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Please Welcome Dana Marie Bell

Dana, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog. 

Thank you for having me!

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Hmm, let’s see.  I’m a forty year old mother of two, been happily with the same man, Dusty, for seventeen years (married for ten), and personally? Can’t understand why people think oatmeal tastes good, no matter how cold it is.  I think it’s childhood brainwashing.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing off and on since I was thirteen years old, but I wasn’t published until The Wallflower came out in April 2008.

What is your writing process like?

First thing, I figure out what the four year old wants to watch for, oh, ten seconds and put it on.  Then my hair goes up, which the four year old promptly demands be taken down.  Mommy then puts on her headphones and tries to play music so she can concentrate on something other than Backyardigans, but alas, the questions like “Why is Pablo yelling?” and “Aren’t giant snowballs silly?” start.  Then the four year old finds himself in the room with Daddy so Mommy can work, lol! Seriously, writing around a four year old can be, um, interesting.  Have you ever written a love scene to Mousercize?  It’s… bouncy.  And very rhythmic.

very-much-aliveCan you tell us about your latest release Very Much Alive?

Very Much Alive began as a What If.  What if Loki got a bum rap? What if he didn’t kill Baldur? Then who did? And why? It grew from there, even the part where Baldur and Loki wind up lovers.  It just made sense that a man who’d pretty much slept with anything that had a sex would eventually seduce the prettiest of the Norse gods.

Do you have any other books coming out this year? 

The Wallflower will be released March 31 in the print anthology Hunting Love! My first print! I’m torn between Snoopy dancing and clutching myself with nerves.  Steel Beauty, book 4 of the Halle Pumas, will be available April 21, and Dare to Believe, my first in the Gray Court series, is slotted for a summer release.  After that? We’ll see!

What are you currently working on?

I’m tidying up book 2 of True Destiny, Eye of the Beholder, for submission, and I’m working on the first Halle Shifters book involving two Bears and a Wolf.  Hopefully either my first Pocono Wolves story or Book 2 of The Gray Court will be next, but it depends on who is talking to me the loudest at the time.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

They all pretty much come from What If’s.  I’ll see something or hear something that triggers a what if (like what if a vampire blood bonds a leprechaun only to find out his Sidhe blood brother is fated to be her mate? That’s the story of Noble Blood), and before you know it I’m making notes on my PDA in the middle of the frozen foods aisle. 

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?  Between us Dusty and I own almost two thousand print books, and probably just as many if not more ebooks! We’re both avid readers.  My favorites are paranormal reads, sci-fi, fantasy and some urban fantasy.  My auto-buy authors? Jayne Anne Krentz, TA Chase, Annmarie McKenna, Shelly Laurenston’s shifter books, Lora Leigh’s Breed books, Anne Bishop’s Blood series, and Lauren Dane, just to name a few.  I have many more authors I love, but that’s off the top of my head and before the caffeine has kicked in. 

What books are on your keeper shelf?

You get rid of books?!? The only books Dusty and I get rid of are duplicates (i.e. we both came home and said “Look what I bought!”), or books so bad I wouldn’t use them for kindling lest they make my fireplace stink.  So far, there’s only been one or two books that fall in the last category.  Which is probably why we have almost two thousand books. 

Do you read books other than romance books? 

I like light science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy and the occasional true crime story.  Contemporary sometimes catches my attention, but rarely do I read historicals.  Oh, and M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F or M/M doesn’t seem to matter to me one way or the other as long as I like the story.

What was the first romance book you read? 

Little Women, when I was seven years old and is probably what gave me the “true love conquers all” mentality.  After that, I think it was Barbara Cartland’s historicals when I was about twelve.  A librarian saw what I was taking out and introduced me to Harlequin when I was fifteen, and I’ve been reading them ever since.  In my teens I was a devoted reader of Signet Regencies, but I think it was Nora Roberts who first put my feet on the path of the paranormal.  Donovans, anyone?  I shiver when I reread Sebastian!

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?  

Hmm.  Probably Wallflower, because Max and Emma would just translate so well to the screen.  As to who would play them? If I could a young Brad Pitt and possibly Ashley Judd? I have “inspiration photos” but I try not to put the faces of celebrities on my characters too often.  I like the reader to decide what their final features are, because it’s your imagination that makes the hero or heroine beautiful much more than my words do, and not everyone thinks Brad Pitt is hot.  I’m not sure who those people are, but they are out there.  Somewhere.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why? 

