About the Author
Rebecca Lund Belliston is the author of the bestselling LDS romantic suspense novels SADIE and AUGUSTINA and a new dystopian trilogy entitled CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND based five years after the financial collapse of America. Rebecca also composes religious and classical-style music. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five kids.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
My father, Gerald N. Lund, is an author. But growing up, I hadn't planned to follow in his footsteps. I loved to read, but that was about it. It wasn't until seven years ago when a story got stuck in my head, that I ever considered writing. Now I can't seem to stop. I love it! Now I ask my dad lots of writing questions, which has been a huge help.
2. How did you get started as a musician? What or whom inspired you? How long have you been composing and arranging music?
I've been playing the piano since before I can remember. My mother, Lynn S. Lund, was a composer and piano teacher for all of my life. She tells me that I wrote my first song when I was six. I have perfect pitch, which is fun, and I wrote several songs by the time I was in high school. I love music! Even when I'm writing books, I usually have music playing in the background. Now I teach piano, accompany choirs and other performers, and I continue to write and arrange songs.
3. How many books have you written and in what genres?
I have four books published to date:
SADIE and AUGUSTINA are LDS Christian Romantic Suspense novels (wow, that's a mouthful).
CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND is a dystopian trilogy set five years in the future after the financial collapse of America. The first books, LIFE and LIBERTY, are out now, and THE PURSUIT will be released in 2016.
4. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
Currently I'm working on THE PURSUIT, book 3 in CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND. But I also have a YA Medieval Romance novel that is 80% complete. It's tentatively titled HEART OF RED, BLOOD OF BLUE.
Then I have many--too many--other books on the back burner. Several are already plotted and just waiting for me to get to them.
5. What does your writing process look like?
I'm an outliner/plotter. I use a combination of Blake Snyder's SAVE THE CAT method and THE HERO'S JOURNEY to plot my books.
I write the first several drafts in Scrivener, which allows me to move chapters, plot on 3x5 cards, check pacing and word count, and just be flexible overall. Then once I'm nearing the final drafts, I'll move it over to Word to do several polishes of the manuscript.
I also do in-depth character studies before I start. I chart character motivations, goals, past defining experiences, and weaknesses. I also gather pictures of the characters (or as close as I can get), to help me visualize them (see the CITIZENS of Logan Pond to get an idea of how crazy I am about this:).
I do the same for setting. Basically, a lot of work goes into the story and characters before I ever write a word. I'm a daydreamer by nature, so I often visualize scenes for a long time before a single word is written.
My first drafts stink. I've had to learn to be okay with that. Really, I'm more of a refiner than a writer. I love the editing process, so I slowly tweak things until they feel right. When I get stuck on a chapter or scene, I'll skip ahead and write what I know. So I'm not a linear writer by any means. I circle back several times if I need to refresh myself on what I've written or the mood of a scene. It's a slow process, but it works for me.
6. Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is anywhere I can take my laptop. I have 5 kids, so I've learned to be flexible. I take my laptop to the park, to gymnastics practice, or just whichever room in the house requires my presence. My kids are getting older, so they need less supervision. That helps. But I still like to have an ear open, so I move around a lot.
When they're all in school or not home, I love to take my laptop onto my deck and write outside. We live on a pond (the inspiration for Logan Pond), so it's very peaceful back there.
9. Where is your favorite place to read and why?
On my deck or on my couch. On my deck if I'm warm, on my couch if I'm cold and need a place to cuddle up with a warm blanket and good book.
10. What period of history interests you the most?
Right now I'd say the Medieval period because I'm working on my YA book. I'm fascinated by how societies worked back then, the 'technology' they felt they had, and the small inner circles within the larger governmental bodies.
11. If you could choose someone famous to star in one of your books made to a movie, who would you choose and for which character?
Well...if I could choose, I'd have Theo James play GREG PIERCE in my CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND series. Theo James not only has the right look, but his expressions seem to portray the right amount of attitude for GREG.
7. How important are the names in your novels? How do you choose names for your characters? Do you have any name resources you would suggest?
SADIE, the main character in my first series, is actually a nickname for the main character. Her full name is Sarah Augustina Dawson, which gives her the initials of S.A.D. That eventually led to people calling her Sadie. I had a friend in college with a similar situation with her name/initials, and I thought it would be fun to have a character as well.
For CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND, I switched many of the names many times. I think the most important thing when picking names is to make sure the names are age appropriate. For example, I'd look through my kids' yearbooks to look for common names for teens, I'd research common names for people in their thirties or forties, and so on. Each generation seems to have names with a certain sound, a certain feel, and sometimes names alone can give away character's ages. For example, my kids' great grandmas are named Cora, Norma, Leona, Evelyn, and Annie. Those aren't names you see as much today, so I think it's important thing to be aware of names from certain generations.
Again, here is a full list of the CITIZENS of Logan Pond to give you an idea.
8. What authors/novels that you enjoy would you recommend?
I've been reading a lot of YA novels lately. I really enjoy Ally Condie and Shannon Hale novels. I loved the Host by Stephenie Meyer, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I'm currently in the middle of a Brandon Sanderson series that is amazing. Basically, I just love to read. I thoroughly love my dad's books of course (Gerald Lund), and I am a huge fan of Jane Austen. In fact, the best way to describe my own newest series is a dystopian world meeting Jane Austen. :)
12. What inspired the idea for your Citizens of Logan Pond series?
I love Dystopian stories, and so I've always been fascinated by where our country (or my own future) might be headed. But CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND grew from one simple thought:
What if the end of society as we know it doesn't come from some huge catastrophe or war? What if comes from one small thing: the end of the dollar?
And from there it grew.
How would a family survive on its own? How would a neighborhood? Where would they live, what would they eat? What kinds of things would continue in a collapsed society, things like love, jealousy, babies, and death?
13. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing or with your music?
I love to play tennis, goof around with my kids, and sleep. I also obviously love to read.
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