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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Interview of Author Meg Bellamy

 

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Meg Bellamy.


Latest Book: Homecoming





BIO:

Along with her husband, her family and her books, language is Meg’s passion. In fact, by day she’s a mild-mannered language teacher. Currently she teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) to international students, but in her early teaching days, her main subject was French. Though her French is a bit rusty these days, she figures a trip to France would help fix that. She’s also studied Russian, Spanish and Italian. This love of language spills over into her writing craft and appreciation for books.—and travel! Meg gets to satisfy the travel bug with trips to England—as often as possible!—to visit her son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. It’s great when Lee, her DH, also goes because driving on the left side of the road doesn’t intimidate him—talk about your basic hero type! Meg also has to travel to see her daughter, who lives in New Jersey—a mere continent away from Meg’s home in Northern California.

Being a published member of the community of writers with her contemporary romances and women’s fiction is the fulfillment of one of Meg’s most cherished dreams. Her first Meg release, Homecoming, was released this year by The Wild Rose Press. Check http://www.megbellamy.com for upcoming releases.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you? Why? What part of the book is the hardest for you?

A: Why? Great question! Actually, I wanted to answer the “easiest” question and realized I couldn’t! Usually I enjoy doing the first draft because I feel very free to just write and not worry or edit. But that doesn’t make it easy.

For me, the hardest thing is to face a blank page. I need to have something written in order to move ahead. Sometimes I’ll just write even a nonsense word to start so that I’m not dealing with a totally blank page.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

A: One of the secondary characters is my favorite in Homecoming. Glenys is the housemate of Julie, the heroine. Glenys is Irish – very giving and generous in every way. I modeled her after someone I’d met and had a lot of fun with her. I hope some day soon to write Glenys’s story.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroes? Tell us about your hero.

A: Appropriate or not, I’d love to have Johnny Depp star as the hero of the movie. I’m assuming as author of the book, I’d get a chance to meet the stars of the movie.

 My heroes do tend to be dark-haired – some variety in eye color. Of course they’re all built and buff. I like my heroes intelligent and with a sense of humor. Not perfect – that would be too much of a challenge for any heroine. But ready to learn and grow with his love.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?

A: Of course my primary comfort food is chocolate – in many variations. I find chocolate very inspirational. In second place are crunchy, salty snacks – nuts, chips.

Did I mention the inspirational value of celery? No? Hmmm. Maybe that’s wishful thinking…

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?  

A: My love for and good usage of English is the starting point for me. In addition, I tend to have a quirky, unusual way of looking at things – this comes across in some very original plots and characters. What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read? It’s so hard to choose just one. I love Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips because she does such an amazing job of redeeming a heroine who really seems hopeless at first. I also love Sandra Brown’s book Envy. I’d highly recommend both.

 Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all! Website: http://www.megbellamy.com
Twitter: @MegBellamy
Soon to be on Facebook!

BLURB:

When family illness forces Julie Loring to return home to North Carolina from New York, she intends to make the speediest possible escape. Her hope to avoid seeing old love Dan Williams is dashed the first night back in their small town..

Still in love with Julie, not knowing why she ran off twelve years before, Dan wants her as his wife and mother to his child. Though Julie warns she’s not changed, neither can deny the sparks that fly between them.

But Julie left with a secret—one she’s certain will destroy any chance they might have to make a life together.

EXCERPT:

Dan paused. “There’s tension between us. It’s time to clear the air.” 

 Julie sighed. “What do you mean?”

“Don’t you think it’s time to talk about the way you left. The way you left me. Without ever saying good-bye.”

“Dan, that’s ancient history. And now’s not the time—”

“Heck, this is the only time in twelve years you’ve been willing to talk to me. With your mother gone, I suspect it’ll be your last time down here and you don’t want communication from home when you’re in New York. I’d better get answers now.”

“My mother just died.”

“I know that. But don’t you see? She was still a young woman. Her death reminds us of the obvious lesson. Life is too short to keep things hidden. So I’ll just lay it all out, simple as I can, and ask you to do the same. Meet me.”

His thoughts echoed her frustration with the unanswered questions from her own past. She owed it to Dan not to leave him in the kind of limbo she’d landed in. Her head in a turmoil of mixed emotions, she agreed to meet with him.

* * * 

Dan drove to Connor’s Corner, where he and Julie used to love to walk through the meadow behind the rustic general shop. Here they could be alone together, away from friends, family and the clamor of everyday life. They even had a favorite tree, a big old oak they could shelter beneath in complete peace. Here they could talk through their problems, spin their dreams. Here they made love. Here he could almost believe they could both be together and lead the lives of their dreams. It would be simple, right?

Talk about a fantasy. Nothing about being with her had ever been simple or easy—not since they’d been back in grammar school, and she was the pint-sized charmer who took her own sweet time climbing the iron steps to zoom down the slide. From the very first day he’d seen her, he’d wanted to punch out any one who dared to get in her way—not that she ever needed his muscle in that way. Back then she’d been the smallest kid in her class. They were all poor, but most of them managed to have one new piece of clothing. Not Julie Beth. Her stuff always appeared clean and neat but worn or faded, typical of charity shop clothing. The class bully made the mistake of mocking her dress one day. Little as she was, she used her fists and sharp tongue to teach him a lesson he’d never forget. Dan had been ready to come to the rescue, but she’d risen to the challenge on her own. He shook his head at the memory. Knowing her as he did, why did he still imagine he could play the role of knight defender to her damsel in distress?

