Interview with Alec John Bell during the BlogTour for “Forbidden Darkness”
Alec John Belle is an online high school student that resides in the state of Massachusetts. At the age of 16 he wrote his first novel, Before I Break. His hobbies include reading, writing, and obsessing over Pretty Little Liars. He writes about tough topics that many are too afraid to talk about like suicide, homosexuality, self harm, cyberbullying, anxiety disorders, addiction, among other teenage issues, and he often blends these ideas with the paranormal.Links
comes to mind? Why is it so important to you?
Cake by Richard Fowler. It’s one of the first books my mother read to me as a
child that I really remember being read to. What resonated most with me about
the story was that this Chef Cat is baking a cake and a whole cast of
characters sneak in to his kitchen to add ingredients they would want into the
cake. At the end of the book the cake tastes rather terrible. What I learned
from the story is how secondary characters and their desires can affect the
path of a story. Even as a young child, I was learning and focusing on what
good stories have. In the case of Cat’s Cake, it’s secondary characters.
surroundings is a part of your stories? Is the influence based on a conscious
decision, or do you periodically recognize yourself in one of your characters
and it wasn’t planned?
stories are mostly fantasy in that the events and people in the stories are
entirely from my imagination. Some people write what they know, even personally
into a story, but I really prefer to explore new characters and new
surroundings. I love the challenge of trying to write about places I’ve never
lived and men and women that aren’t like anyone I know. However, I sometimes
put a trait or two, or a small detail here and there into a character or story
when it fits. An example would be in my story The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall,
the hero tells the heroine how he learned to dance and it was how my dad told
me he was taught to dance.
when you think about writing in it? Explain why!
we’re talking about the Romance Genre, I think the subgenre that most
intimidates me is historical romance set in the highlands. I specialize in
writing Regency set romances, but anything consider “highlander” romances with
men in kilts and running around with swords is incredibly intimidating. I would
love to write a story like this, but the research to get the story right would
take a lot of time to do and given my day job as an attorney, I can’t afford
the time to research it.
important feature a book needs to have?
I mean this in two related ways. A book itself should have character in that
the book should make you remember it, like a good movie, or a song. You can’t
get it out of your head. And one of the best ways a book can do this is to have
strong characters like the hero and heroine. A writer should make their
characters strong, loveable, human and compelling. If a book has those type of
characters, then that is a book which will capture a reader’s heart.
writing a book, (including the preparations and after-publication-process)?
most difficult part is probably editing. You’re mentally sort of done with the
book and you want to move onto to the next project but you can’t. You have to
be willing to work on the book all over and change anything that your editor
says you need to.
the questions people ask you in interviews, what question is the most annoying
and you would love to never hear again? What question would you really like to
answer that you have not been asked yet, and what is your answer to that
think the most irritating question is probably ‘Where did you get the idea for
this book?’ I tend to write and I don’t always know where the story comes from,
it just hits me. I think that’s probably more annoying to answer because I
don’t have an answer and it doesn’t really tell the audience anything about the
book when I have no ready answer. I think a question I would love to answer
that no one really asks me is “What is your favorite part of the story? Or What
were you trying to show through your characters?” I love to talk about what I
am thinking as I write and what I’m trying to accomplish. In the case of my
book The Gilded Cage, I really sought to focus on two characters, Fenn and
Hayden who are both a reverse fish out of the water and a fish out of the water
story line. Fenn, an heir to a fortune and a Long Island high society family he
didn’t grow up with and doesn’t remember due to a childhood trauma and injury
is now a poor bullrider in Colorado, and Hayden who grew up in luxury on Long
Island in Fenn’s childhood world of opulence and decadence. There was a lot of
wonderful character development I was able to play with while writing these two
seemingly different characters who weren’t actually that different come
writing style that are important yet different from other authors.
write in almost all different subgenres of romance: Contemporary, historical,
modern gothic, and paranormal, yet my writing style doesn’t differ all that
much. Many writers when they change subgenres, their style changes too much and
they lose readers.
style also tends to be a little more haunting, lyrical and literary than other
romances in some ways because I never read romances when I was growing up. My writing
influences were very literary and I read a lot of gothic romances and high
also love teasing the readers with hints of fairy tale connections or
metaphors. I am obsessed with fairy tales and can’t help but write them into my
stories, even in small ways.
at the end of this interview?
hope that readers will check out The Gilded Cage, it’s not your average erotic
romance. It’s a powerful story about family, dreams, and real love about two
people and the friends that help them come together. It’s not just a love
story, it’s an emotional and exciting adventure story too.
