Bella Bryce's latest blog posts
From the desk of Lesley Clark:
This week I am so excited to bring to you my dear friend, Bella Bryce. I met her a couple of years ago face to face at a conference. She was a delight and very much like the person that I had met through social media. Then, For my birthday this year, my hubby sent me to a tea in Virginia that she was hosting, and she invited me into her home without a second thought. It was an adventure where I attended my first fancy tea (and I actually liked it), and I got to have cheese toast for the very first time. Trust me when I tell you that if she ever offers to make it for you, it will not be long before you are begging for more! If you like to read something of substance with a different twist on the normal, you will love her work. I know that I do!
Please tell us about yourself…
My name is Bella Bryce and I am 29 years old. I’ve been published with Blushing Books since 2013, where I write domestic discipline for a niche market of adults who like clean fiction within the genre. Anyone who writes for our publisher writes DD, but I’m different from most in my category because I brand myself as transformative literary fiction and primarly, my books are around 80,000 words.
How did you become an author? What inspired you to begin writing?
I started writing my first novel, Sam’s Silence, when I was thirteen years old. I was an avid reader from the moment I learned how to read, and then I went through a long phase of despising it. That phase began at thirteen, when my home life was at its most unstable. My parents were still in the middle of a very long custody battle and divorce, I stopped getting top marks and was severely bullied on the way to school by older boys. The only place I felt safe or meaningful was in the creation of my own world and characters. So, instead of reading books, I started writing one. Sam’s Silence started out as a screenplay that my friend and I worked on. We were both passionate about drama and theatre, so we would often read the scenes and dialogue aloud in order to get a feel for how it should look on screen. Yes, I know. Typical thirteen year olds, right? I was very career minded even at that age. I ended up locating whom I thought was an ‘agent’ at fourteen years old (thank you internet), who used to book Prince’s gigs. So, not a book agent, but agent seemed to be an all-encompassing word to me at the time. He was a fantastic Jewish man who (still) runs an entertainment booking agency and somehow adored my friend and me, so used to give us advice on the performing industry and talk about our screenplay. The more we talked, the more I realised that screenwriting wasn’t for me. In a screenplay, the writer isn’t supposed to describe a whole about what the camera shows. That’s for the director to decide. I had a whole lot of things I wanted to say about what things looked and sounded like. I wanted people to experience the five senses through my book as much as possible, and for them to step into a complete world where all they had to do was show up. There would be no assuming an ending or adding to the details. Afterall, this was my story.
Around the age of sixteen, I decided that Sam’s Silence should be a book. I handwrote most of my chapters and spent evenings and weekends typing it up, printing it off and marking it with red pen to do it all over again. I stopped around age eighteen because it wasn’t coming naturally anymore. My friend moved to LA so I felt like I lost the other half of me required to carry on. I didn’t pick up writing again until I was 26 and then a new book, a whole book, The Solicitation, poured out of me in less than two months. I submitted it to Blushing Books and I haven’t looked back since.
Whatever happened to that first book I started writing as a young teenager? After eight books with Blushing, Sam’s Silence is being reworked and will be released as book three in the Walden School series. That very first world and the character of Sam I created all those years ago still bears a lot of relevancy. It’s been a complete privilege to come full circle.
Your work is so different from anything out there today, where do you get your story ideas from?
I’m not a plotter, so I have no idea. I don’t plan my books, do character outlines, or even make many decisions as I’m working through a manuscript. My ideas seem to come to me based on triggers of words, phrases, images or sounds. Sometimes I feel like those things jumps out of life and wave their arms at me wildly. Other times, like when I was in Finland last year walking along the harbour, I had no idea that one look at the view and a simultaneous line running through my head would turn into a book. As a more relevant example, book five in my Waldorf Manor series, Unfailing Love, was written from a single line that came into my head whilst I was washing my hands. I was stood at the sink and I heard, ‘Bennett Fowler hated sand.’’ I remember looking up in the mirror and my eyes widening. I knew, that I knew, that I knew, that was the start of it. I went to my laptop and poured out thousands of words that afternoon. Granted, what had begun as chapter one eventually moved to become chapter two, but I was able to write a 92,000 word novel on that one line. Imagination is the key to my writing.
What events will your fans see you at in the following months?
I will be going back to the UK in late February for an interview with Ross Campbell and will be around for the London book fair in early March, as well as the UK writers' retreat in Margate. I also plan to go to Atlanta for the Blushing Books conference, which is tagging along with the big Romantic Times conference. Beyond that, I take opportunities as they come to me.
What do you like to do in your spare time
Follow @authorbellabryce on Instagram
Here's my email address.
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