Bella Rayne was born in a small town in Idaho. She loves mysteries, suspense, the supernatural and metaphysical, and hanging out with the fairies in her fairy garden. She also enjoys cooking, and spending time with her children. Bella’s fascination with mysteries and suspense inspired her own writing.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
How or why did you choose the pen name Bella Rayne?
I have always loved these certain female names. I couldn't decide if I wanted to use the name Bella Rose or Rainy Dawn. I had a visit with a type of numerologist and he helped me to see the power in the letters in names. I got off the phone with him and Bella Rayne just popped into my head and I haven't looked back. It was a very special moment for me.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I don't have a specific writing process. I just let it come to me. Sometimes it will be right before I go to sleep so I will write the information down so I can access it the next day. I started keeping a journal on my nightstand. The rest of the time I sit down at the computer and as I write it just flows. I do know I have to be in the mood for it. I have had to learn to eat at the computer or I found myself at 5 pm and I haven't eaten. Sometimes while I am writing I will just start drawing on paper and I zone out and then my imagination snaps back to life.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I don't see it as writers block. I see it as a way to take a break and allow other ways for myself to be creative. I love to cook, paint, draw, write poetry and of course read. Sometimes the story stops for me and so I take that break and then before I know it I am back at the computer and it is flowing again.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
To enjoy your process and to do it for yourself!
What are your current/future projects?
I am about 40,000 words into a new book. It came to me over Christmas and I have been slowly working on it as I market my current book Darkest Betrayals. Sometimes it is hard to do both.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I have always loved mysteries with a twist. I think at one time in my life I wanted to be a private investigator. I do like some spice to my books. My book has been listed as mystery, suspense, thriller, time travel...Somehow it just all comes together because that is how I write it and because of that the balance just seems to be there.
What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?
I would not say it is easy to be published. This has been a journey that is not for the faint hearted. I feel that sometimes people don't take self published authors seriously which is sad because there are some incredible authors out there. I hope the future for independent authors if a very bright one.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I am self-published through Outskirts Press. It takes a lot of time and work to publish whether you use traditional or self-published avenues. My process came with making the decision to put my work out there. I always knew I would go with this company. I chose them back in 2009. The process is incredible and requires quite a bit of dedication.
Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?
No, but my book is print on demand so if I needed to fix any mistakes I could but of course that costs money.
If I decided to change it then I would just let them know and then we would go through some editing processes again.
What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)
I haven't really seen too many benefits yet, other than the fulfillment I feel about accomplishing something so amazing. I find myself telling strangers I have written a book and they want to know about it and tell me they will buy it.
What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?
It has only been a couple of months since I was published but I have had a book video trailer made which I love. I am enjoy being on Twitter and meeting so many incredible people. I used Fiverr the other day for a shout out. I am using Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes. I am signed up for some international book fairs and the big one in New York at the end of May. I am looking forward to my book being at the American Library book fair in June.
Use your social media as much as you can and to support the other authors on your social media. You can learn so much from each other.
If you are a self-published author, which platform do you prefer? (Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Author House, or something not mentioned), and why?
I used Outskirts Press. I am published on Amazon and I have been thinking about Google Play and Kobo.
All I really know is Outskirts Press but I am sure there are some other impressive ones as well.
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
My book has been classified as mystery and suspense. I am attracted to writing in this field because my mind has always been an observational one. I like to solve!
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
Mostly anytime I am around water. The bathroom and shower is a big one for me and I just go write things down before I lose them. If I am in my vehicle then I use my video part of my camera and record it.
Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?
I would say that for 300 pages which is pretty perfect for me and that tends to be around 90,000 to 100,000 words.
How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?
I know those that have read my book say they love it. It has changed me so much that it would take me hours to tell you about it. The book sat for nine years and I evolved so much as a person that when I decided to publish I had to go back in and change so much. I have evolved even more since writing it and going through the incredible process of publishing. By the time I got to where it was going to be published for the world to see I had come to realize that I wrote the book for me. I would love to know that my book has helped others. If you find any let me know!
How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?
I love covers they draw us in through the eyes. The title either catches or it doesn't. For me I like about 300 pages in the books that I read. Sometimes they are more pages or less. Content has a huge impact for me. If you don't have me interested by the end of chapter two I will probably put it down. Maybe i will pick it back up maybe I won't.
I can only speak to what draws me in and all of the above does.
Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?
I think mine had a press release but I didn't see anything from that. I do believe there can be value in a press release it just has to be done properly.
Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?
When I go to purchase something that I know nothing about I will look at the reviews. I don't know if I have ever read a review when I buy a book. I don't want it to bias me. Being a first time author however I do like having those reviews because there are a lot of people that do buy books based on reviews. I however won't ever give a bad review it is just not part of my make up. I will focus on the points I did like or not leave a review at all.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
I don't think there is anything wrong with authors reading each others work for a review. I didn't know you could pay for a review. I don't think I would want that though. I want someone to read my book because they want to not because they were paid to read it for a review. I have given books away and told those people if they wanted to leave a review they could but it wasn't a requirement.
Do you believe there are competitors or general readers out to sabotage authors with bad reviews and what are your experiences with this?
I have had no experience with that. I think there are some people who in general like to be mean and hateful and love to criticize. I don't think there is really anything that we can do about that except to ignore them.
Have you ever had an interesting, funny, or even bad experience during a live interview, reading, event, or autograph session?
