Member of the Week: Natalie Perry, author of Dad #1, Dad #2

Natalie Perry

Natalie Perry

Name: Natalie Perry

Book Title: Dad #1, Dad #2 

What is your book about? My book is a memoir about growing up with gay dads 20 years ago in Idaho, one of the most conservative states in our country.

What inspired you to write your book? I was inspired by the current and changing environment in our country.  Last year, I saw my dads get legally married on their 18-year anniversary. It was an amazing experience for me and a change in our country I never thought I’d see in my dads’ lifetime. I’m also a travel writer and through the course of starting my blog, Gad About the Globe, I realized that I relate to travel differently as a result of my family experiences. We have an incredible story and I thought it would be beneficial to share with others. I hope my books helps others understand gay families and for gay families, helps parents understand some of the unique struggles their children will face.

Can you describe your writing process? On Sundays, I create a weekly schedule for myself that includes working on my travel blog, book, and social media. I still work a 9-5, so it can be difficult to fit everything in. I recently started using some of my PTO to schedule writing days where I can focus solely on my book.

I have an outline for my book. I either pick up where I left off, or, if I’m feeling emotionally drained on that section, I’ll jump to the next one and work on that until I feel empty. Probably the most interesting thing about my writing process is that I’m writing my book by hand.  The computer feels very disconnected to me and it’s a deeply personal story, so I prefer putting pen to paper. 

How did you come to do what you’re doing today? I came to work on my book because of my travel writing. I wrote a lot when I was younger, but stepped away from it in my 20s and really missed it. I’m happy that I’ve gotten back into it and that I’m writing stories I want to share with others.

Can you describe a typical day in your life? I’m single with no kids. I wake up; get ready for work; put in my 8 hours; come home and spend another 4-5 hours writing, editing photos, and engaging on social media. I set an end time an hour before bed so I have a little downtime before my head hits the pillow.

What do you most enjoy about what you do? I enjoy sharing my experiences. For travel, it’s fun to write about places I’ve been and relive those moments. For my book, it’s actually been more challenging than I expected. It’s difficult to relive some of the negative moments, like being disowned by my grandfather or being kicked out of my church. But I’m learning to love the emotional roller coaster because I know that these moments and their impact are some of the most important to share.

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey? I love Samantha Brown. When I first saw her on the Travel Channel I thought, “She has my life!” I love strong women who aren’t afraid to challenge the norms of society and go after what they want. I love Eleanor Roosevelt. I also love pioneers of gay and trans rights such as Ellen DeGeneres and Laverne Cox. For writing memoir, I recently read a quote by Anne Lamott and it’s given me courage to share some of the more painful parts of my story: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” 

Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you? Most people are surprised to learn that I don’t have a TV. But I’m a minimalist and I find that for me, a TV is only a distraction from the things I really want to do in life.

What’s next for you? Finish my memoir and have it published. I’m also continuing to work on my travel blog and hoping my second book will be travel related.

Is there anything you’d like to add? For those interested, my blog is https://gadabouttheglobe.com/.

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