Thursday, May 22, 2014

Interview w/Natalie Whipple + A Giveaway!

Ninjas. Who doesn't love them? And who hasn't secretly wished for awesome ninja skills? (Uh-huh. You know you have.) So I'm uber thrilled today to welcome Natalie Whipple, author of Transparent, Blindsided, The House of Ivy & Sorrow, and her most recent: Relax, I'm A Ninja.


1. Quick, weapon of choice-- shuriken or nunchucks?

It's very situational. Like, if I were hiding out and had distance, shuriken would be more useful in that scenario. If it was closer combat, I'd want the nunchaku. So basically I'm saying I want both. I can do that, because I'm a ninja. ;)

2. Do you feel like your pre-release nerves for Relax, I'm A Ninja are better or worse than they were w/your traditionally-published novels? 

I think I'm doing better on nerves for the most part, but that may be more because it's my fourth published novel than anything. If this was my first, I think I'd be as nervous as I was for my first traditionally published book. It's amazing how much you chill out even from debut to your second book. All the things you worry about at first just kind of fall away over time.

3. What's your top 3 fav snacks and/or beverages?

Cupcakes, Diet Mt. Dew Code Red, Dark Chocolate Anything

4. Besides writing, you also draw, and I've always enjoyed seeing your characters from your perspective. Did you draw a lot of ninjas when writing/revising Relax?
 
I did! But many of those drawings are from years and years ago, since I originally started writing this book in late 2008. I don't have many I can dig up easily, but this one I happen to have on my computer drive. It's one of my favorites.

Tosh and Amy, from Relax, I'm a Ninja

5. Cute sandals, or comfy tennis shoes?

Sandals. Or heels. I really like wearing cute shoes, and yes, I sacrifice comfort for awesome-looking footwear.

6. Will you share one of your favorite sentences from Relax, I'm a Ninja?

Oh man, it's hard to think of just one sentence! Hmm...maybe these two:

"No free lives or heals. Just ninja skills."

* * *

Anyone else think Natalie should totally put her fav lines on a tshirt? Lol! And that sketch is awesome-- love the nighttime colors, the golden light, and that leg in the air! Mine would be too, if a ninja were hugging me...*wink* Alright, so to celebrate Relax's release into the world, here's this totally cute little ninja dollie. And, yeah, I'm sure if he were a real ninja, he'd be trying to stick me w/some shuriken right about now... 

Image courtesy of RogueWoodDesigns

To be entered to win Mr. Ninja Dollie, simply leave a comment and please follow Natalie at one or more of her social media links below. The winner will be announced on 5/26 on Twitter & updated on this post. Thanks for stopping by, Natalie, and I wish Relax, I'm a Ninja a non-stealthy entrance into the world! ;) 


About: Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption. 

She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook Thai curry, Pho, and “real” ramen.



A Clan of ninjas in San Francisco may sound improbable—but as the son of a ninja master, Tosh Ito knows what lurks in the shadows of his city. Or at least he thought he did.

When a killer with a poisoned blade starts cutting down teens, Tosh enlists Amy Sato—newest ninja recruit and his best friend’s crush—and sets out to uncover the killer’s identity. What they find is ninjutsu more evil than they could have ever imagined.

As Amy and Tosh grow closer, they discover their connection unleashes a legendary power that could stop the murders. Problem is, that power may be exactly what the killer is looking for, and wielding it could cost them both their souls.

B&N | Amazon | IndieBound
UPDATE: Tiana Smith won Mr. Ninja Dollie! 

57 comments:

  1. Heck yeah, for the dark chocolate anything! lol Same here.

    This books sounds great. Best of luck to Natalie!

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    1. I've yet to join the dark chocolate fandom. =) Maybe one day, tastes do change sometimes!

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  2. Great interview! I love the sound of this book.

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    1. Thanks, Barbara! I love the ninja concept. Haven't read any YA involving ninjas yet! (soon to be remedied...)

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  3. I haven't read any of Natalie's books yet (I know, I know). I need to change that ASAP!

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    1. There's so many amazing authors out there, & so little time. =(

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  4. This book sounds intriguing and I love the picture Natalie drew!

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  5. I LOVE that title!! That alone makes me want to read more, not to Menton the awesome drawing! Congrats!!

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  6. Natalie, I dig the title! Ninjas are awesome, aren't they?

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    1. This book is right up your alley, huh, Alex? ;)

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  7. Fantastic interview. That title is awesome! Good luck, Natalie. :)

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  8. Fun interview and cute picture. But most of all, I LOVE that cover--very striking!

