The Toymaker’s Doll Blog Tour: Interview with E.G. Bella

A limp. A scuff. A cowardly heart.

Jane is a doll struggling with all these things. She and her friend Isabel, a blind stuffed kitten, spend their days in the corner of their shelf, watching the other toys in the shop play—and wishing they could be like them.

Questions plague the friends. Why has the Toymaker allowed them to be flawed? Surely it’s a mistake. One day, Jane sets off to find his workshop, eager to be fixed, and to bring him back for Isabel.


But the journey is hard and the road long. How can such a weak, fearful doll ever reach the Toymaker? And how will he respond if she does?

In this sweet story reminiscent of a children’s book, E. G. Bella offers a moving tale of what it means to trust, to love, and to shine light into the dark discouragements of life.



As a part of the tour, I got the chance to interview Bella. I loved reading about her writing journey and desire to honor the Lord! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.


Interview with E.G. Bella

VH: Hi, Bella, and welcome to the blog! I’m so excited to have you join me today. A big congratulations on the release of The Toymaker’s Doll!

EB: Thank you so much, Vanessa! I’m really excited to be chatting with you today. It’s definitely been a journey to get to this point!

VH: Tell me a little bit about your writing journey. When did you first start writing?

EB: I first started “writing” when I was about four, as I was just learning to read. Before I could write well, I’d color one scene of my story per piece of paper and then have my mom staple them together, so I could go around, “reading” my stories to family members. The first story I wrote with actual words was a one-page parable of sorts, about a ladybug who wouldn’t listen to her friend’s pleas for her to stop talking all of the time—and got eaten by a bird as a result. Even small me wasn’t afraid to hurt my characters apparently, haha.

My first full novel was written when I was eleven years old, and I’ve been writing pretty consistently ever since. Especially since 2018, I’ve written or rewritten 1-3 novels and a spattering of short stories each year. I’ve experimented with a lot of genres at this point and have a running list of story ideas that I don’t think I’ll ever get through completely. In 2020, I also started blogging on my website (www.egbella.com), hoping to work toward indie publishing. Blogging has been very different than fiction writing, but I’m enjoying it so much more than I thought I would. 

VH: What’s the hardest part about writing for you?

EB: Hmm, that’s a tough question. Currently, it’s probably making the time to write in the first place. There’s a lot going on in life at the moment, (when is there not, right?), and it seems like I’m never able to write as much as I’d like.

When I do get to write though, the hardest part for me would be editing. Writing rough drafts is usually really fun for me, but when it comes to the hard mental work of editing, I admit, I procrastinate a lot. My attention span is also not the greatest, haha, so I tend to get bored with my own stories after the first 3-6 rounds of editing and have to come back to them after working on another story for a while. It’s an issue I’m working to get better at.

VH: What are your favorite genres to write in?

EB: Another hard question! Right now, I’d say medieval adventure/fantasy, historical fiction (specifically involving pirates), or dystopian/suspense. Those are the genres of my main projects right now, and I’m enjoying them all very much. I’ve also had some fun in the past with contemporary and science fiction. It really varies depending on my mood and which story ideas have recently come into my mind. And also, whether I want to research or worldbuild…I go back and forth between the two and usually end up detesting either one by the time I finish a certain project, haha.

VH: What authors have deeply influenced your writing?

EB: You know, this is something I still don’t have a good answer for. I’ve read from so many different authors and gleaned a lot from each one. If I really stop and think about it though, I think some of the childhood authors that have influenced my writing the most include Katherine Paterson, Lois Gladys Leppard, and Max Lucado. More recently, I’ve also found great inspiration from Nadine Brandes, Maggie Stiefvater, and Daniel Schwabauer.

VH: What’s one of your best pieces of advice for an aspiring author?

EB: Don’t stress about making it perfect, just tell the story you’re passionate about telling. Something I’ve said many times (as a reminder to myself if nothing else), is to leave perfect to God and tell stories that lead people to Him. There’s no one that can tell the stories that you can, or put the same meaning behind those characters, those plots, those worlds… They’re unique to you. And they don’t need to be perfect to touch people’s hearts and influence their lives for the better.

Obviously, we shouldn’t just be sloppy, but I know firsthand how hard perfectionism is, and if God’s put a story on our heart to share, we shouldn’t let fear of finding a typo or a strangely-worded sentence stop us from letting God use that story. And even if you don’t plan to share your stories with others, allow yourself to write freely for your own sake. There’s so much healing found in pouring your experiences into your writing.

VH: What’s your favorite type of character to write?

