About Me

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Brisbane, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Brisbane, Australia. Visit my website at www.noelleclark.net

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Day in the Life of: Author - Susanne Bellamy



Today I welcome fellow Queensland writer Susanne Bellamy to my blog. Susanne writes contemporary romance novels set in exciting and often exotic locations.






Susanne’s current releases are:
  • White Ginger
  • One Night in Sorrento
I recently reviewed One Night in Sorrento. Needless to say, I absolutely loved it. Click HERE to read my review.
 
 


Susanne, which comes first – the plot or the location?
Generally, location allows me to develop plot ideas although I often see the meeting of my protagonists first. Travelling along the Amalfi coast road gave me the idea for Luca and Rhiannon's meeting and Arne and Amelie were always going to be in Hawaii. I do think that place is important because it carries cultural and social elements that affect what may happen and how characters are likely to behave.

Do Arne from White Ginger, and Luca from One Night in Sorrento, have anything in common?

Apart from being tall, dark and sexy? Heroes have to be heroic in their actions; what they do speaks volumes about their personal values and attitudes. Arne fights to protect his town and reef from a big developer as well as being honourable  towards Amelie. He is also a fabulous uncle to his sister's young daughter. Despite it being Rhiannon's fault, Luca offers her a ride after their near disastrous meeting and helps her achieve her goal. Neither hero is perfect, both have faults but they are intrinsically good men with whom the reader might imagine living a long and happy life. They both have a sense of humour and   engage in witty repartee. Did I mention Luca rides a big, black motorbike and wears leather while Arne is most at home in swimmers or a short wetsuit? Whatever they wear (or not!), they are fine specimens of men, eye candy extraordinaire!

Your heroines, Rhiannon and Amelie: do they have any similarities/major differences?

I like women who are the intellectual equals of their men but a certain amount of vulnerability is fine if packaged with inner strength and determination.  Amelie is visual and highly creative whereas Rhiannon has a logical brain and has assisted her step father with his engineering research. Both women are in unfamiliar countries; Amelie is in Kauai for three months to work on her fabric designs while Rhiannon had taken her ill step father's place. She is on her first trip to Italy to present his designs to a luxury car manufacturer. Amelie has had a bad experience with her ex-fiance yet is still open to possibilities with Arne. Rhiannon has never ridden a motorbike but discovers how exhilarating it can be—Amalfi, motorbike, wrapped around a sexy Italian man wearing leather?
 
Do you think the characters are influenced by the location? I mean – would Rhiannon (for instance) have acted differently if she had been at home in Australia?

Location definitely influences characters' behaviour. Much of Rhiannon's anxiety and reaction to initial events was based on the fact she couldn't understand Italian whereas if she'd been in an English speaking country, the problem would never have arisen. Amelie has to face her greatest phobia in order to help Arne and the location is a key factor.
Take a person out of their comfort zone and a great source of potential conflict opens up. Increase the  problems (ie throw a few rocks their way) and you really see what they're like under pressure.

What do you think readers will enjoy most about your novels?
Location, location, location! I love being transported by a story to another place; it's delicious to live vicariously through the written word. I've been told I write great sexual tension and sensory descriptions too.

How do you balance writing with all of life’s responsibilities? Which ones do you have to juggle?

Until now, I've been juggling full time work and family needs with writing but 2014 is my year to write almost full time while I take long service leave. My biggest problem is 'pfaffing around' because I feel like I have so much time now! I balance writing and other 'stuff' according to the day's needs. House work takes a back seat when I'm writing. The dust will still be there tomorrow but the idea might disappear if I don't get it down. And evenings are time to spend with my husband who works long hours.

What is a typical writing day for you? Do you stick to a regimented pattern of writing so many words per day?
I set a word goal for each day but I'm still trying to find my best writing time. It's such a luxury to have most of the day available! And I'm still learning the demands of social media; it's a great tool but a terrible master. Turning the internet off except for set periods might save my sanity and boost my word count.

Where do you like to write? At your desk, or perhaps wherever looks comfortable at the time?
Mostly in an armchair with my laptop on my lap. I found a neat little 'laptop tray' in an office supplies store that has made this much more comfortable. My main requirement is a lack of distractions. And no chips in the cupboard. My name is Sue and I'm a chipaholic.

Is there anyone who stands out as a mentor in your writing career?

Annie Seaton—she is such a dynamo and generous with her time and assistance in so many areas. Shirley Wine deserves a mention for beating out my early tendency towards 'purple prose'.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer?
Self discipline.
When you don't feel like writing but have a dead line to meet, when your word count seems as elusive as the peak of Mt Everest, when that publisher you subbed to still hasn't got back to you and you feel like your writing 'sucks', you need to keep writing, even if it's just stream of consciousness 'stuff'.
 
What tips would you have for aspiring authors who feel passionate about the stories they write?
Be open to feedback and take it on board, especially if several people give you similar comments. It might be the story of your heart but others may not read it in the same way. If you receive some negative comments or there are elements identified that you don't agree with, don't jump up and down and say they haven't 'got' you. Put your work aside for a night or two or more if need be then come back when you're fresh and look at your work again. Distance does give a different perspective.

