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? 
Writing Belle is an online blog/magazine dedicated to exploring fiction, non-fiction, and creativity. I often interview and feature authors, editors, literary agents, and artists from around the world. I also use this platform as a way to immediately publish some of my journalistic endeavors, including resources for writers/teachers, how-to articles, historical & social commentaries, as well as theological discussions from a Biblical worldview.  

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


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 writer now, but what was your very first job? 
My first real job was working as a freelance journalist at the age of 17, churning out articles as fast as I could. That was when I originally began to build my business clientele. From there, I continued to work as a journalist and a publicist. When I was 19 I began working as a writing and grammar teacher for grades 3-12. Around the same time, I published my first novel, State of Emergency. I've done a lot of different things - almost too many to list!

Why Writing Belle? 
I created Writing Belle in 2012 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? 
It was time to test the waters of the competitive world of publishing. I had been working as a publicist and a journalist for a while already, but novel-writing is an entirely different animal. State of Emergency was my first attempt to release something that could seriously compete with other top-selling books in the genre of survival and adventure. My first book was released on January 18, 2013. In the years since I dropped State of Emergency, I have published 28 consecutive bestselling novels. 

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 28 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. The Resurrection Series 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, although I admit it's almost impossible to find the time these days! 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 enjoy meeting friends for coffee (I'm a coffee nut), browsing bookstores or antiques shops, and going camping.  

How has becoming a mother shaped or influenced your life as a writer? 
My daughter is the best thing I've ever brought into the world, far more important than anything I could ever write or publish. Yet being a mother has given me insight into a type of overpowering, all-encompassing love that knows no boundaries. Being a mama is the single most rewarding and magical experience in the world. It's also exhausting and terrifying - but all of that is worth it, because my child is, first and foremost, literally a piece of my own heart.

My love for my child has pulled me in a writing direction that includes writing about strong female characters and their children. I think the role of mom shouldn't be taboo or unromantic. I think there should be more fictional characters who are moms and still cool. Moms who can still be romanced. Moms who can still save the world. Not just the teenage girls in YA novels. 

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, Victor Hugo, Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Diana Gabaldon...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! 


Professional publicity photos provided by Jen Eileen Photography.

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