MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MICHELLE BELLON
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Michelle Bellon, although I’m getting married in August of 2019 so my name will change to Michelle King. I like the sound of that! As a multi-genre author, my books cover a wide variety of flavors. I write a lot of suspense and drama, but all of my books have romance in them too. My literary fiction novel won an award and so did my young adult novel.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Breathe In is a dark thriller. I’ve had a lot of women tell me that it was hard to read because it triggered so much emotion. That is exactly what I wanted it to do. I want it to grip you by the throat and incite fear and anger. But I also want my readers to go on the path with Tessa as she learns to conquer her fears and tap into her inner warrior. I want women everywhere who have dealt with any sort of abuse to unleash all of those emotions and feel better for it. I wrote the book because I was still recovering from an abusive marriage and divorce and all of the upheaval that comes from that. I needed to funnel all of that hurt and feeling and healing into something ugly and beautiful. Writing Breathe In was extremely cathartic for me. I hope it is for those who read it too.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I enjoy reading books that make you feel. I love getting to know characters who are bit broken and have lessons to learn. It’s a journey. And as I mentioned above, I had a lot of dark emotions that needed to come out. Tessa was the perfect character to help me with that.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Just lived my own kind of hell and then wrote something dark, hoping it would touch someone else who needed it too.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Unfortunately, I’m not writing anything new at this time. I’m a Director of Nursing for a mental health facility and I’m going to school, on top of raising my children and planning a wedding. Needless to say, I’m too busy to create a new story at the moment. However, I do plan to re-release two of my books that have been unavailable for a couple of years since the press they were with closed.
When I do get back to writing again, (and I will!!!) I typically like to write when everyone is in bed.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Nothing at the moment, but I’m toying with the idea of writing book two to Breathe In.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I find it so hard to name my characters and to name my books. I’m just not good at naming stuff. I’m surprised my children have names.
Where do your ideas come from?
Sometimes a scene or an idea will come to me in a dream. Mostly ideas come to me when I’m driving. Not sure why, but that’s usually when lighting strikes my brain and I have a new idea for a book.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Now days, it’s just finding time. Otherwise, I still have to focus on writing in active voice rather than passive. I used to “tell” too much of the story rather than just create the scene and dialogue and let the action tell the story.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Book trailers are cool. I’d like to do one or hire someone to do one, since I’m not exactly a genius when it comes to technology.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I’m proud that I’ve won four literary awards so far. That is such a satisfying accomplishment for any writer.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Creating something new. I love the very first time I hold my book in my hand before it is published, knowing how much work it took to get to that point. Those characters and that story would have never existed without me. It’s just a cool feeling.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Back to writing at least one book a year, if not more. I’m determined to have a best seller some day!
Have you always liked to write?
I have always loved to read, but never in a million years considered writing a book. However, when my fourth child was born and I was home with her, I started having dreams about book ideas. I decided to give it a shot. Six months later, Embracing You, Embracing Me was a finished novel. It was an absolute disaster and needed to be edited within an inch of its life, but it was a novel.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never. Give. Up.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d still be a nurse. I love helping people who need it. It gives meaning to my career.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I absolutely read them because it’s the best way to improve your writing. I love getting good reviews but I also appreciate the bad ones because 90 percent of the time, the reader makes a good point. I’ve become a better writer because I believe in learning from bad reviews. A writer should always be working to be better at their craft. The best way to do that is to read reviews.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Nothing happens fast. I am not a patient person but dammit if I haven’t had to learn to be patient with the writing industry. It take time to write a book then edit it. Then find a publisher, then wait for more edits and layouts and covers and blah blah blah. It’s a process and there’s not really any way to make it go any faster.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Before consciousness fully embraces me, I’m already remembering the evening’s events. A nightmare that is not really a nightmare at all. My eyelids feel heavy, reluctant to open as white, hot pain shoots through my head. My throat hurts. I’m lying uncomfortably on my right side, my head tipped awkwardly without a pillow under me. A kink in my neck spasms, starting behind my right ear, traveling to my shoulder. Both shoulders burn from the strain of the position I’m in, my wrists bound firmly behind my back. Lower lip trembles. I don’t want to open my eyes.
Please, God, just let it all be a bad dream. A nightmare.
The smell of stale urine combines with something cooking, assaulting my nostrils. Bacon? Seems an odd scent, given my scenario. My stomach roils from the rich aroma. Food is the last thing I can think of. I still feel queasy and weak. More from the blow to my head than the alcohol.
Slowly, slowly, blink, blink. My eyes are gritty and dry. The room I’m in comes into focus,then blurs, then focuses again. The door straight ahead is worn wood. It’s closed. The walls are wood also, adding a rustic feel to the place…like an old, abandoned cabin. Though I cannot see the rest of it, I sense it’s compact size pressing in on me.
The smell of urine wafts up from the twin-sized bed I’m lying on. Without sheets, I can see it’s one of those old striped mattresses. It sinks deeply in the middle. I arch my head back to take in the rest of my surroundings and my neck instantly spasms again. The room is empty. Like, really empty. Stark. Nothing but the bed I’m on and me. I’m alone. This gives me a brief moment of comfort.
Think. I need to think. I’m in the second location. This is bad. Really fucking bad. I remember watching an Oprah episode where they gave tips on how to survive a kidnapping. The numberone tip was to never let your kidnapper take you to “the second location.” You’re too vulnerable there. That’s where they will likely kill you. My heart skips and gallops faster.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Calm down.
I’m not going to die. Not today.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
My favorite book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I also love a good suspense, like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favouriteand why?
Aiden from The Fire Inside, which will re-release this coming year.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Oh, it definitely energizes me! I love to tap into that creative energy and let the story take me away for a few hours. There’s something magical about it.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I always try to be original. It’s one thing I’m very proud of. My characters are often broken and damaged and make a lot of mistakes. My plots are also not formulaic. They all have something in them that you don’t see every day. Something that readers will walk away from thinking, dang, that was a ride.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Actually, Embracing You, Embracing Me, was based on events that took place in my life from age 15 to 22. I changed some names and details to be a work of fiction, but most of that plot is based on a true story. A bit of a tear-jerker too. It won my first award.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you so much for having me!!