Saturday, April 14, 2012

June Bryan Belfie on Writing and which book to read first...

How long did it take you to write this book? Edit it?

My first draft of a novel usually takes about two months. Then I begin the edits, which can take another two to three months. I'm never totally satisfied, but when I hit a deadline for submission, I say a prayer and hit "send."

How many books have your written? How many have been published?

I think I've completed twelve or thirteen novels. Some are on my hard drive to work on when I have a chance. The first novel, my favorite, became three books. They are set in the US, Italy, France, and England. I love my protagonist and my readers agree the plot is good, but I haven't submitted them since they need revision and I've been too busy preparing the three books that have been published, plus one scheduled for September. Besides, I do have a life beyond writing!

If I was a first-time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

It depends. If the reader just wants a fun, quick read? Start with "The Landlord."

"Moving On" is a more serious book, dealing with divorce. The new book, "A Special Blessing for Sara" is also a quick read, humorous in part, and yet has serious moments. I guess it depends upon the reader's interest.

Which book was the easiest for you to write? The hardest? The most fun?

They have all been easy to write. The book coming out in September took the most time, because it is set in a historical setting, which required considerable research. "A Long Way to Go" is about a young widow with three children who emigrates to Oregon with the first major wagon train in 1843. Her inner struggle is greater than facing the dangers of the trek across the country.

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

First, I have to identify in some way with the protagonist. She must be someone I could respect and like as a friend. Of course, my hero should be strong and honorable. Since I'm a Christian, I prefer my hero to be one also. Sometimes, I'm willing to wait awhile, but I want someone I can admire. Keep the sex in the bedroom, out of my sight, but give me enough romance so I can fill in the blanks.

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