I am thrilled to introduce Julie Coulter Bellon to you. She is an award-winning suspense novelist with enough success for several authors. I read her novel, All Fall Down, which I’ll review Friday. Plus, tomorrow we’ll have a giveaway!! Be here!! Trust me!!! Her blog is her take on life and her writing. In fact sneak over there now and you’ll find an excerpt from her newest project, Pocket Full of Posies. BUT read her interview first to learn more about her. I am a huge fan already. Partly because we have so much in common and partly because she writes for me. Seriously, just for me. Wink, wink. Julie is not only a great writer, she is a super nice lady. Win-win.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to writing? I’ve always loved writing and in the second grade won second place for my essay, Why We Should Respect the Cow. (Because really, cows are awesome!) I submitted my first manuscript to several publishing companies and received rejections from all of them. I was discouraged because my dream was to become a published author and apparently, my writing sucked, judging by the rejections in my hand. So I put my manuscript under my bed and let it gather dust for a year. Then, one of my published author friends encouraged me to dust it off and make the changes that had been suggested. I did, re-submitted, and had three offers for it within two weeks. I felt so dumb for wasting so much time wallowing in self-pity!
What drew you to the genre you write? I’ve always liked romantic suspense. Spies, danger, Navy SEALs, combined with romance? It’s a lethal combination! (See what I did there? Lethal combination?)
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? This is going to sound odd, but I have loved Shakespeare ever since I was first introduced to him. That’s partly why I was an English major. The way he manipulates the language, evokes emotion, and presents a compelling story amazes me. I even went to London to see his birthplace, where he proposed to his wife, and the Globe theater. One of the highlights of my life!
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? Oops, see question #1
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Because I was traditionally published I had an established fan base when I went indie. That was incredibly helpful, but I’ve tried to grow my readership with Goodreads contests, newsletters, presenting at writing conferences, contests and giveaways on my blog, sneak peeks, blog tours, and I’ll be doing Kindle Matchbook as well. There’s such a great support for indies out there if you know how to find them. I love that about our community.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with? I really loved Rafe and Claire from All Fall Down. They’ve been making cameos in the rest of the series, but I’d love to write another story for them.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? It sounds cliché, but never give up, never surrender. (GalaxyQuest is an awesome show to quote, right?) Don’t waste all the time I did on feeling bad about a rejection. Pick yourself up, make changes or adjustments to the characters, setting, dialogue, writing style, whatever isn’t working, and the right avenue for getting your book in readers’ hands will open up. The only difference between a published author and an unpublished author is that one gave up. I believe that. I’m proof of that!
Which of your characters would you most like to invite to dinner, and why? Oh, that’s a hard one. Probably Claire from All Fall Down She’s had an interesting life being a hostage negotiator and she has some complicated family around her that would make the dinner conversation lively as well. Plus, if anyone tried to crash the dinner she could kick some butt! Love her.
What project are you working on now? My new novel, Pocket Full of Posies (the third installment of the Hostage Negotiation Team series) is due out in October. I’m so excited for this one and am frantically trying to finish the last of the edits on it. Eek. (I just posted a sneak peek chapter on my blog)
Who is your favorite literary figure? (I’ve had a lifelong crush on Atticus Finch) Mr.Darcy hands down. (And he always looks exactly like Colin Firth when I imagine him. Surprising, right?
You can learn more about her books on Amazon.
Tomorrow: The big giveaway!!!