About the Author
Bonnie Edwards lives with her husband and pets on the rainy coast of British Columbia. She believes life should be lived with joy. That joy shows up in her earthy, irreverent love stories. Bonnie uses long hikes to bounce ideas off her husband and her standard poodle, who almost always agrees with her.
She has written novels, novellas and short stories for Carina Press, Harlequin, Kensington Books and Robinson (UK) although now she publishes her work herself.
Sometimes her stories have a paranormal twist, likes curses and ghosts, other times not. But they’re always entertaining and guarantee a happy ending.
For more info: http://www.bonnieedwards.com/
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Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Bonnie-Edwards/e/B001IO9UTO
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What inspires you to write romance books?
Family stories inspired me to write romantic fiction. So many women in my family found love 2 or more times in their lives that the idea was impossible to ignore. Being open to possibilities, keeping positive and looking forward are traits that attract people … also, having a sense of humor helps. The women in my family are/were always ready to laugh.
Tell us about how you write:
I am a four draft writer! The first draft is like a starter pistol has gone off and I’m in a sprint. Which turns into a marathon, which bogs down in mud 3/4 from the end.
Then I return to the beginning and add emotion and setting and more flesh to the skeleton until I hit 3/4 again and I employ many tricks to avoid facing the mess I’ve created. Okay, so maybe it’s not that messy, but it’s certainly thick with confusion. Which thread do I tied up first? I inch ahead.
Then in the third draft I move scenes around for best effect (cliffhangers appear!), I dig really deep for emotional reactions…always sifting for ways to keep my readers turning pages. My reviews tell me whatever I do, it’s working! A lot of readers say they can’t stop reading until the end.
The fourth and final draft is editing, and picking nits and clearing up my Stupid Word List. I get to that 3/4 point and buckle down. It’s time to bring all I’ve learned about the characters to bear on the plot. They sort out their emotions, make decisions and take charge until everything is wound into a satisfying conclusion. Which always means a happy ending.
My Stupid Word List is a whole workshop I teach on editing. Basically, finding the words I use that don’t advance the plot. Weak modifiers, useless descriptive phrases that I favor in my first sprint. All writers have them and they’re different for each of us.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I see them in my mind’s eye when I’m cleaning house, half-asleep, or driving. (oops!)
I talk about them as if they’re friends. Often I’ll have someone ask me what happened to those people who did that thing…LOL! It’s embarrassing to explain they aren’t really real…just characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
Study craft! I know it’s tempting these days to write in that first rush, have a few friends read what you’ve written then edit a bit and make some corrections, but good storytelling is demanding.
Give that first sprint some time to settle. Go back in with fresh eyes and analyze where you can deepen conflict, (not just adding arguments), develop your characters organically. Don’t twist the plot to suit yourself, it should grow from conflict and character.
Be hard on yourself…demand excellence and your readers will LOVE your stories and come back for more.
(hangs head at how really tough this writing thing is)
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I started writing, traditional publishing was the only way. So, I worked and learned and studied for 15 years before I sold my first book to NYC. Then it took 5 more years to sell the second book…then it took a month…then one time, it took 4 minutes to sell for my first multi-book contract. (I sent an email asking if she liked this idea)
Traditional publishing could be awesome fun at times.
But, times change and now, I’m publishing my work myself, but still demanding the very best I can do.
My advice to new authors starting today? Keep up your craft studies. Join RWA if you’re writing romance. Take classes online and in person if you can. Go to conferences for their craft workshops. Disengage from the hopeful child inside who wants it all and focus your adult self on learning and applying what you learn.
That kind of polish will show up in the characters and plots you create.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The only constant in book publishing is change. And it’s coming faster all the time.
But strong storytelling skills are timeless and will always be in demand.
What genres do you write:: I write contemporary romance. Sometimes I have ghosts, or curses, or empathic abilities, but I never write really dark or depressing stories. My writing is funny (readers say that), emotional (readers say that, too) and always have a happy ending.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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