Today in celebration of her latest release, Eternal, a Holloway Pack prequel, the lovely J.A. Belfield has agreed to give us a little inside scoop on Jem, Sean, and herself.
Who is this woman, you ask? Only one of the most awesome paranormal romance authors today. Just over a year ago, her debut novel, Darkness & Light, arrived in my mailbox from Amazon.com and my thoughts on werewolves and this genre changed. I was hooked, and have since gobbled up anything with her name on the cover.
To people unfamiliar with Sean & Jem’s story, tell us about it in a few sentences.
Sean’s & Jem’s story spans across centuries: a tale of werewolves and love, and coming full circle, of fate and destiny, and reincarnation and reunions guided by magic. From Instinct, where they meet for the first time and their relationship forms, to Eternal, where we see the progression of the relationship forged in Instinct as well as the consequences of decisions made/actions taken, to Darkness & Light, where we see a modern-day Sean and Jem, understand how the magical bond that brings them back together works, and see that still, centuries later, there are repercussions for Sean’s actions shown in Instinct.
I love how you’re going back in time w/ Jem & Sean—to their past selves. Was it tough morphing these modern characters into past lives, where thoughts and actions would be very different than today?
Aww, thank you. I always had a very strong idea of where it all began for Jem & Sean, right down to the first sighting between them happening in the marketplace (as depicted in Instinct). To be honest, the hardest part for me was getting the dialogue right and making that sound authentic, which also had to bleed over into the narration as I write 1st person pov. Mostly, though, I just made sure to avoid cuss words, which tend to be pretty rife in some of my stories, and was leery of which contractions I used. ‘Picturing’ them in their outfits from that timeframe was fun, though—I did a fair amount of research for that.
I know you’re not a plotter / planner, so I’m wondering … when you blindly dive in, do the characters start talking to you, or do you control their destinies?
This is a very tough question. Sometimes I dive right in. I certainly did for Darkness & Light, Instinct and Eternal, yet I had as much of a plan as I’ve ever had when I wrote Blue Moon. For those I don’t plan, I usually start with the scene my head comes in at and just let the story take me from there. I love that the story sometimes surprises me, and my head takes twists and turns at certain points in the tale that I might not have ventured down had I been following a pre-plotted route.
Favorite 6 lines from Eternal?
From chapter 8, interaction between Jem & Sean:
“Sean, do you think it will change me at all?”“Yes.” He drew back slightly, and his eyebrows, black in the dimness, arched up against his paler flesh. “A lot shall change.”My pulse stumbled at his words, and I lost my breath for a moment until he kissed me hard.“In less than forty hours,” he said against my lips, “you shall own my name as well as my heart.”
And finally, what is the single best piece of writing advice you have for aspiring authors?
Write. Write. Then write some more.
As with most enjoyable novellas, this one was much too short. Time-period perfect - in setting & dialogue - I was transported from the very beginning.
I'm thrilled that Ms. Belfield took us back to the first Sean & Jem and explained how they were bonded for eternity - how when one died, the other would as well only to be reborn in another lifetime.
Yummies: As noted above, the time period was spot-on. The language consistend & believable. Ms. B's style of writing whisks your emotions along with Sean & Jem's, in the steamy & fear.
Could just be the time period / word usage, but Eternal at times has a poetic feel to it which I LOVED.
Yuckies: None. Heck, Ms. B even made the villian seem hot. Half of me wished Jem's sister would become his female wolf. Alas, it wasn't to be. Sigh.
Recommend: As with all Ms. B's works ... YES! The next installment of the Halloway Pack, Blue Moon, releases on December 1st. NOT soon enough IMO.
I don't normally share a fav line, but this one I had to re-read & read again.
'To be denied you would be hell. I would rather die than live without you. I am incomplete without you.'
Instinct Avail for el cheap-o this month!!! Like 99 cents cheap-o!
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