Monday, July 5, 2010

Interview with Author Julie Coulter Bellon – Suspense Novelist

Julie Coulter Bellon is Canadian, but married an American and settled in the States. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and now teaches a journalism course for BYU Continuing Education. She loves to travel and her favorite cities are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She is also learning to play the bagpipes! Julie is the mother of seven children, soon to be eight, and the author of six books, soon to be seven. Read sample chapters at Julie’s Website.

Hello Julie. Being a published author has fulfilled a lifelong dream for you. Please tell us about your new book, Dangerous Connections.

Dangerous Connections is set entirely in Paris France, and it picks up the story of Tyler Winthrop, one of the doctors who was serving in Iraq in All’s Fair. Tyler has finished his tour of duty and is heading to Paris to meet his father for a little down time. Unfortunately, when he gets there, some mysterious things start happening to him, and he realizes his father has been kidnapped. He tries to find him, and becomes involved in some international espionage as he gets caught up with a French spy named Isabella Floret who seems to have a few mysterious secrets of her own. The book is a heart-pounding spy novel, with a lot of intrigue, danger, and of course, romance. I hope you won’t be able to put this one down!


Heart-pounding? Whoa! Where do you get your inspiration for your novels?

As a journalism teacher, (and former reporter) I read a lot of newspapers about current events, and I get a lot of inspiration from them. For example, I was reading about the Baku oil leases in the Caspian sea and how whoever controls those oil leases controls a lot of the world’s oil and I thought, what would happen if a terrorist organization owned those leases? How would that affect our current world economy? And that’s how my book Time Will Tell came about. For my novel, On the Edge, there was quite a debate in the papers about how much security should be between the borders of Canada and the U.S. and so I wrote a story about a biological weapon being developed in a private hospital in Africa before being shipped to Canada so it could be smuggled to the U.S. Even in Dangerous Connections, I was reading about certain water supply systems and how vulnerable they are to attack, and I went from there.

You’re a Suspense Novelist, and creating a page-turner... a book we can’t put down, is what it’s all about. Is it difficult finding enough suspense for your novels? Is there a secret to creating a page-turner?

I don’t think it’s difficult to find enough suspense because my novels deal with international issues that are going on in the world today, which I happen to think are suspenseful enough all on their own, so I only have to add a bit more here and there to create something that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Suspense has always been my favorite genre, though, so I get a big payday by creating something that people tell me keeps them up at night. I don’t know if there’s a secret to creating a page-turner. I just love imagining ‘what if’ scenarios and thinking about what I’d do if I were in that situation, even if my heart was pounding and my knees were weak. I always ask myself when I’m writing, if I were this character, could I still do the right thing, even if it were scary or might mean certain death? I don’t know if that makes sense. I would guess that if there is a secret to a page turner, it would be providing enough realism that people can see themselves in that situation and lose themselves in the story and the characters’ lives so much that they just have to turn the page to find out what happens next.

Yes, to provide enough realism is what it takes. What does your family think about your writing?

They are really proud of me. They think it’s exciting to walk into a bookstore and look for my book on the shelf. If I’m under a deadline they’re really good to do the housework and meals for me so I can get things done. I know I couldn’t do it without their support and I’m so glad for the amazing family that I have because I’ve been able to follow my dream of being an author and it’s mostly because of them.

That’s so true, Julie. Without family support, it would be hard to be an author. Tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

When I was twelve years old I got to meet Princess Diana while she was on walkabout in Canada. I got to shake her hand and she asked if it was always this hot in Canada and what time it was. I was so amazed by her and I thought she seemed so fragile and sweet. I told myself I’d never wash the hand that shook hers, but of course I did. Thank you for the interview. You are wonderful!

Oh my gosh!!! Princess Diana? Wow! What a great privilege! Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences with my readers, Julie. It was fun getting to know you.

38 comments:

baileythebookworm said...

I haven't read many books in the suspense genre precisely because most of those that were recommended to me just seemed too unrealistic. It seems like you really have a grasp on how to make a character someone I can identify with, and I love that you use current concerns as a basis for the writing. I'd love to check out one of your books!

baileythebookworm[at]gmail[dot]com

Marjorie said...

I just love reading Christian suspense novels and I would love to win and read these books.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Rees Family said...

