Author Q&A: Charles Belfoure
John Grisham inspired architect Charles Belfoure to pick up another creative craft — fiction writing — but not quite for the reasons one would think.
The change wasn’t a huge stretch for Belfoure, who’d already published several architectural histories and freelance newspaper articles, and it was a smart one.
Belfoure's first novel, The Paris Architect, wowed critics and readers alike; his second one, House of Thieves, landed a TV deal; and his third one is underway now.
Here’s what Belfoure had to say about his journey, including how Grisham inspired his novel-writing.
SADYE: Do you prefer writing fiction or nonfiction?
CHARLES: Fiction because it’s more fun to make up stuff from your imagination. You still have to do research, but you’re molding it in a creative manner to tell a story.
Plus, you don’t have to do that tedious footnoting that’s required for nonfiction work.
SADYE: You’ve explained that you like writing fiction because it’s a pleasurable pastime, but what prompted you to actually decide to do so and seek publication?
CHARLES: I saw that guys like John Grisham who had no creative writing training tried their hands at storytelling, basing it on their profession like law or medicine. I wanted to do the same but with architecture.
Also, I made no money from nonfiction writing so I thought I could bring in a little money — John Grisham does OK for himself.
SADYE: Based on your writing journey, what advice would you give a potential writer?
CHARLES: The first chapter you submit to a publisher or agent must be very compelling. The first fifty pages of your book has to drawn them in. That’s what you’re judged on. Everything rides on the first and second sample chapters.
SADYE: What has been your proudest accomplishment as a fiction/nonfiction author?
CHARLES: Getting on The New York Times bestseller list (just barely).
SADYE: You mentioned in a past interview that you weren’t really thrilled to be having your face out there much. Have you come to terms with that?
CHARLES: I hate having my picture taken, so I haven’t come to terms with it.
Also, I’m a very private person, and there’s all this information about me out there, all this personal information about people on the Internet. Next, people will know what size underwear one wears!
* * *
Know an author you’d like to see featured? Email sadye (at) thefussylibrarian.com with a recommendation!