Belle resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest most inconsequential name. There in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams of adventures and secrets that she weaves throughout her stories. She studied literature at University of Houston and is quite sure that she has the best readers and fans in the whole wide world.
Visit Belle on the web at:
Authorgraph (for free e-book autographs)
The Charming Belle did a quick interview with us. Read what she said here:
At what age did you start writing?
I suppose the first part of my answer would be a question: define “writing.” To me, writing is more than just scrawling words across the page. To me, writing begins in the daydreaming … the listening to the characters whisper their story into your imagination.
I have been daydreaming stories for as long as I can remember. My first recollection of wanting to be a writer was when I was in the second grade, and my teacher, Mrs. Rambin, would have us lay our heads on our desks after lunch while she read us stories full of magic and imagination.
Most of my early writings were stories with a twist of science fiction…even my earliest poems. I remember sitting on the dam of a neighbor’s pond around the time I was eleven, writing a story about space travel. In fact, I still have that little handwritten story. It’s still bound in the same yellow notebook that I put it in way back in the sixth grade!
Growing up in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, afforded me summers full of adventure with my friends. I call on those adventures and memories a great deal for my YA stories. Cicada has a lot of the energy of those childhood adventures spun throughout. One of them is something that actually happened to me when I was thirteen years old. I was on one of my adventures in the woods with my dog, Dusty. We made our way through the woods to a neighboring pasture and crawled through the barbed wire fence.
When we got to the top of one of the rolling hills in the grassy field, I realized I was standing in the middle of a giant circle imprinted in the pasture grass. No one had ever told me about crop circles at that time in my life, so I just thought it was an odd occurrence that there was a strange circle in the tall grass. Now that circle is forever memorialized in my YA/NA crossover CICADA trilogy
Patty Campbell talks about the germ for a piece of writing being like the sand in the oyster. What is your grain of sand? Do you begin with character or setting or something else?
My stories are character-driven. My characters actually step through a portal into my imagination one at a time and introduce themselves to me. Readers may be surprised to know that the first character I met in CICADA wasn’t the main character. It was Everett. He, of course, ends up being the bravest and least apprehensive of all the characters in these books, and sometimes I think that’s why he’s the favorite character for most of my readers.
Being an avid daydreamer is what creates the fertile soil for that seed to germinate. People-watching helps create a vast encyclopedia of character traits. Daydreaming about things happening at interesting places and locations builds a rich library for settings.
For me, it all starts with that one daydream with that one character. After that, the floodgates open and I’m swept away!
Do you outline before you write or just dive in?
The first character who introduces himself/herself to me also tells me the beginning and ending of the story. As I meet each of the other characters, they share with me some important stops they wish to make along their journey.
I’m a character-driven plotter, I guess!
Why do you write for Young Adults?
I write Young Adult fiction, because I get a chance to re-live my youth knowing all I know now.
Who is your favorite character you have written or read about?
My answer is going to reveal the depth of my nerdiness. Brace yourselves. My favorite character I’ve have ever read is Beowulf. He is the true hero in every sense of the word. One must not confuse the real story of Beowulf with the warped ones in the movies, though.
What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
I love my readers and fans with a passion.
In high school, where did you fall? (Prom Queen/King, Gamer Geek, Brainy/Book Nerd, Jock, Shy/Quiet Scholar, Skate Rat, Stoner, Class Clown, etc.)
I was the shy/quiet daydreamer who always had a notebook and pen, writing away at science fiction stories or poems.
Do you have a pet (pets)? Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.
Yes! If you follow me on Facebook, then you’ve seen pictures of my doggie. Her name is Sascha Marie. She’s a four-year-old Lancashire Heeler, which is a rare breed in the US. But we didn’t purchase her. She’s a rescue.
She’d been purchased from a breeder somewhere up north by someone in Houston. He’d decided he didn’t want her as a puppy and dumped her at the local animal shelter when she was four months old. Apparently, she’d been herding his children around like a little flock of sheep! After a little research, I was able to locate a breeder of Lancashire Heelers who helped me track down my fur baby’s history.
But the only history that matters is that she’s a part of our family, and on days that she’s at the vet or groomer, our house is very quiet and lonely. She is, indeed, the heart of our home.
I’d like to say that Sascha Marie helps me with my writing, but that wouldn’t be a true statement. This furry little whirlwind likes to interrupt me with demands for snacks, snuggles, or potty breaks. Sometimes, she’s just nosey and wants to go outside to see what’s going on with the neighbors. But even though she likes to interrupt and herd me around, I can’t imagine my home without her in it.
What books or authors have most influenced your writing most?
Every single book and author I’ve ever read has influenced my writing in some small way. If I had to list authors who’ve had the biggest impact on my love of words, I would list William Shakespeare and Robert Frost. Yes. I’m a nerd.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would love to meet the guy who was my childhood hero: Lech Walesa. In my high school years, during the 1980s, I would rush home after school and turn on the news to see what other extraordinary things he’d done that day for his people in Poland. He is a great man who fought for the rights of his people. He sacrificed much, even his own peace and well-being, so that his country could be free from Communist oppression.
Wanna see some of his quotes? You can read them here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lech_walesa.html
I warned you about my extreme nerdiness, right?
It’s the dawn of the zombie apocalypse, what 3 things are a must to take with you when you flee your home for refuge from the undead hordes??
Assuming “things” are inanimate objects aside from my doggie and family members, I would choose these three things to take with me:
- My copy of “How to Survive the Zombie Outbreak” book
- A bag full of canned food from my kitchen cabinets
- A box of matches
Don't miss the opportunity to meet Belle at the
held at Lone Star College - Montgomery
on February 15th.