Belinda McBride Interview

Today I'd like to welcome author Belinda McBride to Fallen Angel Reviews. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today Belinda.
Thank you for having me as your guest today!

Tell us about your latest book. What's the title and when will it be released?
Since my next release isn't until May, I'll tell you about a current release. Last Call Europe: Black Wolf is my most recent book at Changeling Press. It's a m/m shifter romance with some bdsm elements. This book has a lot of humor, as the lead character is a Siberian Husky shifter named Jasper. His love interest is a big wolf shifter named…Brutal. How can you not love a wolf shifter named Brutal? Anyhow, Brutal thinks that he's getting quick, no strings sex with Jasper, and finds himself in over his head. Way over his head! LOL!

When did you first start writing? What made you want to become a writer?
I've been writing in fits and starts all my life, but began to take it seriously in 2007. I spent the year writing, and then submitting. My first book was released in 2008. As to why I wanted to be a writer? Well, I've always lived in a bit of a dream world populated by all sorts of fantastic people. I was aware that I was constructing some fantastic stories in my head, and they'd eventually drift away unless I wrote them down.

What satisfies you about your writing?
It's cathartic and entertaining! But on a professional level, it's always evolving and growing. I'm becoming cleaner as I go and always improving my skills. Of course, I'm always developing new bad habits, but that's another topic!

How did you celebrate selling your first book?
Actually, I sold a cluster within a weekend…3 contracts and a request to revise/resubmit. My email just kept throwing contracts at me! I didn't really celebrate, but certainly did a lot of hopping around and hyperventilating! I went to lunch with my mother also. Then I went to donate blood.

Almost every author at some point or another suffers from writer's block. Have you ever had that problem? How do you deal with it?
First, I have to identify what's up. Writer's block isn't a single syndrome with a single cause. A lot of things can halt the writing. Am I depressed? Tired? Is there something wrong with the project I'm working on? Identifying the problem is the first step to resolving the problem. If I'm burned out, tired or depressed I change gears by switching projects, taking a break or getting some exercise. If it's a deeper problem and I'm truly blocked on a specific project, I use a trick my old theatre arts professor taught me. It works best on a white board or chalk board. You write your protagonist's name and then circle it. Then you free associate, sending a line out from the name. Every word, name or feature you come up with goes in a circle. Then you free associate those characters. This sort of frees up the thought process and you'll get some insight on your characters, their motivations and the conflict of the story.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I could actually write a book from beginning to end! LOL! Not a lot of people can actually do that.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted and when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
My first book was a novella called Imperative: Missing You. I was just fired up, ready to move on to the next book. I was proud of myself, a bit scared as well. When I saw the cover…well, the artist just nailed the concept of the story and I loved it. I think what hit me most was seeing the ISBN number on the copyright page!

What can your fans look forward to in the next six months from you?
I'm getting a bit of a late start for 2011, so my next project on the calendar is the sequel to the Doms of Dark Haven anthology. My novella is another Truckee Wolves story called Hunting Holly. This one will be a ménage. :) I'll be releasing a m/m short at Changeling Press, it has yet to be scheduled. That one is called Mirror Mirror: Soul Searching. My next project will be When I Fall, the m/m sequel to An Uncommon Whore.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
In the physical sense, a good, comfortable writing space. I have a recliner chair in my office and I work on a laptop. A dictionary, thesaurus, research books for your particular genre. A writer's best and most important tool in his or her mind. Education is a must. If you're a writer, you should know how to write. With all the resources available now, there's no excuse for sloppy writing. Also, some publishers are very soft on editing, so you as the writer should be able to put together a polished work and not cringe when it gets reviewed.

What book has influenced your life the most?
There were two: The first was 'Black Beauty' by Anna Sewell. As a second grader, I was a bit of a precocious reader and this was the first book I read. The second influential book was 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. That was a stunning book and I read it as a sixth grader. Coming from a small, sheltered community, it really opened my eyes to the rest of the world.

What would you consider your most interesting quirk?
I procrastinate like nobody else I know. But at the same time, I'm a very productive procrastinator. I think about what I should be writing, think it through and organize it in my mind. Then I write. :)

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
"Contents under pressure." LOL!

Did you make any New Year's Resolutions this year? Have you broken any yet?
I made two resolutions. The first was to stay off the Yahoo discussion boards. Of course, that was shot within four hours. The second was the real resolution. I resolved to "Do Better." Rather than shoot for something specific, I considered everything I'm doing and look for a way to do better. This applies to my health, my writing, my personal life and so forth. And yes, I'm staying away from the boards. Most days.

Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your works?
Yes, my website and my blog.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just hope that everyone has a happy and brilliant 2011! I plan to!

Thank you for spending time with us today Belinda!
Thank you very much!

Interviewed by: Tammy