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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal Wiertella March 1, 2024

Q & A with NMU student author

Junior digital cinema major Natalie Berger is a published author. Her novel, The Towers, was released Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.

North Wind features editor Anna Lang interviewed Berger and asked her about her writing.

North Wind: How would you describe your book?

Natalie Berger: I wrote it as a short story six years ago, back when I was 13 or 14. I wanted to show people our age what kind of things society might be experiencing in the next 1,000 years or so, and I just kind of wanted to take a look at what we are doing now that might influence that in the future. It’s definitely a very frank kind of look at war and religion and global warming, stuff like that. Even though it’s in the future, it’s all about now too.

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NW: What genres do you write?

NB: This particular book is part of the sci-fi dystopian genre, but I also write a lot of contemporary young adult fiction. Usually I like to do something very relatable to everyone and set in a real kind of world, but sort of with a twist of paranormal or sci-fi. Nothing too out of reach for anyone to understand.

NW: When did you start  writing?

NB: I probably started writing in second or third grade. I would write stories with my friends. We would sit on the playground outside in elementary school and write together. Usually they were super dramatic, like “everyone’s dying all the time” stories.

NW: Can you describe your writing process?

NB: It changes for every book. Some of them come to me and flow really well while I’m writing. Others require a little more planning, in which I plot it out and [decide] if there’s any research I need to do. I use Pinterest too — I have boards for each story idea. Kind of build off of that too. I have my little journal I write in when an idea strikes when I’m in bed sleeping or in class.

NW: Are you working on anything at the moment?

NB: I have two novels happening right now. One of them is almost finished and I’m getting ready to start editing soon. The other is a little baby and we’ll see if that goes anywhere. I’m always writing short stories and little essays so I’m not stuck on one thing all the time.

NW: How did you go about getting this novel published?

NB: Well first, after spending a lot of time revising it and making sure it’s the very best it can be, I started looking into publishers (a year and a half ago) that accepted unsolicited manuscripts, whereas your large publishers only accept you if you have an agent and I didn’t know how to go about getting one. I was connected to a few writers’ Facebook groups and blogs. Someone suggested World Castle Publishing based out of Florida and I looked them up and they’re fairly new. I sent them my little cover letter with my description of the book and the first couple pages. They asked for more and then Karen over there accepted me about a year ago. I also heard about them from my cousin, who had some luck with them in the past. They did a good job.

NW: How is your book doing now?

NB: It’s doing pretty well. I don’t get a report until mid-October. I’ve heard some good feedback from friends and friends of friends who’ve bought the book.

NW: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to publish a book or start writing?

NB: When I talk about writing or getting published people kind of say, “I really wish I had time to do that” or “I wish I had something good to write about it.” I say, “You might not realize it, but you already have something good to write about. Everything is important. Everything you have to say is important, even if it’s just a short piece. Everything you say is important.” If you don’t have time, you sort of find time to do it. I know people who are way busier than I am, who are full-time moms and have full-time jobs and they put aside a little bit of time everyday to write. Use your imagination. I think people start to lose that when they’re older. I wrote a lot more as a kid, but now I have to remind myself of why I enjoyed writing when I was eight years old and [still] now.

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