Friday, December 18, 2009

Interview with Bonnie Edwards

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Bonnie Edwards. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Breathless. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Breathless is an anthology of 3 novellas : Breathless, To Die For and Body by Gibson from Kensington Aphrodisia, so you know they’re erotic romance.

In the novella, Breathless, a young woman slips into an antique corset that takes her back into the body of another woman and the arms of Dr. Colt Stephens. But can Blue stay with the man she loves and fulfill the other woman's obligations?

In To Die For, we meet Stack Hamilton and Tawny James. As soon as I watched this particular hero walk across the stage of my mind, I knew he was Stack. He's got raven hair and shoulders to die for. Tawny is easily a match for him, with a body men could kill for. (And have) Stack might say she's almost too much woman. . .

In Body by Gibson, I'm pleased to offer Danny Glenn, a carpenter who knows his way around a woman's body and is only too happy to please. Mariel Gibson is an artist in crisis and using Danny's body is her way of finding herself again. (Okay, I admit it...I love men with hammers and low slung jeans and tool belts)

Breathless is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

The heroine in the novella has a lung disease that renders her Breathless before she time travels…okay, so maybe that’s not romantic, but it’s fitting. The illness is important to establish…also, the word itself is sexy. We do feel Breathless when love strikes. (at least that’s what I remember!) I like titles with a rhythm and Breathless has rhythm.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Erotic romance chose me. I tend to believe strongly that a lot can be revealed in a love scene. Where a man can seem rough or difficult in the office or building a deck, when he's amorous his tenderness can be shown. The market swung toward extended love scenes and hotter, more intensely sexual books and I was already writing those.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a four draft writer, which means each draft uncovers more and more of the characters. When I start I have no idea what they need to learn/accept/believe by the end. Finding love on the way to their own discovery is what makes the whole story tick for me.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I did the research for story set in 1913 when I wrote Midnight Confessions (the start of a series of ghost stories set in Perdition House, a haunted bordello). It’s a wonderful time in history. Modern conveniences were appearing: telephones, cars, even corn flakes! So while it’s historical, I call the setting “familiar historical”. After all, a lot of people have photos in their family of people from that very time period. I think it’s quite easy to relate to that and them.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

My previous book, THIGH HIGH, had 3 novellas linked by underwear below the waist…so when I thought of a follow up I considered above the waist and ended up with a corset from Perdition House, a Vegas showgirl’s rhinestone-studded bustier and body painting== with a twist.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Wow. Blue McCann who had to sort out the soul switching in BREATHLESS was a great character. She was named Blue because as a baby she was left in a dumpster and the cop who found her called her after the color of her skin. No one cared enough to give her another name. She deserved a second chance at a full life. And the hero I loved a lot was Stack Hamilton from To Die For: he’s big, brawny and I loved his voice.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I uncover the characters more with every draft I write. Like peeling an onion (not an original thought, but that’s how it is for me). This makes writing more fun, Every draft is exciting because I’m continually discovering new things. Character sheets have never been useful to me. I’ve tried them many times, thinking that I could save a whole draft that way, but it’s never worked. Nothing has ever worked to lessen the number of drafts.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Linda Howard when I first started. And today, I have to say I love Alexis Morgan’s heroes. They’re awesome! For learning craft, I’m always inspired by Jack Bickham who wrote fabulous how to books and over 80 Westerns, so he practiced what he preached, so to speak.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I don’t do a lot that’s not online. I give away books during the weeks around release, but where I live it’s expensive to mail out bookmarks and things. I think the best thing is excerpts on my site. Erotic romance isn’t for everyone, so I think it’s only fair to give people a sample and let them decide if my stories work for them. I don’t write BDSM or ménage stories…just really hot, explicit romance…heavy on the romance.

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m very excited by my upcoming Harlequin Blaze, POSSESSING MORGAN, which will be out in March. What a thrill! After that, it’s another Aphrodisia, this time a single title with three couples intertwined stories…quite challenging to write! That one is titled Men Times Three and will be out in October.

Thanks, Bonnie!

To celebrate her book release, Bonnie Edwards is offering a free book of BREATHLESS to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see who won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Check out author’s website at www.bonnieedwards.com Several buy links are on her site!

15 comments:

Kim Watters said...

Good Morning Bonnie,
Glad you liked the chocolate enough to join us again. I love the concept of the four draft writer and can so relate. WIth this method, how long does it take you to finish the book? Enjoy your day with us. :)

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Breathless sounds wonderful. I love the cover.

Bonnie Edwards said...

Hi! This living in the Pacific time zone means I'm always racing to catch up.

Thanks so much for having me here, Kim. I'll stop in throughout the day.

Crystal...this cover is one of the loveliest. She's alluring, sensual, sexy, without being over the top. Half of my girlfriends from high school tried to say it was them and I'd dug their photo out of a trunk. HAH (not on your best day ladies -- not even back in the day)

But I have to say I was nearly breathless myself as her image loaded onto my screen the first time. She's even better in "real".

