After meeting Bella Andre last week, I realized I would never be the same. Hearing her story not only changed my life, but I’m sure will positively change the lives of any woman who dared to dream, and did whatever it took to realize it.
Being a writer myself, I was captivated to learn of Bella’s early beginnings and how they shaped her life. As her story unfolded, with its unexpected twist and turns, I kept asking myself, “how could this possibly end in happily ever after?”
Looking back on her journey, I can see how the scattered dots of her life connected together. One by one. Her story is meant for any aspiring woman wanting to succeed.
Humble Beginnings That Shaped Bella’s Life
Growing up, Bella’s earliest memories were of her mother reading romance novels. By the time Bella was 10, she discovered these feel-good stories herself. She loved them. She doesn’t recall the racy aspects of the stories as much as she remembers the love, passion, and emotions. Love stories filled her soul tank and Bella stayed reading a book a day into adulthood.
Born into a driven, accomplished family, she pursued a degree in Economics from Stanford University. You can imagine the surprise on everyone’s face when Bella told them she wanted to be a songwriter, and break into the music industry, forging a different path from her sibling who had a traditional career in business.
By the late 90s, she saw how difficult it truly was and decided to help other musicians instead. There was a hole to fill on the “how to’s” of making it in the industry. She turned to writing and publishing two non-fiction books for the independent musician. After a number of years in the music world, she realized she was just too old for the business and needed to start making a real livelihood.
The Turning Point
Bella will never forget the day that led her to the writing of romance novels. It stemmed back to a time when she experienced a ‘big break-up” with her best friend Jami from college. They had met at Stanford and were dorm-mates. Since the moment Bella walked into their dorm room for the very first time and saw romance novels all along Jami’s shelves, she knew they were perfect for each other.
Fast forward 10 years, Bella was listening to the radio when a caller came on. She immediately recognized the voice as Jami’s. She got home, found her number, and picked up the phone, leaving a message on her machine. Bella wasn’t sure she would ever hear back, but Jami returned her call and they rekindled their beautiful friendship.
At that time, Jami was writing romance novels and trying to find an agent and publisher. Bella, refusing to give into the starving artist mentality, felt encouraged by her efforts and decided to take a shot at writing fiction. Together, they went to a meeting with the Romance Writers of America in Berkeley where they met women who wrote, had agents, and published novels. She learned a lot and made some good friends.
Then one day, a crazy thing happened. Bella was writing her “morning pages” from The Artist’s Way to warm up the pen when two fictional people started talking in her head. The next thing she knew she was writing romance novels and had critique partners tell her what was good and bad about them. Soon, she wrote the first three chapters of her first book and submitted them to a romance agent. Within a week, she got a call back wanting to know if the book was finished. “Absolutely,” Bella replied confidently, “I just need a week.” The words flew off the keyboard, she said. It was tactile magic. She never felt so empowered in all her life. It was such a spiritual experience. “I could write whatever I wanted.”
Ooh Baby! Hot Shot Fire Fighters
With four to five books to her name, Bella was on her way to becoming a successful novelist. She developed a romance series called Hot Shot Firefighters and went on to write popular romance novels such as Wild Heat, Hot as Sin, and Never Too Hot. Notwithstanding many long-staking rewrites. One thing led to the next and before she knew it, she had reached a six-figure salary with another book on its way. She had finally made it…
But in 2008, at the height of the financial market crash, Bella’s dreams died when her publishing contract ended. The publisher no longer wanted to represent her. They even told her to get a new pen name so that she could start over fresh.
Devastated and downtrodden by these spiraling turn of events, Bella didn’t know what to do next and had put too much into her writing career to give up now.
She knew one thing. She had gotten an accidental Ph.D in romance writing by reading nearly a book a day over the past twenty years and abided by the 10,000-hour rule necessary to reach a high level of mastery. But now what? Little did she know, these tragic events ended up being the best thing that ever happened to her.
After moping around for about two months, it was her friend who encouraged her to self-publish at a time when indie-publishing didn’t really exist. Back in 2010, if you were a writer without a legitimate publisher behind you, you were nothing. Bella knew she had nothing to lose, but she said it was like being in a desert and learning how to make fire. She didn’t even know how to login into her author account at Amazon, let alone design her own book cover.
When Magic Happens
Bella decided to go it alone and put one book on the market with Amazon and then forgot about it. A few weeks later, she checked to see if she had a little online traffic, and discovered that, people were in fact buying her books – even if it was just 250 of them. Right then and there, she knew she could publish on her own and continue to be a successful writer. She went to see her friends at a coffee shop and slammed the Amazon sales tracking report onto the table and said, “Look what I sold!” She knew she could do this by herself. There were no more gatekeepers to hold her back, no one to tell her no.
From that day forward, Bella promised herself, she would never doubt what she was doing again. She could write a great novel. She could fix any book.
Today, under her own publishing house, she has sold over six million books with over 50 titles to her name. Don’t miss her most recent release, A new Sullivan, Sweeter Than Ever, (Honeymoon Novella) available now.
Bella Andre has a passion for helping women succeed and an inspirational business sense. She offers this empowering advice:
- Be a pioneer in something.
- Be the Bella Andre of your market. It has never been a better time to be a writer.
- You never know when you’re on the cusp of greatness.
- “Don’t apologize, be defensive, make excuses. Be the Master in your field. Know where your “No” is and stand by it!”
- If you just keep at it, work long hard hours, and pay close attention, magic will happen when you least expect it.
Are you ready to change your life? Bella Andre insists, “You can do this!”