Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Author Interview With Michelle Bellon
· What is the title of your book and who is the publisher? Embracing You, Embracing Me published by Fingerpress, a small press in London.
· Please tell us a little bit about your book. This Young Adult novel begins in a 90s Trailer Park, and hits hard. In a decade when image matters, when the so-called Generation X is swelling with “future perfect” hopes and pride, 16-year-old Roshell McRady dances her way through High School, never quite admitting that she's ashamed of her trailer park family home. Meanwhile she listens to Madonna while conjuring creative Top Ramen recipes to feed her younger cousins; she empties enough hairspray onto her hair until her bangs are feathered and vertical like a lethal weapon; and she agonizes over how to convince Gabriel Harrison, the new Mystery Guy in town, to invite her to the prom — a night that threatens to turn into a disaster. But then life takes a dramatic turn for Roshell, and her life changes forever. A love story emerges from the anguish of Roshell's life, and when she leaves school to find work in a casino, things get even more complicated for her — until one night a powerful dream marks out the exact path that she must take.
· How did you come up with your book idea? Though the story is fictional, there are aspects that are similar to my own life experiences.
For me, what is important about this story is Roshell’s emotional journey as she grows up and learns not only how her actions affect everyone one around her, but how they affect her future.
· What are your publishing credits? To date I’ve published three novels, His Salvation, The Complexity of a Soldier, and this last one, Embracing You, Embracing Me, which I’m proud to say has just been announced as the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award winner for YA summer of 2012.
· What are your plans for the future? To just keep writing, writing, writing. I have three other unpublished novels that I will be shopping around to agents and publishers soon and I’m in the middle of writing another. I just wish I could write as fast as I could come up with new story ideas.
· What is your day job? I’m a registered nurse but I’m not working currently. A few years ago, I left my day job to home school one of my children. When our second born was three, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Since then she has recovered extremely well but did need a bit of extra help with her academics. It has been ten years and we are happy to say she is healthy and will be attending middle school this year. That said, while I was home with her I decided that while she was doing her book work I would begin to write and see what came of it. Here we are four years later.
· What is your preferred genre to write? I have yet to choose a genre and stick with it. This is the crux of my problem, so some would say. I disagree. A few years ago maybe that was the case as the rules of publishing were hard and fast. But those rules are bending and breaking more every day as the tides of change blow through. Now if a writer such as myself wants to write romance/suspense then turn around and write a mainstream drama and then a young adult, so be it. Creativity is being democratized which has its pros and cons. It’s up to us writers to decide which we want to focus on — the positive or the negative.
· How did you become a writer? As I stated before, I found myself back in the home and decided to make the best of it. But there is a bit more to it than that. I’ve always wanted to write a book but never in a million, kazillion years thought that I would. I’m not disciplined enough, I thought. I’m not creative enough, I chastised. Then the dreams began. I started to have dreams and when I woke up I knew that they were stories meant to be books. It was frustrating because I didn’t believe that I had what it took to actually write these stories. Then one day I said, “What if? What if I just tried? What would it hurt?” So I promised myself that I would try to write a little every day. Six months later, I sat back and looked at the final page of a first draft and said to myself, “I think I just wrote a book!” Granted, that story was an absolute mess and had to be rewritten and edited within an inch of its life, but that book is now an award winner.
· Are you a planner, complete with detailed outlines, or do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing? Fly by the seat of my pants, of course. Typically, my writing is very organic. I often have only the basic plot in my mind. What is more concrete to me are the characters and their emotions — their journey. Then I just sit down and let it flow. In the beginning I do usually do a basic timeline just so that I have everything chronologically set up for continuity purposes. There was one book, though, that had me stumped after the first six chapters or so. As the story unraveled and new characters began to pop up, I became overwhelmed and experienced a bit of writer’s block. It was at that point that I realized I would need to make an outline so I could see the forest for the trees.
· What is the best writing advice that you have ever been given? It’s classic advice, but I think it’s really important to apply as much as possible; amp up every scene. I’ve learned to enter each scene thinking these things: How does it drive the plot? What is the conflict of the scene? How can I make it even more dramatic or intense or difficult for the character’s motivation or agenda? How can I take the reader on a ride?
· What advice would you give a new writer? Write and read every chance you get. The only way to get good at the craft is to live it. Also, to help other writers as much as possible. Writers are some of the kindest, most giving people out there. Except for the odd few, they are often more than willing to promote others work, to give a review, to give a shout out, etc. Tap into that well but also be willing to give back, too. We all know that putting your work out there into the world to be read is one of the most vulnerable things we can do. It is frightening and bold. We need to lift one another up.
· What other projects do you have in the works at the moment? I just finished a women’s fiction titled Restless about a woman who has deemed herself “not the marrying type.” She tends to disappear when relationships get too serious. Then she meets charming, sexy Garrett and, despite her better judgment, she agrees to tie the knot. Learning how to love and be loved will be the hardest lesson she’s ever faced. The question is: will her relationships survive that lesson?
· What surprises can we expect from you in the future? Ooh, surprises? I love surprises! I want to surprise myself by getting a book to film. That would be radical. Is it okay to say radical still?
· If you could journey into any of your books, interacting with the characters, which would it be and why? This is a cool question. Let’s see … I would like to hang out with and buy a few drinks for Rory and Emily from The Complexity of a Soldier. I have a lot of respect for those characters and what they stand for.
· Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fans? Thank you for the incredible support and feedback. There is nothing I love more than when a reader contacts me to tell me how much one of my stories touched their heart. It makes all the hard work worth it ten fold.
On behalf of Write More Publications, thank you!
No- thank you!
Please visit Michelle Bellon on her Facebook author page:
Embracing You, Embracing Me by Michelle Bellon is now available on Amazon.com. Get your copy today! http://www.amazon.com/Embracing-You-Me-Michelle-Bellon/dp/1908824050/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351680628&sr=8-1&keywords=embracing+you%2C+embracing+me
Please visit the Michelle Bellon Page on Amazon.com to check out her other book titles. Get your copies today! http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Bellon/e/B004TZ0CUK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1351682722&sr=1-2-ent