Thursday, November 29, 2012

All Fall Down: Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Title: All Fall Down
Author: Julie Coulter Bellon
Release Date: September 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down . . .

That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden---with the potential to attack America. Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security?

Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?

First Chapter

Book Bug: Welcome to The Book Bug, Julie! I am so glad to have you here today!

When and why did you begin writing?

Julie: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I even won first place in a second grade writing contest for my essay on why we should respect cows. I need to go look for that certificate. I think it would be fun to frame it and remind myself of where it all started!

Book Bug: What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Julie: It’s going to sound so corny, but I have always loved Shakespeare. I loved my English classes where we studied him, I loved his plays and their characters, and I loved going to England to see where he was born, where he lived and worked. I think that I would have loved to meet him or at least write something as memorable as he did. We all need goals, right?

Book Bug: Wow, Shakespeare! You are ambitious! (Can't say that British Literature was my favorite class :)

What is your favorite genre to read/write?

Julie: My favorite genre is romantic suspense, which is surprisingly what I also write. I love the balancing act between the danger and the caring/protecting the person you love. My favorite TV shows were ones like 24, Alias, and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Spies, danger, and romance, who could want more?

Book Bug: Oh how I love Jack Bauer and Sydney Bristow!

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?

Julie: With eight children, my routine is different every day. But I do a lot of prep work away from the computer so that when I have computer time I use it wisely. For example, I was playing horsies with my little son and the idea for an entire book came to me. It was the strangest and most wonderful thing. So I wrote it down in my writer’s notebook and I’ve been working on it every since. A lot of scenes, dialogues, and characters are always stuffed in my head, patiently waiting for me to type them out. You can imagine how grateful I am for a bit of quiet time at the computer to get it all down.

Book Bug: I can only imagine!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Julie: I don’t suffer from writer’s block per se, it’s more like a motivation issues. But once I get in front of a computer and get typing that usually goes away. And I bribe myself a lot with little treats and prizes if I get a certain amount done.

Book Bug: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Julie: The hardest part is the ending. I can write really good beginnings, but I always struggle with the endings. People tell me my endings are too happy or too nicely tied in a bow, so I’ve been working on making it less happy, but still satisfying.

Book Bug: But happy endings are the best!! (IMO)

What do you think are the most important elements of good writing?

Julie: There’s a must-have triangle in good writing. On one side there’s a great setting, the other side has memorable characters, and the third side is a riveting plot. If you don’t have all three sides then your book is out of balance and in desperate need of fixing. At least, I’ve never found a book that I loved that didn’t have all three sides.

Book Bug: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Julie: I mostly play with my kids, but I also like to read, travel, and attend the theater. I just came home from seeing South Pacific. So, so phenomenal.

Book Bug: What book are you reading now?

Julie: I just finished Miss Braithwaite’s Secret by G.G. Vandagriff. Wonderful historical romance.

Book Bug: That one is definitely on my TBR pile!

What are your current/future projects?

Julie: I am currently writing Colby’s story (a character in All Fall Down.) It has been so wonderful because Claire and Rafe ended up having a crucial part in this new story so we get to see what happened to them as well.

Book Bug: I'm so excited! That sounds awesome!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Julie: My favorite writing advice is to never give up. The only difference between a published author and an unpublished author is that one gave up and I know from personal experience how tempting it is to throw in the towel after you get a rejection. Don’t let those feelings win, though. Even now, when I wonder if it’s worth it I remember the people who have written me to tell me how much my stories mean to them and I know I’m doing the right thing. Writing is a wonderful part of my life that can bring highs and lows like nothing else. I would miss it if I gave it up. So I won’t. (And plus, I think it’s important for my kids to see that Mommy has hopes and dreams that she’s pursuing because I want them to go after their dreams. I am forging the way for them I hope.)

Book Bug: Thanks so much for the interview, Julie!

About the Author

Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of seven international suspense novels: Through Love's Trials, On the Edge, Time Will Tell, All's Fair, Dangerous Connections, Ribbon of Darkness and All Fall Down. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas.

She also has one non-fiction title: Be Prepared: A Parent's Guide to the Duty to God and Eagle Scout Awards---What You Should Know and is part of two compilations, How Will Christmas Find Us and Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith.

She is the mother of eight children and when she's not busy being a mom or a writer, you will find her browsing through bookstores to add to her book collection, at the library borrowing books, or reading the treasures she's found.

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