Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Dangerous Connections

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Well, after Stephanie’s brilliant post yesterday, I found myself inspired. (Thanks for the mention of Dangerous Connections. I’m so excited!) But I was thinking about all the little things that go into creating a book and the fun little private jokes the author almost always puts in, and I thought I would give you a little peek into some of my Dangerous Connections, behind the scenes, little known facts, just for fun.

There is a gentleman in my ward, a sweet man who loves LDS fiction and comes to book club even though he’s the only male there, and he’s really fun, so to honor him, I named one of the terrorists in my book after him. (He has a great name! Bernell. Doesn’t that sound like a great terrorist name? Of course I did get his permission first and he thought it was totally fine. In case you wondered.)

I named a possible double/triple agent after my sister-in-law because she has a French-sounding name and Dangerous Connections takes place in Paris. I didn’t get her permission beforehand, though, and when I told her no one knows if she’s good or evil until the end, she said, “so are you trying to tell me something?” (We’re all good, though, so don’t worry.)

I should maybe state here that it’s probably not a good idea to name characters after people you know. I’ve done it a few times in previous books and while it’s fun for me (and my ward members totally read my books to see if they’re in it) you could definitely get in trouble doing it.

I used the Arc de Triomphe in my book because of all the references to the number eight in it. Eight is my favorite number and the Arc de Triomphe has several eights associated with it. It is 80.5 m high. The sides of the arch alone are decorated with one hundred and twenty-eight sculptures of battles. Then, on the inside are the names of the battles in which Napoleon’s armies fought along with the lists of his generals. Guess how many generals there were? Five hundred and fifty-eight, all making important decisions, facing crossroads in their lives every day. And Dangerous Connections has a lot of crossroad-type decisions for all the characters to make so I liked the comparison.

I loved visiting Paris. The city itself was so beautiful, the food was nothing like I’d ever tasted, (our hotel was next door to a bakery and we had pastries every night. Completely melt-in-your-mouth stuff that was indescribably good) and the culture fascinated me. I also love the dynamic between France and America and put a little bit of that in the book since my hero, Dr. Tyler Winthrop, is American, and my heroine, Isabella Floret, is a French counterintelligence agent who loves her country.

There is a scene where Isabella is captured and, with her hands drawn over her head, is handcuffed to a pipe in a basement. I have her trying a very creative way to escape, but my editor told me that when she acted that scenario out in her office, it didn’t work. Can I tell you how badly I wanted to witness my editor, in her office, with her arms over her head, pretending to be handcuffed to a pipe and trying to escape? Yeah, I would have paid money for that one.

I can hardly believe my book’s release is already here. It seems like I’ve been writing it forever, and now it’s finished, done, and people can see it! Of course, I’m hoping everyone likes it, and when you read it, think back to all these little behind the scene fun facts. It’s good for a chuckle, right?

Oh, and if you watch TV in the daytime at all, I’ll be on Channel 2 News at Noon on March 8th talking about my charity and my new book. I’m so excited! More on that next week.

Also, if you’re in the area, the official book launch party for Dangerous Connections will be March 12, at the new Seagull book in Orem by the Orem mall. (It’s sort of in the parking lot now). Anyway, I’ll get you more details before then, but Annette Lyon and Sarah Eden will also be there with their new books! I’d say that’s a party. Maybe we could get behind the scene footage for that one. Wouldn't that be fun?

P.S. For some reason Blogger is being totally wonky and making my blog look weird. I tried to fix it to no avail, but at least it is somewhat readable. Sorry about that. I really did try!


At 2/25/2010 2:20 PM, Blogger Anna Buttimore said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/25/2010 2:21 PM, Blogger Anna Buttimore said...

In my second book I named a character after my first "fan", but apart from that I daren't base anyone on anyone, or even use a name, for fear they'll read too much into it.

However, I do have a "hidden" quote from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in all three of my books. The radio series (which I know by heart), not the books. Douglas Adams was a genius. He also went to the same school as my Dad. (It's my claim to fame.)

At 2/25/2010 3:19 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

That totally makes me want to read it even more. =] (And I would have paid good money to see your editor do that too!) ;)

At 2/25/2010 3:44 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I love how your editor was trying the scene out to see if it worked. I've done the exact sort of thing before when working on scenes like that!

At 2/25/2010 6:29 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Stephanie, I usually make my kids act out stuff like that with me so I can see it. LOL. But the editor thing was really priceless.

L.T. I'm so glad! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

Anna, that's awesome! Aren't claims to fame fun?

At 2/25/2010 6:42 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I think Josi Kilpack should name her next book "Dangerous Confections". Maybe just a subtitle. ;)

Also, 8 is my favorite number. 1988 was my HS graduation year. 8 uses all of the diodes on a digital clock. And, of course, 88 is the speed at which you can travel through time. =)

At 2/26/2010 8:20 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Can't wait for your new book :)

At 2/26/2010 10:18 AM, Blogger UTMomof4 said...

Your book sounds great! That is so funny about your SIL! And Orem is close enough for me that I can come to the party. I will put it on my calendar for sure. Sounds fantastic! Thanks for those little interesting glimpses into your book.

At 3/01/2010 8:04 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

So I thought you were at DB in Orem on the 12th. Clarification with address please?


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