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    1. Me too! I'm a sucker for anything to do with buildings/alleyways.

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  9. I love the title of this novel. And Natalie's red heels. Super fly. Awesome interview!

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  10. This book sounds like so much fun!! And I love the artwork she shared, and I definitely love her SHOES! So yeah, now officially following her (but not stalking). :-)

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    1. Well...there's friendly levels of stalking, right? ;) Lol!

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  11. Oooh Relax I'm a Ninja sounds fun! I loved the artwork, too. I'm not artistic in the drawing sense. At all. Even stick figures are a challenge for me!

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    1. I used to be semi-artistic, but I am SO out of practice. I also can't draw anything that looks halfway decent unless I model if off of another pic or photo, which I dunno...feels like cheating? =/

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  12. That's a very engaging cover and title!

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  13. I have to say that this is quite possibly the best title, ever! I love it :) And now I'm seriously wanting some "real" ramen--why are there no good Asian food stores in Montana?!?

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    1. Montana? Aren't you guys like beef country? At least that's what I got from reading Louis L'Amour as a kid! ;) It is a fantabulous title, it makes me want to smile everytime.

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    2. Beef country, lol!!! Yep, that's about right. As far as I know :) I tend to stay away from the wildlife around here--there are bears and other dangerous things!!

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  14. Wow, so many things I didn't know about the adorable Natalie. The new book sounds as awesome as that cover looks. And really - who doesn't want to read about a ninja? Wishing Natalie much success! :)

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  15. Interesting interview and introduction about author and very well written :) Hope to read this book.

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    1. Yay, I hope you do too! Thanks, Kiran!

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  16. Best of luck to Natalie. I love the drawing!

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    1. Isn't it great? It makes me want to do some sketches for my characters.

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  17. Love the title and the cover. Very compelling.

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    1. Compelling is always good when it comes to books! =)

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  18. I love ninjas! Best of luck with the book.

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    1. Funnily enough, my 2 yr. old has been going around saying 'hi-yah' lately(think he got it from his older cousin) and he'll do 'fighting' stances to go w/it. My very own little two-foot ninja. *dies from cuteness* =)

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  19. Great interview! The book sounds so cute!

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  20. love this interview. Best of luck to Natalie with this book! and that artwork is gorgeous!

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    1. I really like it too! Thanks, Beth Ellyn!

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  21. Relax, I'm a fictional human created by Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

    Ninjas are well neat. I even believe a certain Ninja has left a comment. Wonder who I mean....

    An informative, delightful interview with Natalie. Terrific cover! Wishing Natalie the very best with her book. It certainly entices. With that, I shall go consume some raw fish.

    Thank you, Leandra and have a lovely weekend.

    Gary :)

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    1. You enjoy that fish! =) Thanks, and you too, Gary!

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  22. Hi Leandra - Relax I'm a Ninja sounds like a fun read! Anyway to answer your question, RT stands for Romantic Times. Hope you're having a great spring! ~Amy

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    1. Nice to know, thanks! And you as well. =)

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  23. Natalie sounds awesome! So nice to get to know her! And yes, dark chocolate is so delish!

    Leandra, I nominated your blog for The Liebster Award! Check out my blog for details and you can decide whether or not you wish to accept it! I've enjoyed getting to know you and I LOVE your blog!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Kristin! That's so sweet! =)

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  24. I love the title of your book, Natalie! And your drawing is adorable. I wish you the best of luck and much success! :D

    Leandra, I am stopping by from Kristin Smith's Liebster post. Your blog looks great! And I also love scarves. :)

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    1. Thanks, Chrys! Scarves are one of the best fashion accessories in my book. =)

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  25. This looks like an amazing book! I'm so sorry I missed the giveaway. Congrats to Tiana! = )

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  26. I love Natalie's art and the book sounds awesome.

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  27. Congrats to Natalie. Great cover - and your drawing is awesome!

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  28. Oh my goodness, that title busted me up. Awesome! And I love the illustration. Super cute. It makes me want to go read the book. =)

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  29. Great interview! And that drawing is AWESOME! So sad I missed the giveaway, but I'm definitely checking out this book!

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  30. Aaaah, I saw Relax, I'm a Ninja at Storymakers and have been dying to read it since. It's actually on my kindle--bought it for my birthday, ha ha. Can't wait to get started! Cute interview, too. :)

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