Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons––an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.
With a B.A. in comparative religion and an M.A. in theology, Amber is a Christian minister and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to Amber, because the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that desire.
Now let’s see how Amber answers the Proust Questionnaire!
What is your idea of happiness?
To me, happiness is contentment–being satisfied with things as they are.
What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
My favorite song is Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, which I first heard in college and still find it the most moving piece of music I’ve ever heard.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be able to sing in tune.
On what occasion do you lie?
I lie when I throw something away without my husband’s permission: “No, honey, I don’t know where those went.”
What is your present state of mind?
Preoccupied by the novel I’m writing, but that’s chronic.
What is your motto?
Sleep when you’re dead.
What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Know what I mean?”
Your favorite painting?
It’s a painting called The Embrace by Egon Schiele.
What is your favorite journey?
A particularly hilly stretch of highway in Central Florida that seemed like exotic mountains to the young me every time we drove it on the way to my Grandparents’ house.
What is your favorite time of day?
With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Jack Shaftoe from Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle would be really fun to meet.
What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
I’ve done pretty well with my life list, but I’d sure like to see my kids grow up, and I have a book I really want to write, but two in the queue ahead of it.
Who or what is your first love?
The wording of this question pre-determines my answer–God.
What’s the last dream you remember?
I don’t sleep enough to dream these days. But I very vividly remember one from long ago, when I was trapped in a sky scraper for hours looking for the ladies’ room.
What’s your madeleine?
My madeleine is the sound of a car’s turn signal. It reminds me of my Grandfather’s Buick and makes me very sentimental.
Without thinking, in one word: what is life?