Interview with Mark M. Bello | NewInBooks


What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Betrayal at the Border?

As with my past books, Betrayal at the Border was “ripped from the headlines.” Daily, it seems the news is filled with stories of people, especially those coming from South American countries currently experiencing political upheaval and engaging in tyranny and oppression to its citizens. We also continue to have dangerous and deteriorating interactions and relationships with Middle Eastern countries and terrorist groups. These stories are quite common and commonly dangerous and, there seems to be no end in sight. So, my goal was to write realistic fiction; a realistic account of what immigrants and citizens might experience in our broken immigration system and our dysfunctional foreign policy.  

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Betrayal at the Border, what would they be?

Coming to America by Neil Diamond  

If you had to write a blurb for the last book you read, what would it say?

A compelling and engaging look at the broad impact of teenage mental illness and suicide. This might be the most important book of the year. All The Things We Didn’t See By D. A. Reed.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I like many genres—I certainly love legal thrillers, which is why I like to write in that genre. “Historical” epics, like Ken Follet’s recent Century Trilogy or George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, are a close second.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? 

No, I really don’t—I’m boring! I do write in fits and spurts, though. I can go a long while without writing a thing, or I can write a substantial portion of a full-length novel in a short time. It depends on how the “juices” flow.

Where did you write Betrayal at the Border?

I wrote Betrayal at the Border in my home office and in my backyard lounge chair on a laptop. I really admire the writers of yesterday who had to write and edit “longhand.” 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“A good education is your ticket to success.”  – Julius C. Bello, my dad.  


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