Monday, April 4, 2016

Meet the Blogger with Natalie Aguirre

Happy Spring! The April edition of Meet the Blogger features the lovely and talented writer Natalie Aguirre. She's a host at the award winning blog, Literary Rambles.  Natalie has been a faithful follower here for a while, and always offers her insight and a bit of sunshine to brighten my day.
If you are interested in writing for children, or writing at all for that matter, I recommend visiting Literary Rambles soon. Posts highlight children/young adult publishing, and Natalie shares interviews with authors and agents, as well as book spotlights and giveaways. It's encouraging to hear about the journeys and processes of others in the writing industry.

Welcome to Write Now, Natalie! Why did you start blogging? How long have you been with Literary Rambles? 

Thank you, Karen! I had been reading and commenting at many blogs for well over a year before I joined my blog partner, Casey McCormick, in March 2011 at Literary Rambles. At that time, blogs were a more popular social media platform for writers, which is why I wanted to blog. I knew I wanted to focus on middle grade and young adult debut authors and good books, which I have done. I secretly wanted to be Casey’s blog partner but was too afraid to ask. I jumped at the chance when Casey asked for a blog partner.

How exciting! I had no idea that was how you connected. You make a great team. Can you tell us more about the focus of Literary Rambles? 

Our blog focuses on spotlighting debut authors, agents who represent writers who write picture books, middle grade, and young adult, and the publishing world. Our agent spotlights provide detailed information on how to submit to agents and their likes and dislikes. Debut authors share valuable information on the craft of writing, becoming published, getting an agent, and marketing in my interviews and guest posts, which are always with a giveaway. I also share a lot of new young adult books in book giveaway hops, which is also a way for me to network with book review bloggers.  

This last year I started offering agent and debut author guest posts that included great information in the post and includes a query critique giveaway by the agent. Casey just went on sabbatical, so I am taking over the agent spotlights and am changing the format to an interview with the agent and a query critique giveaway if possible.  I’m hoping this will be another way that I can help aspiring writers.

Literary Rambles offers great info for writers, no matter what their genre. I've learned much since I've been following. What benefits have you gained through blogging?

I have gained many benefits from blogging and know that I could gain even more if I wanted to spend more time on it. I’ve made many blog friends, who I’ve tried to help when I can when their books get published. The blogging community is very supportive, and my blog friends have really helped me through some major personal challenges I’ve gone through these last two years.
I’ve increased our blog's following by over 3000 since joining the blog and expanded our connections with other bloggers, publishers, and agents. It really helped that Casey was so well known already for her agent spotlights. I’m grateful for how the blog has grown, become more well-known, and received awards like Writer’s Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers  since I joined it.

I’ve also benefited from realizing that I am really helping aspiring authors in their search for agents and debut authors to promote their books. Knowing I’m helping the children’s writing community in my own little way gives me a very satisfying purpose for continuing to blog, which could otherwise turn into a chore.

Blogging can offer us much, that's for sure. I'm glad you've found it beneficial, and glad you help so many! What are you working on right now? 

Right now I’m not writing any fiction. I have a part-time job as a contract writer for a web marketing firm writing library, blog, and FAQs for attorney websites that takes most of my writing time and energy. My blog also has been and continues to be fairly time consuming, especially since I took over the agent spotlights. Both my job and the blog are satisfying my need to write. I really don’t want two jobs anymore or more writing deadlines than I have with my job. And like many writers who work at home alone, I need to balance solitary pursuits with ones that involve people, especially since I live alone. 

Your plate is very full! :) What might people be surprised to learn about you?

My life is a total work in progress. In the last two years, I lost my husband, my job, and my daughter left for college. However, I’m happy to say that you can dig out from all these major changes and reinvent your life. 

I know your journey has been a hard one lately, and am so glad to see you are doing well. As for being a work in progress - I'm one too.  I'm thinking we all are, right? What advice would you share with a newbie blogger?

I’d give three pieces of advice. 

1. Have some platform or focus for your blog. Some people share about books they’ve read, tips they’ve learned, music and films, or introduce us to new bloggers like Karen does here. Find a focus that feels right for you.

2. Have a consistent blogging schedule. Decide how many days you want to blog and what days and keep a regular schedule. If you have to stop blogging because of other things in your life—and we all have those times—announce it on your blog and come back when you say you’re coming back.

3.  Network with other bloggers. You must make friends with other bloggers by visiting their blogs and leaving comments if you want people to visit yours and have your following grow. In addition, joining a group like the Insecure Writer’s Support Group can be a great support for you and help you develop friendships with other bloggers.

Excellent advice! These items are key to succeeding in the blog world. Thanks for joining us, Natalie. It was great to get to know you better. :)

Thank you for having me, Karen!

More About Natalie 

Natalie Aguirre is an aspiring middle grade and YA fantasy writer and blogs at Literary Rambles. She’s a contract non-fiction writer and retired attorney by day, and a mother of a college student. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. 

Find Natalie 

Literary Rambles


What projects are you working on this week? Have any questions for Natalie?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Free Images


  1. Natalie's blog is such an amazing resource. What a coincidence, because she's one tab over and I'm ready to comment on her blog.

  2. Thanks for hosting me, Karen. That's sweet of you to include me in your series.

  3. Medeia,
    It is a great resource for writrrs of any genre! Natalie does a great job. :)

    It's my pleasure! Your blog is a wonderful resource for us! :)

    Happy writing,

  4. Hi Karen and Natalie ... totally agree with Natalie's blog tips and advice. It's great everyone supports each other so much ... and yes Natalie - you've had a tough year .. but it's good to know you have moved on and found new outlets ... and I'm sure your daughter is ever supportive - even though she's branching out to her new life of learning etc ...

    Thanks Karen - it's been good to meet Natalie .. and cheers to you both - Hilary

  5. Wonderful interview. Natalie is an awesome blogger, and her advice is fantastic.

  6. Love Literary Rambles and Natalie always picks interesting books and authors to spotlight. Also, such a wonderful resource of information.

  7. Wow, I'll certainly check out Natalie's blog! I have a picture book and a YA that I need to find a home for and have let them sit while I write mysteries. Just need a little nudge, I guess. LOL Thank you for introducing Natalie to us, Karen. Have a great week, ladies.

    1. Susan, I do hope you'll check out the blog. I have periodic agent spotlight interviews with query critique contests. I have one in May with an agent looking for picture books.

  8. I've visited Literary Rambles a number of times and have aways come away with helpful tips and information. Appreciate what Natalie does there and the work she puts into it to help others. Hi to Natalie, and thanks for hosting her, Karen :-)

  9. Hi Karen...Many thanks for your interview with Natalie. I loved reading it and joined her as her blog's newest Followers. It's always great to meet fellow writers. Take care. Susan p.s. Your daffodil photo was cheerful, too!

  10. I popped over to your blog, Natalie. I'm now a Follower. :)

  11. Hilary,
    It's great advice, isn't it? She's such an encouragement to the blogging/writing world. :)

    Thank you! Natalie is a great guest. :) Thanks for stopping by!

    I agree! Natalie always brings out the best in her guests. :)

    Yes, I think you would enjoy visiting! Always such good info there. :)

    It's a great spot to hang out, isn't it? :) She does work hard to keep us informed! :)

    Happy writing,

  12. Susan W.,
    You are welcome! So glad you could join us, and glad too, that you visited LR. Thanks, I liked that pic too. So spring-like! :)

    Susan R.,
    Appreciate you stopping by. Thought you might like LR. :) Lots of good info there. :)

    Happy writing,

  13. Hi Natalie - Nice to meet you! Thanks, Karen, for the introduction. I'm off to check out the blog!

  14. You couldn't have a more wonderful blogger on your site. She's one of the best. So please to read this post today.

  15. Lisa, I thought you might enjoy meeting Natalie! Hope you enjoy visiting her blog. :)

    Lee, she is a gem, isn't she? :) It's such a treat to have her visit.

    Happy writing,

  16. Nice to see Natalie here. I find Literary Rambles one of the best writing blogs. Every time I want to research a literary agent, I hop over to Literary Rambles and find the information there. Natalie has been very generous with her giveaways; both book giveaways and critique giveaways. And she is also a dear friend of mine.

  17. Good advice, Natalie. Good interview, Karen. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Yay! Can I tell you how much I love Natalie? She's just epic. Like the cheese kind of epic.

  19. Rachna,
    It is a great spot to be informed and all that good stuff! The giveaways are a nice perk too, you're right. :)

    Glad you could stop by! Always appreciate your visits. LR is a wonderful site. :)

    She is spic! That said, I do have to wonder if she likes cheese...:)

    Happy writing,

  20. Wonderful to meet you, Natalie. Love your suggestions. Great interview, ladies. But then they always are.

  21. I follow Natalie at Literary Rambles. Thank you, Karen, for this interview, and thank you Natalie, for sharing with us. I agree with Joylene. Good blogging suggestions offered. Thank you both.

  22. Joylene,
    Glad you enjoyed meeting Natalie! I thought you might like her. :) I agree, her tips are great.

    Natalie shares such wonderful guests and insight with us at LR, doesn't she? Glad you liked the interview. :)

    Happy weekend,

  23. Quite wonderful, the focus on helping other writers. I'll hop over and take a look. Thanks, Karen!


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