Bonnie is one of my fellow Noble authors and she loves living in Northern Ontario, Canada even though she spends most of the long winter indoor writing. She chants, bikes, gardens, reads, stitches, volunteers, studies the Dharma, paints, plays/works on the computer, attends live theatre, enjoys being trounced in scrabble by her husband, Fred, and is often found ripping up pieces of her yard or stripping furniture. She hates cooking and cleaning and loves her robot vacuum, (too bad it can’t move the furniture). Her son, stepsons, and extended family keep her young. Once upon a time, she was a grade school teacher. She has entirely too much imagination and not enough opportunity to indulge it.
Tell us about your publishing journey.
I wrote short stories for magazines and anthologies and a newspaper column while I taught part time. When I became a full time teacher, writing fell by the wayside, although I wrote plays for my drama club and worked with a Young Authors club.
When I stopped teaching, I decided to tackle novels, which is what I really wanted to write. Noble Romance Publishing accepted my first book, Dawn’s End. I wrote two sequels, Dawn’s End Poisoned, and Dawn’s End Outworld Apocalypse, which they also published. All three are ebooks and the last is also a paperback. They can be understood in any order, although they are chronological. The trilogy is speculative (a blend of fantasy and science fiction) and written for ages 16 and up.
I have two self-published collections of short stories. Some were contest winners and some were previously published in anthologies that are now out of print. Bouquet is a trilogy of Buddhist themed fantasy and science fiction stories. Inhale contains contemporary stories, some with a fantasy twist. They are available on Amazon.com. I priced them at $0.99 as a way to bring in new readers.
I am currently working with Tradewinds Books in Vancouver, British Columbia on a historical paranormal novel entitled Switch which will be out in 2014. It is about a young disenfranchised woman whose ability to see ghosts endangers herself and her family. When she has the opportunity to learn herbalism, it seems she may be able to contribute to her family’s survival, but this takes a macabre twist.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I always wanted to be an author. I just didn’t have the time, training. or confidence to pursue it full-time until 2009.
What’s your views on social media for authors? Which sites do you recommend?
If you are just starting out, I’d say stay away from too much social media. It will eat up your writing time. There are, however, terrific blogs by authors and agents on writing that are invaluable. Also, keep abreast of what is happening in publishing. Some of the good ones are: Evil Editor, The Write Practice, The Creative Penn, and Janet Reid, Literary Agent.
Once you’ve reached the publication stage, it is essential to have your own professional facebook page separate from your family/friends one. Goodreads would be the next one I’d say was essential. You may want to have a blog, but if you are already struggling for writing time, I wouldn’t recommend it. There are so many out there now you really need to have a niche to pick up followers. Twitter and Linked-in can also be helpful.
What’s your favourite part of the publishing process?
The best part of writing is the first draft where my mind is free and I’m juiced at the prospect of what I’m about to create.
You’re currently writing a historical paranormal novel – what’s your fav time period and why?
I love Tudor Times in England (1485-1603). It was such a turbulent period in history, so full of extremes. Life was full of more than the usual amount of change: political intrigue, religious revolution, plague, war, female queens, and innovation in the arts.
When it comes to the paranormal – what still scares you?
I enjoy vampire and monster stories, but a part of me is always aware that it is fantasy. Ghost stories, however, shake my beliefs. There are so many strange incidents of haunting that I am never sure what is real and what is imagination.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Read and discuss what you read. Examine what propelled the plot forward, how the author made you care for and understand the characters, what worked, and what didn’t work.
Write every day. It doesn’t have to be something you plan on publishing. Be critical of your writing. Reread it and polish it.
Take writing classes, in person or on-line.