Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome Author Bella Forrest


Welcome to Author Thursday!
The Cover Contessa along with the Never Too Old for Y.A. Books group on Goodreads want to welcome author Bella Forrest today!

Bella has written an awesome paranormal novella:

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.  A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.  
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.  An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.   Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.   Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.  Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

Title: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
Publication Date: December 14, 2012


Having been delighted by the Christmas best-selling debut, A Shade Of Vampire, readers are begging for more. 
In A Shade Of Blood, Bella Forrest transports you deeper into a unique, enthralling and beautifully sensitive story.
Prepare to be lost in its pages…
When Sofia Claremont was kidnapped to a sunless island, uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet, she believed she’d forever be a captive of its dark ruler, Derek Novak.
Now, after months of surviving an endless night, the morning sun may soon rise again for Sofia. Something has possessed Derek’s heart and he offers her a gift no human slave has ever been given in the history of his cursed island: escape. 
High school, prom and a chance to move on with her life now await her. 
But will she be able to forget the horrors that steal her sleep away at night? … and the feelings that haunt her for that tormented prince of darkness?

Title: A Shade of Blood (A Shade of Vampire, #2)
Publication Date: April 8, 2013


So let's hear what Bella had to say to our questions, shall we?
Welcome Bella!


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 


I’ve always wanted to write. I was probably 5 when I started creating short illustrated books with my multi-colored wax crayons. Creative writing was my favorite subject when studying and I preferred writing to watching TV any day.


How long does it take you to write a book? 


That’s a tough question because there’s more to this process than just physically sitting down to type. Also, for me, each book is different.

The story for A Shade of Vampire (http://www.amazon.com/A-Shade-Of-Vampire-ebook/dp/B00AOHDMFE ) was actually brewing and developing in my mind for several years before I typed it all out.
But *once* I sat down with my laptop, it took about a month I think.

The sequel to A Shade Of Vampire which was released on April 8th (2013) - A Shade Of Blood ( http://www.amazon.com/Shade-Of-Vampire-Blood-ebook/dp/B00C8324IS ) – took about 2-3 months since it’s a longer book.

What do you think makes a great story?

A great story is one that plays on my emotions and swirls around in my mind long after I have turned the last page.
I can read it over and over again without getting bored.
It’s one that has such an impact, I dream about it and wish I could stay in that world forever.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing? 

Crazy.

The early hours of the morning are my favorite for writing. So I get out of bed at like 1.30am and work through until 9am.
The biggest chunks of my writing get done during this period.

Then I have a nap, and write some more during the day.
I’m typically in bed by 9pm. Yeah … I’m weird.

How do you balance family and writing?

I don’t really! Which is bad, I know. I’m terrible at multi-tasking.
I don’t have kids but the rest of my family and friends get almost entirely neglected when I am on a writing marathon.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? 

Almost all ideas just pop out of my head. I’m blessed with a hyperactive imagination and most of the time, I don’t even know where my ideas originated from.

Of course, there are times when research is required - for example when describing a particular setting. In these cases I have a very helpful friend called Google.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? 

I was surprised by the extent to which I became absorbed in my story.
Often, eight hours would pass and I wouldn’t get up once to stretch my legs.

It felt almost as though an electric current was flowing from my mind down through my fingers, pinning me to the keyboard.

I was so wrapped up in the lives of my characters, I lost all sense of time, thirst and hunger.

(Which, for the record, I do not advocate as healthy.)

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? 

I have completed two books:
A Shade Of Vampire and its sequel: A Shade Of Blood.

A Shade Of Blood is my favorite because I made it longer and allowed myself to explore much deeper into my characters.

Are your characters based on anyone you know?

There are definitely personality traits in most of my characters that are drawn from people I have encountered at some point in my life.

Do you have a favorite place you love to write?

I have a favorite time but not really a favorite place.
To be honest, once I find my groove, I don’t notice where I am sitting as long as the chair is not slippery or spiky.

Tell us one thing we wouldn’t know already know about you.

