Natalie McCollum began writing at age 8, 'making books' with folded paper and markers. In high school she wrote short stories but discovered herself as a poet in college. Her college years, however, were interrupted off and on by a seven-year eating disorder that had her in and out of hospitals.
She started her 20s in a psych ward, which set the tone for the whole tumultuous decade. Her first-hand experience with schizophrenic patients there later informed her fictional characters with similar conditions.
It was in a college creative writing class that she wrote the 10-page short story, based on a dream, that later evolved into her first novel, Ashes to Angels. She realized the story's novel potential after work-shopping it in a graduate creative writing class two years later. Tragically, she dropped out of grad school following a darkly glamorous love affair to Japan and went into therapy for severe depression. She worked as a barista at various coffee shops for four years while she finished her novel. She has lived in Dayton, Ohio most of her life. 93% of the novel was written in a local coffee shop downtown, where she still lives with her black cat, Sally.
Natalie has a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing.
She has had poems in local publications, including Wright State University’s literary journals, Nexus and Fogdog, in 2004 and 2005 respectively,
She has also been featured in Blind Faith, a compilation of poems by women in Dayton for Ladyfest 2008, an all-female arts festival.