Monday, March 12, 2018

Straight From the Mouth of Nadia Natali

Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin, published by Rare Bird, Los Angeles, 2015, and The Blue Heron Ranch Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2008, is currently working on a second cookbook titled Zafu Kitchen Cookbook. 
Natali, a clinical psychotherapist and dance therapist, specializes in trauma release through somatic work. She earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York City in Dance/Movement Therapy and completed another masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Nadia is a registered practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (RCST) and is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) who trained with Peter Levine.

DanceMedicine Workshops is Natali’s creation where participants move through their trauma with dialogue and dance. She also offers the Ojai community, DanceMedicine Journeys. In addition to her private practice, Nadia and her husband offer Zen Retreats at their center.

Born into a famous family that was riddled with dysfunction, Nadia Natali made the choice to turn her life inside out and step away from fame and fortune. Against her parents’ consent she married an artist and moved to the remote wilderness in California. It was there that she found grounding as she and her husband raised and homeschooled their three children and opened a retreat center. As she gathered her own momentum, she enrolled in a doctorate program finally becoming a clinical psychotherapist specializing in psychosomatic work. She and her husband live in Ojai California.



Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Actually, I never wanted to be an author nor do I think of myself as one. Even though I’ve also had a cookbook published. I realized that if there is something I want to get out and a book is the best form to express it, I will then write it.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and
what are the demands?

Writing is hard and it has to flow. If there is an internal conflict that keeps getting in the way it has to be addressed as to why before I can go on. This process can be painful but when it is all done there is an exhilaration like I passed through a crisis. Pretty wild swings.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I self published first and then looked for a PR agency that would help me launch it. The PR agency that took me on was also a publishing company. I offered to pay for the printing when they showed interest in my book. I found the whole process tricky trying to figure out where to go and whom to trust. Even then I’m not sure I got a good agency. However, I am happy with my decision because I don’t know of a better one.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?

Going to publishing companies is very hard and what is best about them is that they distribute the book on your behalf. Although that part is pretty good, the promotional aspect with my two publishing experiences was and is minimal. They suggested I use social media but in my case that suggestion wasn’t sufficient. I didn’t have the skills.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I’ve had the best support from my husband and most of our children. One daughter, however, was difficult in terms of not wanting me to publish the book on account of our personal difficulties. On the other hand my twin sister whose portrayal was not flattering came to me and apologized for her behavior towards me as a child. That was most healing for us both.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I kind of wish there was a crazy insane thing that happened in the publishing process; at least it would be more memorable.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I have no idea about social networks and how well they work but I believe it works better than whatever my publishing agency did or didn’t do. I understand twitter is a big help but one has to tweet every day several times and connect with many others hoping to get a following. Personally I am not good at this. Right now I have again hired a PR person who is sending out my interviews to blogs and I am hoping it will help.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I haven’t any idea. I would love to sell many books and I have placed my book on Amazon etc. but I feel helpless and wish I could do more. Do much more.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I am simply happy to have finished a dear project and am moving on.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I suppose more support from my publisher would have been wonderful but at this point I really don’t mind what happens and I feel I have done my best, my book is out there and life moves on..

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