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Natalie Birzer: Author of “Mission Hills”

THE BASICS:Name and Nickname: Natalie BirzerClass of: 2013Hometown: Kansas CityDegree: MarketingHobbies & Interests: Writing, reading, fashion, movies and travelingGreek Alumna or Independent: Kappa Kappa GammaCurrent Job: Account Executive at an advertising agencyDream Job: Screenwriting for a movie or television series

FAVES:Book or Short Story: “The Husband’s Secret,” “Gone Girl”Author: Gillian FlynnQuote: “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles,” Audrey HepburnIU Course: Managing and Behavior in OrganizationsIU Professor: Professor Adam HermanHoosier Memories: I had the most amazing college experience the whole time I was at IU! Some favorite memories are walking around the beautiful campus, getting Pizza X with my best friends and getting a drink on the Kilroy’s patio.Typeface: Sofia ProTopic to Write About: Girls, and drama!

HCIU: How did you get the idea for “Mission Hills”?NB: Growing up in suburbs, I witnessed never-ending drama and, though some was serious, there was a comical side to almost all of it. I couldn’t help but expand and exaggerate my own experiences.

HCIU: It’s difficult for many of us to write term papers, let alone an entire fiction novel. What was the writing process like for you?NB: I would write a bunch, then take a break and try to forget about it for a while, then come back to the project and write more. I tried to only write when I wanted to and to treat this project as a fun and creative outlet rather than a pressing project with a deadline.

HCIU: And, like every writer knows, writer’s block is a very real obstacle. How do you stay inspired throughout such a long project?NB: I drew inspiration from everyday life. Someone would say or do something funny and it would pop up in my next chapter.

HCIU: What was your favorite aspect about writing “Mission Hills”?NB: My favorite aspect of writing “Mission Hills” was creating the characters and imagining how their lives would play out. It was also fun for me to bring these characters to life.

HCIU: Contrastingly, what was your least favorite aspect about the writing process?NB: My least favorite aspect was editing. It seemed to take forever!

HCIU: Do you have a specific chapter, section or quote of “Mission Hills” that holds especially near and dear to your heart?NB: My favorite chapter is “Deeply Sorry”. It is the last chapter and was the most difficult to write, but I like it because it is the part of the book where the characters really start to figure things out.

HCIU: As an IU alumna, what’s some advice you could share with current Hoosiers?NB: Don’t give up! Our generation has all of the tools and information we need to make our dreams come true; use them!

“Mission Hills” is currently available for sale on the publisher’s website. You can order “Mission Hills” on Amazon. Like what you see? Inspired, perhaps? Us, too. Check out Natalie’s Facebook page and her website for more information.

* Images courtesy of Heather Scott

Kelsey is a junior at Indiana University where she is majoring in journalism and concentrating in informatics. She began her Her Campus experience as a contributing writer in Fall 2012. Kelsey was incredibly excited to begin her new role on the HCIU team as co-campus correspondent last fall. When she's not studying or writing, Kelsey enjoys a sipping a strong cup o' joe, reviving thrift store wardrobes and drooling over Netflix eye candy.
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