I would first like to thank Ms. Chippindall-HIggin for taking her time to answer these interview questions. I would like to add that the book cover is really eye-catching. That alone should make you get the book.
1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a British author and Wattpad Star who spends most of the time lost in the half-crazy wonderland that is my head. When I’m not off in some fictional world, I can be found rescuing sick or stray animals, and dancing barefoot in the rain. I’ve been known to keep frogs in the shower, hedgehogs in the shed, and birds in the living room.
2. Could you give a brief summary about Belle Morte?
It’s been ten years since vampires came out of the coffin, and now they are the world’s greatest, most-talked about celebrities, living in lavish mansions and feeding on the blood of live-in donors. Renie Mayfield is a new donor, assigned to the most famous vampire House – Belle Morte. Unlike the other donors, Renie isn’t here for fame and fortune, and she doesn’t care about getting close to the vampires. Months ago, her sister disappeared in this House and Renie wants to know why.
But Renie is unprepared for Edmond Dantès, the smouldering, seductive vampire who turns her blood to fire. The last thing Renie wants is to fall for a man she can never have, but she cannot ignore the sizzling chemistry that she and Edmond share.
The more time Renie spends inside Belle Morte, the deeper she is sucked into the decadent, sensuous vampire world, and as she pursues the truth about her sister, the closer she comes to uncovering Belle Morte’s secrets. The closer she comes to losing either her heart or her humanity...
3. What were the challenges (literary, research, etc.) in writing this story?
Belle Morte revolves around vampires who’ve lived for hundreds of years, and my main vampires originally hail from France, so I had to do a fair amount of research into French history – who the monarchy was at various times, what life was like for peasants during the 1600s, the Black Death, the French Revolution – that sort of thing. Research can be frustrating, because as long as I’m researching I’m not actually writing, but it comes with the territory.
4. What was your favorite scene to write? (make it as spoiler-free as possible)
I’m not sure I could pick one favourite scene. First kisses are always fun, though, especially when there’s been a lot of build-up.
5. How were you commissioned by Sony Pictures to write a 5th wave novelette? How was your experience?
I actually knew nothing about the Sony Pictures 5th Wave project until I was contacted by Wattpad HQ. They told me Sony had requested that Wattpad provide them with some of their most creative storytellers to take part in an upcoming campaign to promote the film. Wattpad had put my name forward, and Sony chose me to contribute to the campaign.
The whole experience was fantastic. I love The 5th Wave books, and it was honestly a privilege to be asked to write anything in Rick Yancey’s world. Putting my own characters in another author’s universe was a bit of a challenge as I’d never done anything like that before, but it’s always fun to tackle challenges.
6. Tell us a little bit about the villain in Belle Morte if there is one?
That’s a tricky one to answer without giving anything away. All I can really say is that the villain of this story has their own ideas about how the world should work, and they are determined to change the status quo – no matter what it takes.
7. How were you introduced to Wattpad? How is your experience with the website so far?
I had vaguely heard of Wattpad through pottering around online, but I’d also heard a lot of negative thing about the quality of the content. Finally I became curious enough to check it out. The first story I read was Erin Latimer’s Bite Me – sadly no longer available – which was enough to let me know that there are good stories available.
For one reason or another I forgot about Wattpad for a while. It wasn't until about a year after I joined that I started considering posting my own work. A while back, I’d written a book called When Darkness Falls, about a teenage vampire hunter who falls in love with a vampire. I knew the story wasn't original enough to stand out in the highly competitive professional market, but I’d had a lot of fun writing it and it occurred to me that other people might have fun reading it. So I dusted the book off, put it through a few rounds of edits, and starting posting it. By the time it was finished, it became a Wattpad Featured story, and racked up millions of reads.
My Wattpad experience has been amazing. I have gained a solid, loyal following, and met and befriended some wonderful people. Knowing that people are reading and enjoying my stories is rewarding enough, but the whole experience has been made that much better when I get messages from people telling me that I’ve inspired them to write their own stories, or that I’ve inspired them to never give up on their own writing.
It’s also solely thanks to Wattpad that I was given the Sony Pictures opportunity, and, shortly after, an amazing publishing opportunity with Simon & Schuster. The publisher teamed up with Wattpad to produce the world’s first officially published anthology of celebrity imagines stories, and I was one of the lucky authors invited to pitch ideas. Then I became one of the even luckier authors selected to actually take part in the anthology.
8. What author would you love to invite over and chat with?
If I could revive deceased authors, I’d love to chat with my childhood favourites – Georgette Heyer, A.A.Milne, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, Robert Louis Stevenson, Enid Blyton, and Ursula Moray Williams.
9. Where can those interested in Belle Morte or any other story of yours get them at?
All my novels are currently only available on Wattpad (www.wattpad.com/user/Bella_Higgin), but the Imagines anthology can be purchased from any online retailer, or in bookstores.
10. Last question, if you're stranded on an island, which novel would you want with you (besides your own stories, of course)?
I couldn't ever pick one book! Although I suppose the sensible answer would be a survival manual of some sort.
Thanks again to Ms. Chippindall-HIggin for taking the time to do this and I hope everyone of you would check out her novel soon because its sounds intriguing to say the least. I hope you have a great day and happy reading as well.