1. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

For A Life By Design (The Italian Family Series), I was inspired by this story through the character, Elena who had a role in Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series). Elena was very creative in the previous story with her sister, Valeria from Dancing in the Rain, so I wanted to have a character that showed her creative skills in fashion. I adore Italian fashion with the most modern trends, so I wanted to be a part of that excitement of creating modern and contemporary fashion. Elena is the part of me that loves to create (as I like to write), and I have a fascination with Italy as I had visited Italy a number of years ago. The plot came to me by knowing Elena’s character and how her feisty character would be able to handle all the intrigue that came her way. Generally, my inspiration for my other stories comes partly from my imagination (when I’m in a meditative space) and partly from past experiences that are similar or embellished.



I have come to realize there are at least three kinds of print book readers I see on a regular basis. First is the tidy reader, second is the messy reader, and third is the hybrid reader. Do you know which you are?

 To the tidy reader, reading a book is like eating a gourmet meal in a five star restaurant. All of their books are purchased brand new, although exceptions might made for signed first editions. They want to be the first to crack that stiff spine open and love that new book smell. In a bookstore these readers never take the front book from a shelf or the top book in a stack. They reach behind and under to find the most pristine copy they can. 

 New books are brought home with as little jostling as possible and stored carefully on a bookshelf or stacked neatly on a table next to their reading chair. When they read, they sit upright and always turn a good reading light on. No drinking or eating is allowed to avoid staining the pages. No notations are ever made or corners turned down to mark their place. Only a proper book mark will do. When finished, the books are still in pristine condition. Only another tidy reader would know that its spine had already been cracked. 

At the other end of the spectrum is the messy reader. Reading for them is more like eating while camping with no table, chairs or utensils. Books come from every source – new and used book stores, thrift stores, library sales, garage sales and friends. It doesn't matter whether the book is in fabulous condition or a little raggedy; is clean or a little marked up; and dog eared pages aren't even noticed. As long as all the pages are intact and it's a good read they're happy. 



Interview with author Marlene M. Bell

What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read Stolen Obsession? 

There are many morals in this book. Here are the top three: First, you are stronger than you think you are. Shown by Annalisse’s trials with personal loss and helping those around her. Secondly, keep those around you close to your heart because you never know when they can be taken away. Annalisse experiences a great deal of personal loss. Third, judge people not by what others say about them, but by how they truly are. Give people a chance to redeem any negative qualities that come from hearsay. Annalisse learns this with Alec Zavos, her love interest in Stolen Obsession. The tabloids paint him with a broad womanizer brush, and Annalisse takes her time deciding for herself who Alec is and if he can be trusted.  

How long does it take you to write a book?

Stolen Obsession took 8 years from start to finish due to the learning process. I’m working toward publishing the 2nd book, Spent Identity in 2019. I’m at 70,000 words so far!

Where did the idea for Stolen Obsession come from? What was the inspiration? 

The main character, Annalisse is a lot like me. Through 8 drafts of the story, the focus changed dramatically. The genre moved from Women’s Fiction to Romantic Mystery. I wouldn’t say the story came from one inspiration because of the long learning process. It has naturally morphed into the final version through plot changes and tons of edits.

Describe Stolen Obsession using seven words.

Ancient Curse Collides With Three Jewelry Pieces

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write every day, even if it’s a few hundred words. First thing in the morning after the sheep are fed. By 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on a good day. On very good days, I can knock out a single chapter in 4-5 hours of work. 1-2 chapters each week with editing along the way. I’m a constant editor, especially since using the Hemmingway App.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I can, I stop and read other authors to keep the creative juices flowing. Spending time with the lambs in their pastures with a camera along is also worthwhile as a pick-me-up when words clog my mind and are disjointed on the page. If my writing stinks, there’s no sense in staying at the keyboard. It’s nice to have options like photography, drawing, painting and of course, sheep.

What do you think makes a good story?

It’s all about the reader turning pages. Whether I write mystery, suspense or the occasional love scene, it’s important to leave a scene to hang with an important question in the reader’s mind. The goal is to create a page-turner by whatever means possible.

Book Details

Book Title: Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell
Category: Adult Fiction; 284 pages
Genre: Romantic Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Release date: March 20, 2018
Tour dates: Sept 10 to 28, 2018
Content Rating: R (Small bit of language and one detailed sex scene)



At the reading group - guest post by Perry Prete 

I was asked to speak at a writers’ group last summer held at one of the local nursing homes. I was expecting a group of retired seniors sitting in recliners sipping tea and eating biscuits. Instead, I was greeted by a nice young group of men and women who looked liked cliché writers from a 1970’s hardcover jacket. One of the men wore a tweed jacket with elbow patches and had a bushy beard. If it wasn’t for the no smoking policy, I suspect he would have had been smoking a pipe as well.

I went around the table and found that not one of them had any works published which I found very odd. They asked a lot of valid and poignant questions until one of them asked if I had been paid for my writing.

I replied that I was paid for every piece of published work and expected to be paid for my time.
 The woman who appeared to the leader of the group was taken aback and said writing was an art and it should be a privilege to have my work out there for people to enjoy.