Friday, January 11th, 2013
When I heard an Episcopal priest with young twins was writing a sexy vampire novel, I was thirsty for more. Amber Belldene‘s racy paranormal romance called Blood Vine came out this week, and right now it’s only $3.99 for Amazon Kindle. Thank God. Now there’s something better to read than 50 Shades of Grey.
I wanted to know more about how this busy, talented woman pulled off parenting, preaching and erotic writing, so I asked to fill me in on her secrets. Here is the scoop on life, religion and romance from Amber Belldene:
“My debut novel Blood Vine is a racy paranormal romance. I describe it as vanilla with a little chocolate sauce, including a male/male romantic subplot. The book is set on a winery in Sonoma County, California. It’s a vampire story with a few unique twists. My vampires are from Croatia, so I’ve woven history and culture into the plot. Over the series, I’ll be looking at deep emotional themes–Blood Vine’s theme is nostalgia. Some of my readers have described the book as on the literary side of romance, which is a great compliment because that’s the type I love to read.
I was inspired to write this book after becoming a bit of a romance junkie when I was pregnant with my twins. I went on early maternity leave, couldn’t sleep, and read hundreds of paranormal and historical novels. At first, they were a guilty pleasures, and I thought a lot about why I loved them. Then, I began to wonder if I could pen one too. Shortly after that, the setting and premise of the story came to me, and I started writing.
At first it was a lark, but it quickly consumed me, and I received lots of encouragement from the friends and writers who generously read my first drafts. When I began to take Blood Vine and my passion for writing seriously, I had to figure out where it fit in my life as a working mom of twins, and as an Episcopal priest.
On the personal side, writing takes up all my spare time. For now, I’ve given up my hobbies of knitting, gardening, and cooking. I try to exercise, but not nearly enough. Balancing my author life with my family life is my most challenging work-in-progress and much harder than the writing itself. But I’m fortunate to have a husband who supports my dream.
As a priest who writes romance, I’ve chosen to take a pen name. I’ve also had to articulate exactly what I believe about sex, and why racy books aren’t sinful. In my opinion, sex is a holy expression of love and intimacy. Physical pleasure is a gift, and so is the pleasure of a good read. My colleagues and superiors have been supportive all the way, joining with me in fruitful theological discussions. My books aren’t religious, but writing them has truly helped me grow spiritually.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m biting. I can’t wait to read her 290-page book.