of first grade, I loved reading. Then, when I was eight years old, I started
writing a story at school about apple tree gnomes. The teacher loved what I’d
written so far. I was very shy, and her comment freaked me out so much that I
wrote a bad ending so she wouldn’t compliment me again—that was safer than
doing my best and coming up with something mediocre. But that was when I knew I
wanted to write.Do you have a specific writing style?You’ll have to ask my readers. I write
in deep 3rd person point of view most of the time (with the
occasional foray into 1st person), but apart from that I can’t
describe my style except in very general terms. There’s lots of dialogue and
action and not much description. I don’t know how to write comedy, but if humor
just happens to nose its way in, I’m delighted and keep it there.
Do you write in different genres?
Yes, unfortunately, because this makes it
difficult for me to establish an author ‘brand’, which they say matters a lot.
I write two kinds of Regencies – with and without magic – and also wrote the
Bayou Gavotte series, which are paranormal romance/mystery. And then there’s
that first person mystery I’m working on. I don’t seem to be able to stick to
one thing at a time.
How can I possibly choose? I love them
How did you come up with the title for
your latest book?
With a great deal of pain and much help
from others. I’m terrible at titles.
Do you title the book first or wait until
after it’s complete?
See the above answer. My placeholder
titles are usually pretty blah, such as the hero or heroine’s name (which
sometimes changes in the course of the book, but the placeholder may stay the
same. No point exchanging one dumb title for another).
Is there a message in your novel that you
want readers to grasp?
they all say something like “Love conquers all” or “Love is the greatest magic”
or “Be yourself and love will follow.” Sappy stuff, but that’s romance for you.
When you’re not writing what do you do? Do
you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?
Read, cook, eat, sleep… I used to do a lot
of knitting and crocheting, but since I started writing seriously, I never seem
to have the time. Succeeding at making socks is on my bucket list, but at this
rate I’ll never manage it.
What is next for you? Do you have any
scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
called To Kiss a Rake, which will be out on July 29th. It’s a
marriage of extreme inconvenience for both hero and heroine. Here’s the blurb:
WHEN A LADY IS ABDUCTED BY MISTAKE…Melinda Starling doesn’t let ladylike behavior get in
the way of true love. She’s secretly helping with an elopement, when she’s
tossed into the waiting coach and driven away by a notorious rake.REVENGE REALLY
DOESN’T PAY.Miles Warren, Lord Garrison, comes from a family of
helps a friend to run away with an heiress, it’s an entertaining way to revenge
himself on one of the gossips who slandered him.
if that wasn’t scandalous enough, he can’t resist stealing a kiss.
What is the first book you read that comes to mind? Why is it so important to
Faye Dyer’s Sunday Kind of Love. It was the very first book I read and
enjoyed. It opened up the world of reading to me.
What made you start writing books?
have a lot of anxiety. through infinity came from me rewriting the fear of what
would happen if I forgot my family to have a happy ending. Reft was written
about something I wish I did more of, forgiveness.
How much of you and/or your surroundings is a part of your stories?
influence based on a conscious decision, or do you periodically recognize
yourself in one of your characters and it wasn’t
lot. My books are based around my hometown. Quite a few of the scenarios have
happened to people I know, so I took a little creative liberty to embellish
events a little.
What author/actor or musician do you ‘fangirl’ over?
Flowers! Brandon Flowers! Brandon Flowers!
don’t really like identifying myself as a fan. It makes me feel like I’m
discrediting the work an author puts into their work. Nora Roberts, Larissa
Ione, Colleen Hoover, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter. It depends on my mood at the
What does your perfect writing day look like? Do you plan when and how long you
write, or does it happen without planning?
perfect day is overcast and rainy with a few thunderstorms thrown in. Other than
the rain and the thunder it’s silent.
try to plan to write, but like most plans, it usually goes out the
What genre is the most intimidating when you think about writing in it? Explain
pretty much stick within romance. I couldn’t imagine writing paranormal or
creating a world because the details are so important.
What do you like to do when you are not writing? What do you think your
profession would be if you were not an author?
book reader. Not a blogger or anything, just get paid to read books all day
while someone cleans my house and does my laundry. (You didn’t say it had to be
What is the most touching reaction you have ever received from a
the two people I don’t know who wrote to tell their reactions to Reft and they
really got the point of the story.
In your opinion, what is the most important feature a book needs to
don’t know that there is any one element I look for other than a good story.