Some people use the term "pantser" or "flying into the mist" when they talk about their writing.

Well, that may be: but to get a story to publishable takes 4 full drafts for me. The first is full of telling and hurried dialogue, not much setting or emotional reaction...a straight run through.

The next 2 are I layer in character, emotion, a sense of place etc. The last is more the fine tuning and editing.

What's absolutely horrid is the fact that I don't clearly see the end until the actual end of draft #4.

That's right. I've woken on June 30 with The End in neon lights in my mind. Problem was, that book was due July 1. I've tried everything I can think of to avoid that horror, but nothing works. No ending I trump up ever feels right, so I tend to peter out then go back and run through the story again from the beginning.

Books can take 6 - 9 months and yes, it's nervewracking to work this way.

I'd love to find a way to change my process but it's always the same.

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Hi Bonnie! Love the cover! And funny, you and I write almost the same way. :)

liana laverentz said...

Hi, Bonnie,

I'm a four draft writer, too. At least. And I find out something new about my characters every time, too. Character sheets never worked for me, either. I like structure, but not too much. I want to see what develops.

All the best!

Carolyn Matkowsky said...

Bonnie,

Great interview! Your books sound really wonderful. You have quite an imagination. One of my best friends from high school was named Bonnie Edwards, so it was a bit of shock to see your name. I'll have to recommend your books to her. Just reading about your books has convinced me I want to read more.

Reading that you're a four-draft writer has encouraged me. I'm a multiple-draft writer too, and when I read about authors who write a full, polished book in three months, one draft, I want to just quit. You've made me feel better.

Carolyn Matkowsky/Cara Marsi

Ali said...

Bonnie! Hello :)
Never heard of a four draft writer, but I think it's a great idea :)
I love how the new title fits both the character and the book in general... I know you have a Harlequin Blaze coming up (which I can't wait for), do you plan on doing anymore Blaze novels?

Bonnie Edwards said...

ALM: You rock, you know that? ROCK.

Liana. That's it exactly re: characters being revealed. Sometimes I know that the heroine needs to learn XYZ but I have no idea how she's going to learn it.

By draft 3 I've figured that out *AND* that what she really needed to learn was ABC...so I end up with more layers. Very cool. (I hope it works for readers that way: that they see the layers and not just the hot sex) :)

But not seeing The END is really hard on a gal. Seriously hard.

Bonnie

Bonnie Edwards said...

Carolyn, I hear you about the single draft perfection. BAH Humbug.

And there are tons of Bonnie Edwards out there. I hope your friend isn't the one who sent me a note chastising me about what I write. As if sex didn't exist or something. It does...and what's more all the folks you see on the street,in the mall, in their cars got here because of it. AND for the most part...do it whenever, however, as much as they can. LOL

My message is that love plays the biggest part of a relationship. Hot sex is just the beginning.

Ali...thank you for stopping in. My first Blaze, Possessing Morgan will be out in March and I can't wait! The cover's awesome and the book was a lot of fun to write.

Different length from my novellas and single titles with Kensington Aphrodisia.

I hope to have more Blazes, but it's such a popular line that I'm still waiting to hear on a proposal. I'm in line like everyone else.

It's a fun idea though and has a twist of paranormal (you know I enjoy those lighter para twists)about 4 brothers cursed by a gypsy 100 years ago.

Please cross your fingers for me!

Will check in later!
Bonnie

Ali said...

Bonnie, I will definitely have my fingers crossed for you... but they'd be crazy not to give you another contract.

Estella said...

I love books with more than one story.
Nice cover.

Carolyn Matkowsky said...

Bonnie

My friend Bonnie Edwards would love your books and she definitely wouldn't write you a nasty letter. I agree with you about loving playing the biggest part in a relationship.

Carolyn/Cara

Bonnie Edwards said...

Cara...thanks! If you take a look at my site you'll find excerpts there. Your Bonnie could read them and have a chuckle. Maybe compare imaginations. LOL

Ali, from your lips to the editor's ear. But I'm now also working on a short for the Mammoth Book of Erotic Romance and my next Aphrodisia will soon be back on my desk with copy edits. I so appreciate your good thoughts.

Estella...I love writing novellas so it's great that you love reading them.

Bonnie

Sue A. said...

The novellas in Breathless all have very intriguing premises. Sounds like a great read! I'm happy to know you have other books coming with Aphrodisia, a favorite line of mine.

Bonnie Edwards said...

Thanks Sue! I love writing for Aphrodisia, have since the very beginning when I was in the launch anthology, The Hard Stuff.

What a great ride it's been.

I can't believe the line launched four years ago. Time flies.

Please don't forget to check back on Monday when the winner of Breathless will be announced.

Good luck to everyone!
Bonnie