Saturday, April 30, 2016

Author Interview: John Heldt

How did you come up with the idea for Indiana Belle?
I drew inspiration from two movies, Somewhere in Time and Midnight in Paris, and Stephen King's novel 11/22/63. In each work, a man travels to the past on a mission, finds love, and encounters numerous challenges.

Most of your books have to do with time travel. What keeps you coming back to writing about it?
I keep coming back to time travel because I have a never-ending fascination with it. I also like giving my characters responsibilities and challenges that none of us (presumably) will ever have to face. Time travelers have to weigh every action carefully because one wrong move could have a profound impact on others.

What was the hardest thing about writing Indiana Belle?
If I had to pick one thing, it would be describing the era. When you write about a time you did not experience firsthand, you have to rely on other sources to get it right.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?
I'm doing what I love and getting paid to do it. I couldn't ask for more.

Who would play Cameron and Geoffrey in an Indiana Belle movie?
I answer that question in the book. Cameron is compared to the actor Adrian Grenier. Geoffrey is said to resemble Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Candice Bell, for what it's worth, is described as Holly Hunter in Broadcast News.

What three words best describe this book?
I would say enjoyable, inspiring, and memorable.

Which other authors would you say are your biggest inspirations?
Several authors come to mind, including Vince Flynn, John Jakes, Nelson DeMille, Ken Follett, James Patterson, Stephen King, and Clive Cussler.
How much historical research went into this book?

I researched Indiana and the 1920s for three months before writing the novel. I read several books and journal articles, listened to music from the time, contacted librarians and subject experts from around the country, and even paid a visit to Evansville, Indiana – after the first draft was written – to pick up anything I might have missed.

About Indiana Belle:
Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the "time-travel professor," and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.

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