Carole Bellacera Interview

Today I am speaking with Carole Bellacera. Hello Carole and welcome! It is a joy to have you with us today. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions.
Carole, I noticed you were a military wife. I know what that was like; I loved the traveling to different places and meeting new people. I like the slogan on your website, Women's Fiction…With a Twist of the Unusual.
Thanks, Linda. I tried to find a few short words that describe my fiction-because everyone tells me it's different from what's "out there." I'm not sure if the above is perfect, but it'll do. *grin*

I also noticed that you are introducing beautiful evening custom jewelry too - I checked out your catalog, very lovely. You are busy.
Oh, yeah. I'm busy, all right! Constantly doing something. Right now I'm working on Christmas ornaments for next year made out of this year's Christmas Cards. *grin* I think I inherited the "busy gene" from my mom. She never sat still. *grin* I think it's healthy, though, that writing doesn't take up my entire life. It used to, and I was miserable. Now, I'm much more well-rounded-physically and emotionally. *grin*

I see you have a new release coming next month, Tango's Edge with Cerridwen Press. The cover is very impressive, why not tell the readers about this exciting new book.
Yes, I love the cover of this book! It's definitely the most romance-oriented of all my books. I love the way the heroine's hair blends into the sky and becomes the Northern Lights. It really fits this romantic suspense novel. TANGO'S EDGE is about an American Olympic ice dancer who helps a handsome (and sexy) Russian ice dancer defect from his country. A good portion of the book is of the road trip from Salt Lake City to the Washington DC area as Kerry and Mikhail try to outrun the Russian thugs bent on capturing him. The second half of the book takes place in Estonia and Northern Ireland . (The villain in the book is Irish.)

You have written quite a few projects, which do you think is your best so far?
I know you've heard this before, but all my books are like my children. How do I choose? I'd have to say the easiest book I've written-the one that seemed to come together like magic-was my third novel, EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON. And this is the one that seems to be the favorite of most of my fans. But I think TANGO'S EDGE may be the new favorite. Actually, my hero, Mikhail, reminds me a lot of Erik, the hero in EOS, WOM. They're two different nationalities, Mikhail being Russian-or Estonian, as he insists on being called-where Erik was Norwegian. But the two characters are like-minded in that they are sensitive, passionate men-not Alpha Males which has never appealed to me (in fiction or real life.)

Is your head always spinning with new ideas?
It used to be like that. I had so many novel ideas; I didn't know which one to write first. Now, it's a little different-probably because I've got into meditation in the last few years, and my brain is quieter than it used to be. I like that just fine. Now, I have an idea for a book-one idea-and I know in my gut it's the book I have to write. So I can concentrate on that, and I'm not distracted by other story ideas which may lead me off-track. A much better way to work, I think.

Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Oh, all kinds of different places. I can tell you exactly where I got the idea for TANGO'S EDGE. I can even tell you the month and year-February 1988. We were living in Hawaii then, and I'd yet to sell my first novel. I was watching the Winter Olympics in Calgary , and the Russian ice-dancing team, Marina Klimova and Sergey Ponomorenko, took the ice. They literally took my breath away. They were so romantic and graceful-and it was so obvious they were in love. I couldn't believe it when they didn't take the gold, but had to settle for silver. But I knew at that moment that I'd one day write a novel about ice dancing-and I also knew my heroine would be an American, and the Russian ice dancer would ask for her help in defecting from his country. Of course, once everything changed in Russia with the fall of the Berlin Wall, I had to tweak the concept a bit, but I'm happy with the result. Instead of the KGB giving the couple grief, it's the Russian Mafia.

Can you recall the first story that you ever wrote?
Definitely. I was in the 5th grade, and I took an entire school notebook to write my first novel, THE VAUGHN'S DAUGHTERS. It was the story of five sisters in Malibu , California . Of course, they were all blonde and gorgeous. (A precursor to THE HILLS, perhaps?) I didn't know a thing about living in Malibu , of course, since I was stuck in the cornfields of Indiana , but I was an avid reader even then, so I just used my imagination.

Is there anything special you use to get you in the mood for writing, music, candles, sitting by a lake?
I always listen to music when I write. Usually, it's just a mix of my extensive musical library, but depending on the story, I sometimes listen to particular pieces. For example, I just finished a book set in the 50's, and so I listened to a lot of Fifties' Top 40 like Eddie Fisher, Doris Day and Frankie Avalon.

In the summer, I love to write out on my screened-in porch on my Alpha-Smart. There's something about being outdoors that makes the muse come alive.

Is it hard for you to decide what names to give your characters?
Not really. I just know it when the name is right. I'm starting a new book right now about a nurse in Vietnam , and her name came to me out of the blue-Lt. Cindy Sweet. I've even ordered dog-tags with her name and a made-up social security number to keep on my desk as I write.

Do you find it difficult coming up with a title for your book?
Never. I love titles!!! I keep a list of possible titles in a computer file, and when I'm getting ready to start a new book, I look through them, and 9 times out of 10, the perfect title jumps out at me. But for this Vietnam book, I turned to Top 40 songs again-songs from the 60's, and I've chosen INCENSE & PEPPERMINTS. I just love it! (And I'm working both incense and peppermints into the storyline.) TANGO'S EDGE came to me out of the blue, too. I knew I wanted a title that had something to do with figure skating, ice-dancing, in particular, so that's how I came up with both "tango" and "edge." But when you read the book, you'll see there's more to the title. An illegal drug used by Mikhail's Russian ice dancing partner goes by the name of TNG.

Do you have any bad writing habits?
Yeah. I often don't write. I just don't do it on a regular basis like I used to. But I don't stress about it. I've calmed down a lot in the past few years. Maybe I'm just not as driven as I used to be. But I'm much happier. *grin*

Is there anything special you do to relax?
Well, there's the jewelry making. That's my therapy-that and Dr. Phil. *grin* I make jewelry while I watch his show. Of course, I also love to read-and I love to do crafty things like the Christmas ornaments. I also relax by skiing. To me, there's nothing more peaceful than skiing down a mountain, surrounded by snow-laden pines, and listening to nothing but the gentle hiss of my skis on the snowy trail. That, to me, is pure euphoria.

What is your all time favorite late night snack?
Actually, I rarely have a late night snack. Mainly because I don't often have late nights. I'm one of those boring people who are in bed with a book by ten. But I sometimes have a 9:00 dessert like low-fat ice cream-or if I've baked that day (another favorite thing to do), a nice rich piece of pie or cake. *grin* Chocolate is my weakness.

Do you have a household chore that you really hate doing?
I hate doing all household chores. *grin* Especially cleaning bathrooms.

What is your favorite animal?
My sweet kitty-kat, Ruby, who's been with us for nine years. She's the most wonderful cat in the world, and I don't know what I'd do without her. You can see her picture on my MySpace page--http://www.myspace.com/carolebellacera.

Can you share your website and any other links to your books you would like to share?
Of course! My website is www.CaroleBellacera.com, and you can find links to my books at Amazon.
My earlier books are available in e-book format at Belgrave House
And of course, TANGO'S EDGE is available on Valentine's Day in e-book format at Cerridwen Press

Thank you so much for sharing time with us, Carole. It has been a delight. Anyone interested in reading more about Carole and her exciting books, please visit her website to read more.

Interviewed by: Linda L.


Linda L.