Thank you for joining us for part two of our exclusive interview with LDS author Julie Coulter Bellon. For those of you who may have missed yesterday’s installment, click here.
Julie, what is your favorite thing about being an author?
I get to write down all the stories I have going on in my head and share them with others. I love that. I love writing stories that are set in places overseas, places that I’ve visited and have fond memories of. I also love writing about my native country because there’s such a complex relationship between Canada and the United States and it’s so interesting to explore it in my books. I also love meeting new people and I’ve been able to do that a lot with my books.
Can you tell us a little bit about growing up in your native Canada, and how you came to live here in the United States?
I loved growing up in Canada. I grew up in western Canada so there’s a lot of open spaces still. Even now, when I go home and see the wheat granaries standing there like sentinels, watching over everyone, or the fields of canola blowing in the breeze, there’s just a feeling of coming home. I really miss my Canadian food, Shreddies cereal, McIntosh toffee, Caramilk chocolate bars, fries and gravy and Nanaimo bars. Sometimes I beg my mom to send me a care package of all my favorites. I miss seeing the northern lights in the winter, and I miss all the hockey fever sometimes. It is a great country to grow up in.
My ancestors were actually American, but when they came across the plains with the LDS saints, the church leadership sent them to Canada to help make a settlement there and they did. I’ll be forever grateful for that. I personally came to the States to go to BYU and earn my teaching degree. I met my husband while I was there and we stayed in Utah to raise our family.
How often do you get to return to Canada for visits?
Not as often as I’d like. I try to go home at least once a year and my parents and family visit me as well.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
To never give up. I received rejections when I first started out and I became discouraged. A friend of mine who was already a successful writer, Rachel Nunes, was my personal cheerleader and told me I should make a few changes and submit my manuscript one more time. I did, and voila! Rachel was right, it was accepted and here I am. If I had stopped trying after the rejections and left it under my bed to gather dust, I would never have had the opportunities I’ve been given now. Isn’t there a saying that goes the only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that one kept trying? I believe that.
What are your future projects?
My fourth romantic suspense novel is currently under review so I’m excited about that one. The first three books had a recurring character from the same family, but this one introduces a whole new set of people and relationships so that was a lot of fun to write. I’m already working on the fifth which is set in France, one of my all-time favorite countries to visit. Writing keeps me busy, that’s for sure, but it’s something that I love and hope to be doing for a very long time.
Thank you for sharing your time with us, Julie. We appreciate hearing your thoughts.