Saturday, March 27, 2010
Welcome to Bonnie Edwards' guest blog!
Welcome Ms. Bonnie Edwards to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.
Did you always want to become a writer?
Thank you so much for having me here! I think that I was always making up stories in my head, but didn’t think that I could actually write stories. My family wasn’t tuned into reading or writing or anything very creative. So, I took a long time to accept that writing was my passion.
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
For me, the most interesting fact about writing is having those blinding flashes of creativity that mean a new story is building inside my head. The least interesting fact for me, personally, is going through a manuscript and weeding out my list of “Stupid Words”. Those are useless words that slow the pace, make the writing unclear and otherwise clutter up a good story. I now have about 30 words on the list.
How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?
My first release was back in 2000 with a Kensington Precious Gems romance under another name and I bought a small (very small) set of diamond studs to celebrate. Then, when my first Aphrodisia came out (Bodywork in The Hard Stuff)I was actually on vacation in Hawaii with my husband. How romantic it was to see my book on the shelves in such a wonderful location! We took pictures of the book on the shelves and of me with the store clerks. I’d love to say that I always buy diamonds or go to exotic vacation sites for every book release, but I live in the real world and like everyone else, have bills to pay, laundry to do, and roles like wife, mother, sister etc to keep me busy. Now I celebrate by doing interviews, replying to readers when they write about the new book and guest blogging.
How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?
My family doesn’t read my “hotter than hot” writing. I have a sister-in-law and cousins who love it, though. My husband says he “lives it” so doesn’t have to read more than the back cover blurb! But he tells me it sounds good. (g)
Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
I agree, most writers read a lot…but like most readers, they likely feel they aren’t reading enough. That’s the case with me. I love to read, but most of my reading today is to study the market, or to see what I can learn from other writers who have stronger heroes, or better suspense, or strong humour. My favourites have changed over the years, too. Some of them include Alexis Morgan for her strong warrior heroes, EC Sheedy for her gothic sense of place and smooth voice in her romantic suspense books, Gail Whitiker for her lively, lovely Regencies.
Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?
My characters certainly live with me. I think of them as I go to sleep at night and first thing when I wake…especially as the story moves along. By the end, they’re very real. Even the ghosts in Midnight Confessions seemed alive to me and I was as caught up in their stories as any other. But I did try to remember that they were ghosts, after all…which made them dead way before I came up with the idea for a haunted bordello! (you can see I have a twisted way of looking at things)
But living role models as I write? No. My characters come from my own observations on how people behave and react. So maybe they’re from deep inside a childhood memory or an adult situation that grabs my attention. I tend to think of them emotionally rather than objectively, I guess.
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Characters and their emotional needs…what they need to learn in order to grow. Great pacing is vital, as is strong dialogue that keeps the story moving.
Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
My characters develop layers with every draft of the story. I write 4 full drafts and skim and polish many many times. My favourite character is the one I’m working on, but often I relax a lot more with secondary characters. They can be easy and fun because they don’t do the heavy work of carrying the story. The most difficult character for me to get a grip on was in a novella (you’d think they’d be easier because they’re short, but no, the opposite is true…the shorter the work, the more demand for tight writing.) This character was in “Body by Gibson” in BREATHLESS, my Dec/09 Aphrodisia.
As I learned about Mariel Gibson, I cleared out some of my personal roadblocks to creativity. I had no idea when I started that story that this would happen! But four drafts of uncovering her layers, exposed more and more of my own doubts about creativity, fear, and ambition in the writing field.
Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Definitely character driven…the plot unfolds more strongly in my second draft. That’s very difficult work for me!
Where do you get the inspirations for your books?
Oddly enough…I get a lot of inspiration from reality television these days. I’m fascinated by some of the shows on The Learning Channel rather than the scripted drama you see. So, not “Survivor” or any of the “Real Housewives”. Not that…but other things that make me wonder why/how/ about life choices. PEOPLE are my inspiration.
Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
Occasionally. But not once I’ve got the characters to an emotional place with each other. The hardest one I wrote was a recent one for my next Aphrodisia…but I won’t say more. Suffice to say that the emotions surrounding the sex didn’t sit well with me so I had to find a place to really feel the connection the character felt.
Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers block?
No writers block I haven’t been able to overcome with hard work. I’ve had to ask for more time on a deadline when a family crisis occurred or a health issue arose. But never because I couldn’t write the story.
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer) ?
I love connecting characters. But some series just go on for too long and I can’t keep up. But then, my reading time for pure pleasure is quite limited.
As a writer, I LOVED writing my stories set in Perdition House (the haunted bordello featured in Midnight Confessions) I could write more! And most of my fan mail is asking for more.
If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?
For a short time, I’d like to change places with Belle, the ghost madam who ran the Perdition House bordello. She’s very cool, fun, smart and has a wry and mysterious way of looking at life. (even though she’s dead!)
What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?
