It is fitting, having just celebrated Canada Day 2 days ago, to have as my guest a fellow member of the Vancouver Island Chapter of RWA. Bonnie Edwards is a multi-published author who gives freely of her time and expertise, and I have learned a lot from her insightful workshops.
I am like most women: a wife, mother, sister, daughter, auntie who has worn a lot of hats in her lifetime. The only difference is that I’m also a writer of romance, a lover of books, a regular blood donor and a pet lover. (okay…I guess on a writer’s blog on Goodreads, I’m pretty much exactly the same as everyone else here!)
How did you get started writing?
See that title of Mom? I had a child who refused to be potty trained…and another who thought I had Velcro on my legs. As much as I loved being a wife and mom, I felt my brain turning to mush. I hit a place where I knew there had to be more and it was up to me to find that place myself. No one else could make me happy…I had to find my bliss.
I’d always enjoyed writing and it came naturally. My sister-in-law was an avid romance reader who shared her books and I was hooked! I am an optimist by nature so the idea of a guaranteed happy ending fit with my need to write.
I write romance! I have written erotic romance for Kensington Books’ Aphrodisia imprint, category romance for Harlequin Blaze, novellas for Aphrodisia and Carina Press and now I write and publish my work independently, like so many others.
I think that first flush of sexual awareness and learning between a couple is the most exciting time in a relationship. Who wouldn’t want to relive that time between the pages of a book? I was writing hot, sexy love scenes way before erotic romance hit the stage. In some ways, those scenes held back my career. That is, until the market finally caught up and I was in the launch anthology for Kensington’s Aphrodisia. Those were heady days!
I write contemporary romance but also veer into light paranormal, like curses and ghost stories and/or curses that end up being time-travel because I love the twists I can add to the story and characters.
In my short story, The Stone Heart, I took inspiration from the old tv show The Twilight Zone and put a twist in it.
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
Including my short stories and novellas about 20 were published traditionally. I have two fully self-published books out now. My latest is Love in a Pawn Shop with my own dog on the cover.
My favorite story is the one I’m currently working on…but I must say that Love in a Pawn Shop was a particular joy to write because I could finally tell the story I wanted to tell, my way. I did garner interest in the book, but the marketing department of a big publisher decided heroines shouldn’t own pawn shops (and probably shouldn’t own pit-bulls either). I set the story aside until I could self-publish it and WOW! I couldn’t have predicted the response. I have discovered a whole world of dog lovers and specifically pit-bull lovers outside my usual readership.
I never would have been able to have my own dog on the cover of a traditionally published romance. My Beau passed away 5 years ago and I sobbed every day that I wrote a scene with him in it. I relived my time with my dog and showed many of his behaviors in the book.
I found the whole experience wonderful and made certain that even the dog had a happy ending.
I always fall in love with my characters; my heroines because they’re strong and independent and often come from hard-luck circumstances and my heroes who most times see the woman they want and do whatever it takes to claim her.
I felt exactly the same writing cat scenes in Haunted Knights. I named the character after my cat Topaz who died unexpectedly while I was writing the ms. (Now I am tearing up!) Tell us about your current series.
The Silhouette Saga is a paranormal series based on a gypsy curse. Four brothers need to learn some lessons about love, women and relationships. My heroines for these stories are just the right women to teach those lessons. I’m having so much fun writing these men: they’re arrogant, charming, sexy and stubborn.
Book 1 of The Silhouette Saga is titled Kim, Unveiled…but that could change as the revisions progress. I’m also making the books longer because the stories demand more depth and length. There’s a lot going on and the conflict has grown by leaps and bounds.
What inspired your latest book?
The Silhouette Saga came to me because I have a gypsy curse in my short story, The Stone Heart and I wanted to go back to the gypsy who cursed that heroine and create more stories from his family. His sister is the one who’s cursed my current heroes…and a nasty curse it is, too.
Do you send out a newsletter?
My newsletter…sigh…is often short and very sporadic. People can sign up on my website: www.bonnieedwards.com Usually, I send out news when I have a new release or when I’ve added formats for e-readers such as KOBO, or iTunes or Nook. I send short, to-the-point newsletters that offer links to purchase whatever is new.
I keep my newsletters short because I don’t want to waste readers’ time with unnecessary bits of personal gossip or something they’re not interested in. Maybe that goes against the norm, but me sharing recipes? Not going to happen. I’m not that good a cook…and my husband does the gardening. I write! I write and write and tell stories and that’s what I want my readers to read. My stories. I hope to make people cry, laugh and sigh at the end. So, I let them know when a story is available and that’s all. (I’m cringing because we hear all the time that readers want to know more, but that’s what my FB page and Twitter is for.)
How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I’m having a blast! I love the chance to work on covers with an interested cover artist. I use 2. One for my contemporary romances (you’ll see sexy boots, shoes, and one dog on those covers) My other cover artist works on my paranormal books: The Stone Heart and now: Kim, Unveiled.
So: Here is the cover reveal for Kim, Unveiled. What do you think? Does it say paranormal romance to you?
(Coming Soon to an e-reader near you!)
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Study craft at every opportunity. Use a good editor. Write. Write. Write. Improve and revise. Study the craft even more. Learn your weaknesses and work on them. That is something I learned throughout my career: we all have weaknesses and still today, I study craft. I also teach some occasional craft classes online through SavvyAuthors.com
At this point, I’m offering ebooks only, but am considering offering print. If demand for print goes up, I’ll definitely add that option. Audio as well, if need be.
What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to have another contemporary erotic romance novella titled Bodywork (my first Aphrodisia novella) uploaded before year’s end. And through the rest of the summer I’ll be working on The Silhouette Saga series with a target date of all four up and available by Valentine’s Day. For information on when exactly the books become available it’s best to sign up for my newsletter. I share there before anywhere else.
I was trying to squeeze in links for my various titles listed here (there are more) but there’s so much happening at the moment the blog would have been very clunky. So, the best way to see all the books I have to offer is to take a quick look at my website. New links for more formats should be up there by the time this blog goes live.
Also, my short story Long Time Coming is free on iTunes and KOBO as I write this…so again, by the time this blog is live it’s possible it will be free on Amazon as well.(cross fingers on that one) Nook will not allow free books at this time, so it is priced at .99 there.
My website www.bonnieedwards.com has all my books listed. You can also like my author page http://www.facebook.com/Bonnie.Edwards.Author
Or follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BonnieEdwards
Where can readers find your books?
My newest releases are on Amazon, KOBO, NOOK, and iTunes. Again by the time this post goes live, Love in a Pawn Shop will be available on more than Kindle.
Thank you so much for being my guest today, Bonnie. Sorry I will miss the chapter picnic.