generally liked by all my teachers.  However, I was always a daydreamer and an incessant talker.  I began my love affair with words at a young age.  Ha!  High school and college days ...well, let's say I embraced the adventure of adolescence and young adulthood with a certain devil-may-care attitude.  I always loved learning, still do, but I'd rather lock myself away and self-teach or listen to lectures. 
As for acting sweet...  I'm not sure what people might say about that!  I was ever trying to gain a laugh – and my quirky sense of humor didn't always translate well.  (ahem...I thought I was hilarious...that should explain much.)

What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

I have seen five very beautiful things.  No matter who or where you are, when you see your own child, you proudly puff up, admire, and tend to become quite impressed with your genetic prowess.  It doesn't matter that many, many others have their own.  They're not like the one(s) you've made.

Have you traveled much?

Traveled much?  I suppose that's relative.  I have been all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia.  I've lived in a few of them, too.  I've traveled to Indiana, Illinois, Florida, North and South Carolina, and California.  My adventures out of the States are limited to Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica.  I have not seen nearly enough. 

Who is/are your favorite authors?

Mark Twain (Samuel L Clemons)  is one of my all-time favorite writers.  His humor and wit captured me from the first!  Extracts From Adam's Diary, Advice To Young People, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court are entirely entertaining and wholly hysterical. 
My all-time favorite author is Jane Austen.  Hands down.  Pride and Prejudice remains the absolute best romance I've ever read. (I sort of have a thing for romances...)  Other romance authors I recommend are Danielle Steel, (Wanderlust, Zoya), Kathleen Woodiwiss (The Flame And The Flower), Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love, Tamar, and Bathsheba), and Lucia St. Clair Robson (Ride The Wind). 
C.S. Lewis is another writer whose works I highly enjoy reading.  The Great Divorce is my favorite of his works.  The Screwtape Letters was also very good.

You are a romance writer...what is it about romance that you are drawn to?

Ahh…Romance…The idea of love intrigues me.  Some people find love in an instant.  I've read accounts of WWII G.I.’s coming home, marrying after a week and enjoying fifty-or-more happy years of affection.  Others take years to find love.  There are those who dive headfirst into love and those who hesitantly dip their toes into the murky waters with great trepidation.  What constitutes love?  How and when and why does it happen?  What sparks it?

And since you are a romance author I have to ask this...was it Fabio?  

Good Grief, No!  Ha!  (No offense to those who admire that person/face/body type...but not for me!)  For this writer, all-things-romantic stem from a state of mind.  I've known perfectly attractive people who were also perfectly obnoxious.  Attractiveness does not necessarily lead to good romance, or thoughts of romance, or much anything having to do with romance.  More, it is the way of a person.  So, no...not Fabio, nor any other singular face or persona drew me in.  Too funny! 

How did you finally realize that writing was what you wanted to do as a grown-up, and how did you get there?

Hmm.  Grown-Up?  Another state of mind thing...

Writing a novel had been on my 'list' for many years.  I read constantly, and have hundreds of books.  Somewhere in my twenties, the thought occurred to me that I would write a novel.  But it wasn't until I was thirty-nine years old that I begin my first novel.  Once I set out, it felt natural to write, and two years later, here I am.  I researched for about a year before I decided to Indie-publish.  It was the right choice for me.  Now I've four published titles, and I hope to continue writing and publishing.  My writing has already changed in the last two years.  I learn by doing, and taking on the adventure of writing, marketing, publishing, and everything that goes along with that has been real on-the-job training.  I hope to see two years from now further growth and more knowledge of the publishing world. 

Tell us a bit about the glamorous life of Nadja...

Well...I wake up whenever I like.  My house-boy makes me breakfast – eggs, toast, bacon, and hash-browns.  I devour it all – and a banana – but never gain an ounce.  My workouts are easy and I can knock out 25 pull-ups without breaking a sweat.  I sell a million books a year and travel to exotic places, whiling away my hours on white sand beaches with nary a care in the world....
Oh...wait.  You wanted the truth?  Glamorous schlamorous. Ha! I have three sons still at home.  I wake up, get them off to school and begin my day.  I clean, cook, write, blog, check homework, say prayers, repeat.  I always manage to squeeze in coffee with my best friend.  I flop on the floor in equal parts exhaustion and satisfaction after a workout, and am still using a band to help my pull-ups.  I sometimes tip over when holding a yoga pose.  I have a chronic case of what looks like recently-slept-on hair – really, it's a wild, unruly, and barely contained entity.  My sons often attempt to throttle one another.  I wrench them apart and explain for the hundred-thousandth time why we do not beat our brother senseless.  Then...I tuck them in and indulge in a fantastic novel.

Quick Facts About Nadja Notariani

Left handed.

Currently studying German to be able to converse easily with my daughter and my brother, who are fluent. (Daughter spent a year in Germany for studies.)  Struggling to 'think' in German. 

Huge Rush fan.

Loves to pieces her giant, oaf of a German Shepherd, Zutchka.

