A Conflict of Love and Duty: PW Talks with Sheila Belbin
We caught up with Belbin to talk about self-publishing and her inspiration for the book.Sheila Belbin’s self-published debut novel, Beloved Enemy, follows a female British spy sent to Germany during World War II. Ordered to seduce and execute a high-ranking Nazi, she begins falls in love with her target while her personal commitments clash with her patriotic duties. The book has received positive reviews from the likes of Kirkus and Foreward Reviews. We caught up with Belbin to talk about self-publishing and her inspiration for the book.
Why did you decide to self-publish Beloved Enemy and what did you do to get your book noticed?
These days, nearly all publishers require approaching through an agent, too lengthy a process for an elderly writer. AuthorHouse did a good marketing job on my behalf.
Can you talk about your experience researching for the book?
I lived through the Second World War myself and always took a keen interest in what was happening here and abroad. As to my information regarding the little known German resistance, my first husband, Tony Munds, collected information, over the years, about their existence.Certain readers have taken issue with the subtitle, "A Romantic Thriller." One reviewer wrote that the book was "as much a love story as a tale of self-discovery..." What do you think the book is mostly about and why did you choose to classify it?
The subtitle has been changed and better reflects its genre as the “Conflict of Love and Duty”...It is better described as a World War II thriller than a “romantic” novel.
What will your role be in adapting the book for the screen?
A very skilful adaptation has been prepared for the screen. Because the main character in the book is an interpreter by profession, I am keen to see a bilingual actress in the role.