BookEnds Talks to Belle Andre
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jan 26 2007
Before writing romance, Bella Andre got a BA in Economics at Stanford University, worked as a marketing director, and strutted hundreds of stages as a rock star. She is also a Feng Shui consultant and gives the popular workshop “Feng Shui for Writers” both online and at RWA chapter meetings. She lives in Northern California with her fabulous husband, children, and dog.
Author Web site: www.BellaAndre.com
BookEnds: Describe your book in 50 words or less.
Bella: California wine country is a world of sensual delights—the tantalizing kiss of sunlight . . . the luscious decadence of gourmet cuisine . . . the slow burn of wine that warms from within . . . and sinfully sexy men. For three women hungering for more, it’s a destination for pleasuring both body and soul. . . .
BookEnds: How did you come to write this book?
Bella: I lived in the Northern California wine country for nearly a decade and loved every minute. It was lush and beautiful and breathtaking. But I never thought about setting a book in Napa Valley until I saw the movie Sideways, which is about two guys who go road-tripping through the Santa Barbara (mid-California) wine country before one of them gets married a week later. I couldn’t help but wonder—what if three girl friends go on a road trip to Napa Valley and meet three gorgeous locals? A winery owner, a hot chef, and a gorgeous painter steal the women’s hearts over the course of a very sensual weekend.
BookEnds: What is your writing process like?
Bella: Do you mean before kids, or after kids? I prefer to sit down and write 10, 15, or 20 pages without a road map. I love watching where the story takes me, and I find there’s so much magic in the voyage of story discovery. The past couple of years have been a bit of a change—writing as much as I can when I can. And because I’m stealing chunks of the day to write, I’ve found a fairly detailed synopsis to be helpful. But I still feel that my best work comes when I can carve out full, uninterrupted days to just let it flow, without overthinking it ahead of time. That’s what I’ll be doing in 2007, courtesy of my parents and mother-in-law, who have very graciously offered to watch the kids once a week for me so that I can write in bigger chunks on a daily basis.
BookEnds: What’s your next book? When and where should we look for it?
Bella: Pocket will release Red-Hot Romance in March! I’m thrilled that the books are being published so close together. In Red-Hot Romance, the last time Jason Roberts saw Emma Holden, she was crushing his heart. Now it’s ten years later, and if living well is the best revenge, Jason has done so in spades—he’s a gorgeous celebrity chef with a hit TV show and women at every turn. But at their college reunion, payback for Emma’s betrayal is all Jason is cooking up, and he plans to tease her with desperate desire, taunt her with the best sex of her life—and then watch her fall. But Emma has an agenda of her own—where teasing and temptation are just what she’s hungry for. The good girl Jason once knew is now a daring, sensual woman willing to raise the sexual stakes beyond anything they shared in the past, and she’s hot for the most wildly erotic adventures he can dish out. Now who’s turning the tables on whom?
BookEnds: Who are your favorite characters and why?
Bella: I really love all three of the women in Tempt Me, Taste Me, Touch Me, for different reasons. Carrie is tall, blonde, and beautiful—but she’s also terribly confused. Her rich society man just asked her to marry him . . . and she blurted out no instead of yes! For her, the weekend is a voyage of personal and sensual discovery. Rose has beautiful curves, but her last boyfriend was such a jerk, she’s convinced she needs to go on the spa diet all weekend. Instead she wins a weekend of cooking lessons with the newest hot chef on the scene. Vanessa can—and does—get any man she wants. Which has frankly become totally boring. She needs a challenge and she finds him working in his gallery. He wants to paint her, but he’s got a hands-off policy with his models. Carrie is nice, Rose is soft, and Vanessa is all hard edges.
I suppose there is a part of me in all of them. And I love the way they play off of each other. They really do need each other as friends. Their scenes together were a lot of fun to write.
BookEnds: If you could invite five other authors to dinner, who would you ask and why?
Bella: I love this question, mainly because I think lunching (or dinner-ing) with other authors is one of the very best things us writers can do for our careers. My favorite ladies to lunch with (their writing pedigrees will make you swoon) are Barbara Freethy (romantic suspense), Candice Hern (Regency historical), Carol Grace (YA and Harlequin romance), Tracy Grant (historical), Penelope Williamson (has moved across genres), Jami Alden (contemp/romantic suspense), Karin Tabke (romantic suspense), Josie Brown (contemp “Hollywood”), and Monica McCarty (Scottish historical).
To be honest, I not only learn so much from each of these ladies over our frequent lunches—plotting sessions, pep talks, etc.—but they are now some of my very best friends. I really love this business and the women who make it all happen!
To learn more about Bella Andre, see Our Books at www.BookEnds-Inc.com.