FAQ



Over the years, I have received many of the same questions over and over again. People are naturally curious about what it's like to be a writer. I started working when I was quite young, so I now have years of experience working in publishing. This page covers some of the most frequently asked questions that I get as the years go by. 

The first is: What is Writing Belle? My answer is that Writing Belle is an online magazine dedicated to exploring the art of storytelling. I interview and feature authors, editors, literary agents, and artists from around the world every week, every year. 

Maybe the rest of these questions will help us to get to know each other a little more! 


FAQs

Reading with my cat Luke. He was a good reading buddy. :)
Why writing? 

I've always enjoyed reading and writing, so it was only natural that I jump into a career as a full-time writer. I wrote my first novel when I was 13, and at that point in time I didn't have a computer, so I merely scribbled everything down on about a thousand pages of notebook paper. Needless to say, I was very happy when I discovered the joys of using a keyboard. Since then I've written many novels, short stories and essays. 

About 12 or 13. Writing my first novel.
So...you're a full-time writer now. What was your very first job? 
Remarkably, I have been fortunate enough to only ever have jobs that have been in the field I love: writing. My first job was working as a content creator for a UK-based company that specialized in Search Engine Optimization when I was in high school. I learned to write very quickly, efficiently, and concisely. After that I worked as a freelance writer for newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, travelogs, you name it. I wrote thousands of articles. I ghost co-wrote an ebook. I've worked as a professional publicist, social media manager and consultant. I'm a creative writing teacher - I've taught kids from kindergarten to high school. My primary job is storytelling, which of course means I get to call myself a novelist. The great thing about being a writer is that you can do so many different things! 

Why Writing Belle? 
I created Writing Belle because I wanted to have a place where people could go to explore the art of storytelling. I'm fascinated with the publishing industry and the way authors and editors work together to create exciting adventures for readers. Anything that has to do with stories - whether it's a book or a movie - has a place here!


The original 2013 cover for SOE.
Why did you decide to publish State of Emergency, the first installment in The Collapse Series? 
Being a writer is not easy. The work is difficult and requires a lot of self-discpline. Creating a novel is like the ultimate test of being a writer. I wrote State of Emergency in 2012, in 22 days exactly. I was taking the semester off from college, and I was busy working. I wanted to do something to keep my skills as a writer sharpened, so I decided to challenge myself and write a story about one girl surviving in a world thrown into chaos after an electromagnetic pulse disables the technological infrastructure of the country. It was such a fun, fast-moving story, I figured it would have mass appeal. 
I guess I was right! 
The book was re-written and re-released in 2016 to keep up with the times. Emergency quite literally launched my career as a professional novelist. Since its release, I have published 18 bestselling novels, consecutively. 


Playing survival with my friends. I'm in the center.
What genre do you write?
When it comes to fiction, I primarily write action and adventure stories - thrill rides that readers of all ages can enjoy. I have a little mystery, a little suspense, a little romance. I like to have it all. I have written a historical thriller, but the underlying theme of all but one of my 18 novels thus far has been the apocalypse. I love the undercurrent of the survivalist mentality, the ability to rebuild society, and the courage of the most average person to fight back against injustice and tyranny. I always wanted to be a tough and badass warrior chick growing up (every girl has a dream, right?), and that is how Cassidy Hart of the Collapse Series was born. I wanted somebody average. I wanted to take someone who didn't necessarily stand out from the crowd and turn them into a total fighter and a legend. I wanted that progression to be organic and believable. Cassidy Hart is my hero. 


The Zero Trilogy. The Bravo Saga. The Illustrated Guide. How many books and series are going on here? 
A lot! The Zero Trilogy was a pet project of mine. I'd always wanted to write this story about a spunky, badass teenage girl who kicks the apocalypse's butt. Her companion, a dog named Bravo, is my favorite character to date. Which brings us to the Bravo Saga. The adventure series chronicles the journey of Bravo the bomb dog and his survival in the ashes of civilization. I loved writing it. 

Running with Wolves. Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel. Resurrection: Shadows of Omega...how many books are you currently working on? 
So many! Running with Wolves was my very first historical fiction. Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel, is my first non-fiction. Resurrection: Shadows of Omega, is my first major departure from Cassidy Hart's familiar apocalyptic story line. The plot is more intense, more diverse, more romantic, more hard-hitting, I think. It's going to be an adventure. I am thrilled to be working on it - blessed beyond measure that there are so many thousands of readers who love Cassidy as much as I do, and are interested in hearing the continuation of a story I have been planning since I was 13. 


What do you like to do when you're not working? 
I love to travel. Seeing new places and experiencing new things fuels my passion to write. I have never visited anywhere or done anything that hasn't somehow ended up in my writing. I think of life as a massive research trip. There is always more to discover. 

I spend a lot of time with my German Shepherd, Kona. She's currently in training, and I'm hoping to get her started on agility next. I love to read, of course! 

I also enjoy learning, so I am always taking some kind of class - be it a college class, a dog training class or something else. Learning is one of those things in life I never get tired of. 

What authors inspire you? 
I grew up reading anything I could get my hands on. Our home library (also known as our converted garage) housed roughly 4,000 books, and I pretty much read all of them. I was inspired as a kid by Robert Louis Stevenson, Carolyn Keene, and Charlotte Bronte. Today, my favorite writers are, without a doubt, Jack London, James P. White, Anne Sewell, John Muir, Charlotte Bronte (some loves never fade!), Gary Paulsen, Ransom Riggs, Daniel Defoe, Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald...the list goes on, but those authors are definitely at the top of my list. My childhood was shaped by a plethora of classic novels, and I believe that the example of those strong stories heavily shaped the books that I write today.

If I was on a deserted island and could choose only one book to read, it would be The Call of the Wild. It's my all-time favorite book. I never get tired of reading it. I collect every edition I find. I currently have at least 12 copies of it in my office, and I have the last lines of the book framed on my wall. 


Have a question for me? Send me an email! 

summerlane101@gmail.com 




Professional publicity photos provided by Jen Eileen Photography.





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