Rational reason or no, his adrenaline flowed at the prospect. She still took his breath away, with those large blue eyes, her hair like wheat blowing in a fresh breeze. In the twelve years they’d been apart, she’d gone from a girl on the cusp of beautiful womanhood to more than fulfilling that promise.

 She challenged him. With her, he became more intense, more alive, than at any other time—complete. Though he vowed to hide the truth from her until the opportune moment, he still wanted her. How empty his life was without her. Could they find a way to fix what had gone wrong? Hell, why did he even imagine any sort of future for them? She’d done nothing to indicate any interest. He’d had to pick up the pieces of his shattered self after her departure twelve years ago. More of the same? Much as he might be willing to take that chance, he had more to consider than his own pain. He owed it to his daughter to do better. Broken hearts didn’t make for good parenting.

“What the hell am I messing with?” Great. Talking to himself—what next?

After she left, he married and went on with his life. Maybe too soon. People warned him not to get involved on the rebound, nonetheless he did—and it worked. Though he never forgot Julie Beth, he’d committed to Mary Lou and they had a solid marriage. He’d have been faithful to her forever if—

When the car in front of him sped up, a pebble from the road bounced against the windshield, reminding him to focus. Reminding him of how he’d lost Mary Lou. Loss came in moments, forever altering lives. He’d never forget her, but he’d healed enough to know life was meant to be lived in the present.

With Julie Beth back, he had take that second chance. Life was too short not to.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Meg is about to begin indie pubbing. Her sexy “alternate identity” Mardi Ballou has already begun – with Photo Finish, Teach Him Tonight, Book #1 on Kindle at

15 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

What a beautiful and romantic cover, Meg. Your story sounds wonderful. May you have many happy sales! :)

Cara Marsi said...

Meg, I really enjoyed your interview. It was great meeting you at the NJRW conferences. I didn't realize your daughter lives in NJ. I hope to see you at the conference again this year. I have "Homecoming" in my Kindle. It sounds wonderful.

Like you, I hate looking at a blank page. I need to write something to get myself motivated.

Good luck with your book.

Sandy said...

Although, I like mysteries and romantic suspense best, I find your excerpt fascinating.

Great interview, Meg.

jean hart stewart said...

Wonderful excerpt...I love stories when it's obviously impossible for the two to ever get together. Good cover too. Lots of sales!

Meg Bellamy said...

Hi Tina,

Thanks so much for your kind words! It's always interesting to see how an artist interprets my comments to create a cover.

Cheers,
Meg

Meg Bellamy said...

Hi Cara,

I enjoyed meeting you at the NJRWA meeting and am planning to go again this year -- so definitely looking forward to chatting there. Will you be going to Anaheim this summer? If so, we can chat on the West Coast too.

Thanks for your kind words about "Homecoming" -- I hope you enjoy it!

Cheers,
Meg

Meg Bellamy said...

Hi Sandy,

I love mysteries and romantic suspense too. Maybe someday I'll write one... Meanwhile, I admire those who write them so beautifully.

Thanks for the kind words!

Cheers,
Meg

Janice Seagraves said...

I like the transition you posted with thoughts of the past and then back to the present with the pebble. You did it seamlessly. That's great story telling. :)

Janice~

Meg Bellamy said...

Hi Jean,

Isn't it fun to torture our heroes and heroines -- before we relent and give them their HEA.

Thanks for the kind words --

Cheers,
Meg

Meg Bellamy said...

Hi Janice,

Thank you so much for your kind comment! It's a great feeling when, as writers, we face a challenge and come out on the other side. That's not so easy to remember when we're in the middle of the challenge... LOL, I'm in the middle of one right now with my wip. But I know I'll get to the other side -- and that'll feel great.

Cheers,
Meg

Meg Bellamy said...

Hi,

It's just noon here on the Left Coast. Weds. mornings are my Weight Watcher meetings -- necessary. Now I'm home and refraining from dipping into chocolate and nuts which are so tempting.

"Homecoming" is my first Meg book. Actually, two others that I wrote as Mardi Ballou (my other identity) are really Meg books. I'm in the process of revising one -- TV Bride -- and crossing my fingers on getting rights back to the other.

Hugs,
Meg/Mardi

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Meg, no I won't be in Anaheim. Wish I could go but it's terribly expensive, especially when you add airfare from the East Coast. Have a good time. Looking forward to seeing you at NJRWA.

Meg Bellamy said...

Sorry you won't be at Anaheim, Cara. NJRWA is a great conference -- at a wonderful time of the year. I love having the chance to be in NJ in the autumn -- and both my daughter and I are October babies, so we get to celebrate!

This is such an exciting year -- can't wait to see all the changes between now and then!

Hugs,
Meg

Lori Gordon said...

Hi Meg,

Looks exciting. I'll have to check it out!

Lori Gordon

Rita Elizabeth said...

GREAT excerpt!

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