Editor's note: Rebecca Lund Belliston talks about how she balances music and being a mother while writing her debut novel, "Sadie." She talked about her book and other subjects in an interview on “The Good Word” Podcast.
Rebecca Lund Belliston studied music and information systems at Brigham Young University and Utah State, where she met her husband, Troy. They now live in Michigan with their five children. In addition to writing novels, Belliston writes and arranges music. She wrote her first song at age six and has composed ever since. Her first novel, "Sadie," was published by Deseret Book last year. The sequel, "Augustina," is set to be released in late 2013.
Nick Galieti: When someone goes to your website, rebeccabelliston.com, it is very clear that you wear two hats — author and composer. What gets more of your attention: music or the written word?
Rebecca Lund Belliston: The first half of my life was focused more on music. I grew up playing the piano. I didn't have any plans to write fiction. About five years ago I had this story stuck in my head, and decided to write it down. Ever since then I have focused more on the writing (books) side of things.
NG: Your first book, "Sadie," was published with Deseret Book. It is a book written for those that love romance, with action and adventure rolled in. Tell us about the story of Sadie.
RLB: "Sadie" is a contemporary romance about this girl in Montana who has this boyfriend who has all the appearance of being great and wonderful, and wealthy. Then something goes wrong and Sadie figures out that is not true. He attacks her and she has to go on the run. As she is running she comes across these four buddies hanging out in a cabin on a ski vacation. (One is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) She see's a different way of doing things, because these guys are odd and goofy. So she sees this totally opposite side of how things can be. Through this experience she figures out who she is, and falls for one of the boys.
NG: What about this character, Sadie — do you think resonates with your audience.
RLB: She is a young 20-something girl — she has the appearance of being very self-confident, but inside she has these insecurities and she is not sure who she is. Is she this sophisticated girl who likes to wear diamonds and nice jewelry, or does she have more depth than that? Can she laugh at herself and tease others? I think that is what resonates with my readers; trying to figure out who you are, and if you let other people define you or if you can find that inner-strength to decide who you are and who you aren't going to be.
NG: You mentioned that you had this story in your head, now that the book is out and printed, how close is this book to that original idea?
RLB: It's actually not that close which is strange looking back on it now. The original was set in Germany and under different circumstances. The story evolved and was playing in my head for a year before I started writing.
NG: Your stories have a great deal of emotion to them. Did you ever find yourself getting emotional, maybe even chocked up at times or perhaps a bit more aggressive in the tense moments? How are you able to interact with the text as you were writing it?
RBL: I am not sure I should admit it, but yes (laughs). I am not typically an emotional person. With my characters, they feel like they are my friends — they feel real to me. So when they hurt, it made me sad, but as an author I had to let (the characters) go there.
Nick Galieti is a writer, documentarian, freelance record producer and sound engineer. He is the host of a bi-weekly podcast for LDS writers, The Good Word.