Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Naomi Bellina, whose latest book Seducing the Stone is now available. It’s a fun story about a fairy, a human, and assorted other creatures. Raya, the fairy, wants a powerful sapphire to take back to her planet and Max needs to keep it on Earth for a private showing. The two have adventures and romance, and there is a surprise ending that Naomi thinks readers will really enjoy. It’s a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, action/adventure, and urban fantasy.
Naomi spent most of her growing-up years in St. Louis, Missouri and told me, “I love the fall, the hills, the colors of the trees, the smell of the woods and fires burning. I love hiking trails under tall trees, looking over the river, breathing the fresh air. Awww, now I’m getting all homesick. Oh wait, it’s winter. No, I love living in Florida in winter.”
She told me that she loves coming up with an exciting plot. Soon after the story starts whirling around in her head, the perfect characters pop up and introduce themselves.
“How do you come up with the titles to your books?” I wondered.
“Lots of whiskey and late nights. No, I’m kidding! That’s something else I love to think up, the titles. I keep running words that I want to use over in my mind until something leaps out. I’ll even start with A and run through Z on a word I really want to use to make it work. Then, at about 2:00 AM…”
Naomi told me that one of her favorite authors is Janet Evanovich.
“I love her mix of action, romance and humor,” she explained. “I try to write with her style of pacing because I think that’s so fun to read. She makes it look easy. It’s not!”
It’s this mix that sets Naomi’s work apart from other erotic romance authors. It’s her goal for her characters to not only have an adventure, but have fun as well.
“This doesn’t mean things don’t get dark and scary now and then, but in general, my books are exciting, fun and action-packed,” she said.
“What is your work schedule like when you are writing?” I wondered.
“It’s very odd. I work my day job by appointment and have same-day and last minute calls as well as cancellations, so I’m never quite sure what my schedule will be. I keep my laptop in my car and make sure to keep the files I’m working on saved on a flash drive so I can use whatever spare time I have to scribble away.”
I asked her what she liked to do when she wasn’t writing and she said, “Sleep! No kidding, I love to sleep. One of the funniest things I read recently said ‘Damn right I’m good in bed; I could sleep all day.’ That’s me! When I’m terribly wealthy, I’m going to see just how much I can actually sleep before I get bored with it.”
“Have you ever eaten a crayon?” I asked.
“Rats, who told? Oh come on, who can resist those beautiful colors, the tantalizing names, the delicious aroma of wax?”
Naomi told me that she doesn’t watch much regular TV, just Netflix and movies. She did start watching Once Upon a Time and was amazed at how frequent and long the commercial breaks were.
“Not to mention booorrrring,” she said. “Most of them. There are a few cute, creative commercials. I’m enjoying Being Human on Netflix, but have to wait until my honey notds off because he doesn’t like that series.”
“What’s your favorite meal?” I wondered.
“Believe it or not, I love vegetables. Give me a really good salad bar and I’m in heaven. My honey’s mother likes an expensive restaurant, and I think the food is overpriced and underwhelming, so I get the salad bar. Man, is it good! They have caviar, anchovies, and a really fresh, diverse selection of veggies. I could eat that several days a week.”
In high school, Naomi was really quiet and only had a few friends. She joined the track team for awhile, but for the most part she hung out with herself.
“I think that’s why I like to read so much!” she said. “I’ve never been a pack animal which works well for me now, since I don’t mind going to events by myself. It’s nice to have my honey or a girlfriend along, but if I want to do something, I just do it and don’t wait for anyone.”
She belongs to several groups that work on preventing animal cruelty. It’s one issue that really gets her blood boiling.
“There’s just no reason to ever, ever hurt an animal,” she told me.
“What would we find under your bed?” I asked.
“Dust bunnies. No, by now they are dust werebunnies! Gigantic things. When my cat comes out from under the bed I have to dust him off, poor guy. I actually have a few of those nifty under bed storage boxes. They work great! We don’t have basements here, so I have to use every nook and cranny for storage.”
Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”
“Get all set up in advance, so when your book comes out, you’re ready to go. Get a website, an email, a blog, and set up ways to track what you’ve sent. Get organized. Do a lot of research on how to promote books, because you will be doing a lot of that!”
About the Author: Naomi lives in beautiful sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical black cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets, but finds she is drawn to erotic romance because her characters insist on canoodling, and sometimes even falling madly in love. So she lets them. Occasionally, however, they go to dark and strange places. She lets them do this also. Most of her stories will surprise readers with unexpected twists and turns, because isn’t that what makes life exciting?
Her interests include dancing, hula-hooping, drumming, and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play, have fun, and indulge in the pursuit of passion whenever possible. She hopes you enjoy her stories and would love to hear from you at naomibellina(at)live(dot)com. Visit her website at www.NaomiBellina.com