Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview with Christine Bell

Please welcome multipublished and multitalented author Christine Bell (also writing as Chloe Cole). Christine's first novellas, Pray and Awakening of the Wolves of Pray series, have already drawn readers in packs. She has a gift for creating intensly hot stories streaked with danger, but in real life, her creative wit is just as entertaining. Check out her blog at and I guarantee you'll leave with a grin on your face. I'm so glad that she found a break in her busy life as writer, maid, chef, chauffer, therapist, wife, mother of four teen boys and two dogs (whew!) to join us today. Christine is holding a prize drawing for one of her books. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered into the drawing. The winner will be announced this Thursday.

1. We all know what expert multitaskers mothers are. Top that with contracts from three different publishers! What advice do you have for new or aspiring authors on how to avoid contract conflicts, manage deadlines, and juggle writing time with family life?

It’s actually four now, which is so exciting and overwhelming at the same time! Family comes first, always, but right now, until I’m where I want to be, everything else is on the back burner. I used to sing in a band, bowl on Monday nights, and considered myself a student of poker. There are only so many hours in the day, and since writing is my absolute dream, I put the rest aside. I can do those things once I’ve earned some vacation time. Making deadlines is top priority for me, same with making sure I know what my contractual obligations are etc. I want every publisher and editor that I work with to WANT to work with me again. To actively say, “She was on the ball, and we want to do business with her.” Needless to say, because I have a full time job, a husband, kids, a house to take care of, etc. I don’t get a lot of sleep! And you know what? That’s okay, because I am having the time of my life right now.

2. Wow! You're definitely prolific. Who needs sleep when you're having fun ;). Do you tackle a synopsis before or after you've written your story? Any synopsis survival secrets?

Bleh, after. And no. If you hear any though, send them my way, k?

3. Ditto on the bleh, LOL. Has your writing method changed out of necessity since becoming published?

Because I have a goal in mind (I’m trying to make sure I have either a Chloe Cole or Christine Bell release every month) and because I have more than one editor that I want to keep happy, I’ve had to buckle down and really try to make sure I’m writing all the time. Before I was published, I could kind of write something, take a few weeks off and just read craft books, take workshops, putter around with ideas. Now, as soon as I hit send, I am compelled to crack open another document so I don’t get behind schedule. The method is the same though: An idea, usually a situation comes to mind, then the characters, and then a quick and dirty outline (which always changes as I go). I edit constantly, and start at the beginning every time I open the document, so by the time I’m done I have a pretty clean manuscript. Lather, rinse, repeat :op

4. What's your quirkiest writing habit? What's your favorite deadline-crunch-time (pun intended) snack?

I write in bed almost exclusively. I can’t write with a lot of background noise and with four boys, neighbors kids over half the time, two dogs etc. there is no other quiet place in the house. I have this big, sit-uppy pillow that I use and set the laptop on my lap and go! As for snacks when I write, chocolate and coffee, simultaneously. I also love those little peanut butter pretzels.

5. Which promotional method (blog, tweets, forum networking etc...) do you credit with bringing you the most readers?

This is a tough one because if authors want to succeed, they have to be out there promoting their work. It’s absolutely necessary in today’s market, so I think it’s ALL important, and the sooner you start, the better off you are. Before you even get a contract, you should get involved with forums, network with other writers, tweet, and I would even recommend getting a website. I’m going to say right now, as a relatively new author, I probably get most of my readers through blogging, guest blogging etc. I think a website is key though, especially as your backlist grows. If I like an author’s book, I’m going to go to their website and actively seek out more of their work. As the months go by and I look at my blog stats more and more of my page views are coming from my website link. And I love Twitter though because it gives you “facetime” with readers. So yes, do it all!!!

6. Well, as I said above, you have a wonderful blog. So far you've written two books in your Wolves of Pray series, Pray and Awakening. What 'personality' traits do real wolves have that make for great human heroes? Is it their strength, loyalty, or something else?

Hmm, that’s a new and interesting question! Well, everyone knows how strong the bond between a wolf and their mate is, so that’s one trait that definitely lends itself to romance. Also, there is that feral dangerous quality that so many women like in an alpha hero. They are really beautiful creatures. I went to a wolf sanctuary in Lititz Pennsylvania and was amazed at how intelligent and gorgeous they were. Fascinating.

7. I agree. Wolves are amazing creatures. There seems to be a spirituality about them. But on a lighter note, in Awakening there's a brief reference to Little Red Riding Hood. Let's say you're up for an on stage role in the production of Little Red. Which character would you try out for - Little Red Riding Hood, Granny, or the Big Bad Wolf?