Are you able to share with us what you are working on now?
I’m thrilled to announce that I have just signed with Entangled Press. I’m writing Book 4 in The Emerald Quest, a romantic suspense series that spans two centuries.

My book is set in Hawaii in 1960, just after it became the fiftieth state of the USA. It will be the story of Eva Abbott and Luc Martineau. It is scheduled for release in May 2015.

Congratulations! That is wonderful news and I'm looking forward to seeing that one. Susanne, thanks for visiting today, and for sharing so generously with us.



About Susanne Bellamy:


Like most authors, I’ve always loved reading and I read broadly, following whatever my current passion is. Perhaps curiosity killed the cat but it is lifeblood for an author and I am curious. I enjoy researching and I love creating new characters then chucking the proverbial rocks at them and making them work for their happy ending.
 
I am also mad keen about travelling to new places, as well as revisiting some old favourites. Paris will always be one of my top spots, and I fell in love with Scotland when we visited the west coast (it had nothing to do with the fine single malts), but I only recently had my first real trip to Italy. Four weeks in four different parts of the country--tick off one of my Bucket List items!  I’ve enjoyed New Year in Kathmandu and trekked in the Annapurnas, sailed in Ha Long Bay on a junk, and stayed on a floating hotel beside a tethered elephant in Thailand. I love the Peak in Hong Kong and the cable car ride in Singapore. My heroes have to be pretty special to live up to the real life one I married. He saved my life then married me. We live on the edge of bush land on a mountain in beautiful sunny Queensland, Australia, together with our two children and two dogs.  I write contemporary romance novels set in exciting and often exotic locations.
 
Check out my story boards on Pinterest for White Ginger, One Night in Sorrento and Betting on the Boss (formerly Merger in Melbourne) and see what else you can find! Follow me if you see boards you like!
 
Two great books – two fabulous exotic locations.
 
Blurb – White Ginger
Amelie Mackenzie chases her artistic dreams in Hawaii after a life detour. That means no more ex-fiancĂ©…and definitely no men to distract her. Should be easy, but how will she resist the hot and sexy marine biologist fighting a battle against a corrupt developer?

Arne Keloki is fighting a resort development which will damage the reef protecting his small Kauai town. Although being with Arne could be dangerous for Amelie, in more ways than one, some attractions cannot be ignored. Will she succumb to the smoldering attraction or will Arne lose his chance forever?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blurb – One Night in Sorrento
Rhiannon steps out of her comfort zone when she travels to Sorrento for a meeting in borrowed business clothes. The last thing she expects is to miss her meeting, and end up in the company of Luca, a sexy Italian bike rider.

What will one night in Sorrento bring?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contact Susanne:
Buy links
One Night in Sorrento http://amzn.to/1brE2Jp
White Ginger http://amzn.to/MiDjVr
 
Special! Extract from Susanne's next release - Betting on the Boss

Wrong Matt’s warm, long-fingered hand covered hers and stilled her jerky movements. As he pressed her hand against his chest, calluses at the base of his fingers, the kind that came from hard, honest labour, scraped over her knuckles. Strong, tanned and downright gorgeous, Wrong Matt did more than shuffle paper and the touch of his work-hardened hands comforted her. 
Through a haze of tears, she stared at the expanse of wet white shirt plastered to his broad chest. Like a second skin, the material stretched over toned muscle that her hands were now firmly pressed against. Tempted to trace the outline of well defined muscle, she opened her fingers wide and slipped her hand beneath his jacket.
He leaned into her touch. Did he welcome it? A muscle jumped and her little finger slipped between the buttons of his tuxedo and touched warm, smooth skin.
How would his skin taste? Of Champagne? Almost certainly. Her lips parted.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Sue,

    Totally agree that "heroes need to be heroic in their actions." It's what draws us to them when we read about them.

    I can't imagine any writer not being a chip-aholic. It's staple food for the creative juices. Lol.

    Oooo I really, like the sound of Matt. And any man that wears champagne can't be a bad thing for a girl. *wink*

    Smiles,
    Effie

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    1. Hello Effie. Wise words indeed from Sue, and I think we all share her love of chippies. :-) Thanks for taking the time to visit. Best wishes, Noelle.

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  2. Great post ladies. Loved the questions and the answers were very insightful;

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    1. Thanks Shehanne. Lovely to see you here. You're getting to meet quite a few of my Aussie author mates. :-)

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  3. Hi Effie, hi Shehanne.

    Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment! I know most writers talk 'chocolate' as the creative food but I've never really had a sweet tooth; a little goes a long way with me!

    Noelle asks really great questions, doesn't she.

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    1. Susanne, it was an absolute pleasure having you on my blog at long last. I think 2014 is going to be HUGE for you. :-) Thanks for such thoughtful answers to my questions. Best wishes, Noelle.

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