Blog Tour: Six Months Later

I was super excited to see that Sourcebooks was organizing a blog tour for Six Months Later and even more excited that I was able to get on the tour! The author, Natalie D. Richards, was super nice to allow me to interview her for this tour as well.

Author Interview

Welcome to my blog today, Natalie. I was really excited to get a review copy of your book, which was fabulous, especially being your debut novel!

The whole premise of someone completely losing their memory for six months, having no idea what happened, and everyone else acting completely normal is quite intriguing to me. What influenced you to write a story like this?

After the initial spark of the idea came to me, I knew I wanted to explore the idea of amnesia from a different angle.  In most amnesia stories, there is a community of players that know about the memory loss.  There’s an accident or an illness or some explanation.  But the idea of an amnesia victim who’s virtually on their own, forced to play along as if those memories are still there?  That concept really felt scary and fresh so that’s why I went there.

Courtesy of The Daily Edge.

It was scary! I really wanted to know how Chloe lost her memory. I could not put Six Months Later down!

I think it is interesting that Chloe wants to be a psychologist. Was her interest in that field something you decided when you first wrote the story or something that was added later? How does that interest play into the story?

I knew right away that Chloe wanted to be a psychologist.  She'd had some struggles in the past with anxiety and panic attacks and her desire to take charge of those things placed psychology at the forefront of her attention.  Chloe's knowledge on the subject enables her to eventually take control of her situation and find a resolution.  But it also creates an obstacle, because Chloe hasn't always been the academic dream she is now. ;-)  So she's got a goal that's a bit hard to reach now and she has to struggle with that reality.

I ended up really enjoying the psychology aspect of this story. I think it allowed Chloe's character to do some research and become an important player in how the story progressed.

This is your debut novel. Was the experience of becoming published what you thought it would be? How many rejections did you get before your book was accepted?

I did not count rejections, but if I had a brick for each of them, I could probably build the Great Wall of China.  I was rejected by agents, editors, contests, critique partners.  I started to feel like cashiers at fast food restaurants were passing out rejections with my change. ;-)

Courtesy of

It's really easy to let that rejection suck you down, but I’m a jittery “do-something-about-it!” type, so I pored over the negative stuff trying to find the nuggets that helped, the advice that felt right, and the things that weren’t (and were!) working for people.  I think rejection is critical to honing your craft as a writer. 

As for the experience of being published, it is absolutely nothing like I thought it would be.  It is, in the same breath, ten times harder than I ever dreamed, and fifty times more magical.  The magical part comes from connecting with readers.  That’s worth the hard stuff.  Absolutely.

Well, I'm really glad you stuck through it! :)

Do you see yourself staying in this genre and writing in a contemporary setting?

Young Adult is my True North.  LOL!  Seriously, I love this genre and I really do enjoy stories that send chills up the back of your neck while still managing to warm your heart.  The YA Thriller I just finished is also a contemporary and I've got plans for another contemporary after that.  But I also deeply love stories set in fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal worlds, so that's not out of the question for me either.

That is probably one of the biggest reasons I loved this book - that there was a good balance of scary and romance. I just can't handle all dark and scary, but I'll read scary and suspenseful books if there is some humor, lightness, or romance to provide some counterbalance.

What books are you most excited to read that will be released in the coming year?

Oooh, this is a fantastic question. 

I'm stupid excited about Katie McGarry's Crash Into You due out in November. 
I'm also looking forward to Alienated by Melissa Landers.
And I can't wait for Uninvited by Sophie Jordan.

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3) Alienated (Alienated, #1) Uninvited (Uninvited, #1)

I've got all three of those on my Kindle in ARC format right now and can't wait to read them! You obviously have great taste. ;)

In one sentence, why should readers pick up your book?

She wakes up to perfect grades, the perfect boyfriend and pretty much the perfect life, so why can’t she remember why it feels so wrong? 

Tressa, thank you so much for having me! It's been awesome to be here and I really appreciate you signing up for the tour!

Thank you for answering my questions and writing such a great book! You're welcome any time.

Six Months Later
Six Months Later
By Natalie D. Richards
Sourcebooks Fire October 2013 
ISBN: 9-781-4022-8551-6 
Trade Paper $9.99 Ages 12+

Praise for Six Months Later

“As tension rises among these sharply observed characters, this smart, edgy thriller taps into the college-angst zeitgeist, where the price of high achievement might just be your soul.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Filled with tension and heart-in-your-throat suspense that kept me guessing to the very end. I predict readers will want more and more from her. I know I do!" 
Jennifer Brown, author of 
Hate List and Thousand Words


Chloe’s had the best six months of her life. Too bad she can’t remember them.

