An Interview with Bellann Summer

3Bellann Summer lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband and children surrounded by lakes and woods. In the summer, Bellann enjoys fishing, camping, gardening, and growing flowers. Autumn is spent out in the woods exploring the beautiful colors and nature at its finest. In the winter there is ice fishing, snowmobiling, and sitting in front of the wood fireplace. She has always loved to read, and any free time is spent with a book in her hand. When major life changes occurred, she decided to try writing what she liked to read. And it worked.

Q:The Rescue for Hire series chronicles the efforts of several men responding to natural disasters and resolving high-risk scenarios, e.g. school shootings or hostage situations. What led you to making this an integral aspect of the series?

A: I was watching the news and there were all of these terrible things happening night after night. I had been thinking of trying to write a book at that time and I thought to myself that it would be nice if the authorities had access to specialized experts they could call to help. The idea kind of snowballed from there.

Q:The determination and exhaustion felt by the men during these missions added to the realism and highlighted the distinction of duties between emergency response teams and local law enforcement. What inspired you to emphasize these differences? Were there particular events that motivated you?

A: Although there are many heroes in law enforcement, unfortunately we’ve all seen the videos of the abuse of authority. I wanted men who concentrated solely on helping the victims, with no concerns with elections, the press, jurisdictions or any other outside factors.

Q:Dominance and submission has been a recurring theme in your stories, though BDSM does not appear to play a large role in the pairings portrayed. How were you able to find that balance between illustrating a strictly D/s relationship that incorporates some elements of BDSM?

A: Most relationships in life have one of the partners more dominating to an extent than the other. I just have always been drawn to stories that have big strong dominating men in them. I also like having them paired up with someone smaller, but show that just because one is smaller, they’re by no means weaker. I like to throw in a tiny bit of BDSM now and then just to keep the reader on their toes. I think most healthy relationships have a little experimentation in them. So why not?

Q:Cade and Jack had no qualms demonstrating their immediate attraction and care for their future partners, even in the midst of rendering aid during a mission. Given the nature of their career, do you believe this had a hand in encouraging their fearless romantic pursuits?

A: Cade and Jack not only have to make split decisions in their work, but they are also the leaders of the team. This makes them even more dominating. When they got to a point in their lives that they wanted a forever partner, it’s in their nature to claim them when they found them. You also have to realize, dominants don’t like to be vulnerable. These two weren’t going to give the ones they love a chance to get away.

Q:What would you say was the hardest aspect to portray in this ManLove series, and do you feel that it limited you in any way?

A: Every character is different. For me to write a story and keep the characters true to the story, they have to become real. They have to become someone I know intimately. Many times in Damian’s Treble, I had to stop and ask myself what Treble would do in that situation. I would write a scene and then have to delete it because the characters just wouldn’t do that. Did it limit me? No, it just made me think harder.

Q:Even in today’s world, men who are romantically involved with each other can face discrimination, violence, and bullying. What are some conflicts your heroes have faced, and how did they overcome these obstacles?

A: In Damian’s Treble they face ugly comments by a rookie cop after a home invasion. In Treble’s usual way he had the guy up against the wall by his neck. Treble is who we would all like to be. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks. In Commander’s Spitfire, Tony was the dirty little secret of a pro-baseball player. It touches on how the players of sports have to guard their images. It also pulls the reader into how painful betrayal can be. I’ve actually wrote the baseball player’s story, its part of a new series I’ve started. The baseball player’s story is called Tyler’s Transformation.

Q:What is your favorite way to relax or reward yourself after a long, productive day of writing?

A: I’ve been sucked into the Candy Crush crowd. Sometimes a cocktail will be involved too.

Q:Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?

A: I really don’t know who I look up to. I do know I strive to have a positive outlook. Complaining only brings everyone down. I also believe in being polite and respectful of those around me. Making one person smile is better than making a bunch of people angry. I really don’t understand how people feel proud after they have told someone off. People forget. What goes around comes around.

Q:What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned from writing ManLove that you didn’t know when you first started?

A: Mainly it just reaffirmed my belief that people are people no matter what package they have.

Q:What kinds of stories give you hope in dark times?

A: Of course, the knight in shining armor that rescues the person in distress. Hmm I seem to have a theme going on here. :)