Becky.  I think out of all the heroes Simon is the most like Dusty. Kinda sarcastic, overly protective, definitely Alpha.

Do you have a day job?

Full-time mom working on building a full-time writing career.   So two full-time jobs.  🙂

Does your work inspire story ideas?

Sometimes, surprisingly.  Trying to explain something to the kids that’s so obvious to me will sometimes inspire parts of a story or, in one case I’m about to start plotting, an entire story.  Did you ever have to explain migraines to a four year old and a nine year old?

Are any of your characters based on real people?

For the most part, all of my characters are bits and pieces of the people in my life mixed with my own twisted imagination.  My family is extremely close, but we constantly snark at one another, which is where a lot of my dialog comes from.  I just pretend I’m talking to my family.  It’s fun, especially when someone brings a date for the first time.  My husband went into culture shock when he first met them.  Loud boisterous Italians were as far from his quiet Southern-boy roots as you could get.  And then he found out that he’d only met my immediate family and I took him to a real party!  He hasn’t been the same since.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?  

Guilty secret: Dusty and I both love to play MMORPG’s, like City of Heroes/Villians, the now-gone Tabula Rasa and most recently World of Warcraft.  We also enjoy watching (yes, we’re geeks) Discovery Science and Ghost Hunters together.  And I force him to watch Project Runway on occasion.  Poor guy.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be? 

What do you think of angels/fallen angels as heroes?  Because I have this What If running around in my head…


You can find out more about Dana at http://www.danamariebell.com/


16 Responses

  1. Again, thank you for having me here!

  2. I’m following you! Hubby and son both play Wow, which I’m very happy about because they leave me alone!

    Congrats on your newest release!


  3. Nice interview, Dana. Thanks!

  4. Wonderful interview Dana, you know i can’t wait for tomorrow to get my hands on that book! Congratulations on the release!

  5. Thanks, Dayanna! I can’t wait for tomorrow to get here. =)

  6. Great interview Dana! (taking a break from the assignment! 😀 ). As for the angel/fallen angel? LOVE IT! I think they can make very interesting story ideas. I really like the idea of the fallen angel..the whole bad boy, but still good 😀
    Congrats on your release tomorrow! I can’t wait to start reading it.

  7. What a great interview, Dana. Congrats on all your great writing news, sounds like 09 is going to be a banner year for you and for all your readers.

    And I love the idea of fallen angels as heroes. Bad boys and redemption totally works for me.

  8. I’ve actually got most of the plot of the first Nephilym book plotted out, but I promised some other stories first. Now I need three brains and six hands to get it all done. 😀

  9. Very nice interview!

    I have to agree with you about Nora Roberts’s Donovans. They are fabulous, especially Sebastian.

    As for angels/fallen angels as heroes, I think they can be great if done well, which I’m sure wouldn’t be a problem for you. There is something very intriguing about those kinds of characters that just draws my attention to the book.

  10. I’ve already started researching the myths around the Nephilym, and I think I have a good overall plot for the series. Now I just need my heroes/heroines. 🙂

  11. Great interview, Dana.

    Fallen angels can be hot and interesting…as well as angels being tempted into doing things they might not ever have done before. 🙂

  12. Another great interview! And, wow–I love the cover for Very Much Alive!

    By the way, I absolutely love the idea of fallen angels as heroes. 🙂

  13. Hi Dana 🙂

    Love your Wallflower series, have all 3 in my e-book and looking forward to Belle’s story in April:) Definitely grabbing “Very Much Alive” tomorrow!!!!

    Oh and I love the idea of a fallen angel being the hero!!!

  14. Great interview! Very Much Alive sounds great!

  15. Dana, How do you balance your WOW time with your writing time? Writing has been winning lately, but WOW is calling, ever the seductor. (Yes, WOW is definitely male. And I hope to be single-handedly responsible for bringing the word seductor back from the dead.)

  16. I love, love, looove the Halle Puma series. Read all three waiting for the 4th. It would be awesome to have them all in one print book. *sigh*

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