Where did you get your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
BJ: I’ve always had a love for reading since I was a little girl. I loved going to the library and doing those summer reading competitions and from there it just spiraled. Getting lost in a book was the best feeling ever and somewhere as a teen I also developed a love for writing. It started with poetry and grew from there! Writing fan fiction is really where I started to see that I enjoyed writing full stories and I’ve been bringing all the characters in my head stories to life since I was a teen scurrying B2K fanfic message boards! Not to mention, my imagination has always been something over the top. This definitely makes coming up with stories easy and fun! It’s the getting them onto ‘paper’ the way they appear in my head that’s the hard part lol.
Any author(s) that you feel influenced your writing?
BJ: As an indie author, I love coming across authors who writing styles impact me in a way that makes me want to continue to better my craft. A few indie authors specifically that come to mind who have done that are Alexandria House, RIlzy Adams, and Rae Elyse to name a few. I love their character and plot development and how I always get so lost in their books! This definitely influences me to want to always go the distance when it comes to developing my own plots and characters.
What inspires you?
BJ: In life? Just the fact that I want the best for myself and my life. I want to truly be happy and that comes from doing things I love to do and that bring me joy. With my books — any and everything. I love to people watch, and I am always getting inspiration for a book or a character just by observing my surroundings. I also can get inspiration from shows, movies, dreams, other books, and just everyday things. For me, as a writer, the littlest thing can inspire me, and I love that!
What is your top 3 favorite books of all time?
BJ: All timeeee??? I cannot answer that. There’s just so many books I’ve read and loved — which is such an amazing thing! Here are three books that I’d recommend though that I’d read within the last twelve months that I loved — Saving Sunflower by Rae Elyse, A Love Bred from the Block by Antoinette Sherell, and Love Scammed by Rilzy Adams
How do you research for your books?
BJ: It depends on the book, but Reddit really comes through when I need to research something specific like what it feels like to do a certain drug lol. I also use movies if it’s something specific - like in my book Power there’s a heist crew so I watched a few movies with big time robbing in it. I also will read other books. And twitter comes in handy for sex scenes.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
BJ: All over the place lmbo. Currently I have a standing 30-minute writing session every Tuesday and Thursday with a couple of other writers and though it isn’t much, I at least know on those mornings, I’ll get some kind of writing in. Other than that… I really wish I had more of a schedule and know I need one butttt lol…
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
BJ: Break the rules. Simple as that. Oh, and get an editor earlier and save yourself the stress haha.
Which one of your books is your favorite?
BJ: I love all my babies for one reason or another but if I just had to pick… I think I’d go with Holidaze. I just think it’s the sweetest and I completely fell in love with Nola and Bricks story — and they were nasty lol! Plus, I loved that I wrote a book about a book.
What are you working on now?
BJ: I’m working on a couple of things! They’re both super spicy and I’m really excited about them. I don’t know which will come first but here’s what I can say: one of them is called Kookie Dough. It is a novelette that will introduce two characters from my book Finding Kristmas. It’ll be part of my Jacobs Brothers series. The other one is part of a series that literally came to me out of nowhere and I’m working on the first book called Two Threes. Right now, the series will be three standalone novellas. At least that is the plan :)
Where can readers find out more about you & your work?
BJ: My favorite place to hang out with my reader bae’s is in my reader Facebook group - Bella Jay’s Book Bar. Readers can also find me on Instagram, my website, and for full on shenanigans on Twitter. Across all those platforms it’s @authorbellajay and authorbellajay.com