Natalie grew up as a military brat, living in Germany, Ohio, and Colorado, before her family settled in Florida. After graduating with a B.A. in TV production, she moved to California because, hey, doesn't everyone move clear across the country every few years?
Before embarking on her freelance writing career, Natalie spent the late 20th century and the 00s in the trenches of marketing analysis, a geeky job that let allowed her to score copious tchotchkes while making spreadsheets dance. In that capacity, she worked for Fortune 500 companies like Boeing, the Los Angeles Times, Citibank, and Toshiba.
Natalie has always been fond of both tech and writing. The former obsession started with Pong, which was, obviously, a gateway drug that led to Atari, Amiga computers, CompuServe, and video arcades.
As for writing, Natalie taught herself HTML in the mid-90s after being laid off by a bank for the third time. She started her own 'zine, ApparentDepth, becoming a blogger even before the word "blog" had been coined.
Natalie's first paid writing gig was writing for the World of Warcraft site, WoW Insider. There is probably no truth to the rumor that, upon hearing that she'd landed the job, she ran around her apartment screaming and waving a keyboard over her head.
Getting to Know Natalie
WIHT: What hosting companies have you used?
Natalie: Dreamhost. Prior to that I used GoDaddy (pre-Danica) until their CEO started hunting elephants.
I've never had any reason to switch from Dreamhost's shared hosting. And their newsletters are hilarious! Lately, I find myself considering a managed WordPress plan. I'd like to be able to delegate some of the gruntier bits, leaving more time for writing content for my sites.
WIHT: Are you working on any cool projects?
Natalie: I'm currently writing two novels: a fantasy mystery and a thriller. When I'm feeling blocked on one book, I switch over to work on the other one.
WIHT: Star Trek or Star Wars?
But seriously, I enjoy both franchises. I grew up geeky (when it wasn't cool to be a geek) but I've never understood "fandom" and the need for "canon" related to fictional worlds. Or the "us vs. them" zero-sum games about which IP is better than any other.
Putting my answer in a different way, I hope the future looks like Star Trek because I feel there are way too many robe- and cape-based fashions in Star Wars.
WIHT: What are your favorite books?
WIHT: When did you first use the internet?
Natalie: When I was in college I discovered a system called PLATO in the student library which was connected via chat and message boards to other places around the world. After that came AOL, GEnie, and CompuServe. I believe that dinosaurs roamed the earth at this time, as well.
WIHT: Where are you in the world?
Natalie: I live in Southern California with my husband, our feline-American children, and a banjo.
WIHT: Name one weird fact most people don't know about you.
Natalie: I used to go by the moniker The Game Dame.
WIHT: What do you love about freelance writing?
Natalie: I love being able to set my own schedule and not waking to an alarm clock. I also relish the fact that I no longer need to endure the punishing SoCal commutes. Other things I don't miss: kissing up to the boss (and the meta-boss and all the bosses in between and to the side), cubicles, performance reviews, conference calls, potlucks, passive-aggressive coworkers, and all-hands meetings.
WIHT: What do you hate about freelance writing?
Natalie: "Hate" is too strong a word, but things that are less-than-fun include hunting for work, an unreliable income, and Schedule Cs. Still, even taking annoying things into account, I hope I never need a traditional corporate job again.
Selected WhoIsHostingThis Writing
Natalie edits on most of our sister sites, but she also does some writing. For WhoIsHostingThis.com, she has primarily written hosting reviews. Here are a few examples: