A CONVERSATION WITH
Question 1: What inspired you to write The Bitch Tried To Steal My Husband's Body and what questions did you ask yourself when you were working on it?
Answer: The inspiration was my very own eventful life. Things are never normal or run of the mill with me. Murphy's Law-yep-that's Adrienne Bellamy. And, believe me, the truth is stranger than fiction. The questions I asked myself while writing it were "Can I get through this thing?" When doing the investigative tasks, it was simply mind blowing receiving the information. I was going from place to place, on the phones and then literally riding in my car to meet people giving me advice and trying to teach me things.
Question 2: Denise is an exceptional character. How was she developed?
Answer: Her character was found and developed actually through the flow of information, research and paperwork regarding an investigation into my own husband's death. The amount of zeal Denise had and her aggressiveness from the onset triggered me. I've written a novel of fiction, and enjoyed developing Denise. She was so passionate and had no boundaries-no limits, not only in finding her husband's body, but never giving up until she proved he had not died of a heart attack.
Question 3: There are many characters in this novel. Who is your favorite character and why?
Answer: I have two. Theresa, Lenny's sister. She is courageous in not backing down. She is humble and loving when she embraces Denise in the end. This seventy-three year old woman had no fear of Carolyn. Tony Marino, one of Denise's attorneys is a knockout in and out of the courtroom.
Question 4: What was your vision when you began writing The Bitch Tried To Steal My Husband's Body? What helped you get started when you actually began the first paragraph?
Answer: The vision was the face of Dr. Anne Highland, my Psycologist. She passed away in early 2006 due to breast cancer, but she spent a lot of time telling me that events of my life were worth writing about. This was months before my husband's death. When the going got tough-I'd see her face in that office-in her chair-telling me to relax, take a deep breath-and finish the job.
Question 5: What was the hardest scene you had to write in The Bitch Tried to Steal My Husband's Body?
Answer: Scenes of Lenny and Noelle especially when Noelle was a baby and her suffering because of her disease.
Question 6: What were your favorite chapters and scenes in The Bitch Tried To Steal My Husband's Body?
Answer: Well, I'm a Libra and you know we have trouble making up our minds. We'd really rather not have to make a decision. However, I have to come up with three favorites: Hands down-Glitter is hysterical and I love to laugh. Room Service is phenomenal and Two Smart Bitches intrigues me. I love Carolyn in Room Service. She puts it down! Favorite scenes for me-the Courtroom and Noelle and the marijuana.
Question 7: Are there certain times during the day that you write? Do you ever get writer's block?
Answer: I believe I get lazy-not really writer's block. You know we Libra's have our lazy times. But I guess I have experienced writer's block in my career. Okay, I'll concede to that and admit I believe six weeks was the longest period I ever experienced. I am a writer who will not write if I don't feel I have good material. Many times material would come to me while I was driving. I'd try to retain it by jotting a few words down at a stoplight or often just turning around and going back home to my computer if I was on a personal errand.
Question 8: Are you working on other projects?
Answer: I have completed my third novel, Arrivals, a sequel to Departures and Connecting. Some of the characters from Departures and Connecting are featured in Arrivals and I have introduced new ones who will not only knock your socks off, but cause you to laugh hysterically. My favorite new project is an astrology book. It's gonna be awesome. I do love astrology.
Question 9: At any point in your writing of The Bitch Tried To Steal My Husband's Body did you know how the book would end?
Answer: Yes. Once I learned all about the medications, I knew the ending. I knew exactly what Denise was going to do. When the book was about 50% completed, I wrote the ending and then went back to the middle. Regina Bellamy Johnson, a test reader, made a statement about one of the characters that propelled me to the explosive surprise at the very end of the novel.
Question 10: Can you tell me some of the ways you get material?
Answer: Much of my material I receive in my dreams-while sleeping. I also get a lot of inspiration while I am driving my car. Sometimes a small event will happen to me, a friend, or family member and that will trigger me.
Question 11: Can you share with me some of the compliments you have received from your readers?
Answer: They absolutely loved the title and are intrigued by it. It's a juicy, scandalous title. It makes you want to know the scoop.
Question 12: What chapter or scene in this novel caused the most controversy, discussion or sparked the readers?"
Answer: The Dale chapters: Shaky Ground, Closing the Door and Showing Up. This is absolutely Sizzle City compounded by a marriage and children. Everybody will have an opinion on this part of the novel.
Question 13: Who are your favorite writers?
Answer: R.M. Johnson, Wally Lamb, John Grisham, Vincent Bugliosi, Linda Goodman and Diane McKinney Whetstone.
Question 14: Did you learn something about yourself when writing this book?
Answer: I learned that I am an excellent private investigator. It's like I am a dog with a bone and I want to lick it clean. I love digging around and finding the facts. I get charged up when I am like being challenged. I am relentless, my best attribute. And, I like cops and men. Men will take care of you-if we let them.
Question 15: You write a lot about astrology. How do you know so much about it? Have you studied it?
Answer: I am fascinated by Astrology. I don't want to even deal with a person unless I know what sign they are. I have to operate with them based on that. It's always a plus for me that give me clues on how to handle them and how they will react to situations. I have read up on astrology for years. I am not an expert. I find it intriguing and I totally believe in it. In all my relationships, (co-workers, bosses, lovers, friends and relatives) I have used the assistance of astrology to guide me in the way I handled those relationships. I have raised and handled my children using astrology. My daughters are Leo and Aquarius-exact opposites. The Leo I have to handle with kid gloves. I have to request, ask and be gentle with her if I want something done. She requires praise. Whenever I would make commands-nothing got done. I had to realize and understand that lions are king of the jungle and we are their loyal subjects. We are beneath them. Knowing my astrology and their personalities, I knew how to approach her. Praise and flattery will always put you ahead with them. The Aquarian with the bad temper always did me in. However, I also knew I had the smartest person in the zodiac in my house. I had to learn to deal with her belligerence, which is part of her characteristic. You'll always walk on eggshells with an Aquarian female, even though they are true humanitarians. They will always belong to a group of something. Maybe it will be a church, cult, sorority, or singing ensemble. My favorite signs are Sagittarius, Aquarius.
Question 16: What is the most amazing and/or surprising thing that has ever happened to you?
Answer: My house flooded and my daughter Alia and I were living at the Hyatt in Philadelphia while our home was being renovated. This was in October of 2001-post September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. My birthday was approaching. I was born on October 14th. I'd heard on the radio that Sinbad, the comedian, was coming to town. He was my favorite comedian. I had enjoyed a couple of his concerts in the past. He was expected to be in downtown Philadelphia on October 18, 2001. I jumped for joy when I heard he was coming to town. That concert was going to be my birthday present to myself! The Hyatt Hotel was across the street from where he would be appearing.
My sixteen year old daughter was in night school at the time. Because of her illness, she required so many doctor's appointments, we switched to evening classes in private school. Starving for the concert, I made a lot of calls trying to get someone to pick Alia up from school at nine in the evening on the night of the concert. I didn't have much luck and didn't want to keep her out of school. I remember having a conversation with Alia in the hotel room about it and then I started stomping around like a little girl saying "God, I just want to see Sinbad." I pouted a while and just let it go. I was just going to miss that concert. I
A day and a half later I was walking a couple of blocks from our hotel. I decided to stop in a favorite restaurant of mine, The Oyster House. I had dinner at this restaurant many times for over 20 years. But this was lunch time and for some reason I decided to go there for lunch that day. I sat down at the counter and ordered. It was around two in the afternoon and I had beat the lunch crowd. There were no other customers at the counter.
After about 10 minutes two gentlemen walked in and sat across from me. I looked directly at them. I was astonished. One of them was Sinbad! Jesus, I was in the Oyster House in Center City Philadelphia and Sinbad had walked in! I could not believe it. I gazed at him. I was surprisingly silent for a few moments. I was trying to get myself together. Finally I said to Sinbad "We have been very sad here in Philadelphia. It is good to see you. You are just what the doctor ordered." He smiled and thanked me. I enjoyed my lunch while lightly conversing with him. I didn't want to be a pain in the butt or act star struck or make him uncomfortable.
When I left the restaurant, I immediately made arrangements to get tickets to go to that show and ordered flowers to take to Sinbad. I was all excited. My daughter insisted that she was going to miss a night of school so that I could attend that concert which was to take place in two days.
Unfortunately when I went to the Academy of Music to pick those tickets up, I was told that the show had been canceled due to a lack of ticket sales. It was explained to me that many people were just not in a comedy mood because of 911 and the show would not go on.
I knew then that Sinbad had been placed in that restaurant just for me. I remembered my words in that hotel room "God, I just want to see Sinbad."
Two years later in May of 2003, I was on board a ship. This was the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage. I was now a published author promoting my first novel, Departures. I was on my way from my cabin to a fire (if the ship sinks) drill, which all passengers were required to attend. I couldn't even figure out how to put the life jacket on. I was hurrying with it in hand trying to get some assistance. I ran into Sinbad and his wife on the elevator. Well, we were all late and missed the drill. We were too busy reminiscing. I reminded him of that day in the Oyster House in Philadelphia and he remembered who I was. We had a great time I also got a chance to tell him how well I did heckling him at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pennsylvania ten years ago in 1991. I told him that when I left the Keswick Theater that night after his concert I heard people saying "There she is walking to her car. She works for Sinbad. That's the one that was talking from the audience all that time." He had a gleaming smile listening to me. And, as we stood in that elevator and proceeded onto the deck, the three of us talked all about Departures and his wife's plan to write a novel.
Of course, after catching up with Sinbad and his wife, I really did have a Fantastic Voyage. Let this little story remind you that God is always listening and that there is no such thing as a coincidence.
Question 17: Let's go inside Adrienne Bellamy. Do you have a humbling and appreciative moment which occurred in your life? If so, did it change you, your behavior, or how you look at things? Share it with us.
Answer: Yes. (Please click on Adrienne on Oprah)