Jade Belfry has always been a writer. Even in grade school she wrote long chapter books, often with a suspenseful or comedic storyline. Now as an adult, her books still showcase suspense or comedy, but she prefers to write stories that also have a healthy amount of spice!
She inherited her love of reading from both her Grandmother and Mother. She definitely shares her writing talent with her Mother, Dale Cadeau, who also pens erotic romances. It’s a unique situation having two authors in the family, but it makes for fun family meals with plenty of after dinner shop talk.
Jade was originally born in the Georgian Bay area, but now lives just west of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Although she will admit that some days she wishes she lived somewhere much warmer! She shares her life and her home with her very supportive husband John and their cute kitties (who love to keep her company as she writes).
Visit her website at: http://www.jadebelfry.com
Email her at: [email protected]
Q: What was the spark that inspired your first book?
A: A photograph, honestly. It was something I saw on the internet and thought “there’s a story in that.” I’m a very visual person and I’m always saving images that inspire me. It could be the subjects of the photo, the place, wardrobe, anything that might bring words to my mind. I usually start each book by looking through them and typing out any scenes that come to mind.
Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
A: No I don't think so. I try to have at least one thing in each chapter that strikes me as beautiful. No matter how small or big, no matter if it’s a description or a piece of dialogue; it has to be in there. Sometimes it may only be noticeable to me. Also, I started off writing plays and short stories. Because of that background I feel that even in a long form manuscript it’s important to have well crafted scenes that say something to the reader, either about the subject or the characters.
Q: How do you come up with your book titles?
A: Titles are always hard! My first book was original entitled just “Perfect” before I realized that it was the start of a series. My books and my character usually go through a variety of names before I'm satisfied. The only exception has been two of my characters: James and Mia. They have always had those names. Although in my first draft they were brother and sister. Now they are just friends that are as close as siblings.
Q: What kind of books capture your attention?
A: I’m very eclectic in what I read. Of course if I want to relax or get out of my head for a while, I always turn to erotic fiction. Other times I’m just as happy to lose myself in a good science article. My true passion is cookbooks – I have a shelf in my kitchen jammed with them!
Q: What specific books inspired you?
A: One of my most treasured books is Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It was given to me by a good friend for my birthday one year. It helped me think that maybe I could actually be an author. My absolute favorite book is In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway. Every chapter is deliciously written.
Q: What lessons did writing your first book teach you?
A: I learned that I should have started submitting my work to be published earlier! I’m not sure if it was the fear of failure that held me back before. Finishing that first book was an amazing (and addictive) feeling! After that it was hard to choose just one story to write next! My mind was full of stories that want to be told.
Q: Do you suffer from writer's block?
A: Yes and no. I think I suffer from "writer’s avoidance" more. Sometimes there’s so many other things that I feel I should be doing rather than writing. Other times you can’t get me away from my keyboard.
Q: Do you write an outline before you start to write a book?
A: No that comes later. Usually I have an idea and I write a scene or two with my characters. From there my thoughts of plot develop. Then I usually write a loose outline with additional scenes that I would like to write for the characters. I find it very challenging to write from start to end (or, A to B). I prefer to skip around. And if I try to force myself to write then that dreaded "writer’s avoidance" pops up again.
Q: Do you think it’s important to get inside your character’s heads?
A: Definitely. I think you have to get inside a lead character’s head and fully understand their motivations. You have to feel the way they do in certain situations and at least share some of their thoughts/morals. If you don't, you end up with characters that are either not fully developed or else ring false.
Q: What’s it like having a mother who is also a published author? (Her mother is Dale Cadeau)
A: Well I can say that it’s certainly fun! My Mom and I have a very open relationship where we feel free to talk about a variety of subjects – usually over lunch on a Saturday before indulging in some retail therapy or visiting an adult store for research! My Mom is my best sounding board for ideas. She always reads my books first and her opinion is very important. Because she is an author too, she always has fantastic suggestions for characters or plot. Although our writing styles are pretty distinct from each other, I always enjoy her books. I’m very proud of what she’s worked to accomplish. Our first books were published within days of each other, and I couldn’t imagine not sharing this adventure with her.
Q: How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books?
A - I think we’re in an interesting time for publishing. The ebook market has really made reading more accessable. I read books faster as an ebook, and the technology allows you to carry your library with you. I think that the ebook format has given an outlet to many authors that may never have been allowed to tell their stories previously. I’m interested to see how the format changes writing in the future.
Q: Do you like to turn up the tunes when you write?
A: Sometimes. I usually have a specific song that I listen to when beginning to write a scene. I also have certain songs that work as “themes” for each character and help me get into their heads. Otherwise I pretty much write in silence (well, with the occasional cat meow for attention). In other areas of my life (driving, cooking, etc) I always have music playing -- that’s probably a left over from my days promoting concerts. I like everything from instrumentals to covers to independent female singer songwriters to big production hip hop songs. And I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing. Oh and my husband is also a musician! So yes, I listen to music at every other time, but sometimes when writing, silence can be better.
Q: What is the meaning behind your pen name?
A: Jade is my middle name and, I’m told, the name that my mother originally wanted to name me. Belfry is the last name of two good friends of mine who have unfortunately passed. They were a husband and wife team who had one of those great marriages that everyone should be lucky enough to be blessed with. They were both very supportive of my writing. I chose to use their last name as an author to honour them.
Q: When do you do most of your writing?
A - I always write in the morning. I am definitely an early bird, and the time between 6 am and 9 am is when I do my best writing. You can find me, even on a Saturday or Sunday morning, getting up before dawn to go downstairs and write. This is when the house is quiet and there’s no one on the phone or internet to distract me.
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