By AK Dale
THE MALTA – A freelance editor, Natalie G. Owens of the island of Malta, has endeavored into the world of author.
Living in the Mediterranean can only offer some of the best locations to draw inspiration for a woman who married an American and returned home after 11 years in Atlanta.
“The initial spur to write came after my parents split and my father remarried some years later,” Owens said. “Although I had a loving family in my aunt, uncle and grandmother, I missed being around my dad very much. I was around 13-14 years old, I remember. It was at a crucial point in my teens and you know how girls are with their fathers – he was my hero. I was extremely attached to him and although I still saw him rather frequently, we never resumed the close relationship we had in the past, when he used to take me to his office during holidays and I’d spend days with him and his colleagues.
“I didn’t know how to deal with not seeing him that much,” she added. “I loved to retreat within myself and read. Truly, I loved all arts, including music and painting. In fact, I enjoyed drawing and playing the organ by ear. Then, while in high school, I discovered that even I was allowed to create my own world with words. Writing was cathartic to me; in many ways it still is. It helped me get out of the slump by allowing me to pour my emotions onto the page. In a sense it was an entirely selfish way of writing.”
Owens later went to law school and wrote articles and short stories for local publications winning some contest.
“Later after being laid off from an important job, my husband helped me realize that writing is my life,” Owens said. “It’s funny how sometimes it takes someone else to show you the obvious. I have a huge collection of romance and mystery novels at home. This is my bailiwick – I do love happy endings because in many ways I see my life in positive ways – even the problems hit us hard for a reason, but a solution always exists. I like to think of the glass as half full.”
Despite holding the love of writing close to her heart, Owens must battle what many face…a need for more time.
“Sometimes it’s really hard but you just have to find the routine that works best,” she said. “In the beginning there’s a lot of trial and error, but things get better. The biggest obstacle is that my son is still young and I want to spend as much time as I can with him. I find that it’s best to work really early in the morning before he wakes up (as he doesn’t go to school yet), but often I have other things to do, such as edit other people’s books. I’m also a freelance editor and that takes up quite a bit of my time, too. However, it’s important to give at least some attention to my books during the day. Lately, I realized that if I write early in the morning, when my mind is fresh, I can spend time with my little son and do my editing work later in the afternoon, when things are winding down a bit. It doesn’t always work so seamlessly, but that’s what I aim for.”
When she does get a chance to write, Owens revels in the accomplishment of creation.
“The stories I tell are my rewards,” Owens said. “Getting to finish a book – the feeling is amazing. I want readers to enjoy my books. That alone gives me great satisfaction. Books are a source of entertainment, inspiration and learning, as well as a means of escape from the routine of our lives. If I can provide any of these diversions with a quality product, I’m happy.”
As Owens continues to prosper and grow as an author she will continue to balance her roles at home while trying to maintain a nice cocktail of humility and confidence in the outside world.
“I want to tell those people I’m not bragging at all, and I’m not trying to be silly (when asked what she does),” Owens said. “I mention my books because that’s my job. In fact, I haven’t taken the easy way out; I struggle every day – like they may do – because I follow a dream and have set a goal for myself. It’s not an easy journey but I wish them the best at anything they wish to do – if success ever comes to them, I’ll be happy for them.”
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