At eight years old, Bellina Al Asma's idyllic life is turned upside down by an unspeakable tragedy. She is forced to leave Switzerland for New York and finds herself in the chaotic home of her self-destructive, alcoholic aunt. Struggling to survive in her new country and life, Bellina finds comfort and companionship in her African American neighbor, Ms. Hickens. Together, they discover a devastating secret written in a pile of scattered letters.
About this author
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. My inspirations come from music and the weather. I tend to tie the two together. If it is dark and gloomy outside, I’ll put on a slow or low mood song and the words just flow out. In Scattered Letter, the moods of the characters are reflected by the weather.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
A. I love the intensity of writing. While I was writing Scattered Letters, the story brought out many emotions. I lose myself completely while I’m writing. I love it because it is my escape.
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
A. I’m not a sociable person. Breaking out of my shell to get readers and meet other writers, is the toughest part for me. I’m learning that if I want to reach readers; I’m going to have to open up.
Q. If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
A. I would be a French professor. I love the French culture and language. I always thought I was going to have a career teaching French or be a French interpreter. There are times, I wished I pursued it and still want to.Film making is my next passion. I want to be a producer and director. Once I get career going as an author, making a feature film is on my list of projects.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. The Chaser. I’ve been chasing my dreams since I can remember. Since becoming a wife and mother, I’ve been on a high speed chase to achieve my dreams.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Other than Scattered Letters, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett is my favorite book. I’m reading it to my daughter, and I hope it becomes one of her favorite books as well. I want my daughter to be as smart and caring as Sara.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I think I’m like Sara in A Little Princess. I love telling stories and enjoying distant lands.
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. I’m like Amelia, my main character’s mother. She is a strong woman, wife, and mother. She has elegance and charm. I love her knowledge of language. I hope to reflect that on my daughter.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. My favorite season is autumn. I love the colors, the smell, and the clothes. Of course, living in Hawaii I don’t have that season. When I lived on the East coast, in the morning I would walk to the waterfront, enjoy my coffee, and write. That is the part of Autumn I miss.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. I wanted the mood of the story to be displayed on the cover. I wanted letters to be scattered around. My cover designer, Andrew Campbell, came up with the cover and I love it. I have not seen anything like it. It is my favorite book cover. I feel like people see the cover and think it’s beautiful and it’s the beginning to a beautiful story that follows.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. On my way to a pitch conference, I ended up on a Greyhound bus for 24 hours. The whole time I was thinking of the Cosmo I was going to get before my pitch to an agent. Well, I got to the hotel, two hours before the last day of the conference started. Barely avoiding being in a car crash, because of the crazy taxi driver I had. I found out, my pitch was four hours after my long bus ride. Worse of all, it was in the bar and the bar was closed. I cried a little bit.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. I am working on two books, the sequel to Scattered Letters and The Knock at the Door. In the sequel Bellina goes on a search for her father. I’m still working on the title. I would like to have it completed by the time my twins are born. The Knock at the Door is about a father who gives up his maternal rights of his daughter, from a one night stand. Ten years later, he needs that child to be a bone marrow donor to his seven year old daughter.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
Get a copy of Scattered Letters. It’s available Paperback or E-book. I hope they enjoy the read and feel free to drop comments on my Facebook page. www.facebook.com/R.Kline.