Monday, 12 September 2011
Author Spotlight - Q&A with Author June Bryan Belfie
STEPH: I don't know much about "Moving On." What's it about?
JUNE: Moving On tells the story of a divorcee, Laura, who has a teenage daughter, and her struggle to deal with rejection and loneliness. She learns to move-on in her life and develops a close friendship with a widower, Len, who is unable to free himself of his wife's memory. Was Dave, her ex-husband, planning to return to try again or did Laura discover her feelings for Len were more than friendship?
STEPH:Did you do a lot of research for the novel?
JUNE: Since the setting was a place I'd lived in, and I'd gone through a divorce myself, there was not much to research. When something comes up that I'm unsure of, I 'Google' or call a friend.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
JUNE: The first draft took about two or three months, but then with re-writes, add another six months or so. I'm never satisfied though and do many edits before I submit a manuscript. I asked a prolific writer once when he knew his book was finished. "When my publisher calls and says 'now'."
STEPH: What's the theme of the novel?
JUNE: Forgiveness. Without it, none of us can grow. And the only way to learn to forgive is through loving God and realizing how much he loves us and has forgiven us of all our sinfulness, when we are His children. As Laura learns to forgive Dave, she finds she can reach out to others.
STEPH: Hollywood is calling! Cast the main characters.
JUNE: Tough question. I see very few movies today. I find even the PG-13 movies are offensive sometimes. I do think John Hamm would make a good Len. (Friends with Kids) and Kristen Wiig (played Annie in Bridesmaids) would make a good Laura. She'd have to have the blonde hair, though. Easy to fix!
STEPH: How important is the setting to the novel?
JUNE: Actually, not that important, since the struggles of a single mom take place in all locations. Loneliness, sorrow, grief, and then joy and love are part of being human.
It was just easier for me to place my story in a setting that was familiar to me.
STEPH: What do you want readers to take away after reading the novel?
JUNE: I'd like them to realize that there is always hope. As long as we trust in God, He will be faithful to find someone or something to fulfill us. Laura was able to function without a husband since she had God. And who knows? Maybe she ends up with more!
STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?
JUNE: Definitely, a panster. I think about my plot and characters long before I put my hands to the computer. I know the beginning and the end, but then I let my characters take over and decide how we accomplish the eventual ending.
STEPH: Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
JUNE: I think if I've learned anything it is this. Don't send your first manuscript out until you have edited, re-edited, many times. Then, set it aside and write something fresh. I have the first four manuscripts sitting in my flash drive. I still love my characters and the general plots, but I know I'll probably end up re-writing most of the books. Don't be impatient - write because you love to write - and don't even think about the money end of it. If money is your goal - go get a job.
STEPH: Tell us about the state you live in.
JUNE: I've spent all of my married life in Pennsylvania and love it. It's lush in the summer, colorful in the fall, crisp and white in the winter, (though I admit to preferring the warmth and sun of Florida in the winter now that we're retired), and bursting with color and new life in the spring. The people are friendly, and living in a small town, we don't deal with heavy traffic or much crime. If we get bored, which isn't often, we can head to Philadelphia or Harrisburg for some excitement.
STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one.
JUNE: Yes, I purchased a Kindle and enjoy using it, though it will never replace the pleasure of paper. Since I read before going to sleep, 500 page books are impossible to hold, but I even have War and Peace on my flat little reader.
Come visit me on the web at junesecondcup.blogspot.com or freshview.weebly.com