Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway with Author Alec John Belle

Please welcome the talented and wonderful author, Alec John Belle.  I am very excited to introduce more readers to his work.  I personally love his paranormal series The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles and am waiting very patiently for book 2!  Eek!  Without further ado, Alec John Belle.

1. How many books have you written? Titles?
Currently I have self-published two novels, Before I Break (a contemporary YA novel) and Forbidden Darkness (a paranormal YA novel).

2. Which is your favorite and why?
Out of the two, I have to say that Before I Break is my favorite because of several reasons. For one, it's my baby. It was the first book I ever published and I cherish it more simply because of that. Another reason why is that it's also my most realistic book, and the topics covered in the novel are things that I believe should be talked about in our society.
3. What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on the second book in The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, and plotting the sequel to Before I Break. I also have a side project that I can't talk to much about because I may not do anything with it.
4. What made you decide to become an author?
I have wanted to be an author since the fifth grade. I grew up reading the Goosebumps and Fear Street books by R.L. Stine, and I started writing scary stories for my teacher. Once I realized how good I was at it, I knew that my dream was going to be to have at least one book out before I died. Now I have two, and many more to come!
5. Who do you feel has inspired you the most and why?
I feel like Ellen Hopkins has inspired me the most. Her books are so powerful and so raw, and she was what motivated me to write Before I Break. I knew I couldn't shy away from the story because of her.
6. Tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn't know.
I'm actually obsessed with old Disney Channel shows and movies. Anything from Hannah Montana, That's So Raven, High School Musical, Kim Possible, and quite a few others brighten my mood and remind me of what it was like when I was younger.
7. What is your favorite book quote?
My favorite book quote is actually from my book, Before I Break (hopefully that doesn't sound narcissistic). Cyril says, "You taught me that this world isn't about gay people being accepted by us, but rather us being accepted by you." I can't go into too much detail about why that quote is my favorite, but it is.
8. Who is your favorite author?
My favorite contemporary YA author is Ellen Hopkins. As far as paranormal authors, I'd say Kim Harrison, Julie Kagawa, Rachel Vincent, or Jennifer L. Armentrout. I can never seem to choose.
9. Using 3 adjectives, describe yourself.
Creative, talented, and smart.

Now for a few fun questions:
1. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
Well, we have several pets living in my house. We have two dogs, Sasha and Ben. We have a bird named Sylvester, and a cat named Lily (who also loves me to death, even though she's my grandmother's cat). The only pet that is actually mine is my hamster, Jax.
2. If you became stranded on a desert island and could bring only 3 items, what would they be?
A notebook to write in, the boom Impulse by Ellen Hopkins, and probably my tablet...until it dies.
3. If you were a superhero, what would your name be and power?
So this may sound really corny, but my superhero name would probably be the Healing Writer. I say this because I would want my power to be able to heal people's emotional wounds with my words, written or spoken.

Before I break

1. Could you please give us a brief synopsis of your first book, Before I Break?
Before I Break is about a religiously raised guy named Cyril Hayes who believes that being gay is a sin. When he meets Avery, the new gay kid in town, he begins to question everything he's ever believed in while dealing with his best friend's jealousy, his girlfriend's secrets, and uncovering Avery's dark past. All four characters are important to the plot, even if only one is telling the story.
2. Is this book based on something you witnessed or experienced?
I have experienced much hate about being gay, so I thought it would be interesting to write a story similar to my own from a straight guy's perspective looking in. I'd say that about 30% of what happens has happened to me and the remaining 70% is either exaggerated or made up.
3. Do you feel this book addresses a controversial topic, one that people are afraid to discuss?
Yes, of course! It's funny that you say that because it's exactly why I wrote the book. I feel like this topic needs to be talked about, and if no one will, I need to be the one to step up and address these issues.
4. Who is your favorite character and why?
I actually have three favorite characters and I can't really choose. Cyril's an obvious choice because he was the main character. I lived the story through his eyes, his emotions, and his experiences, and the things he deals with are devastating. The amount of growth he's achieved by the end of the book is meant to remind people that they can change. Melissa is my second favorite character because of her strong will. She fights for what she believes in and certainly doesn't go down without a fight, which plays a prominent role as the outcome of the story. Avery is also my favorite because he is the one I relate to the most. In fact, Avery is almost an exact replica of me. While the book is only 30% my experiences, about 90% of Avery's are my own.
5. What do you hope readers gain from reading Before I Break?
I hope for readers to gain a new understanding of the LGBT community and the struggles they go through. But I also hope it teaches people to become better than who they already are. This is one example of how people's hateful choices, beliefs, and lifestyles can affect others. I wanted to give an example of a possible outcome that could occur because of someone's hate.
Forbidden Darkness

1. Could you please give us a brief synopsis of Forbidden Darkness?
Forbidden Darkness is about a girl named Heather Hawkins who learns that she's a Monster Hunter. Along with that truth, she discovers that her world may be far more dangerous than she thought, and that something very evil is headed her way.
2. Forbidden Darkness is the first book in The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, how many books       are you planning for this series?
There are currently 8 books planned for the series. This is not including possible short stories that may be coming in the future.
3. What inspired you to write a paranormal book?
I've always wanted to write a paranormal book because that's actually the main genre that I read. I came up with the plot for Forbidden Darkness quite a few years before my other book.
4. Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character as of right now is Heather. She's such a strong character, and she has her weaknesses, but every human does. I'd say Kadin is a close second because I find his character more amusing than I originally planned.
5. Team Kadin or Team Philip?  (TEAM KADIN HERE!!  I couldn't resist.  LOL)
That's a very tough question to answer, and unfortunately, if I answer, it might sway some people into going with what I know, since I'm the author. But as of right now, after the first book, I'd say I am Team Kadin. That's going strictly off the first book.


I would like to thank Alec John Belle for taking the time to chat with us.  I know I am a huge fan and hope that you will check out his work.  The current covers and links are for his self published work.  This summer Mr. Belle will be republishing them through Booktrope.  With that being said, I would like to offer a giveaway for an ARC of each of his books.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Looking forward to the new series

  2. I mostly read YA fantasy and paranormal. I'm also a bit of a historical fiction lover too. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I am very much into fantasy and paranormal. I enjoy both YA, NA and sometimes adult. I'm really looking forward to the series and can't wait to read it. Thanks for giving us the chance to win it.

    1. Thank you for also taking the time to join us for the interview.