EB: The snarky, spirited character with a witty sense of humor and a knack for getting away with things that I’d never dare to. They say opposites attract, and I suppose in this case it’s true. Some of the easiest characters to write have been the ones most unlike me.

I’ve also written a lot of angsty mentor characters that act gruff or callous on the outside but reveal their tender heart after getting attached to a persistent student. Both of these types appear in my writing quite often, haha. Hey, we all have our guilty pleasures, right?

VH: At what point did you realize you wanted to publish? How did you decide to go with indie publishing?

EB: Well, I’ve wanted to publish for almost as long as I’ve been writing, actually. But early on, I didn’t even know about indie publishing. I figured that if I was going to share my writing with others eventually, it’d have to be through traditional publishing—which is something I imagined I’d never be good enough for. At least not for a long, long time.

Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but when I first learned about and started researching indie publishing in 2020, I was hooked. Of course, I’m still striving to make my stories as good as possible (see previous mentions of perfectionism…), but being able to have a say in every aspect of my story and its publishing process is a huge plus for me. In addition, my fiction isn’t exactly mainstream literature, I like the idea of keeping all my own rights, and I love learning, so although it’s overwhelming, learning what goes into each part of publishing has been a neat process. Everyone has their own best path, and this fits my journey very well right now.  

VH: Tell me a little bit about The Toymaker’s Doll!

EB: Oh, gladly! The Toymaker’s Doll is an allegorical short story about a doll who goes on a quest to find the Toymaker and ask him why he’s allowed her and her friend to be so flawed. Throughout the course of the story, Jane (the doll) struggles with her insecurities and weaknesses, and, in the end, finally learns the truth about her purpose and how even her weaknesses and “flaws” can be used for good.

It started as a school project, and continued way past the suggested wordcount. The themes are ones I’ve wrestled with for a large portion of my life, and at the time that the idea came to me, I didn’t even know how it would end. I honestly couldn’t say that I knew how my own weaknesses and flaws could be used for good. The process of writing was very healing for me, and the story is incredibly near and dear to my heart. The writing style is also not my usual, as I decided to consciously imitate the writings of allegorical authors such as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Hannah Hurnard, and Max Lucado. It was a neat experiment.

VH: What do you hope readers will take away from your writing?

EB: From The Toymaker’s Doll in particular, I pray readers will come away feeling comforted and encouraged in whatever is going on in their lives right now. I’d like for someone to read this story, read the Toymaker’s words to Jane, and recognize that not only are the words for Jane, but for them as well. No matter what the pain, hardships, or struggles, God has a plan, and each and every person is on this earth for a purpose. He doesn’t make mistakes, but He can use even the hardest of circumstances for good. There’s so much peace to be found in that knowledge.

In general, I just always pray that my writing would serve to lead others closer to Christ. Even in my works that aren’t explicitly Christian, I always want godly themes and messages to shine through. There’s plenty of darkness in this world, and I’d like to light up as much of it as possible.

VH: What do your upcoming projects look like?

EB: I’ve got a lot of projects in the works right now, but two of the biggest ones include editing an inspirational short story/novella (a bit longer than The Toymaker’s Doll), and continuing to work toward publishing Cabin Girl, the first of my pirate novels. Time will tell what comes after that, but I have a pretty big variety of stories I’d like to finish in 2022.

VH: Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Bella, and congrats again! 

EB: Thank you again for having me, and for your encouragement! You’re such a blessing.


About the Author

E. G. Bella is a bookworm-turned-author with a passion for cheesy puns, colorful characters, and contagious faith. She writes in a wide variety of genres, striving to craft memorable and page-turning tales the whole family can enjoy. When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or gushing about her stories to anyone within earshot, Bella can be found sipping warm coffee, reading emotional books, and harmonizing with the radio. Sometimes all at once. You can visit her at www.egbella.com, where she blogs weekly about life, writing, and what she’s learning about both.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday (December 20th): 

Vanessa Hall (Book Review)

E. G. Bella (The Toymaker’s Doll Blog Tour Kickoff!)

Tuesday (December 21st): 

Kristina Hall (Book Review)

Wednesday (December 22nd): 

Vanessa Hall (Author Interview)

E. G. Bella (Why I Use a Pen Name)

Thursday (December 23rd): 

Grace A. Johnson (Book Review & Author Interview)

Friday (December 24th): 

Stepping Stones Book Reviews (Author Interview)

E. G. Bella (What Readers Are Saying)

Saturday (December 25th): 

Teen Writers’ Nook (Book Review)

Sunday (December 26th): 

E. G. Bella (Blog Tour Wrap-Up)

4 thoughts on “The Toymaker’s Doll Blog Tour: Interview with E.G. Bella

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