Name Susanne Bellamy
Where are you from – Made in Oz, living in south east Queensland
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Baby of the family, spoilt by older sisters; loved uni. The Great Court at UQ and sitting by the lake or the river reminded me how lucky I was to be able to go to uni and gain a higher education.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Second Chance Love (A Bindarra Creek Romance) released last month – 13 authors – 13 stories – 13 months. It’s a wonderful series set in the fictional town of Bindarra Creek. The joys and woes, lives and loves of the people of BC play out against a background typical of many Australian small towns struggling to survive and thrive.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As a child, I loved to weave stories and lose myself in other places and times, and I was a voracious reader. When my husband was away on one of his many trips to Nepal, an insistent idea led me to pen my first story.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first book was published, I said to my bh: Now, I’m an author.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Chatting with my husband, who was in heavy snow somewhere in Nepal, the idea of “White Ginger”, set in the heat of Hawaii, grew and I began writing my first book during the weeks he was away.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My style is continuing to evolve, but I’ve written contemporary, romantic suspense, historical romantic suspense and rural, with a brief foray into fantasy for last year’s Christmas anthology when I headed into 2525 AD.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My latest novel, Second Chance Love, underwent numerous title changes before I finally settled on the key element. Everyone deserves a second chance, especially in love, and the title sets up clear expectations about the story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Family and community shape and add much to our lives. As part of a larger entity, we contribute and are nurtured in return.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Many small towns and rural communities are struggling, with populations declining, moving to the big cities, multi-nationals and big corporations’ actions affecting their ability to survive. Although the actual characters and their stories are created, their lives and the battles they face are realistic. I believe that is one of the main attractions of this series.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’ve just begun a new series which will draw on my time in Queensland’s north-west. Aiming to release the first book in the New Year 2016.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I can’t recall a specific book, but authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Atwood, Georgette Heyer, and Thomas Hardy, and the Bard, William Shakespeare, have influenced me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“The Paris Wife” by Paula McLean, about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Several. I’m delighted when I discover a new voice with a fresh perspective.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
A small group of south east Queensland writer friends has put together a Christmas anthology called “Second Chance Café” (it’s the year of second chances!) which will release 13 November. Along with Noelle Clark and Elizabeth Ellen Carter, and new writer, Abbie Jackson, the anthology comprises four short stories with a common thread of second chances set in four different cafes.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The RWA offers education and online training, and the annual conferences are excellent, but the best aspect for me is the enduring friendships I have made.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. It is erratic and irregular as far as a source of income goes, but oh, the joy and freedom!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I’m really happy with the story, and I just know that Angus, Claire and Oliver are alive and well and living outside Bindarra Creek. They, and the town, feel so real and isn’t that what you hope for your stories? That they will linger in readers’ imaginations as though they are real?
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Outdoor movies and fundraising combine in this scene:
Around them, couples and families settled down to watch the movie. Ollie sat at the front of the blanket, hugging his knees and sipping his drink and focused on the images flashing across the screen.
Beside Angus, Claire shifted on her pillow. He sat up and leaned close enough to whisper, “So we’re sitting in the back row of the movies on a Saturday night again. Remember what comes next?”
She sucked in an audible breath. As she turned startled eyes in his direction, her thigh brushed his arm. A tremor passed through her, tenuous and full of promise.
Heat arced between them and the years melted away. Her breath brushed warm across his cheek and her lips parted as he leaned closer. Muted floral perfume mixed with her scent, the scent of Claire that he remembered. Subtle shifts in their body positions brought their mouths within a whisper of connecting. He hadn’t imagined the spark when they met again.
“Dad, can I get a burger? I’m really hungry.” Ollie turned around and flicked him the ‘feed-me-I’m-a-growing-boy’ look that was becoming more frequent.
Angus shifted uncomfortably as Claire sat bolt upright, her eyes fixed on the screen beyond Ollie’s head. Subduing a surge of irritation, he silently cursed Ollie’s timing. His simple request reminded Angus of his responsibility. And his promise to himself to give Claire time to heal. He huffed out a quiet breath. “Sure. Do you want the works?”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Striking a balance between actual story writing and the multitude of ‘social media’ and promotion to let people know about it.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have just one favourite author but read fairly widely, across romance genres and outside of romance as the mood takes me. That said, I have less time to read than I used to, but I always try to make time to read new books by friends and favourite writers.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Our trip to Italy led to two novellas, one set on the Amalfi Coast road, “One Night in Sorrento”, and “One Night in Tuscany” which is mostly set in Florence.
Nepal features in the first of a romantic suspense series that I hope will be published in 2016, and Singapore will feature in book 2.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Annie Seaton has designed my self-published novel covers. Publishing houses pretty much tell you what you’re getting.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I hadn’t written a rural/small town romance before Second Chance Love but discovered I really enjoyed both genre and setting, to the extent that I’ve begun my own new rural series.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
- You cannot edit a blank page. 2. The first draft is for the writer to discover her story. 3. A professional editor is worth their weight in gold.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love to hear from readers. Would love to know what you think of Second Chance Love, or any of my books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My husband makes me laugh; sad stories make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Would love to spend time with Shakespeare in his heyday, perhaps as he was writing ‘Hamlet’, which is one of my favourite plays.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
KISS à Keep it simple, stupid.
Although, when I was directing and choreographing “Brigadoon” many years ago, my students told me “simple but effective” would be carved on my grave!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Beading, knitting, photography and scrapbooking. I think it’s the creative act that appeals, regardless of the activity.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
MASH, Monk, Frasier, Rake, Doc Martin, Death in Paradise, Midsomer Murders …
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Italian and Thai
Purple, green, blue
Wide ranging but not rap or hip hop. Elvis, Il Divo, Robbie Williams (just saw his Brisbane concert! Fab!)
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Archeology (so long as I didn’t have to climb into any tombs; claustrophobic!)
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Authors page http://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Bellamy/e/B00AYRGVRA/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Books by Susanne Bellamy
Second Chance Love (Aust store) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015JLML92
Second Chance Love (A Bindarra Creek Romance) http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B015JLML92
One Night in Tuscany http://www.amazon.com/One-Night-Tuscany-Susanne-Bellamy-ebook/dp/B0112H9QK4
Winning the Heiress’ Heart (The Emerald Quest) http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Heiress-Heart-Emerald-Quest-ebook/dp/B00RHO36PI
A Season To Remember: Four Short Stories For Christmas – a book by Susanne Bellamy, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Noelle Clark and Eva Scott
Engaging The Enemy http://www.amazon.com/Engaging-Enemy-Susanne-Bellamy-ebook/dp/B00LGDXHZA
White Ginger http://www.amazon.com/White-Ginger-Susanne-Bellamy-ebook/dp/B00I2G2HZK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390801632&sr=8-2&keywords=susanne+bellamy
Sunny with a Chance or Romance http://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Chance-Romance-Susanne-Bellamy-ebook/dp/B0112FETC6
One Night in Sorrento http://www.amazon.com/One-Night-Sorrento-Susanne-Bellamy-ebook/dp/B00H1EMPB0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390802996&sr=8-1&keywords=one+night+in+sorrento
Thanks for hosting me, Fiona. I love popping over to visit you in Scotland!