Bella Harte Author Spotlight on Bella Harte Books.
Transcript of interview:
Hi L.Z. welcome and Happy Birthday again!
Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself?
I can tell you what other people say about me.
My four children say I’m crazy and yet they love me anyway.
Hubby claims I’m high maintenance—he has no idea what he’s talking about.
My students adore my class although they know I make them work hard.
My mom claims I need a vacation!
How long have you been writing?
I began scribbling the moment I held a pencil…ah, crayon. Or so I’ve been told. I wrote my first story when I was ten years old…it’s in a box somewhere…very boring.
What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
Smart suspense/thrillers and stories with occult/mystical aspects are some of my favourite reads.
The 2nd day after earning my M.A., an idea just BAM popped into my head while I was driving to school! I ran into class, jotted down the idea, and started writing immediately! (I might have parked the car first)
My idea? A believable supernatural tale that melds science, myth, and history—a story that explores the blurry line between reality and mysticism.
Oh! And I wanted a flawed, believable heroine!
Are there any other genres you’ve written?
My work in progress is a historical fiction set during Roman times. I’m finishing the 2nd draft and plotting out the 3rd in the MERKABAH series.
What motivates and inspires you to write?
I love to write, embrace editing, and adore tweaking a sentence.
Word nerd—you know it!
Asking what motivates or inspires me is like asking why I love chocolate. I just do!
I’m fortunate—four children, earning degrees, and having a demanding job forced me to acquire the discipline of writing on-demand. I can write anytime, anywhere—angry or happy—hungry or tired. Not drunk, though. Wish I could write in my sleep.
Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors just starting out?
Build a platform. Attend a few conferences. Learn the craft of writing and study the art of fiction. Discover the nuances of symbol, motif, tone, syntax etc. Write everyday.
Make sacrifices to the God of creativity and writing—Thoth.
What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us?
I just finished The Third Gate by Lincoln Child and Inferno by Dan Brown. Loved them both!
How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?
THE MERKABAH RECRUIT took forever to title. I wanted something catchy and short. Since it’s the first in a 5-novel series, something memorable and series-sounding was required. (Like the Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Identity, etc)
I threw out a few ideas to family and friends who—of course—generated too many suggestions.
The title isn’t really decided upon until it grows on me and the peanut gallery gives it a thumbs up.
Do you have a day job, other than writing – if so what is it?
I teach advanced literary analysis and writing in the rigorous International Baccalaureate program. It’s fun and demanding, and keeps me on my literary toes!
What is your preferred method of writing:- The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
As a teacher, I preach the importance of an outline. “Once you have an outline, your essay will write itself.” I practice what I preach. I never finish a scene and think “what now?”
There’s a 6-ft white board propped over the fireplace with the timeline of my historical fiction. I also use an excel spreadsheet. I know, nerdy.
Do you like to write while listening to music and if so, does your book have particular playlist you’d like to share?
Quiet is good…but not always. For the bar-hopping scene in THE MERKABAH RECRUIT, I listened to reggae, salsa/meringue, and blues. The rhythm, tempo, and dances helped create the mood of each bar the main character visits.
For THE MERKABAH DECEPTION my playlist included: So Amazing by Kenye West, 1000 Years by Sting, Adele, Lisa Gerrard, Taio Cruz, and Gregorian Chant music (for the creepy catacomb scene).
Which type of book do you prefer to read?
Ebooks for fun reads. Paperbacks for analysing and annotating. Any reference book must be a hardcopy—I have a stack sitting by my side now. I list most of my reference books on my website.
How many novels/books do you typically read in a month?
I’m a fast reader, so when I manage to drag myself away from the laptop I’ll finish a book in about 2 days.
What is your favourite genre to read at the moment?
Any genre that’s “chew-worthy” or “mind-candy.”
Which of the following suits you best?
a. Thrill Seeker
b. Mildly Meek
c. Totally Chilled
Where’s D? Coffee-agitated compulsive neurotic
How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?
When I’m on break from school, I write from early morning until the computer screen starts to blur—the screen, NOT my eyes—late into the night.
Once school begins, I write the moment I come home, and of course, I write all weekend long. Sometimes hubby makes me stop to eat dinner.
“You have a nice hobby.” Someone once made this comment to me.
No!!! An obsession. A passion. Another 8-hr a day profession.
Are you a:
a. Laptop Writer
b. Desktop Writer
c. iPad Writer
d. Pen and Paper Writer
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Rome! It’s the setting for my historical novel. And Venice. And Bali.
Oh!! There’s so many places I want to visit! A recent trip to Ecuador helped bring the Ecuadorian/jungle setting to life in THE MERKABAH DECEPTION.
Who would be your dream cast if your novel was made into a movie?
Ooohhh…all my friends have their favourites for the actress playing Daphne—most think Jennifer Lawrence is a good match! S.J.—it’s still a “hot” debate. Tall, sexy, muscular, dark…mmmm…
What is the one book you can’t live without?
Join in on Twitter
TweetChat scheduled with @SezoniWhitfield at 4ET, and a Merkabah blog facts TODAY
Thanks so much to L.Z. for joining us today with her fantastic novels, and revealing some fascinating insights into the life of a writer, teacher, mother, career go-getter and everything else she does. (I think secretly she’s Superwoman! Is there something you’re not telling us L.Z.????)
Wishing you an awesome day and please can we have some cake?
Hands up, who wants cake?
Especially if its
? chocolate ?
I’ll be back on Saturday with a little something for younger readers
So until then, Keep Calm and have chocolate cake
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