I’m always in love with a new idea so this is hard to answer, but I enjoyed Midnight Confessions very much…but the second book was a joy b/c of the happy endings! As for characters, my heroine in Possessing Morgan (HQ Blaze) was a fabulous heroine: quirky, spunky…bright and energetic and tough emotionally and physically. And for heroes: well, I’ve got three brothers coming out in October in Men Times Three who will curl your toes! I loved every inch of those rock hard bodies. Their humor, their hard work ethic, their brains…yes, their brains…of course, their brains. Not their chests…nor their muscles….nor their toolbelts….LOL
Would you like to give another genre a try?
Paranormal romantic suspense.
Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
After four drafts they all seem difficult, but when I look back months later, it’s like the hard part’s forgotten. Like bearing children: it hurts at the time, but the joy of seeing the result makes the pain fade from memory.
If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?
I’d love to see Midnight Confessions onscreen. But with all the ghost stories it would be tough to settle on a cast. Other than that, I’m fascinated by Stack Hamilton and Tawny James in the novella To Die For in BREATHLESS. I could see Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson as Stack and a curvy, bodacious actress for Tawny. I can’t think of anyone but Catherine Zeta Jones as curvy. Too many skinny actresses right now!
What do you feel is the most important aspect a new author should
remember when writing/creating their own stories? Any advice for
Study craft. Don’t be tempted to send anything into a publisher that doesn’t shine shine shine! And learn what you can about your own voice and stay true to it. No one will tell a story with the words you use so let your voice out!
Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book come
out? How much does reader response mean to you over your books? What
do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?
I was nervous about Possessing Morgan because that was with a new publisher for me. Harlequin Blazes have a great reputation and I wanted my story to fit in there and be received well. So far so good! Most reviewers and readers have really liked my heroine, Morgan, the ex-car thief.
What season is your favorite and why?
Spring! The days are getting longer, life and love are in the air…what’s not to love?
What would we find on your bookcase if we looked? What is one of your favorite authors?
You’d find how-to write books on my office shelves. My reading shelves are full of romances and I go through phases of what’s my favourite so I can’t really say my absolute favorite author. Every author I read more than once touches some part of me that maybe no other author does.
What was the last book you read (e or print) and did you like it?
Defeat the Darkness by Alexis Morgan…I love her warrior heroes.
What makes a good book to you?
Emotionally uplifting. I love happy endings.
How does reader feedback matter to you?
I love it when it’s positive, but when it’s not so positive I have to work hard to clear it out of my head. I think sometimes people forget there’s a real person who has an emotional connection to their stories and has done the best job they can.
Are you ever nervous when a new book comes out?
Not nervous. Thrilled. And hopeful that people will like it.
If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
I love the early 1900’s because that time is sort of familiar: the first cars, telephones, streetcars, lightbulbs would be fascinating.
What character out of all your books is the closest to your
There’s a bit of me in all of them, so I can’t really say. I’d love to look like Tawny James, be as creatively brave as Mariel Gibson, be smart and calm like Faye Grantham…be a smartass like the ghost Belle Grantham. I admire them all! And I’d love to be as in-your-face as Morgan Swann for sure.
What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch
it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?
The African Queen! I know it’s ancient now, but I can’t help laughing at Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. It’s adventurous and funny and exciting….and they’re such honorable characters! And it’s so incredibly romantic to be facing a hanging and ask to be married so she can go to Heaven a married woman.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you
have with you?
A boat, a box of books, a tent, my husband (who would miraculously make a radio out of bamboo) and a comfy mattress.
What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and
Bubble baths for stress. I walk my pup (10 mos. Old and getting BIG) and I get regular massages for stress relief.
Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?
No, I need quiet…but I can shut out the sound of working machinery. It’s just that music distracts me too much.
Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?
Harlequin Blaze # 529 Possessing Morgan (March, 2010) This is the back cover blurb:
He's everything she's ever wanted . . .
Repo woman Morgan Swann can hardly believe it. She's been hopelessly infatuated with headline-stealing heartthrob Kingston "Mac" McRae for most of her life . . . and now she's in his driveway, about to repossess his fancy car. If only she could pick up the rest of him so easily . . .
Mac can't believe, it either. His car is being stolen. . . but all he can think about is getting the sexy-as-hell Morgan into the the backseat. And their engines only rev hotter once she shows him how easily her Daisy Duke shorts come off.
It's a sweaty, fast ride -- the ultimate thrill. Until Morgan realizes she wants not only the fantasy, but the key to Mac's heart as well.
My reviews have made me very happy! And letters from readers have been great to read.
Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?
Men Times Three from Kensington Aphrodisia is in production right now and will be out in October this year. I have 3 log cabin building brothers and a set of cousins who take them on a bit of a wild ride when the women inherit their grandfather’s inn. Each pair has their own story while there’s an over-arcing story that winds up making them appreciate what they’ve all found together. These O’Banion men are hot hot hot!
Other than that I’m waiting to hear back on a Mammoth Book of Hot Romance story. As soon as I hear more I’ll include the information in my newsletter and on my site.
Thanks so much for the chance to answer these questions! It’s been a blast.
Also, I’d like to offer a copy of Possessing Morgan to one commenter today. I’ll check in to answer more questions if there are any!