AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: NAOMI BELLINA
Naomi Bellina (fellow Stephanie Plum aficionado, with the interviewer) has let me corner her for a Joyfully Reviewed interview….
Naomi is your most current work out, and will you tell us a bit about it?
A delightfully adventurous erotic romance called Out of the Ordinary, published by Total-E-Bound.
We’ve all experienced times when we want to crawl under the covers and hide. Someone hurts us, we don’t see much hope for the future, and life is dreary. We’d really like something out of the ordinary to happen. Star Lite gets more than she asked for when she’s whisked away to another planet. She meets the sexy, intriguing Adam and discovers she has powers she never knew about. I’d love to have an adventure like this!
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
Oh, I’m kind of a ‘pantser’ and fly by the seat of my pants, but I’ve found working with a series, it’s better to have some type of outline beforehand. I vow to do that the next time, but will always give free reign to my imagination.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I like erotic romance because I can let the characters go as far as they please. For those who don’t write erotic, it’s harder than it looks, but loads of fun. I love tales of adventure, and writing paranormal/adventure/suspense is where I started and where I plan to stay forawhile.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I’m really enjoying the villain, Lucas, in this story. I know it’s wrong to root for the bad guy, but I can’t help it, he’s funny.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
In Creatures of the Night, I wanted Zelda to be tough and a little mean, but not too much. It was a tricky combination, but I like to think I pulled it off.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Bwa-ha-ha, I could share a lot of fun stories, but to protect the innocent (and the guilty), I won’t. Okay, just one. I had an unexpected opportunity to use a hotel hot tub one day, and since I didn’t have a suit, I went in naked. I, um, thought it was girls only. Turns out I was wrong. A little of that embarrassing moment is written in Out of the Ordinary.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Promotion takes up a lot of time, and while I love it, my goal is to streamline my efforts a bit this year. As far as actually writing, I really, really, really have to turn off my phone and close email and Internet, otherwise, my mind is tempted to stray.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I don’t like to listen to a lot of cussing. Even though I occasionally do it myself, and so do my characters, I don’t want to hear it excessively. If it’s in a movie or a comedian is cursing too much, I’ll turn it off. When my honey watches sports, I shut the door. My tender ears just can’t deal with that.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Oh hell yes, many, and I enjoy them all. The usual, chocolate, wine, Scotch, cookies, Facebook. How about an unusual one? (One that I can share with others. My friend and I have been making bookmarks for my giveaway goodie packs. I’m having too much fun tying yarn and ribbon and coming up with some great funky creations.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
Let me first say we don’t have cable, only Netflix and whatever our big honking outdoor antenna picks up. Let me next say I can’t stand to watch shows with commercials anymore! The only thing I watch on TV is Once Upon a Time. I’m currently watching Being Human, Burn Notice, and several others on Netflix. It’s so nice to watch as many episodes as I want in one sitting.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Coffee is my favorite nectar, but I’m trying to cut down, so I often have a cup of some weird herbal tea next to me.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Not so much. Occasionally one of my characters will say something and a song pops into my head. Then it spins around driving me crazy, until I sing it a few times.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
I’m a huge Robert Downey Jr. Fan so of course he would have to be Adam. Sandra Bullock would be great for Star, or maybe Katherine Heigl. She was great in One for the Money.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I saw it in my email, and I squeeeeed to my honey. I think he may have squeeeed back.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was a blushing teenager, reading those bodice rippers by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I couldn’t believe something like that was in print!
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books? Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum series. I don’t know what it is about those. I love bad girls!
If you still have one of those pesky non-writing jobs what is it?
I’m a massage therapist and I love my not-so-evil day job, but want to cut back on my hours. That’s why I’m moving into my next career as a writer. I think the two will complement each other nicely.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
I just saw Brave, the animated movie. It was fabulous. What a surprise, it has a bad girl in it, who is also fun, brave and adventurous. My kind of woman.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m finishing book three in the Adventures of Star Lite series, and have a werewolf series started. Book two of Star Lite is coming out in a few months, so look for me to be everywhere promoting it.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Janet Evanovich, Stephen King, or Jeffery Deaver. I could write the racy parts, they could do their fun and scary things.
How do you pick your characters names?
I usually have a letter in mind, then go to a baby naming website. There are some wild names out there.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout? Really, a little of each. I think there has to be a mutual attraction at first, but I don’t like to have my characters hop into the sack right away. Unless it’s a real short story, then they get to be hussies. A steady deepening of love is the best.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
Ah, I just let it roll off my back. If I’m on the ball I’ll let them know that romance is the top selling book genre, but it’s usually not worth the effort.
Where can readers find you?
Adventurous erotic romance to tickle your fancy and unleash your libido
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
The kind in my hand! I love them all, dark, light, white, raspberry, caramel, damn it, now I’m hungry.
Ranger or Morelli?
Oh, if I were Stephanie I would keep having fun with both. Ranger doesn’t want to settle down anytime soon, but neither is Stephanie. Morelli is a great guy and loves her, but a cop’s life is rough. Yeah, she needs to hold out awhile before making a decision. I’m dying to see how the series will end.