The Inspiration Behind the Story: Interview With Author Natasha Lopez

We're excited to share our interview with author Natasha Lopez, one of the winners from our 2021 Story of the Year Contest. Natasha was born in Georgia to Puerto Rican parents, and currently resides in Arizona. 
Growing up, Natasha had a chronic case of procrastination. Over time, her symptoms lessened and she was able to complete her first book, "5 Steps to Win Her Heart." She looks forward to creating more thoughtful, humorous, and heartwarming stories for reluctant readers and bookworms alike.
How long have you been writing/what inspired you to begin? 
I was inspired to write in the 2nd Grade when my teacher told me I had a talent for it. Never underestimate the power of a good compliment!
Tell us more about your book. Why did you write it?
I was meditating on the idea of first love. In so many childhood books and movies, the hero always gets the girl. But real life is more complicated than that. I wanted to write through the eyes of someone who was just figuring that out.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
It's okay for your characters to be unlikeable sometimes. Even superhuman characters can be less than perfect. That keeps them interesting. 
Are there authors that you turn to for inspiration and mentoring?
I admire the writing styles of Avi and Ruta Sepetys. I read their books whenever I have writer's block.
What prompted you to write for Storyshares?
I have several friends and family members who do not enjoy reading. I wrote this story with them in mind. Also, I've known about the writing contest since 2015 but couldn't get past my insecurities long enough to submit anything. This year I did.
Read "5 Steps to Win Her Heart" now! To learn more about Natasha, visit her Goodreads: