Queens of RH: Ophelia Bell Interview

ophelia bell dragons avenged
Dragon Avenged

fates fools

Pre-order!
Fate’s Fools A Reverse Harem Romance

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into writing?
I have always written since I was in grade-school, but rekindled my love of it when I started writing fan fiction of one of my favorite video games: “Mass Effect.” The flexible plotlines of fantasy RPGs allowed for creativity to flourish and I wanted to explore possibilities that the game writers hadn’t thought of, so I needed to write them down. I wrote fan fiction of “The Witcher” and “Dragon Age” as well before I switched to writing original fiction set in my own made-up world.

If you didn’t write, ideally would you do for work?
I don’t think I would ever not write now that I’ve discovered how much I love it. In a past life I worked in marketing but that wasn’t nearly as fun.

Does your family support your career as a writer?
I have an amazingly supportive husband who thinks it completely kicks ass that I write dirty books about dragons, even if he doesn’t read them. My extended family is supportive, even if they don’t read the books. I don’t hide it from them, though. My mother reads everything I write – I think she is probably the only one, lol.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?
It’s a gift!! It’s the only world I can be in complete control of.

What was an early experience where you learned that words had power?
Early on, one of my readers emailed me to thank me for saving her marriage. It seems reading my books had helped reinvigorate her sex life with her husband. Another reader once thanked me for helping her endure the ordeal of chemotherapy. It never even crossed my mind that my books could offer that kind of escape at the same time as bringing people closer together.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want, write to market so to speak? What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
I kind of march to my own beat in a lot of ways. Readers seem to appreciate the unique flavor of my stories, even though my plots still follow some conventions. I think the difficult part is reminding myself to stick to my vision and not compromise just because I see something else selling better that is more “to market.”

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Since my books are largely fantasy/paranormal, all the research is in my own head. For my latest series I just started, I spent about a week hashing out the story mechanics before I started writing. I suppose you could call that research, but it wasn’t the kind you do by reading other books. It required working out the logic of a fantasy creature I’d made up. How would it behave? What motivated it? Was it good or evil? How can I leverage its behavior to serve the plot of the story?

Tell me about your new release or WIP.
My newest WIP is the first book in my new Reverse Harem series, “Fate’s Fools.”
How do you find your soul mate if you don’t even have a soul?
Deva Rainsong is a chimera, a mixed breed of all four higher races, bred in a lab by the dragons’ mortal enemy. She was meant to be a vessel to house the enemy’s soul, but with the enemy dead in a recent war, Deva is left unclaimed – without a soul of her own and with a deep, cold longing for a love she doesn’t think Fate will ever offer.
Five men have captured Deva’s heart, yet she refuses to entertain the thought of binding them to her. Even if she could unlock her ability to mark mates of her own, she has no soul to offer a potential soul mate.
Love without a true soul mate can only be an empty affair, and surely Fate has other plans for all of them besides a soulless girl like her. But when the six of them embark on a mission to uncover the secrets of a pack of rogue Fate hounds, they learn that Fate’s reach is not boundless, and that they have more control over their destinies than they believed.

What was your hardest scene to write?
The next one.

Do your characters talk to you?
Frequently, yes, though I’ve gotten better at controlling what they say to me, lol.

Do you plot out your stories or do your character’s voices drive your storyline?
I do a bit of both. I lay the framework in advance and then let them tell me how to fill it out.

What character in your book is least likely to get along with you?
I tend to be easygoing enough that I think I’d get along with all my characters.

What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
Haha. Deva (and most of my characters for that matter) would call me a manipulative, sadistic, control freak. But that’s par for the course with authors and their characters.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
When I write contemporary stories (which is rare, but happens), I like to put a dragon easter egg in them somewhere, whether it’s a tattoo or piece of art or a reference of some kind.

What one thing would you give up if you could become a better writer?
I might be willing to give up chocolate… but that’s a big maybe.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! Depending on the scenes I’m writing.

What is your writing Kryptonite?
Commas.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do occasionally, but try to avoid it. If I am having a bad day, I will go specifically read my good reviews. I try to keep bad ones in perspective and remind myself that MOST of my reviews are good and it’s impossible to please everyone!

Do you Google yourself?
No, who would do that? >.>

What’s the best way to market your books?
There is no one “best way” – it’s different for every author and depends as much on their strengths as on what they write. What has worked for me includes having a mailing list that I send to regularly, as well as an active Facebook fan page and fan group. But the best (and most universal) thing an author can do to market their books is to write another book.
How many hours a day to you spend writing verses marketing your books?
I restrict my marketing to certain days of the week so most days I don’t do any marketing at all. Overall I spend about 20% of my time marketing vs. writing.

What do your fans mean to you?
Everything!! I adore my readers and love interacting with them. They are my bread and butter. Or to be even more cliché, they are the wind beneath my wings. 😀

What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Thinking you’re a failure if your first book doesn’t become a bestseller out the gate.
Forgetting to keep pushing forward: write the next book!
Believing there is only one way to define success. You have to find your own definition of it and strive for that, despite what other people tell you.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I think a big ego can be devastating. Particularly for indie authors. Our success depends a lot on our community. We help each other tremendously and flaunting a big ego will only alienate your fellow authors and lose you their support.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
Not sure levels of fame where authors are concerned. I have met Sherrilyn Kenyon though. But I was more excited the day I met Hugh Howey (both were at an RWA Nationals conference). I also once met Chris Isaak when he was signing stuff after a concert.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they inspire you to become a better writer?
I collect author friends who I adore! Chatting with them regularly helps me in so many ways. Sometimes it’s just to maintain sanity, sometimes it’s to help keep me accountable, sometimes it’s nitty gritty plot and craft stuff. The list is long and I don’t want to play favorites, but if you follow me or subscribe to my newsletter you will hear about them at some point or another!

Read any good books lately?
Yes! My favorite recent read is “Fire’s Daughter” by India Arden. It’s an urban fantasy reverse harem romance, that really gets the UF right. It was a refreshing change from the RH I’ve read recently and I didn’t even mind that it was a slow-burn romance because the story is SO well done. I normally prefer high-heat but am always down for a good, meaty story.

Do you ever sleep?
Haha! Sometimes no. But I have learned how crucial it is to my creative process to be well rested. Caffeine can only go so far.

What is your ideal harem? Slow burn or give it to me now baby?
Give it to me now! That’s how I tend to write, at any rate, and I like a story that isn’t afraid to dive into the sexytimes quickly. But I will read either kind as long as there is something to keep me engaged until the sex happens.

Care to share the love and give a shout out to another Queen of RH?
Chloe Adler is one of my favorite recent discoveries in RH and a good friend! I think she’s a lovely lady and she writes some seriously smokin’ hot sex scenes. You can’t go wrong with that!

Cheers,

Scarlette D’Noire

Do you want to check out my books? Hop on over to Amazon and check out my profile.
Scarlette’s Amazon Page

Feel free to follow me there or on Bookbub if you want to learn about new releases.
Scarlette’s BookBub

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