I’m an unashamedly incurable Potterhead.

What do your family and friends think about your books?

Wow, they’re probably my biggest fans!
Or … they are just being polite.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Read! Whenever and wherever I can. But I don’t get nearly as much time to read as I’d like to any more.

Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they? 

a) Reading is one of the best things you can do. And make sure you also read outside your genre – often this will give you a fresh perspective.

b) If you can spare the time, study another language – French, German, Spanish – whatever tickles your fancy.
This may sound odd to some but believe me, when you learn the structure of another language from scratch, it broadens your knowledge of grammar and adds a whole new dimension of understanding to your own native language.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

I think deep down I always felt I wanted to be a writer.
That said, I did go through some intense phases of wanting to be an actress, a salsa dancer, a wax-crayon artist and a master chef.

What are your favorite books and which authors inspire you?

I have so many favorite books/authors, but I’ll list three here:

Harry Potter/JK Rowling (see 11. above for explanation).
Pride and Prejudice/Jane Austen (*swoon* … need I say more?).
The Chronicles of Narnia/C.S. Lewis (my childhood favorite).

For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for writing a successful book?

Do: write about what you know. This is an obvious one but some writers do make this mistake of jumping into genres purely because they are “popular”. Most readers can detect if a writer’s heart is not fully in it.

Do: try to write daily. Even if you have another job, get into the habit of fixing a certain period every day during which you must write.

Don’t: ever think a genre has been done to death IF this is a genre that comes naturally to you.

For example, so many people ask me why on earth I have chosen to write about vampires. Surely they’ve been squeezed dry by now?

But this question doesn’t actually make sense when you analyze it.
It’s the originality of your story and the world you create that counts. Not what “species” you choose to write about.

Otherwise you could argue, why write another book about human beings? Haven’t they been done to death already?

What are you working on now?

A Shade Of Vampire Book 3.
I expect to release it around the beginning of May.
I normally post my writing progress on my website: www.bellaforrest.net so readers can keep an eye on how many words I have left to write!


Thanks so much for stopping by today, Bella. So great to have you with us.
And now, Bella has shared an excerpt from her book. So read on and love!


Excerpt from A Shade of Vampire 

I’d been meandering along the shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment.  
He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?”  
I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father had told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over, taking in his appearance. My eyes widened. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and dark hair. Standing beside me, he was easily more than half a foot taller. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend’s.  
My gaze settled on his face.  
I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago.  
I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger.  
Big mistake.  
The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment.  
“Like what you see?”  
“A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?” I scoffed, annoyed by his audacity.  
He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine.  
“Don’t I have the right to be?”  
He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like he didn’t.  
“Whatever,” was my oh-so-brilliant comeback.  
My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, unsettled by how close he was now. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing.  
I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not.  
He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. This motion alone made every single internal alarm I had within me go off in a frenzy.  
This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength.  
“Tell me your name,” he commanded.  
I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response.  
“Sofia Claremont.”  
As soon as I revealed my name, his eyes lit up with a kind of sinister approval. Then he reached for my face and traced his thumb over my jaw line.  
“Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by.”  
I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took in everything at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry and saw the stranger’s manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing.  
My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again.

A little about Bella:
I guess my life as a writer started when I was five; I'd sit under the kitchen table with my box of multi-colored wax crayons (I miss those) and create picture books. Creative writing was always my favorite subject and I used any free time I had to sit down with a notepad.

Not much has changed, except that now I have developed vampirish habits: my writing "day" typically starts at 1am.

I'm an avid reader, a big fan of cookie ice cream and I'm often travelling. When working I have to disconnect the internet for fear of being endlessly distracted by websites such as www.icanhas.cheezburger.com.

Oh, and unlike the beautiful girl on my cover, I'm camera-shy...

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook:
If you want to stay informed about my latest book releases, sign up for email updates here:www.forrestbooks.com
And this is my website: www.bellaforrest.net(less)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interview. Those covers are both gorgeous! :)

    ReplyDelete

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