Hi everyone! Today I am pleased to welcome Heidi Belleau and Sam Schooler who are here as part of the blog tour for the Bump in the Night anthology. I really enjoyed this horror/romance anthology and it is just perfect for Halloween week! Heidi and Sam are doing an interview with each other and have also brought a great giveaway. So please join me in giving them a big welcome!
Heidi Belleau Answers Seven Questions from Sam Schooler
Hi there! I’m Heidi Belleau, one of the co-authors of the short story Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint, which ends the Bump in the Night anthology. For our leg of the tour, my co-writer Sam Schooler and I decided to interview one another about the story. And just so you know, neither of us saw the other’s questions before writing our own, so any similarity is not just incidental, but evidence of our writerly shared braaaaaaaaain.
1. You’ve cowritten many books and short stories, but I’m a first-timer. What did you notice about differences in our processes, both in plotting and in the actual writing?
I think the main thing was how timid you were. Since I’m used to co-writing, I’m very comfortable with advocating for my ideas and editing other peoples’ sentences and even outright deleting things from under their nose. That’s a confidence and a trust you learn when you co-write frequently, especially with authors you respect and are on equal standing with. I did notice by the end of the story you were getting more used to the idea of being more aggressive. I expect if we cowrite again, you’ll be ready to push back more. 😉
2. What’s your favorite tidbit from the research we did to prep for writing BSS?
I loved the pub coins! It all started with me saying, “how does this character refer to a pub non-verbally?” and “Is there a Victorian equivalent to a branded matchbook?” and voila, there was! Coins stamped with the pub’s name, good for a drink there. Brilliant!
3. As we wrote, I noticed we tended to have similar feelings toward all three main characters—Tobias, David, and Mr. Ashmedai. In the end, who was your favorite to write?
Well, I enjoyed Tobias just because I love writing neurotic characters who overthink things (cough), just because they’re so fun to torture. But I think my absolute favourite to write was Mr. Ashmedai, because I love an evil villain with lots of smug dialogue. What can I say, I’ve got this flair for evil drama I need satisfied…
4. Tobias is a committed Christian, and he’s one of the few characters I have ever written that is religious. I come from a Christian background as well, but left the church when I turned eighteen. What’s your religious background?
My father is atheist and my mother is agnostic, so I was raised without religion. I kind of stumbled into Christianity on my own at the age of 7 or 8 and went to a local church with a friend of mine, whose family were very religious. But the doubt started creeping in as I studied different myth systems and started questioning “Why do I dismiss creation myths x, y, z as people just telling stories to explain things they don’t understand, but I take Christianity as gospel?” Which I imagine is a very common stage of development for most non-creationist sensible Christians to come to and work through and wind up consolidating their faith with, but my doubt happened to come at the same time that I saw a Westboro Baptist Church protest, and it was so hateful and un-Christian it really dealt a blow to my faith. I might have recovered, dismissing the Westboro Baptists for the fringe scumbags they are, except after that I started seeing homophobia in Christianity everywhere. I couldn’t go back to it, after that. I’d been raised in a compassionate family without that kind of hate and judgment, and I was growing to realize I was queer myself, and everywhere I turned, Christians were saying and doing such ugly things, and I thought “I want no part of this.” Of course I know not all Christians are like that, and plenty of churches explicitly welcome LGBT people, but for me the damage was done. Now I’m happily agnostic-leaning-atheist, in that I believe we can’t know for sure, but probably God isn’t real. I still pray, though, but to my dead relatives, mostly!
5. BSS isn’t set at Halloween, but it is set in fall and has some Halloween elements–brisk nights, warm drinks, demons, suspicious churches, syphilis, the usual. What’s your favorite part of Halloween and/or fall?
I love everything about fall. I am a huuuuge fall fan. I love the brisk air, I love the leaves changing, I love warm drinks and bowls of oatmeal and making homemade stock and soup. And fall is harvest time! I’m currently eating through my massive crop of home-grown potatoes. Which don’t really taste much different from store-bought potatoes, but they’re still so much more satisfying.
6. You and I are both New Adult writers, and even in a setting that is decidedly not New Adult, Tobias and David fit several of NA’s standard similarities, which sort of happened without us discussing it. What interests you so much about the NA age group?
I just think it’s a great stage of development. Finding out who you are as an adult, where your values lie, what you’re willing to risk, what you’re willing to fight for. I had really miserable teenage years due to sexual abuse and how that affected my relationships and self-esteem, so my early twenties were this wonderful period of self-discovery and freedom for me, because that was when I finally started to heal and put myself out there. So I write that. Maybe my mid-thirties will be amazing and I’ll write about that, a lot, too! But for now, yeah, I love characters in their early twenties, discovering the unique challenges and freedom of their newfound adulthood, even in settings/circumstances different from my own.
7. A mysterious stranger appears to you and offers you a deal: your heart’s desire for a mysterious price. What do you want—and do you make the trade?
I think I would ask for health! Mental health, physical health, the whole kit and caboodle. I’d love to give up the pills I take on a daily basis. I’d love to lose my anxiety and my OCD. I’d love to lose my PTSD. I’d love to have a healthier body at a more comfortable weight. I’d love to never fear the return of my sarcoidosis.
But oh, I wonder what the cost would be . . . Let me tell you, if a creepy mofo like Mr. Ashmedai came looking for a deal, I’d probably turn him down. Any price he wanted would probably be a “careful what you wish for” kinda situation.
About Bump in the Night
Demon pacts. Ghostly possessions. Monsters lurking in the depths. The things that go bump in the night frighten us, but they also intrigue us. Fascinate us. Even turn us on.
Join us as fan favorites Ally Blue and Kari Gregg bring over-amorous aquatic beasts to life with their mythic twists on the Siren and the monster in the lake. Erotic horror pros Heidi Belleau, Sam Schooler, and Brien Michaels show us just how sexy scary can be with a pair of demon deals destined to curl your toes and set your heart thrashing. And literary masters Laylah Hunter and Peter Hansen weave haunting worlds where ghosts and dead lovers can touch our hearts (and other, naughtier places too . . .) and teach us lessons from beyond the grave.
By turns exciting, evocative, and exquisitely explicit, the stories in Bump in the Night are sure to scratch your sexy paranormal itch. Explore your wildest fantasies with us in this collection of dark erotic tales.
About Heidi Belleau
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.
She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!)
When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.
Connect with Heidi:
- Blog: www.heidibelleau.com
- Twitter: @HeidiBelleau
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/heidibelleau
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every comment on the Bump in the Night blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $25 Riptide Publishing gift certificate! Entries close at midnight, EST, on November 2nd, and one grand prize winner will be contacted on November 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.
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