Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Q&A with Lauren Belfer

Even though I wasn't wild about A Fierce Radiance, I was awed at the amount of research put into the novel and its unique plot.  It's a historical novel, medical mystery, and war thriller in one with a hot romance just to seal the deal!  I'm pleased to share my Q&A with author Lauren Belfer.  See the end for another chance to win a copy of A Fierce Radiance.

What was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

I decided to become a writer when I was six years old. My first stories were about magical pets going on adventures and about strong princesses leading their nations out of hardships. I don't remember the exact plot lines, but these subject areas kept me busy for quite a few years.

Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

I work best in the morning. I'm lucky enough to work at home, and I try to be at my desk, cup of tea beside me, by 9:30 every morning, including Saturday and Sunday. I never answer the phone when I'm working, except if my son is calling. I always answer for him.

Was A Fierce Radiance the original title of your book?

"A Fierce Radiance" was indeed the original title of my second novel. The phrase came to me one day out of the blue, while I was writing. I assumed that the phrase must be from Shakespeare or Yeats or another poet. I did an extensive Google search, trying to find it, but no references came up. I worried that my editor would feel that the title was too poetic, but I'm glad to say that she immediately loved it as much as I did. To me, the title suits the novel perfectly -- although this may not become clear until you read the final chapter.

As you were writing A Fierce Radiance, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you?

For me, writing is a process of continual surprise and of continual discovery. I always make a rough outline before I begin a book, but I don't know how the outline will fill itself out until I actually do the writing. To me, every sentence feels like a surprise, and I try always to be open to the details that my subconscious provides.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

I'm very family oriented, a real homebody. I love to take long walks through my historic and inspiring New York City neighborhood, Greenwich Village. A few years ago, I began taking piano lessons. Playing the piano takes every ounce of concentration I can muster, so trying to play feels to me like entering a state of meditation -- if I break my focus for even a nano-second, I'm totally thrown and have to go back to the beginning.

Read any good books recently?

This past winter, I took an eight-week course on "War and Peace." Over the years, I'd tried several times to read "War and Peace," but I always gave up. The early chapters of the book somehow didn't draw me in. I decided that if I took a course, I wouldn't be able to give up after a hundred pages. I'm glad to report that the course prompted me to push through and finish. What an extraordinary novel! Even though it's well over a thousand pages, by the end I thought the novel was too short. I became completely wrapped up in the characters and wanted to live the rest of their lives with them.

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My thanks to Ms Belfer for her time and Trish with TLC Book Tours for facilitating this interview.  To learn more about Lauren Belfer and her books, see her website.  Check out the other blogs on tour for more reviews.

GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment and email address to be entered to win a copy of A Fierce Radiance (comment on my review for another entry).  Open to US/CA readers.  Closes 5/6.


  1. Sounds like a fabulous mystery thriller...please enter me.

    pocokat AT gmail DOT com

  2. I would love to have read some of Lauren's first stories! Great interview and thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. I would have been interested if it was just a war thriller, but through in the history and the medical mystery and I'm intrigued. Great interview!

    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

  4. A Fierce Radiance sounds interesting, I'm a huge fan of anything historical. The interview is great, thanks for sharing with us and thanks for hosting a giveaway!

    jmartinez0415 [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. Please enter me! JDQ1175@aol.com.

    Thanks for stopping by my review of The Second Duchess today and recommending Capri File!

  6. Count me in :)