What happens when two couples, four friends, face the devastating effects of betrayal? Find out more below with author Belinda Buchanan as she discusses her novel of infidelity and forgiveness in After All Is Said And Done.
Collette: Thank you for agreeing to answer my questions. hope we have plenty of fun, Belinda! When did you start writing?
Belinda: I was about 25 when I first started to write.
Collette: When did you decide you wanted to write?
Belinda: My husband is a pilot and early in our marriage, he was gone a lot.We lived in Nashville at the time, and I really didn’t have many friends.I thought it would help pass the time if I wrote.I wrote several short stories during those early years.
Collette: Were you inspired to write by a situation or person? If so, who and why?
Belinda: My husband told me I should write.He has always believed in me and if it wasn’t for him, I would not be chatting with you today.I dedicated my book to him. He is the love of my life.
Collette: What is your writing process?
Belinda: With After All Is Said And Done, I would run the story in my head, sometimes sentence for sentence, then jot it down on paper.At night when I got home, I would put it in the computer. I never did an outline or plot line because it just all fell into place for me without it.I pretty much knew where I wanted it to go and what I needed to do to get it there. For my new novels, I basically just type away on my laptop. I have certain scenes or plots I want to follow and I enter those in a separate Word doc to go by.I also have the online dictionary/thesaurus pulled up for ready reference!
Collette: I understand you write full-time now. Can you tell me what other jobs you’ve had?
Belinda: One of my very first jobs was actually working in the Reference Dept. of my local library. But, I spent more than 14 years working in Exporting. I was basically a travel agent for freight. Now I’m a domestic engineer. My days consist of dragging 2 sleepy boys out of bed, making them a hearty breakfast, cleaning, cooking, and of course writing.All of the above is true if you count a Poptart as a hearty breakfast!
Collette: I understand completely. The hard work of being a mom; it seems as though it's never done! :)So then, how often do you read?
Belinda: Not as often as I like. My time is limited, and honestly I’d rather be writing. But, I have come across some very good books in my time.
Collette: Which genres are your favorites?
Belinda: I do like romance, but also like mystery and some sci-fi. There aren’t any particular authors I’m drawn to. If the summary piques my interest, I’ll usually read it.
Collette: How did you come up with the idea of After All Is Said And Done?
Belinda: After All Is Said And Done was a story that evolved over several years. I have always been drawn to characters that are flawed. It makes them human and more interesting. I had this plot in my head of what would happen when two couples who knew each other were suddenly faced with infidelity.I thought it would be an interesting story to follow these 4 people for two years in their lives and depict the ramifications.
Collette: Oh, I know exactly what you mean again. My characters are oh-so-human, too. Is there any basis in truth to this story or is it a total work of fiction?
Belinda: Total fiction as far as the story goes. However, there is a lot of underlying truth in the book when I write about forgiveness. Forgiveness can be healing.The alternative can eat us alive.
Collette: So true! How long did it take you to complete?
Belinda: 22 months.I was working at the time and took every opportunity I had at work to scribble dialogue and sentences on sticky notes. I got very good at sticking them under m keyboard when the boss walked by. I hope she’s not reading this!
Collette: Infidelity is a difficult subject to approach. Can you tell me how you were able to define your characters and still make them likeable to readers?
Belinda: I tried to make my characters as three dimensional as possible. All of us as human beings have made mistakes in our lives. If we could go back and change some of them I’d be the first one on the bandwagon. Jessica, the character who committed the act, was sorry for what she had done. And she wanted more than anything to make amends to her husband, Ethan. Ethan was the one with the most to lose, and I think his vulnerability makes him a likeable character.This book depicts family dynamics, which some scenes have the characters doing very normal things, such as changing a dirty diaper. I tried to make them as real as possible
which hopefully adds to their likeability.
Collette: Was it difficult for you to write about?
Belinda: Actually, it wasn’t. The only part that was hard was where Ethan loses his father. At the time I wrote that, I had recently lost my father. I drew on my own experiences in writing some of the scenes. I found it to be therapeutic.
Collette: Can you describe Ethan, Jessica, Gavin and Sarah in a few sentences? What are they like? What do they want? Goals, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
Belinda: Ethan is a doctor who loves his wife Jessica with all his heart and soul. Her betrayal and his father’s death throw him into a tailspin as he struggles to hold it all together. But when he finds out his son is not his own, he begins to drink.Everything looks just a little bit better when he’s not sober. He has a quick temper which is heightened by his drinking. Jessica loves Ethan and wants to stay married to him. She tries desperately to help him get over the hurt. But, he slowly shuts her out as he takes comfort from the bottle of scotch. She is a very clingy person, who really has never been on her own. I think deep down she knows her marriage will never be the way it used to, but fear of abandonment keeps her trying.
Gavin is pretty self-centered. In his mind, he made a mistake and he feels Sarah should forgive him. He also wants very much to spend time with his son, which is a constant source of aggravation for Ethan. Sarah is a very strong woman and competent doctor.She knows where she’s been but has no idea where she needs to go now. Gavin has hurt her more than she ever thought anyone could.
Collette: I know plenty of people with those differing traits. Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
Belinda: No, they all came out of my warped imagination!
Collette: Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
Belinda: Sometimes.I love rabbits and I have quite a collection of ceramic bunnies in my home. I gave that to Sarah. I think it adds to making her real.
Collette: Can you give us a glimpse into your next novel? A little teaser, perhaps?
Belinda: My next novel is titled, The Monster of Silver Creek. It should be released in December. Silver Creek is known for its miles of pristine shoreline.Tourists flock every summer to partake in the water activities and fun in the sun. But a sinister killer is on the loose. A killer who feeds off of young women's fear...and leaves a most unusual calling card.
Police Chief Nathan Sommers is on the hunt, but every road leads to a dead end. Nathan is battling his own personal demons as he tries to cope with the death of his wife. Two years have passed since, but he feels her dying was a direct result of his actions and he is consumed by guilt. His personal life just became more complicated when he meets Katie, the pretty new owner of the bakery. Nathan slowly builds a relationship with her, but still struggles with Jenny's death. As he draws nearer to the killer, everything in his life suddenly comes undone. He is forced to deal with his feelings for Katie and his love for his dead wife.
Collette: Ooh, sounds suspenseful! Do you have an expected release date for your follow-up novel?
Belinda: My follow up novel to After All Is Said And Done should be released by June 2012.
Collette: Tell me a bit about your cover art. Did you design your own?
Belinda: I thought up the idea of the cover and had my husband pose for me. That’s our wedding picture in the background.The whiskey used in the picture was so old it had pieces of cork floating in it! But, I am very happy with the end result. I believe the cover image goes beautifully with the story.
Collette: That’s great. Your husband is a good sport. I love a good cover story. What about your book trailer? How did you put it together?
Belinda: Windows Movie Maker is my best friend. I found most of the pictures on websites that were free or very cheap. It was a lot of fun and I really am pleased with how it turned out. I think I did the whole thing for less than $30.00.
Where can we find you online?
Where is After All Is Said And Done available for purchase?
Amazon, smashwords, goodreads, barnes & noble, sony, apple, kobo, & diesel
What formats are your book available
in?Paperback, kindle, e-pub, pdf, and lrf
Collette: So, we've reached the end for today. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!
Belinda: Thank you Collette for asking such interesting questions and indulging me!
Collette: It was my pleasure, Belinda! I wish you all the best and happy writing. Can’t wait for your new book!