Thoroughly enjoys MMA.  Er...watching it, that is.  Ha!

Loves:  new adventures, words, coffee, and the feeling after a good workout.

Hates:  being cold, scary movies, and the actual working out part.

Chris, thank you again for inviting me to share on your blog.  You have a gift with words, something I admire a great deal.        

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Nadja Notariani

Here are two short pieces of Nadja's 

Scene 1 ~ Atiya, The Gift

“Our brother, Baqir, thinks only of increasing his wealth,” Atiya answered, passing the water skin to Asim.
“Atiya, what can we do?  Baqir is the eldest; his word is law.  Besides, Abd-Al-Aziz will make a fine husband.  You will want for nothing, and your days of tending goats will be over forever,” her twin brother replied, shrugging his shoulders as he poked his staff under a rock to check for snakes or scorpions.
A welcome surprise after seven sons, Atiya's name meant gift.  A frown tugged at the corners of her mouth at the irony, for Baqir was offering her to Abd-Al-Aziz - as a gift.   
“Let's cut over the old mines; we can arrive home a day early if we cross at Heriot's Pass instead of skirting the edges of the Gauche Foothills,” Asim tempted.
Atiya stopped in shock, the dry, still heat of the rocky desert pressing on her from all sides.
“Baqir warned us to stay away from the mines!”
Ignoring her protests, Asim began his ascent up the abandoned quarry.  Glancing over his shoulder, dark eyes alive with mischief, Asim's rich laughter echoed off the surrounding outcrops.
“You're as sure footed as a mountain goat, Atiya.  Come on, or I'll tell Baqir what a disobedient sister you are!”
“It'll be your skin if Baqir finds out,” she grinned, following behind.
* * *
“I'm afraid!  This isn't right.  We're lost!”
“Take my hand, sister.” 
He reached for her.
“Asim!” she screamed, her entreaty finding no ear.
Her brother's body tumbled, battered by huge stones in the sliding rock.  Silence settled, Asim's body now far below.  Heedless of the bruising as she scrambled down the shifting precipice, Atiya gained her brother, his eyes unseeing, lifeless.  Her sobs, keening and mournful, poured into the empty sky, her tears absorbed into the arid earth without a trace.  Huddled beside her brother, delusional with dehydration, Atiya mustered the last of her waning strength and attempted to free the buried water skin, failing again. 
I will lie down and die beside my brother.
The morbid thought no longer frightened her.  Throat burning with thirst, face swelling under the searing glare of sun, Atiya succumbed to the pounding in her head and closed her eyes.  Vague awareness of gentle swaying and a shadowy form swirled on the edges of her consciousness. 
“Drink,” a voice commanded.
Coolness kissed her tongue as water trickled down her parched throat.  Protected under a warm blanket through the cold night, Atiya roused again and again as the voice urged her to drink.
The first rays of morning sunshine illuminated the tall, white-robed figure as she slowly wakened.
“Can you sit up?”
The voice's deep timbre drew her eyes to full lips on the tanned face and startling golden eyes as she nodded.
Had an angel carried her to the third heaven?
Strong arms aided, robe sleeves falling back to reveal tattooed writing upon bronzed forearms.
“What is that?” she rasped hoarsely.
“An ancient promise that the gift I seek is in the desert,” he stated offhandedly.  “But enough of me.  What is your name, daughter of the desert?”
Atiya shivered at the coincidence.
“I am called Atiya,” her voice trembled.
The stranger's amber eyes grew luminescent, his response a recitation of foreign verse.
“For ages have I sought you, Habiba, beloved,” he murmured.
Atiya stared, captivated in the glow of his golden gaze.
* * *

