Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Interview with L. K. Bellow author of HELLISH HAVEN

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing L.K. Belows author of the dystopian romance HELLISH HAVEN that was released last month.

First here’s a quick blurb for HELLISH HAVEN.

Two lives. Two realities. But only one truth.

The Senator reigns all-powerful in a manifested picture-perfect world. No worries. No wars. Only the unspoken threat of oblivion if you step a toe out of line. On the other side of the divide, the rebels face a debilitating war against an invulnerable robotic army. Every day is a struggle to earn back their freedoms. Freedom to feel. Freedom of speech. Freedom of thought.

Sergeant Grant Baker is pivotal to the war effort. But ever since his wife’s abduction, he’s been walking around in as much of a daze as the Senator’s brainwashed citizens. Then Eva reappears—without memories of him or their son. And he’s willing to do anything to keep her. Even if it means jeopardizing the war.

Eva doesn’t know which side to believe. Her predictable life as a single nurse, or the man claiming to be her husband. All she knows is she needs to discover how to end the war, quickly. If she doesn’t choose sides soon, she may lose the man—and the life—she never knew she wanted.

PAT: First I’d love to know a little about the path you took to becoming a published writer. What was the first story you ever wrote? Did it teach you anything relevant to your writing today?

L.K.: The first story I wrote, for that school project in third grade, was about a pet dinosaur named Kooky who I lost and later found in my sock drawer. At that time, my friend had challenged me to write the most pages, a challenge which I lost. But I also continued the story past the natural stopping point. If I had ended the story upon finding Kooky the first time, I would have had a full-fledged short story with a beginning, middle, climax, and ending. Instead, I forced more story out and the story ended up being worse than it could have been if I wasn’t simply trying to write pages.

It was an important lesson for me. Not every story will be as complex as a full-length book. I write a lot of novellas now, not only because I love reading them (they’re easy to fit into my busy schedule) but because I don’t force a story past its natural stopping point, no matter what the length happens to be.

PAT: That's a wonderful point. I have a tough time writing short fiction because my plots tend to be super complex. Did other teachers or people influence your writing?

L.K.: While I was in high school, around the time I started writing seriously, I had several wonderful people who encouraged me to write. My parents were one, though my mom didn’t like fantasy and my dad didn’t like romance. My English teacher, who founded a writing club in the school with me, also contributed to my love of books and of writing. Last but certainly not least, my best friend from high school was a bookworm just like me and read everything I wrote, though she herself never wrote a book past its prologue. I remember once writing a book and handing it to the boy I liked to read, who also loved books. Support systems are essential, and I had ample encouragement and motivation to continue in those days, which was vital to spurring me on to this path.

PAT: What happened after high school that set you on the route to becoming a published?

L.K.: In high school, the only thing I could think about doing was writing. I had books in me and they had to come out. I’m also a practical person, and upon graduating high school, when I didn’t have the money up front to go back to school, I opted not to put myself in debt. While I worked, saving money, I also wrote. I read books, and got positive responses to my own work. I decided I wanted more people to read it. I want to keep writing, and my dream job was to be able to do only that, writing. So I took the plunge, and here I am.

PAT: How do you find the time to write?

L.K.: I don’t find time. I make the time. Days can get incredibly busy, especially if working a day job. I take a few moments for myself in the morning before my day begins, in order to write. On days I have “off,” I usually devote to writing as well.

PAT:  I love that you make rather find time to write.  That’s what I do as well.  Over the years what was one of the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your career?

L.K.: My biggest obstacle was a lack of support at home. My late husband didn’t approve -- and went out of his way to actively discourage my writing. For the two years prior to his death, I wrote in secret for fear he would find out, and didn’t end up writing much at all.

PAT: What inspired you to write Hellish Haven?

L.K.: One of my favorite classic books is Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Something about the dystopia, the worst case scenario, called to me. I wanted to write a book about a family, a husband and wife already on the page and a child as well. When I started, I realized that the best way to express Eva’s story would be in a world slightly different from our own. I borrowed many of Orwell’s themes, twisting them to suit the story and the world. The result is what I consider to be my best book yet, though I am biased, of course. :)

PAT: What’s next for you?

L.K.: One thing you’ll notice if you read my books is that I like to write in a wide range of subgenres. I follow where the characters lead. I recently finished a historical romance with a spunky protagonist and I’m working on a romantic suspense at the time of writing this. The best way to know what I have next on the radar is to check my website or follow me on Twitter @LBelowtheauthor.

Thanks for stopping by Lindsay. It was great to learn more about you and your writing!

 If you'd like to order HELLISH HAVEN, you can order it from Kensington Books or Amazon

ALSO, congratulations to Sheri Green. You've won the $10 iTunes giveaway from last week interview!


  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome. It's always fun to get to know more about fellow writers :)