Probably Little Red Riding Hood because the red cape is sort of mysterious and sexy, and would look FABULOUS with my new boots!

8. LOL! I can just picture you on stage in those boots! And now to your audience of readers and fellow writers...apart from not giving up, what's the one thing you did as a writer that you feel played a critical role in helping you get that first Call?

I put in the time. I know by a lot of people’s standards, it happened really fast. About 7 months from the time I wrote my first manuscript to my first contract. But that time was very intense. I would stay up all night reading about writing, thinking about writing, taking seminars and working with my crit group. And then, and this is key, I wasn’t afraid to put my work out there. I submitted and submitted and kept on submitting. You have to be a little fearless, really honest with yourself about your work and make sure you kinds of grow a little shell around you, because if not, it’s going to be a long, painful haul! Every R should motivate you to do better. Every R with feedback should be cherished.
Fantastic advice and inspiration, Christine. Thanks so much for being here today.
Don't forget! Christine is holding a prize drawing for one of her books. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered into the drawing. The winner will be announced this Thursday.
Blurb: The Wolves of Pray Book 2 - The Awakening
Sean Mulaney has had a hell of a year. His beloved mate Sara is dead and the trail to her killer has grown cold. Eaten up by grief and guilt, it is an effort for him just to get through the day. Now, after almost a year in mourning, his animal instincts have reawakened. As Sean struggles to control the need clawing at him, along comes sexy and outspoken Chandra, and his instincts kick into over-drive.

Disillusioned but resolute, Chandra has finally summoned the courage to leave her morally corrupt wolf-pack and join the Wolves of Pray, Montana. Her new pack is a perfect fit, and life would be grand if only Sean Mulaney wasn’t such a distraction. When the tension between them really heats up, Sean proposes a unique solution to the problem. Chandra is torn. She wants to be more than just a “friend with benefits”, but if she refuses Sean’s offer, she might blow her one chance to convince him that she can rock his world and fill the empty space in his heart.

As the sexual tension between them crackles, they each need to make a choice. Is Chandra willing to risk, not only her heart, but her newfound comfort and security within the pack on a long shot like Sean? And will Sean let love in, only to risk having it taken away again? Especially when he knows there is still a killer on the loose.

You can find Christine and read excerpts at:

The following links are intended for mature audiences only.

Find Christine's/Chloe's books and upcoming releases at:
The Wolves of Pray Book 1 - Pray
The Wolves of Pray Book 2 - Awakening
Captive Audience
The Guardian - November 19, 2010
The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale - Spring 2011
Unwrapping Lily Ellora's Cave - December 9, 2010
Naughty Godmother - Coming Soon
Three to Tango  - (with L.C.Chase) Coming Soon


  1. Great interview Rula and Christine. I love being first commenter! I can so see you as Little Red, Chris. And go you on four publishers in less than one year girl! Good thing I look good in green 'cause I am over you!

    Already have my Pray books, so don't enter me in the drawing, plz. Leave the give away chances to those who will love them as much as I do! :D

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Calisa! Leave it to Christine to make Little Red look chic ;). I think she'll be catching that wolf off guard, LOL.

  3. Hi, Christine! Great interview! I write like you where I edit a lot along the way too and then at the end have very little to do before I submit. :)

  4. Hi Lisa!

    Hey Jennifer- I really love that part (at the end when you look back at a pretty clean ms) but the middle, where we're ripping apart our ms every time we open it...not so much! It does bog me down a bit, but I can't turn it off so I make the best of it. Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Hi ladies! Great interview. Christine, I keep forgetting to tell you how much I love that picture of you!

  6. Awesome interview Christine and Rula!! Congratulations Christine on your success to date. I know there is much still ahead of you and I so admire your for demonstrating it really can work with everything else you have going on in your life! I write as I edit as well :). Has it's pros and cons, of course. Great questions Rula!!

  7. Hi Melinda and Kaily! Thanks for stopping by :).

  8. Hi Jennifer! I tried writing without editing this last time. I'm not sure which way I like better. I definitely had more edits :(.

  9. Hi Rula!

    Great interview.

    Hi Christine! Great advice about staying focused and using the negative 'rejection' as a positive tool to improve your craft. Putting the time in is a biggie, too. I admire your work ethic - awesome job, girl!


  10. Hi Rula & Christine,

    Great interview! Holy cow! One a month? *whew* I gotta hand it to you, girlfriend. I can't even imagine that.

  11. Hi Murphy and Jami! Thanks for stopping by. Christine's work ethic is amazing, isn't it?

  12. Hi Jamie, Murphy and Kaily! Thanks for stopping by.

    Mel- Thanks re: the picture. Although I sorta feel like I look like I'm wearing a wig! Weird hair day.