High school junior Chloe Spinnaker is in a rut. She wants to be a psychologist, but her barely-cutting-it grades are trapping her into a future serving up fast food. She vows to change her slacker ways, but with only six days of her junior year left, it’s going to take nothing short of a miracle. When Chloe nods off in Study Hall, she wakes up six months later, and a miracle is exactly what she gets.

Chloe can’t remember a thing about the last six months, but her life has changed in all the right ways. She’s got the grades she needs, a gorgeous boyfriend, and all the popularity she can handle. Everything about her world seems perfect, except that her best friend Maggie isn't speaking to her. Well, that and her athlete boyfriend, Blake, gives her the creeps.

Worse still, Chloe can’t stop thinking about resident bad-boy, Adam Reed, a guy who definitely doesn't belong in her new improved life. Despite the flaws, Chloe has everything she ever wanted, and she's not about to blow it over a little case of amnesia, weird boyfriend vibes, or a few misplaced feelings for Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Delinquent.

Then Chloe discovers that another classmate, Julien, displayed similar symptoms just before disappearing in an unlikely cross-country move. Her former friend tries to warn Chloe about something, but her mind has cracked. Suddenly Chloe’s lost memories seem too important to ignore. Could she be on track for a similar fate?


My Review

I wasn't sure what to expect from Six Months Later. The book definitely pulled me in and I couldn't put it down! I just had to know what happened, how it happened and when. The story was really such an emotional roller coaster, but I think the thing that worked for me was how well the author played the suspenseful parts and then balanced them with these sweet moments with Chloe's dad, friend Maggie, and some romance.

I knew there was some mystery surrounding Chloe's memory loss, but I really had no idea for some time what that mystery was. I mean she has no clue how or why she is dating who she is, why her grades are so good, why she's lost her best friend. She literally doesn't know who she has been the last six months.

I wanted Chloe to listen to her inner thoughts that were warning her about some things. She still feels like her life is a dream come true and that maybe she's just being paranoid. I would have liked Chloe to trust her parents a little more, but then at the same time, her mom would have completely freaked out and I don't know if she would have really believed her, so I can also see why Chloe wouldn't have gone to them. Then when I did find out what was going on, I wasn't sure exactly who was involved in the deception and the extent of everyone's knowledge. 

I loved how nothing was easy for Chloe as some things were resolved and as the story progressed. It felt authentic. Chloe wouldn't just automatically get her best friend back after what she did with only a few phone calls and a simple apology. It would take time to mend their relationship, and it does. Here's an example of their, almost life-long, friendship:

"Do you have any idea what they're saying?" I ask in a whisper.  
Maggie holds up a hand to quiet me. She's always had the better hearing of the two of us. She says it's a side effect of her crap vision. There's been no celebration in our history that has yet to live up to The Day Maggie Got Contacts. 
Chloe wouldn't automatically be with who she should be and there be no challenges in their relationship with their backgrounds and in their situation, and there aren't. Chloe just wouldn't be able to figure things out and be scott-free, and she isn't. Oh, man! She isn't.

There is a lot at stake and a seriously evil villain pulling the strings in Six Months Later. There is also a group of friends that are willing to do what they can to find out the truth and stop him.

Here's one of my favorite parts:

When he tries to pull free. I kiss him. He makes a halfhearted effort to stop me, but I fight harder. When we separate, I can see his eyes are clearer. His touch brought my memories back. Maybe mine is doing the same to him. It's a crazy idea, but it still makes me smile.
If you want to read a thrilling suspense story about an imperfect girl who needs to find herself again, trust in love, and stop the person who stole six months of her life before others face the same fate, then I would recommend picking this up!

Content: This is so close to being clean. There were a few swear words, including one F-word.

Source: From publisher/NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.

About the Author

Double RWA Golden Heart Finalist NATALIE D. RICHARDS won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes). After getting lost in maze of cubicles, Natalie found her way back to storytelling, following the genre of her heart, teen fiction. Natalie lives in Ohio with her amazing husband, their three children, and a giant dust-mop who swears he’s the family dog.

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