Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of “The Sullivans” series. Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine ”Red Hot Reads” twice, have been translated into nine languages, and her Sullivans are already Top 20 bestsellers in Brazil. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and most recently in TIME Magazine. She has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America.
We asked her a few questions about reading, writing, and publishing.
When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer?
I’ve always been a huge romance reader — I devour a book a day whenever I possibly can! But before I began writing books, I was a songwriter and touring musician. Ten years ago, I was surprised when two fictional characters started to have a conversation in my head. I wrote it down and when the conversation continued the next day I just kept writing until I had finished my first book. I love it and soon decided to stop touring and write books full time!
What’s your favourite book? What was your favourite book as a child?
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Where do you get your story ideas?
Everywhere! Talking with people. Observing. Dreams. And, most of the time, the story magic comes to me while I’m writing. That’s when I truly discover the story I want to tell.
Where do you usually write?
On the couch in my office or outside on my deck in the sun.
What’s your favourite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?
I love romance and I always have! I also read quite a bit of non-fiction. I love books on gardening and cooking and traveling and writing and, well, pretty much everything!
What made you decide to self-publish?
I had been traditionally published for 7 years when, in 2010, a friend of mine suggested that I give self-publishing a whirl. She knows I’m entrepreneurial by nature and guessed that I would really enjoy all the aspects of running my own publishing business. She was right — and it’s been an absolutely amazing journey so far!
Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share? What rules of craft or promotion do you live by?
Write. Write. Write.
That’s the #1 thing I focus on as a self-publishing writer.
We’ve heard you listen to one or two songs over and over while you’re writing each book. Is that true?
Yes! Maybe it’s because I come from a songwriting background, but I find music to be a really important cue for me for each book. Once I put my headphones in and start playing the song on repeat, I can (usually) quickly enter my writing zone.