Have not done any of those yet. However when I was doing a recording for Outskirts Press that was 3 minutes long it took me an hour to get it right. Very frustrating!
With self publishing being so easy these days, do you believe there is an over abundance of books out there and how do you sort through all the hype or copycats?
I have a specific style of books that I love to read so I usually know what I am looking for. There is a massive amount of books out there and I say more power to them. I don't think I have ever come across copycats. I didn't realize until I got on Twitter how many authors there are out there. I think people are opening up more to putting themselves out there and that is a beautiful thing. They aren't always met with kindness which is sad. It takes a lot to make that decision to publish.
What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
That the whole world was now going to be able to see what I wrote. I was terrified.
If you have multiple books published what do you feel is your greatest work, why?
I just have the one so far. It is my greatest work so far because of the time and effort I placed in and of course the content.
What is the intended audience for you book?
Those who enjoy a book to just enjoy it. Mystery lovers and those looking for a paradigm shift in their lives.
Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?
I am not sure if this is considered fun but my main character finds herself on a road that leads to herself and what she finds out about herself is what I would love for everyone in the world to find for themselves.
If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?
I know its cheesy but "Be the change you want to see!" It starts with you!
Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?
I tried to get on Facebook but they kept disabling my account so I don't have an account there. I love Twitter, I do get on my WordPress and LinkedIn.
I prefer Twitter because of the interaction with the writing and reading community. Its an incredible way to advertise your book as well.
What makes a good story, why?
I would say that is different for everyone. For me a good story pulls me in from the beginning until the end. A good story at the end has me begging for more because I don't want it to end.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Name are vitally important. It is how you know who the characters are. Sometimes I will look up boy names or girl names on google. For the most part I let the character tell me and usually it just pops in my head what works. There are times I use names that I resonate with and have good feelings about.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews. I haven't received a bad review so I don't know if I am the best person to ask but I hope if I ever do get one I will just let it slide on by. People sometimes can be incredibly cruel to be cruel. Some think they are trying to help without looking at all the hard work the writer has went through to put that book out there. On Goodreads I will follow up with my reviewers and thank them or tell them I am glad they enjoyed my book. My reply is usually focused on what their review was.
What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?
Nothing really participated in but just enjoying how I feel when I go to the library or Barnes and Noble. I just love it.
What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)
Racy is the hardest to write because you don't want people to think weird things about you.
What would you like to write about that you have never written about before?
Something maybe about another planet or star system. I loved the movie 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.' It opened up my imagination about the possibilities of what is really out there and how fun it would be to find out.
Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?
Who knows, maybe that is where this book first started. If something comes to me in a dream and it is pivotal and I remember I always write it down. I never know when I will use it and it usually surprises me when I find a place for it in my writing.
Do you have any characters you would like to introduce in other books or a combination of characters from multiple books you would like to write about in one book?
Not at this point but maybe someday down the road. I am not sure what is meant to come to me in the future.
Were your characters based off real life people/events or did you make it all up?
Most of the book I have no clue where it came from it was just there one day. I would say that there are aspects of me in the book but not anyone else.
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
One heck of an imagination. To know how to weave their stories in such a way you almost think you are there a part of the story.
Of course you want to make sure you understand how grammar and punctuation and sentence structure works. It has been a long time since I was in school so I had to learn some stuff over.
What book(s), author(s), or significant life event(s) have had a positive or negative influence in your life that inspired you to begin writing?
Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, Louis L'amour, Zane Grey, Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle, Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb, Iris Johansen, Karen Marie Moning, have had a wonderful influence on me.
I have absolutely loved Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes on PBS and Murder She Wrote. All the black and white mummy movies and of course The Thin Man movies.
People have more of a negative influence I think than books or movies. There are certain people I have not told that I have written a book. Sometimes they can just be real negative and I don't need or want that in my life.
What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?
I love print books. Always have always will. There is something exciting about holding a book that someone labored over and you get to be a part of that work. There are some folks who love eBooks and that is equally as wonderful for them and because of that reason I sell both types.
Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?
All of the above!
Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?
Earlier I had stated that I wrote the book in 2009. It got shelved because my husband got sick. He kept telling me to get it published. He passed away last year and I took that incredible step forward to do just that.
It was like a part of me came alive when I knew that I was going to finish it and publish it. It has been a wonderful accomplishment from start to finish.
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?
I edited my book many times before sending it to the editor at Outskirts Press. I would fix things and then we went through a whole phase of editing several times after that. Not necessarily them reading my book over and over but fixing the mistakes that were pointed out to me after each fix.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?
I don't know anything about the traditional part of things. Self-publishing can be great because you maintain rights to your work but for me it created a challenge because I didn't know what I was doing so I felt like I was always in question mode with the people I worked with.
Do you have a subject/genre you would never write about, why?
I don't like horror but I don't want to ever say I wouldn't write a certain subject because sure enough it will pop up in my creative field.
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
Life motivates me and Life is an inspiration. Especially if we allow who we are to expand every time we read or experience something new. Our potential is limitless and I like to function from there.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
I cannot say it does stand out anymore than other books. I do however love my book cover and I think it really draws people in. I get a lot of compliments on the cover and the book video trailer.
Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?
My cover was done through Outskirts Press with my input and help!
What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?
I don't think I have a favorite or not favorite. I enjoy every aspect of the writing process. You learn so much about yourself through it all.