Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Inseparable by Bella Chal

Erotic Romance

Michael's Synopsis:
Jack is a successful oilfield services salesman who’s just been left by his wife Sophie, who has taken the kids and set out to make Jack’s life hell. Julie is a talented but poor girl he meets when his daughter leaves her shoes at the activity center where she works. When Jack, in the grip of depression, makes an awkward pass at Julie, she’s insulted and offended—yet somehow these two hit it off. But their budding romance is threatened by Sophie’s continuing campaign to destroy Jack’s life.

Michael's Review:
This is a well-written book that I read through in one sitting because I wanted to see how it came out. Jack and Julie are interesting, complex characters that I enjoyed reading about, and the writing is full of vivid, realistic details that added a lot to the story. The sex is well done and original, and unlike some erotic romances I’ve read, doesn’t overpower the story despite the heat (unlike some pieces I’ve read where the story is just there to hold the sex scenes together). Definitely worth the read.

Interview with Bella Chal:
What inspired you to become a writer?
I've always written, but for the last twenty years it's mostly been documentation and reports. I began writing fiction again in December 2012 by tackling a large story I'd always dreamed of writing... and failed utterly. I had completely underestimated how difficult good storytelling can be.

What made you want to write erotica?
Challenged by my failure, I tried writing shorter practice stories to improve my descriptions, dialog, and plotting skills. These stories started off as little erotic vignettes and romantic scenes. As I improved, I tried tying them together in longer serial stories. When I started posting them online, I was happy to discover readers really connected with the stories and characters. That's when I decided to publish one of my stories which became Inseparable.

What does your writing area look like?
My writing area is just a thin silver laptop I take everywhere. I write during lunch and most evenings sitting beside my spouse on our couch. I have two small children at home, so my time is limited, but I've still managed to average about 800 words a day over the last couple of years.

How did you come up with your title?
I didn't, believe it or not! My publisher, Pub Yourself Press, did a fantastic job creating the perfect cover and title for the book. In fact, the whole editing and publishing process was a dream with them.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Both, but at different times. Sometimes when I start with a story idea, I need to get in the main characters' heads before I can see where the story should go. Sometimes I write and throw away 30,000 words to get their voices and motivations clear in my mind. Then I jot down the major plot points and character moments in a rough chapter outline. When I start writing, the ideas firm up and I begin to detail out scenes and transitions.

How did you bring life to your characters?
I outline a few key characteristics and motivations to start with for each major point-of-view character. Then I determine where I want the be from and live, then start writing practice scenes where I imagine them interacting. Sometimes these practice scenes make it in the book, but even if I throw them away it helps create a unique voice for them to tell their story.

Do you write under a pen name?
A number of them, actually, but I'll never tell which one is the real me!

What was the best writing advice that someone has ever given to you?
Keep emotional distance from your story and characters. When your editor tells you particular characters, scenes, or chapters need to be cut or rewritten you can do it easier. Falling in love with your own words seems romantic, but the truth is some of my favorite bits only ever worked in my head. On the page they came off completely wrong, so I learned to keep my distance and trust my editor. I think my writing is better for it.

For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
I write stories about people you could imagine running into at the mall or grocery store. They aren't perfect, or rich, or supernaturally endowed, so for me the trick has been to make the characters relatable and sympathetic. The focus is on romance themes and explicit sex, but it's the character growth throughout the story that I work hardest on.

What is your favorite thing about being an Indie writer?
The writing! I've learned so much telling stories that it's like peeking behind the curtain at the theater when I was little and seeing the sets, lights, and actors. There are so many interesting things I can see authors do with dialog, description, and plots now that I was never aware of before. Storytelling is an art and I'm having the time of my life learning about it!

About Bella Chal:
Bella Chal writes new adult erotic romance from a comfortable couch in the southern United States. Outside of writing, Bella spends time with family and friends, drinking wine, and plotting to take over the world.

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