A Walk and Talk with Amazing Belle Whittington

Monarch BBT Button

There are some awesome perks with being an author… although I have a hard time calling myself one. And the perks are, author friends! Who let you read their books! Before they come out on bookshelves!!!!
And one of the BEST authors I have met (granted online) has been none other than the galactical queen herself, Belle Whittington.

Belle was raised in deep East Texas. She now 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 adventures and secrets she weaves throughout her stories. She’s the author of CICADA, FIREFLY, and MONARCH, a Young Adult/New Adult cross-over trilogy with excellent reviews. She studied literature and history at University of Houston where Beowulf, Shakespeare’s works, and the history of the Vikings were her favorite topics. Belle is positive her readers and fans are the best in the universe, although if you have ever met Belle, she is pretty stellar too!!!
Now, for the good part!! 🙂
Before we start, I want to thank my dear friend, Heather, for having me over for a cup of hot cider and a chat. It’s a real honor to be featured on Heather’s blog, and I look forward to getting to know all her followers. Thank you, Heather!
First: Be careful of the hot cider! Why/when did you decide to go into writing? What inspired you to?
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 the Cicada Trilogy!
Second: How did you come up with the character “Blair Reynolds”? and “Everett”? And “Andrew”?
My characters introduced themselves to me one at a time. I’ve always thought that the first one I met was Everett. Now, in retrospect, I realize the very first one was Nyx. He was the dark alien being who’d leapt out of the UFO and into the haunted forest in the very beginning of this story. At the time, he was shadowy and secretive … even to me.
But it makes sense that Nyx and Everett were the first to introduce themselves. Of course, I can tell you why. That would be too much of a spoiler from MONARCH. Readers will figure that one out once they read the book. 😉

Third: Who was your favorite character to write about? (No spoilers for our friends who haven’t read, which is a shame)
URMEGUR! This is such a difficult question to answer. Each of my characters are so close to my heart. Let’s see … in CICADA, my favorite character (simply because of his storyline) was Andrew. In FIREFLY, it was so much fun introducing readers to Ash. Everything comes together in MONARCH, so it’s tough to choose. I really enjoyed meeting Lore and Max in this book. Both of them are strong female characters, and they both tugged at my heart … Of course, Max would probably eat my heart if provoked! LOL!
Fourth: What are some of your favorite books?
I’m not even sure I can answer this question, because I don’t have any one favorite. Of course I love Jane Austen. Who doesn’t? Getting past that, there are so many others! For instance, Suzanne Collins rocked my world with her Hunger Games trilogy. After I finished Mocking Jay, the characters stayed with me night and day until I picked the trilogy up and reread it.

Then there’s Beth Revis and her awesome Across the Universe series. I was completely engrossed in the entire series. Not only are her characters compelling, but the world she created aboard Godspeed is unique and fresh.

Likewise, Amy Kathleen Ryan’s Sky Chasers Series is enthralling. The twist in her story literally caused me to gasp out loud when I read it! I just finished reading Spark, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequels.

It goes without saying that I love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series! I still wish I could have gone to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
Of course, there’s this one fabulous book called Behind the Lace by an author named H. A. Lamb that changed my view of fairy tales. Every female should read that book!

As you can see, I could go on and on… so many terrific books, so little time! And, just about with every book I read, I add another favorite author to my list!

I’ve gotta throw Shakespeare in here, though. Because I adore is works and wit. After all, he’s probably the author who’s inspired me the most.
Fifth: Do you write to a play list? Do you have a set way to write (like a ritual)? Do you get writers block?
Yes! I do have a playlist for each of my books. The playlists for CICADA and FIREFLY are on my YouTube channel. However, my playlist for FIREFLY is on Spotify.

Inspiration Playlists:

 
One song, in particular, is perfect for MONARCH. I was so thrilled that the fabulous musician, Kyler England, gave me permission to use it for the MONARCH Book Trailer, which is still in production.
It’s called “When the World Stops Spinning.”

