Carole Foley Bellacera, Welcome. So pleased to have you with us today. What do you want us to know about you at the start of this live show please?
Carole Foley Bellacera Hi, Shah. I want people to know that I write because I have a passion for storytelling. I've been making up stories since I was a kid.
Shah Sight And when did you seriously start writing Carole, as you have many published books in your name?
Carole Foley Bellacera I began writing in 1985 (seriously to pursue publication.) I sold my first article after I met Princess Di at Andrews Air Force Base, so I guess you could say she's responsible for getting my career kicked off. :)
Shah Sight As said, you have many books, can we talk about Lily of the Springs for this interview, what should we know about this book?
Carole Foley Bellacera LILY OF THE SPRINGS is a very personal story inspired by the life of my mother. I guess you could say I gave her the "happy ending" she never received in life.
Shah Sight Do you want to tell us a bit in detailed about Lily of the Springs, we would love to hear as much as you can talk about it please?
Carole Foley Bellacera Here's a blurb: The 50’s…Drive-in Movies, Doo-wop Music…and Love in the Back Seat of a ’51 Plymouth
“LILY OF THE SPRINGS is like a slow dance to a Patsy Cline song in the arms of your one true love. From the very first page, it draws you back to another time and place and makes you want to stay there forever. Carole Bellacera is a master storyteller."...Teresa Medeiros, New York Times bestselling author of GOODNIGHT TWEETHEART
In 1952 Kentucky, 18-year-old Lily Foster, the daughter of strict Southern Baptist parents, becomes pregnant by the town “bad boy”—and just like that, she finds herself married to a man who doesn’t want to be a husband. Jake has no intention of letting the inconvenience of marriage stop him from what he believes is his due. In actuality, Lily is the one who is trapped. She loves Jake—always has, since they were children playing in the woods on adjoining properties--and she’s convinced she can eventually make him love her. All it will take is desire and patience. Once the baby arrives, they will be the perfect little family.
From Lily’s home on Opal Springs Ridge to a four-year stint at an army base in New Boston, Texas, and finally, to life on their own in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Lily struggles to maintain a rocky marriage with a moody, immature husband while raising two daughters. Set during the “American Dream” period of the ‘50s and into the turbulent ‘60’s, LILY OF THE SPRINGS is a story of a woman’s indomitable spirit and her fight for independence and identity in an “Ozzie & Harriet” society.
Shah Sight Tell us a little bit about the rest of your books, in which genres they are, and maybe name each one of them? Is there any similarity between Lily of the Springs with any of your other books, in any way?
Carole Foley Bellacera
The only similarities between my books, I think, are that they are page-turners--or so reviewers and fans say. :) My first two novels, BORDER CROSSINGS and SPOTLIGHT, are probably the most similar because they are about the Irish Troubles.My third book, EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON, is an older woman/younger man love story. My fourth book, UNDERSTUDY, is a switched identify story, and my fifth book, CHOCOLATE ON A STICK, is an out-and-out comedy about an elderly couple on the run in a red Corvette. Book # 6, TANGO'S EDGE, is romantic suspense about a Russian Olympic ice dancer who asks his American counterpart to help him defect. All different books, but all pageturners.
Shah Sight Really amazing, will you read a few lines of Lily of the Spring for us please?
Carole Foley Bellacera
Sure. This is from a scene where Lily is reading a Good Housekeeping article about being a good wife. Remember--this is set in the 50's. It felt like a day that a miracle could well happen. I turned a page in the magazine and saw an article titled “The Good Wife’s Guide.” The picture showed a cheerful housewife in pearls and heels, stirring something on the stove, and a husband in a suit who’d obviously just arrived home, a newspaper under his arm, a smile on his face. At his feet were two well-scrubbed blond children, digging through Daddy’s briefcase for the surprise he’d apparently brought them.
“Hmmmm…” I figured I was already a pretty good wife, but it wouldn’t hurt to see if I could pick up a few new tips. Taking another sip of iced tea, I began to read the advice.
• Have dinner ready.
No problem there. I make Jake a big supper before he goes into work every day. But when he gets off at midnight and comes home, he’s on his own. This wife is sleeping.
• Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.
Well, with him working the second shift five blessed days out of the week, by the time he gets off work, I’m in bed fast asleep, and I ain’t got a smidgen of make-up on, and I’m not about to wear a ribbon in my hair to bed.
Carole Foley Bellacera Do you want the whole scene?
Carole Foley Bellacera I smiled. And I might not be all that fresh-looking at one in the morning, but it didn’t stop Jake from kissing me awake and having his way with me if he was in the mood, so I reckoned I was fresh-looking enough.
• Over the cooler months…light a fire for him to unwind by…catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
I frowned at this one. Now, that’s interesting. I remember those days back in Texas, spit-shining his Army boots, laundering, starching and ironing his uniform and cooking three meals a day for him after being up all night, walking the floors with a screaming baby, and I never felt anything close to personal satisfaction.
I shook my head and read on.
• Listen to him...Let him talk first—remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
I rolled my eyes. Huh? Who says?
• Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.
Well…guess I just flunked this test.
• Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
Like hell I don’t! I tried picturing Betty reading this, and what her reaction would be, but heck, I couldn’t do it. Betty wouldn’t be caught dead reading a magazine called Housekeeping Monthly.
But it was the last “rule” that really got my goat.
• A good wife always knows her place.
“Agggggghhhhh!” I threw the magazine halfway across the yard, which wasn’t far, considering the lawn was only about ten feet long. “That’s what I think about your idiotic ‘good wife’s guide!’”
Shah Sight Thanks. May I ask you if you self-publish your books or you have a publisher, in the first case, can you please tell us how is the experience, in the second case you may want to name us the publisher for this book?
Neal James Hey Carole. been on here and it's always good to get the perspective of another writer.
Carole Foley Bellacera
My first four novels were published by a major New York house--Forge, an imprint of Tom Doherty, Inc. CHOCOLATE ON A STICK came out by a small press, and when I couldn't sell TANGO'S EDGE (except as an E-book) I decided to publish it and LILY OF THE SPRINGS myself through CreateSpace. I love being in control of my own career, and not having to look to New York to decide whether or not to "make" me a success. Because they DO decide which authors to back, and which ones to let "sink or swim." I'm a happier writer now than I was when I was a "New York-published" author.
Neal James Keeps the pressure off as well, doesn't it?
Carole Foley Bellacera It sure does. I'm not saying I would've chosen to self-publish instead of being traditionally published...what idiot would turn down an advance? But things didn't work out for me quite like I'd expected, and I'm thrilled I decided to take back my control.
Carole Foley Bellacera You can also get my books atwww.smashwords.com. And I understand they are also available at BarnesandNoble.com.
Smashwords — Ebooks from independent authors and publisherswww.smashwords.com
Discover over 70,000 multi-format ebooks, readable on any e-reading device. Sample before you buy. Over 12,000 free books.
Shah Sight And http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2012/07/lily-of-springs-by-carole-foley.html
ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Lily of the Springs by Carole Foley Bellacerashahsightshop.blogspot.com
Carole Foley Bellacera Here's the links to my books at smashwords. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CaroleBellacera
Smashwords — About Carole Bellacera, author of 'Lily of the Springs', 'Understudy', 'Tango’s Edge',.www.smashwords.com
This is the biography page for Carole Bellacera.
Shah Sight Do you have a message for us or any tip on publicity, or advice that we should know at the end of this show please?
Carole Foley Bellacera It's easy to stress out over publicity and promoting your books, but keep it in perspective. Remember--you're a writer, so you need to keep up the writing. I promote when I can, but for me, my priority is my work-in-progress.
Carole Foley Bellacera Bottom line--I think the best promotion a writer can do is garner book reviews. After a reviewer placed a 5-star review for LILY OF THE SPRINGS on Goodreads.com, I had over 40 readers put it on their to-be-read list--and that quickly translated into six more 5-star reviews.
Carole Foley Bellacera Thanks so much for hosting me, Shah. I really appreciate it. :)
Shah Sight We enjoyed your time, and your interview, it was a real joy for us. Thank you so much for being with us. Hope to see you soon.