These books sound really good. Please enter me in the drawing.

Anonymous said...

I like stories with interesting settings - places that I have not visited but would like to go some day.

Please enter my name in your contest.

Helen Kiker

Anonymous said...

I forgot to inlcude my email in my post so here it is in case I get lucky.

Helen Kiker
hdkiker@comcast.net

Wendy said...

Wow almost 8 kids! and you write too! Amazing!! Great interview and that is so terrific about meeting Princess Di. Your book sounds great!

wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

Margie said...

The books sound fascinating. Please count me in. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Karilan Designs said...

Great interview, very interested in reading All's Fair!

karilan_black@hotmail.com

Mozi Esme said...

Looks like an exciting set of books! I'd love to read both of them...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/07/dangerous-connections.html

Martha Lawson said...

Great interview! Wow, soon to be 8 kids!! I admire you for that.. The books sounds amazing, I love a good suspense. Please enter me for this one.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Julia M. Reffner said...

I love Christian suspense. Count me in.

julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I love a good suspense novel.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Angie said...

Thanks for the interview. It was fun to hear about Julie's writing. That's so cool that you met Princess Diana.

angloft at gmail dot com

Bakersdozen said...

I would love to read this! vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I love reading mystery and suspense. I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the possibility.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Julie just keeps getting better and better with each book. All's Fair was just riveting. I'd just love to get a copy of her latest book. lisamoana at hotmail dot com

Aik said...

I'd love to read this book!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

would enjoy reading this novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

grannyvon said...

I read supense all the time and would love to win a book written by Julie Coulter Bellen. Would prefer "All's Fair" because I like to start with the first book if possible but still would read if I read the other one first. Thanks for the entry. I follow on Google Friend Connect. ybutler@oppcatv,com

Rhonda said...

I am a huge mystery lover so I would love to win.
I love that Julie is Canadian and one of her favourite cities is ottawa, thats where I am.

rhondastruthers atyahoo.ca

Anonymous said...

Peggy Humbracht
I am a huge mystery fan would love to win. These books intrigue me
\lena.loulou@hotmail.com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Great interview, Linda! No need to enter me, as always (stupid TBR mountains!). I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Darlyn said...

Not an entry. I just want to say that I read the excerpt of both books and I admit it's interesting!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to win this! Thanks for the opportunity.

hismercysurrounding(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carol M said...

I enjoy reading suspense and this sounds good! Please enter me. Thank you!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Cindy W. said...

I absolutely love the cover art of Dangerous Connections and can hardly wait to read it. I would love to win a copy.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Joan Sowards said...

Great review. I'd love to win a copy of Julie's book.

Susan Dayley said...

I don't usually enter book give aways, but your stories intrigue me. I hope I win, and if so I'd love to write a review for them. If not, maybe we could do a review swap sometime.
-Susan
sdayleywrite@gmail.com

rbooth43 said...

Mystery books that keep me guessing until the end and intrigue me are so rewarding. Julie's books sound like just what I am looking by this review.
Thanks!

rbooth43@yahoo.com

barbjan10 said...

This sounds like a suspenseful thriller indeed! I haven't read a thriller for some time, and would enjoy reading this one. I like the ancient ruins and artifacts facts worked into the story. Thank you for the chance to read this book.

Blessed Be in Christ,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10@tx.rr.com

Bobdad said...

loved the interview - Julie tells it likes it is and I love her perspective on life

Pat said...

Julie, I loved that opening scene in "All's Fair" where your female lead is running through the mud in her wedding gown - totally unforgettable!

I'm sure you wouldn't remember me, but I enjoyed meeting you at one of your book signings. :-)

wmmahaney said...

I enjoy suspense books. This one sounds great.
wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I like the idea that her novels deal with international issues going on in the world today.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Diana D said...

I absolutely love the suspense novels. Seeing as it is summertime my nose has been in a book for many hours each day. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

ossmcalc said...

I also love to read suspense and thriller novels. This is a wonderful giveaway that I would very much want to enter.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Lisa! You are the winner for Julie's book. I know you'll enjoy the suspense this author puts in her books.

Anonymous said...

Linda, I'm so happy to see how many people were interested in my interview and book. Thank you so much to everyone who commented!

Julie Coulter Bellon