Author Spotlight: Belinda Williams
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’m a childhood book lover, teenage daydreamer and sometimes writer, turned adult marketing professional and copywriter who realised she missed the creativity of her younger years. So I allowed myself to daydream again, but with a heavy dose of adult practicality to turn those daydreams into reality!
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
I realised I wanted to start writing fiction again about eight years ago, but it took another four years to actually do something about it. Four years ago I enrolled myself in a distance writing course to keep me focused and by the end of that I was writing a book. Halfway through writing that book (which at the time I had no idea if I could actually finish) I realised that not only did I want to finish the book, I wanted to get serious about it. This first novel was Radiant, a paranormal romantic suspense about angels and demons. It earned me a top ten finalist placing in the Romance Writers of Australia 2013 Emerald award and is currently available on Amazon.
Tell us a little more about The Boyfriend Sessions and what inspired the story idea:
I’d just finished writing Radiant and was in need of some lighter subject matter. On the surface, the idea for The Boyfriend Sessions ‘just came to me’ but in reality there were a few sources of inspiration. I had the opening of the novel in my head for a while. I loved the concept of an Aussie girl caught unawares by her French boyfriend’s romantic proposal at the Eiffel Tower and how she would flee that proposal (and the country!) Then I started to think about why she would flee that proposal… I’d also recently seen the movie What’s Your Number? in which the main character wonders if her one true love was among her ex-boyfriends and goes back to find every single one with hilarious consequences! Added to that I enjoy books that focus on friendships with girlfriends, as well as the romantic relationships, and the ideas all sort of meshed together in my head until I had that ‘ah ha!’ moment where the concept of The Boyfriend Sessions was born.
After fleeing a romantic proposal in Paris (of all places!), Christa Morrison turns to her closest friends for reassurance but instead they declare her a relationship junkie in need of friend-imposed intervention! They sound like the kind of friends that every gal needs! What was the biggest challenge in writing Christa’s story?
I needed to be mindful that there’s a lot of fun surrounding Christa: her tendency to regularly put her foot in her mouth and ex-boyfriends with nicknames like Giggly Grant and Handy Hamish for instance. In reality, a lot of that surface fun was keeping her from addressing some darker issues. So I had to concentrate on achieving the right balance of fun and while keeping it emotionally realistic. Also, writing each of Christa’s boyfriend sessions was a great idea in theory but executing it took a lot of work!
What character trait will most endear Christa to your readers?
Definitely her ability to put her foot in her mouth.
What do you want readers to know about the romance genre?
That romance readers should be proud of their reading choice because it’s one of the world’s favourite genres. It’s written by incredibly talented authors and read by people from all walks of life.
What’s next for you?
Earlier this year I completed Maddy’s story (Christa’s best friend in The Boyfriend Sessions). It has a few rounds of editing to go before it’s done, so it’s resting while I work on the next book in my paranormal angels and demons romantic suspense series. After that I’ll start on Scarlett’s story (another of the girls from The Boyfriend Sessions), and I can’t wait to write it because of her dark sense of humour and unusual outlook on life!
What book is currently on your nightstand?
City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn. She’s one of my favourite authors and although I don’t write it, I really enjoy reading historical romance.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Don’t let your sense of responsibility override what’s really important to you.
What do you find easiest to write? And, the hardest?
Dialogue, I just love it! Descriptive passages around setting are probably the hardest for me because I get impatient and would rather be writing from the character’s point of view or voice. I have to force myself to slow down so I can translate the imagery into something compelling.
Favourite travel experience?
It’s in The Boyfriend Sessions! Vigeland Park in Oslo, Norway has stayed with me because despite being very cold, it’s an incredibly creative and astoundingly beautiful place. It’s a very special and important place for Christa too, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why…
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
You know, I think I need to re-write my bucket list. I did a lot of travel that I’d always wanted to do before I started a family and I always wanted to write a book…at this stage I’d probably say to drive a Lamborghini.
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Dark but I’m dairy-free so I can only risk certain varieties.
Red, white, bubbly? Um, whisky? Ever since being forced to do an elimination for food intolerances I discovered wine was bad (sob). Helpfully my husband has since educated me on the finer points of impressively aged whisky which doesn’t cause me any issues whatsoever!
Salty or sweet? Sweet (I bake a lot to satisfy my sweet tooth).
Beach or mountains? Beach girl all the way.
Give or receive? Hmm, the honest truth? Receive!
The Boyfriend Sessions
Please take your seats. The journey to happiness may involve some turbulence.
Christa Morrison has commitment issues, a fact that quickly became apparent after fleeing a romantic proposal in Paris, the thunder of impending wedding bells ringing in her ears.
Back in Sydney, she turns to her closest friends for reassurance. Instead they offer her a startling and painful diagnosis: she’s a relationship junkie. The cure? An extreme rehabilitation program guaranteed to reform even the most L-word illiterate.
With her girlfriends along for the ride, Christa commits to their radical plan and the chances of recovery look good. The only problem is Max Spencer. The one guy Christa—and her friends—never expected her to fall for. But he’s proving to be a temptation she may not have the willpower to resist…
For a shot at happiness, is being with Max worth betraying her friends? And will Christa have the strength to trust her heart when her colorful relationship history comes back to haunt her?
It might just be enough to make a poor girl leave the country (again).
About the Author:
Belinda is a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who allowed an addiction to romance and chick-lit to get the better of her. She was named a top ten finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award in both 2013 and 2014. Her other addictions include music and cars. Belinda’s eclectic music taste forms the foundation of many of her writing ideas and her healthy appreciation for fast cars means she would not so secretly love a Lamborghini. For now she’ll have to settle with her son’s Hot Wheels collection and writing hot male leads with sports cars.