To me, daydreaming is part of writing. So, I’m writing all the time, even when my fingers aren’t typing. During those times, my characters are living out their story in my mind. When they’re ready for me to share their story, they become more insistent until I sit down and put it into words.
I do have a writing cave, though.
Well, I suppose my writing cave really isn’t a cave at all. If I were to be completely honest with you, I would say that the world is my writing cave. Since I have a day job, I have to set my writing aside during those hours I’m away from home. However, even if I’ve physically set it aside, I’m still living half-in-half-out of my story. I’m an avid daydreamer, you see, so I really can’t help it. And it’s actually the way I write when I’m not able to put the story down into words. I spin the tales in my mind while going about my daily routine at work. But once I get home, it’s on like Donkey Kong!

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Once I get home, I snuggle into my favorite corner of the sofa and get ready to put all those daydreams into words. What are the necessary items for me to have in my reading spot? For starters, I simply must have the soft cotton throw my mother gave me. A drink must always be close at hand, and I usually have my notebook and a copy of CICADA and FIREFLY I can flip back to past scenes in order to keep continuity in the story. Of course, I need my glasses handy so I can see all those tiny letters on the screen. LOL!

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Oh! Let’s not forget about the music! I always have my ear buds plugged in so I can listen to my inspiration play lists.
Sometimes on the weekend, I like sitting at the dining table so I can gaze out of the window into the backyard and the spooky little forest beyond the back fence.

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From this seat at the table, I can see the deep creek that snakes through the vine-ridden trees and watch as butterflies flutter high up into the shady canopy above. Often, on summer nights, fireflies light up that spooky little forest with thousands of sparkles in the darkness, and I think of Blair and Everett and imagine what they are doing at that very moment.
Something told me that you’d like to see a part of that spooky little forest behind my house. Here’s a glimpse. Occasionally, there are birds perched on the vines. But I think I scared them away when I took this photo! LOL!

However, in case you are wondering, this isn’t my inspiration for the place Blair calls “the haunted forest.” That little forest actually exists, but it’s just down the road. I pass it on my way to town.
Whew! It’s hot out here! Let’s head back into the house for something cold to drink.

laptop

Uh oh! Looks like I’m busted! Yes, it’s true. I often pop over to Facebook while I’m writing. It’s a bad habit, I know. But I try to only take a peek when I need a break or between chapters. You believe me, right?
By the way, have you liked me on Facebook? I’d love for you to stop by and join in the fun! Comments and questions are always welcome, and I always respond. Besides, I frequently have contests, so check it out!
Honestly, because I’m an avid daydreamer, I don’t have issues with Writer’s Block. If I hit a stall in my story, I know it’s time to stop typing and start daydreaming. Simple as that.
Sixth: How did you become interested in aliens?
Aside from a small stint of writing romance, most of my stories have contained science fiction elements. Even my earliest childhood stories and poems. To me, science fiction is magic. It takes me far away from the realities of this world.
I probably began including aliens in my stories after watching Star Wars when it was first released a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
As you know, I’m quite obsessed with aliens. And this guy.

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I honestly think he is slowly being abducted by aliens! (H. A. Lamb) 😉

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Seventh: With Monarch, the third installment of this series, are there any other writing schemes in the works?
Yes! I’m really excited about the book I’m currently working on. It’s top-secret. But I will share this … it’s dystopian. It may or may not have aliens in it.
Eight (More of a comment than anything): LOVE YOU!!!!

Ninth: What words of wisdom would you give to those inspiring authors, and such?
Read, read, read across the genres. You never know from whence inspiration will spring. And write, write, write! Get that story out of your imagination and onto paper. Don’t edit until you’re done.

Never let anyone stand between you and your dreams. I’m not saying you should shove them down or run them over. Merely, distract them whilst following your goal. If you’re driven to write, then you’ll never be happy unless you’re writing.

Enter to Win

And if you want more Belle, Cause I know you do, you can find her resources here:

Links to Belle Whittington’s social networking sites:

 

 

Where Belle’s books are sold:

Paperback & eBook:

E-book:

Where to find out more about Belle’s books:

 Thank you so much Belle for allowing me to be a part of your Blog tour!!! 🙂 You are a truly talented artist, author and friend! 

And I strongly suggest you all to go out and read her books!!! 

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