Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reader Interview - Nathalie Hamidi

Today's interview is with Nathalie Hamidi, my very first reader interview on this blog!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Nathalie Hamidi, and I live in South-West France, in the country side, where the landscape is wonderful, the calm is soothing, but the spiders are huge. I am a stay-at-home mom, and by day I care for two young handicaped boys that don't go to school full time. By night, I put on my entrepreneur glittery superhero costume and work on my bazillion very important überprojects.

When and how did you discover that you love reading fiction?
When I learned how to read, my mom used to bring me Disney comic books every other day - I was an avid comics reader and Donald Duck fan. Then I discovered the Choose Your Adventure books, that I loved too. At the end of one of those, if I remember correctly, was a contest to win something if you drew a superhero. I didn't win but received my first two horror fiction books that way. I can't even remember their titles, because I was so young then.

I asked my mom every saturday to buy me books. And she always said yes, no matter the books I wanted. I read mostly horror/paranormal stuff. I read at school during intermission, on the bus, at night instead of doing homework. I read all summer, day and night. When I grew older and got my first real job, there wasn't much to do there, so my boss let me read there too. I read or re-read almost a book a day.

Nowadays, it's harder for me to read. I have to take care of my children, I'm often on the road to take them to their therapies (I try to read in the waiting room too, but it's getting almost impossible, because people begin to know me there and want to chat), and when I'm home with them, it's hard find the time or concentrate. So I read at night, after working on my projects - a few pages before I shamelessly fall asleep (and drool) on my beloved Kindle.

What are some of your favorite books and who are some of your favorite authors?
I think you guessed I'm all about paranormal and horror. I love books that can scare me, make me wonder about the sounds I hear at night, make me avoid having my feet dangling on the side of the bed just in case some monster is drooling under it. I loved the younger Stephen King, but with time I can relate less with his stories. I also love Dean Koontz and Graham Masterton. My long-term goal is to find all their books on Kindle and re-read them in English.

Lately, I've also found a new interest in Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampires series, and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga. I know most people despise their work, but they make me smile, dream, wonder, think and sometimes their words make my heart flutter. I never knew I could read paranormal romance, but now I'm a fan.

There are also lots of authors that I haven't got to, and most of them are indie. I'm a big supporter of indie publishing, and want to help and promote indie authors by buying their books. Next on my reading list are: anything new by Amanda Hocking, all books by J.A. Konrath (semi-indie), Christopher Smith (Bullied series) and, of course, Mike Wells!

What is your favorite thing about reading fiction?
I love fast-paced stories, but I also love introspection. I need to care about the main character, I want to feel the need to make things right for him. I'm all about giving advice, strong advice on how to make all perfect again, but the characters in the books I read never listen to me! ;)

I love that it takes me away for a while from a tiring day-to-day life that has a lot of disappointments and requires me to lower any expectations I would have, in order to rejoice for any little improvement. Fiction takes me away from the mood rollercoaster I live in, to bring me to the fictional mood rollercoaster that I enjoy.

I remember crying at the last book of Hickman and Weis' Death Gate cycle, because I didn't want it to end. I want that from reading. Caring about the characters, fearing for their lives, being scared about what happens to them, and wondering what I would do if I were in their place. I want escape.

Do you have any “pet peeves” about authors, something they do that really annoys you?
Not really. I tend to avoid genres that don't interest me, or stories that may bore me - if the blurb doesn't take me in, I probably won't even sample the first chapter. I also avoid cryptic books that require to be read thirty times and have a degree in philosophy.

But lately I've been really mad at an author. She wrote a great story. First book was amazing. Second book made me care further about the characters. Third book finishes on a cliffhanger. Not really a problem, because I like cliffhangers in a series. But that was the last book of the trilogy. That pisses me off! I don't get to know what happens next to the characters, and maybe 10% plot is resolved. I will probably never read anything else by this author, ever again.

Do you write fiction yourself?
I do, I wrote a story about fate, nightmares, demons and magic.

I can't publish it yet. I wrote that novel for NaNoWriMo 2010, and I intend to go full indie on it, but first I need to edit the hell out of it, and also, translate it in English, which is not my mothertongue. I'll probably also publish naughtier things under a secret pen name.

I'm a more successful reader than I am an author.

What is your favorite Mike Wells book and why?
At the time of writing, I've only read Wild Child, but Wild Child 2 - Lilith is next on my to-read list. I also have my eye on Baby Talk.
I love Wild Child because it is fast-paced. Also, it deals with the supernatural, so that's my kind of book. I wanted to slap Kyle and Briana for their decisions, as I almost always do for characters I care about. Also, I'm totally and irrevocably in love with Brains (and want to slap Brawn). I also love that Mike made it a series, I want to know what happens next.

Thanks so much for your interview, Nathalie!
Readers all over the world can only rejoice at having the opportunity, like I did, to get their hands on so many compelling stories, all thanks to indie publishing. Indie publishing gives the power back into the hands of the authors and the readers. Let us, reader, choose who is worth our time and our dollars.

Nathalie Hamidi is known to lurk on Twitter (@nathaliehamidi) and blabbers about everything but mostly about unimportant stuff on her weblog (High Maintenance and Deranged). There, you can read her thoughts about writing, laugh at all the stupid memes she posts, and have a peek at her most intimate and shameful life events (in French in the past, in English nowadays). She also promises not to keep on talking about herself in the third person.


  1. Great to 'meet' you, Natalie. I'm impressed that you manage to read so much with what must be a challenging schedule.

  2. Hi Sarah! Thanks for stoping by. ^^

    I read with what French people call "l'énergie du désespoir" (desperately) - it's almost my only way to escape.

    I try to read whenever I get a quiet five minutes. I read/write at night because that's the only time I can get really focused, the only real quiet moment, but I can cram only so much reading/writing time (need to sleep, too, when will there be a pill for that?). ^^;

    I'm currently enjoying Wild Child 2, I'm almost done! Then I'll go on and read the rest of my to-read pile (well, not a pile really, since I read on Kindle, but a virtual pile of thousands of books I want to read or read again).

    Read and write with joy!