hardcastle-breathing under water coverSophie is interviewed by Belinda Hamilton

You’ve been writing Breathing Under Water since you were in high school, bouncing ideas off friends for ages. Was there a moment when they told you to shut up and write the story already?

I wrote a version of Breathing Under Water in high school; it was called, Horizons. I started writing it and would write before and after school, and even during class! Once I had a few chapters, I started showing it to a three friends and they’d take turns reading the latest instalments. Sometimes, I’d bounce ideas off them but they never told me to shut up and write because I was writing everyday. Horizons was sidelined when I got sick and no one really questioned that. The focus was on me getting better.

When I suspended uni to start writing Running Like China, a few friends asked, ‘what about that book with the twins?’ I told them I would go back to it but that my memoir was something I needed to write now.

I had a break for about a month between finishing the structural edit for Running Like China and starting Breathing Under Water. Once I started, I was quite proactive and wrote the first quarter in two months. I had a depressive episode and took three months off. When I came back to it, I wrote the rest of the novel in just over three months. When I’m in the flow of writing, there isn’t much talk. In fact, I tend to talk more to my characters than I do to real people, ha!


What’s the difference between writing non-fiction, (Running Like China) and Fiction, (Breathing Under Water)?

 The difference was that Breathing Under Water wrote itself. Even though they were my fingers punching away on the keyboard, the plot twists were just as new and exciting for me as they were for anyone else reading it. My characters came to life in the second or third chapter and I had the privilege of watching them grow and breathe. I cried for Grace when her heart broke and I ached inside when Mia couldn’t sleep.

Writing non-fiction, I was able to make sense of pain felt in the real world. I was able to tell a story in my own voice. Writing fiction, I could step into someone else’s shoes, into someone else’s world and be surprised by what I found.

hardcastle_running like china picYou travel quite a bit; are we going to see future stories set in other parts of the world?

I love university and I love writing essays, but I know there are things I will never fully understand or appreciate in a classroom. Knowledge is learnt, but experience is felt in the body. I believe travel changes you at the core. You embody memories. I have been very fortunate in the last few years to travel to some incredible places where I drank tea in houses built differently to mine and walked on earth beneath different constellations. These places, languages, customs and FOODS will no doubt make it into future books.

I’ve just started writing my second YA novel and am going to embark on a few research trips. I can’t say much, but I will say this…

Grace learns to read the swells on the sea.

My new character will learn to read the wind on Open Ocean.

I’m so excited because research is going to take me to Far North Queensland and Antarctica!


Which of your fictional characters Burns Brightest in your mind and why?

It would have to be Jake. I love him because he makes out as if he doesn’t have a care in the world, but we all know cares an awful lot about his friends. He’ll never admit it, but he wears his heart on his sleeve.


Belinda_kisses_tnBel’s happy with the series so far!



shadow huntersThis is a Netflix exclusive, 13 episode TV show based on the best selling Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

Some would class the City of Bones film as a bit of a flop… (I personally liked it). So I was utterly thrilled to see recently that the TV series was heading to my Netflix account on the 13th of January 2016. Episodes are to be released on a traditional once weekly basis and I’m looking forward to seeing the installments pertaining to the slideshow shows when mousing over the tile.

The special effects are pretty damn cool and though the first thought that ran through my head when they pulled out the Seraph blades was ‘Wow hope they bought enough batteries’, the rest of it is better than most I’ve seen before.

They didn’t stick to the storyline rigidly; Clary is 18, rather than 15, and the cast has completely changed… not necessarily a bad thing.

I want to hear what you all thought and tell me if you’re going to keep up with the series.

I am totally sucked in.

Belinda_kisses_tnBelinda Hamilton reviews Suffragette.



suffragetteDirected by Sarah Gavron

Remember the mother from Mary Poppins, singing heartily about her sister Suffragettes? This film is a long way from the frilly frivolity of spoon-fulls of sugar and spit spots.

Emmeline Pankhurst has had a gutful of inaction in the women’s rights moment and decides to rally the foot soldiers to create anarchy to get the message across. “Deeds not Words.”

We fall into the movie as Suffragettes take aim with rocks and anything they can get their hands on to break multiple panes of glass in 1912. We follow Maud (based on the real life Suffragette, Hanna Mitchell) as she gets swept up in the women’s moment.

Along the way we see the bitter pill many women in the Suffragettes had to swallow. Be it losing their jobs, their children, being ostracised, being thrown out on the street by their unsupportive husbands or being beaten; not only by the males in their lives but the police.

The casting is superb. Edith Ellyn (based on Barbara Gould) played by Helena Bonham Carter, makes me want to wave the flags and don the sash.  And as for the few minutes Emmeline Pankhurst, played by Merryl Streep is on the screen you can clearly see she was such a force of Nature.

The watershed moment of the suffragette moment is also covered in the film. Emily Wilding Davis played by Natalie Press. But you’ll have to either do a little research or see the film yourself.

The one thing that boggled my mind was the timeline displayed at the very end before the credits roll.

The last decade of the 1800’s was when New Zealand became the first self-governed colony in the world to allow ALL women to vote. But it took 122 years for Saudi Arabia to catch up when in 2015 women were finally given the right to vote.

Suffragette is at the end of its run in the cinemas but hopefully it won’t be too long a wait for the DVD release; and if there is any justice in the world, the DVD will be jam packed full of history filled extras.

We may think the work those ‘pesky’ suffragettes were marching toward is done and dusted, but baby, we’ve still got a long, long way to go.

If you saw Suffragette please let me know what you thought.



aguirre-queenBelinda’s Top 5 reads of 2015

~ Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan. (Millennium’s Rule book 2)

~ Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Anne Aguirre

~ Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

~ Day Boy by Trent Jamieson

~ Running Like China by Sophie Hardcastle

Jamieson_Day Boy CoverBelinda’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2016 (no particular order)

~ Glass Sword (Red Queen Book 2) by Victoria Aveyard  – February

~ Stars Above (the inbetween books of the Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer – February

~ Marked in Flesh (Book 4 in The Others Series) by Anne Bishop – March

~ Firstlife (Everlife book 1) by Gena Showalter – February

~ The Flame Never Dies (The Stars Never Rise Book 2) by Rachel Vincent – August


As we all know Belinda is wonderfully crafty, and today she shares a 3 Xmas decorations in 3 minutes with us. Beneath that is a wonderful decoration she made for us during the year that’s had nearly 6000 views.



Keep in contact through the following social networks or via RSS feed:

  • Follow on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Follow on Pinterest
  • Follow on Google+
  • Follow on GoodReads
  • Follow on Tumblr
  • Follow on LinkedIn
  • Follow on Keek
  • Follow on YouTube
  • Subscribe