What is the most difficult part of writing a book, (including the preparations
finding time to write. Second, finding time to do everything that comes after
writing a book. Trying to sell a reader on why your book is the one to read over
this other book is hard, especially if you don’t want to sound like a
jerk. Third, having people make judgments about you as a person based on a story
If you had the chance to influence the questions people ask you in interviews,
what question is the most annoying and you would love to never hear again? What
question would you really like to answer that you have not been asked yet, and
what is your answer to that question?
haven’t really done many interviews, so I’m not annoyed yet.
what is the theme of your stories? True love is unending and life isn’t about
the things that happen, but the choice you make in how to react to the
Name three characteristics of your writing style that are important yet
different from other authors.
readers who didn’t like the story liked the writing, so I guess that’s a good
thing. I don’t really know that I’m that different from any other writer. I
write the story I want to read. If somebody else likes it, great. If not, not
much I can say to that except thanks for giving it a chance and better luck next
Which of your characters seems to be the most independent, and has taken on a
life of their own?
Love him or find him the most irritating character you’ve ever read, he’s left
What do you want tell your readers at the end of this
for reading my stories!
Q&A by Colleen Hoover
April 17, 2015
Taken from: https://www.goodreads.com/photo/author/5430144.Colleen_Hoover
When you already have done the tour through our blog, you for sure have noticed that we are big fans of Colleen Hoover. Yesterday, she started a Q&A on her Facebook page. People were and still are able to ask questions which she is going to answer the next days. In the comments we found out a lot about not only her, but also a lot of things concerning her books(like #NeverNever2 or November 9). In this post we want to collect the best and most interesting questions and answers for you.
Because of privacy, we won’t mention the name of the people asking the questions.
1) Q:Is there a subject as an author that you wouldn’t write about? And if so what subject is that?
A: I would never write about anything I find boring, because I wouldn’t be able to concentrate or put effort into it. So history, science, math. Pretty much all of the things I suck at.
2)Q:Just curious, if it isn’t being a writer, do you have an absolute dream job? Like something crazy out there?
A: I would love to be a director.
Comment on the answer: Hopefully she will have some influence on the Ugly Love movie.
Check out their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UglyLoveMovie?fref=ts .
3)Q: Is there a certain book or author that inspired you to start writing?
A: It was actually a song lyric from The Avett Brothers. “Decide what to be and go be it.”
Comment on the answer: Actually the music plays an important role in her books as well.
4)Q:Will you ever continue with the slammed books???? The little brothers stories or maybe Eddie?
A: That would be awesome. I guess it depends on time and what I’ve got lined up. I never say never.
Comment on the answer: This would be beyond awesome!
Check out the Slammed series: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13372690-slammed?from_search=true&search_version=service .
5)Q:At what point in your writing do you decide on the title for your book?
A: Sometimes I come up with the title before the book, sometimes in the middle. Mostly before I start writing. I tend to like to write around the title, if that makes sense.
6)Q:Other than Abbi, Tarryn, and Jamie which authors do you one click automatically?
A: You know, I don’t really buy books. lol. Luckily, authors are pretty good about giving away advanced copies to their author friends for feedback. So a lot of times I’ll message the author and say, “Can I PLEASE READ THIS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?” and they’ll send it over. But I love Tammara Webber, Amy I could go on and on…
Comment on the answer: You really should check out the books written by Amy Harmon! She has such a special way to tell a story.
7) Q:Hi Colleen! Your characters are all very special ♡ I just wanna know, who among your characters is the closest to your heart?
A: I honestly had a really soft spot for Miles. It was hard writing Ugly Love because of what he went through and I just want to hug him.
8) Q: If you had to choose between never drinking another Diet Pepsi as long as you live, or never writing as long as you live, which one wins?
A: I would suffer through diet coke to continue writing.
Comment on the answer: You have to know that Colleen loves Diet Pepsi. I am jsut happy that she loves writing even more. What would we do if her answer would have been a different one?Perhaps stop the wordwide production of Diet Pepsi?! 😀 For Colleen’s books , I would do it”
9)Q; Any movie deals in progress?????
A: Hopeless is with producers. Ugly Love is in pre-production. Nothing on any of the others.
Comment on the answer: OMG, really? Is she serious? *Colleen dance*I love all of her books, but the Hopeles books are even more special for me! This totally made my day!
Last but not least:
10) Hopefully we are able to post the answer to our question at this point when she answered it. We wanted to ask how she dealt with the writing process of Never Never as she writes these books together with Tarryn Fisher.
There are plenty other questions. Take a look – it will be fun!