Asrar Amelle ~ Secret Hope

Filigree crystals frosted the square panes, winter's final protest before spring's uprising.  Perched before the window, staring out to glimpse the Roundeli Mountains nestled around her home, she seemed young and fragile, vulnerable.
Abd-Al-Aziz almost pitied her.
“Excellent!” Aziz lavished her with praise.  “You have harnessed the power well.  This is your greatest weapon; you must never forget.  Above all else, the sons of Adam are ruled by their emotions.  Guide and direct their feelings, and gain mastery over whom you will.”
“Yes, Uncle,” she answered dutifully.  “When am I to face my adversary?”
“Soon, niece, very soon,” Aziz assured.  “Guard yourself diligently.  Prince Sevdalja may wield  great power - as does his father, Suleiman the Magnificent.  As you seek influence over him, Almirah, princess, beware!  Prince Sevdalja is cunning as the wolf!  And what does the wolf do, my niece?”
“He circles stealthily, flanking his opponent and ambushing unsuspecting prey, Uncle.”
“You have spoken well.  Now heed my warnings, child, and fulfill your destiny.”
He softened, holding his arms open to embrace her.
“I love you as my own child, Amelle.  Never forget that.”  
Abd-Al-Aziz kissed the top of her head. 
“Now go and oversee your packing.  We descend the mountain, entering this new Renaissance when the weather breaks.”
Carrying herself with a stately bearing worthy of the princess she was, Asrar Amelle paused, turning almost imperceptibly.
“Uncle,” she addressed quietly, “What of my eyes?”
* * *
Renaissance was steeped in pageantry, not its usual state, but with Prince Sevdalja's arrival, the settlers sought to impress the man likely to become their ruler.  Rumor abounded that his father, Suleiman, neared the end of this life's journey. 
Abd-Al-Aziz inspected the rented apartments.
“These will suffice,” he consented, signaling one servant to remit the necessary coin, and the others to begin hauling in the trunks.
Aziz wandered into the walled courtyard, alive with spring's blossoms so far below the mountains.  Images of Atiya and Sayid rose in his mind, the assaulting memories haunting him.
That fateful day. 
Sayid and Atiya had willingly given themselves into Suleiman's power to save their daughter. 
Their secret.
* * *
The reception line dragged on, each province's minister eager to enamor the Prince and gain favor.  Abd-Al-Aziz readied to play the piece his lord's sacrifice had saved those many years ago. 
Gain the Prince's heart and by doing so, the Persian Empire, loosing the seventy Djinn Suleiman imprisoned unjustly.
It was by wielding the power of the Djinn that Suleiman had forged his vast empire; with a child of the Djinn on the throne, perhaps the tribes would at last unite, ending centuries of civil war.
But all rested on his student.  And her eyes.
Half-human, Amelle was more sensitive, and when inundated with emotion, her eyes took on the otherworldly glow, proclaiming her origins. 
Here, it would seal her doom.
Prince Sevdalja bowed politely.
“Noble prince,” Abd-Al-Aziz greeted formally.  “Allow me to present Princess Asrar Amelle.”  The breath left his body in a rush, terror and defeat threatening his sanity in an instant. 
Amelle lifted her gaze to meet Prince Sevdalja's mahogany stare, a strange energy thrumming through the air, unnoticed by the humans surrounding them.  Aziz, however, was not human. 
“Welcome, Daughter of the Djinn,” Prince Sevdalja whispered near her ear, bending to kiss her cheek in custom.  “I've been expecting you.”
Asrar Amelle's amber eyes flashed in awareness, a rare golden display before she buried her emotions. 

Both the short story's are copyrighted by
Nadja Notariani
Please do not copy without the written consent of the author! 

Here are some links to Nadja's work...She Is a author trying to live off of her writing so feel free to purchase one or all of her works for sale below 

FMB Blog ToursLink here

Her Dark Baron ~ Romance, Historical RomanceThe Third Fate    The Third Fate

 Her Dark Baron

Claiming The Prize, Nadja Notariani  Claiming The Prize


just a girl said...

i should tell my mom about her books. my mom loves those romance stories.

enjoyed reading the shorts and of course the interview. you two have a great banter, clearly there's a real friendship here.

thanks chris for sharing nadja with us. and nadja, you seem like a really super cool, pretty girl. :)

Serena said...

What a lovely surprise. I enjoyed this very much. I've had a misconception that romance writers can't write (sorry, my bad) but I've been proven wrong by Nadja. It's been years since I've read one but you've peaked my interest. I will definitely be visiting her site.

kj said...

i am so impressed by nadja's wit and talent. man can she spin a tale. what a super writer you are, nadja!

you always ask good questions, chris. knowing you were interviewing a spunk with a sense of humor, you hit ground balls to her just right.

my favorite:

"I always manage to squeeze in coffee with my best friend."

that will keep you sane and happy for years to come, nadja. you are a wise woman..


Nadja Notariani said...

Thank you all for commenting! I know romance writing is not the usual fare here at Wander Without Being

@ Just a Girl ~ *Thank you for your kind comments*...and please do share with your mom! :}

@ Serena ~ Please check out my newest release, A Practical Arrangement, which is available at Amazon and Smashwords! Evangeline Grey is my favorite heroine to date ...LOL. And I understand about the romance writer comments. Really. Ha. Glad you enjoyed my excerpts.

@ K.J. ~ Fellow coffee enthusiast? Perfect. :} And yes...Chris did hit me ground balls just right - and I'm lucky to be interviewed by someone who can appreciate my oddball sense of humor.

Thanks again, ladies, for stopping by and laughing with me.
Thank you, Chris, for asking me over and sharing my love of All-Things-Romance with your readers.

Aya Gugles Wilson said...

a sweet tribe.

bestowed you an award at poets rally, check it out.

Lauralynn Elliott said...

What a great interview! I love Nadja's sense of humor, and I'm glad to see my good friend interviewed here. Those of you who haven't read Nadja's books...try them, I think you'll be pleased. :)

Nadja Notariani said...

Thank you, Aya!
And, Lauralynn...*Thank You* very much.

BerlinerinPoet said...

Fun Interview, but not my type of book to pick up either. :-) It is big of you to show that people aren't all one dimensional though.

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