Sometimes the direction of your life leads you astray from your passions, and then, inexplicably, those same forces bring you face-to-face with your demons. For me and my nom de plume Belle Ami, such was the case. Marriage and children consumed my days, leaving little desire to pursue the dreams of youth. However, the oft repeated excuse of a hectic life was not the only reason that I failed to pick up a pen. Secretly, I harbored a fear of failure, and worse yet, criticism.
In 2010 everything changed. I found myself unfulfilled and desirous of a long ignored passion. I desperately wanted to be creatively productive. Introspection led to the undeniable truth, my biggest failure was being a failure to myself. It was time to take advantage of my God-given talents and put them to work. Tossing care to the wind, I adopted the motto ‘no guts, no glory’ and ‘this ain’t no dress rehearsal’.
The first book I wrote was a labor of love, written about a subject that I knew intimately and thoroughly, my mother Dina. In the Face of Evil is the story of Dina’s survival of the Holocaust. Dina was the only member of her immediate family, and one of only three of her large extended family to survive. When the war ended, after work camps and concentration camps, by virtue of sheer wits and luck, she lived to tell the tale, or heck, I wouldn’t be here writing this now. The book is an inspiring journey from tragedy to redemption. It took two years to write, but I finally self-published In the Face of Evil as a novel told in Dina’s voice in 2010. Then, came a major boost to my confidence, I got a congratulatory pat on the back from the universe. In the Face of Evil was awarded Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards. I was on my way, having faced my demons of failure.
After writing a book that zapped me emotionally, I felt the need to lighten up. After hearing all of the fuss about Fifty Shades of Gray I was intrigued, just like everyone else. I read the first two books in the trilogy, and even though I pooh-poohed the quality of the writing, I found myself unable to put the books down. Fifty Shades led to my reading many other authors in the genre. Some books were better than others, just like in every other genre. What I did discover was that romantic, suspenseful, and erotic novels tend to be quick reads, absorbing, and often funny. When an idea came to me for a novel about betrayal and murder, a novel that asked the question ‘How well do you really know the one you love?’, I was hooked and my pseudonym Belle Ami was born. The Only One series is the first effort of my writing in this genre: (The One #1, and The One & More #2), and my newest release One More Time is Not Enough #3. One More Time is Not Enough, is a romantic, suspenseful, sexy read that is filled with obsessive love, betrayal, and dark secrets. It also has a well-researched subplot about scandal and conspiracy in the anthropogenic (man-made climate change) movement, and best of all it has a serial killer who is killing climate change deniers. Whether you like Belle’s novels or not, one thing is for certain, they are guaranteed page turners. One More Time is Not Enough, really showcases my penchant for suspense. It culminates with a heart-stopping conclusion and a happy-ever-after ending.
Already bubbling in the cauldron of my creative mind is a new series itching to be written.
Now a passionate advocate of self-discovery and following your dream, I believe that the greatest lesson to be learned by an author is that there is no substitute for diligence and hard work. Writer’s write is not a metaphor, but a way of life. So, I will continue to hammer away at the computer keys, content with the knowledge that I’ve found my happy medium between family, creativity, and my hobbies of gourmet cooking, playing classical music on the piano, and physical fitness.