Monday, October 6, 2014

Author Interview: Rebecca Belliston

Rebecca Belliston
author, Citizens of Logan Pond

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I grew up in Bountiful, Utah, the sixth of seven kids. I met my husband Troy at Utah State University, and we moved to Michigan so he could pursue a career in the automotive industry. Michigan is now home, and we love it for 8 months of the year. (Winters here are awful!) We have five kids, two girls and three boys who give us lots of laughs and gray hairs.

Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?

I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the Marissa Meyer Cinder series. I love reading YA romances, and I also plan to reread some of my favs in the near future, too, like the Matched and False Prince trilogies. They’re awesome.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Hmm. That’s tough. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Israel twice, and it is the most fascinating place I’ve ever been culturally, spiritually, and geographically. Not sure I’d want to write a book about it though. I feel too unqualified. But the beaches there on the Mediterranean coast are to die for. Maybe I’d pretend I was writing a book there just so I could sneak back. :)

What is one silly fact about you?

I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 3 minutes, a new skill I acquired with my oldest son last month. I’m vastly proud of this skill and try to wow anyone willing to put up with me.

What got you started on your writing journey?

I never planned to be an author. It just kind of happened. My dad is a successful author (Gerald N Lund), and growing up people would ask, “Do you write books like your dad?” I always answered the same. “NOPE! That’s his thing.”

Fast forward a few years, and this random story got stuck in my head. It would play over and over in my mind as I tried to sleep. One morning, I decided to write it down, hoping that if I got it on paper, it would leave me alone. Three weeks later, I had thirty-ish chapters, and I realized I’d kinda-sorta written a novel. I didn’t know how good it was, so I went back to the beginning to reread it. I read, edited, read some more, and edited as often as my kids would let me. Before I knew it, I was addicted to writing. That was six years ago, and I haven’t stopped since. I LOVE IT!

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well? 

I have three teenagers (I know--feel sorry for me) plus two younger kids. It sickens to me to know what they hear and see and experience in school, music, and entertainment. There’s so much smut out in the world (ie., high school), and I’m tired of it. The world is shoving sex on our kids at younger and younger ages. I’m sick of it even for myself. I want there to be other options out there readers. Romances can be sweet and exciting without jumping into bed. All of my books can be read by teens and grannies, old and young, and I like that.

Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?

My favorite thing to hear is something like: “Oh, man. I stayed up until two reading your book. I couldn’t put it down.”

That’s a great thing to hear because my job as a writer is to keep readers from doing what they’re supposed to be doing, especially sleep. *demonic laugh*

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I’ve written six novels; three are published (Citizens of Logan Pond, Sadie, Augustina), and the other three are in the editing stage. I have several other ideas in the works, but I’m forcing myself to wait to get started on them.

Please share about your book 

This book is about a small Midwest neighborhood that has to pull together after a global financial disaster wipes out their money, jobs, transportation, food supply, and basic way of living. Carrie Ashworth (23) is suddenly a parent to her two siblings and struggles to grow food to keep them alive. She and her neighbors refuse to live in government compounds, and as such, they live illegally in their old homes, hiding from patrolmen who sweep through the neighborhood looking for squatters. By chance, Carrie befriends a patrolman who, in turn, protects her little clan. But all that is threatened when her best friend’s grandson moves into the clan, and Carrie’s heart is torn in two. Greg Pierce has the skills and knowledge to keep the clan safe, but it comes at a cost Carrie refuses to pay. Citizens of Logan Pond: LIFE is the first in a trilogy which will be subtitled Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Carrie is sweet, quiet, loving, self-conscious, and fiercely loyal. (I cheated a little and did five characteristics.)

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far? 

I’ve really enjoyed writing Greg. He's angry and bitter because life has beaten him down. I'm not sure why I enjoy writing that, but I adore him in the same way a mother adores her misbehaving toddler. I can see so much potential in him, and I love trying to help him reach it. (I know, I know. He’s not real. Tell that to my brain.)

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