Hi Lily- Thanks for having me today. You are a peach for doing this. That's an old fashioned word right there, but I write sweet old fashioned love stories.
I'm a latecomer to writing. I love books and always dreamed of being an author, but never had a story o to tell until a vivid dream stayed with me one morning. That dream became the prologue of my book, A BLANKET FOR HER HEART. Once I started writing, the stories kept coming and I now write constantly.
Lily: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
RC: For the moment I've settled on contemporary sweet love stories, but I've written suspense, a historical, some mystery and a number of short stories. I decided I had to concentrate on one genre and get that right if I wanted to be published.
Lily: What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
RC: I use my initials- RC Bonitz and I've had two books published within the last couple of months. A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL, a sweet romance, came out as an ebook in November and the print version came out in April. A BLANKET FOR HER HEART came out in print almost the same week. What a kick that was. My third book, A LITTLE BIT OF BABY, will be coming out soon.
Lily: I understand one of your books is indie published. How did that happen?
RC: Now, there's an interesting question. I had both books under contract to publishers, but with the editing and cover ready to go, one publisher decided A BLANKET FOR HER HEART didn't fit the genres they wanted to publish at that point. There I was expecting to be notified the book was being released, and instead I got an email saying they couldn't publish it. They very nicely gave me the cover and editing without charge, but I was on my own. So, rather than go through the submission process again, I went the indie route. My next book, A LITTLE BIT OF BABY is in the hands of Silver Publishing again. I still want a publisher's stamp of approval on my writing.
Lily: Are your books available as eBooks? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
RC: Both of my current books are available as ebooks and in print. There's nothing like holding a paper copy in your hand and one might as well sell in every medium one can. I do most of my reading on my Kindle now though to minimize eye strain.
Lily: Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
RC: I love all my heroines when I'm writing them. Anne, Diane, and Jessie, I really can't choose among them. I have only one choice for an actress if someone offered a movie- Kate Beckinsale would be my heroine for any of my books.
Lily: Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
RC: I participated in the design of both covers. I'm quite pleased with the results. Both artists wanted my input. That was pretty amazing in the case of A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL. Silver Publishing's cover artist, Reese Dante, is a prize winning designer. I think she came up with a fabulous, elegant cover. The titles in both cases were entirely my own. I've received compliments on both, so I hope that approval translates into sales. Early results look very good so far.
Lily: What are you working on at the moment / next?
RC: I'm writing a sequel to A LITTLE BIT OF BABY which will be the third in the series. At the moment it's A LITTLE BIT OF something??? I also have a book that's calling to me, the story of a young Englishwoman determined to break out of poverty in the early 1900's. That story is loosely based on the life of my paternal grandmother, who was born in Leeds, England. I wrote twenty-three chapters of it years ago, but didn't like the way it was headed and never finished it.
Lily: Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
RC: I try to, but promotion's cutting into my time these days. I'm usually at the computer six to eight hours each day. Need to walk a little on occasion though- the legs dislike the sitting all day long.
Writer's block? I can't say I have. My response is always the same if I hit a dry spell - I keep writing something, anything. I may end up with a throw away, but the writing gets me somewhere useful when I do that.
Lily: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
RC: I call myself a half-pants plotter, as in not writing by the seat of my pants entirely, and not plotting in detail. I start with a few turning points identified, then "tell" the first couple of chapters. After I've written them, I "tell" a few more and so on, keeping in mind what turning point I'm heading for. The method seems to work, though if I can't come up with an ending for my WIP I may have to just let the words flow.
Lily: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
RC: Oh yes, many on my early work. You get down on yourself when that happens, but you have to pick up and go on. I recall a phrase from my school days- a line by a famous poet or writer (can't recall who unfortunately)- "Take your profits from defeat." That's been my watchword ever since. I've also learned how to write query letters and synopses now, so the rejections don't come anywhere near as odten.
Lily: Do you enter competitions? Are there any you could recommend?
RC: I stopped doing competitions after a number in which I received two top scores and one low one that would end my chance to final. Now that I'm published I'm reconsidering my position since it would help sales to be able to say "Wiiner/Finalist in XYZ contest" on my cover.
Lily: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
RC: Learn to write before you write a novel. I re-wrote my first book a dozen times before I got it right. Polishing four or five chapters would have taught me just as much with a lot less wasted time and effort. And, once you've refined your writing- think about the reader. What do you want them to feel when they read your book?
Lily: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
RC: I've owned the same old red canoe since 1963 and still love to get out on a lake with a fishing rod in my hands.
Lily: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
RC: I'm a member of CTRWA and CAPA and find them both very helpful. (Conn. Chapter Romance Writers of America and Conn. Authors and Publishers Association). The members of both groups are knowledgeable and helpful to each other and have taught me a lot.
Lily: Where can we find out about you and your writing?
RC: You can check out my blog at http://www.rcbonitz.com or my author page at Amazon. I'm also on FB but not that active there. I'm in a flash fiction group, so you can find some free reads on my blog as well. And, here's an excerpt of my writing-
A Little Bit of Blackmail- Excerpt
Thirty minutes late, she was rushing toward the office when she saw the black limousine parked in front of Lorton Realty. Not a gigantic one, but a real live limo nonetheless, with those dark tinted windows you couldn't see through. Not moving, just sitting there like a tiger ready to strike. It couldn't be him, could it? Or had he sent the rough guy back to kidnap her and drop her in a pond?
Don't be stupid, Diane. He wouldn't dare. But she shifted her steps and walked as close to the storefronts as she could. Which caused her blazer sleeve to snag on a bit of metal window frame and almost tip her over backwards before the fabric ripped. Which would have upset her no end if she hadn't been waiting for someone to jump out of the limo and grab her.
She slipped into the office, ready for a pot of black coffee and a chance to breathe again. No luck. Pat Hawkins had been gabby.
"Diane, what's this about you hooking up with Brian Smith?" Joan Snyder, another of the agents demanded. "Is it serious?" Joan was over thirty-five and a lot more desperate for a man than Diane was. At least, she had been until yesterday.
Diane groaned. This was not a great way to start her morning. "I met him once."
"Will you be seeing him again?" Pat asked.
"He was named the most eligible bachelor in town a couple of years ago," Joan said.
"And he's one of the richest people in New England," Pat cried. "Are you sure you actually met the Brian Smith?"
"What did he look like?" Joan asked.
"Dark hair, almost black. Firm chin. Black eyes."
Joan stared at her. "Such enthusiasm. Does he have any dimples? Or nice strong muscles?"
"It doesn't matter. He's a horrible man," Diane said and started her computer.
The little brass bell over the door jingled as someone entered.
Here's a back-cover blurb about the story-
Diane is out to rescue her kid sister, who has managed to get herself on the Net in flagrante. And the guy who posted her picture is keeping it there.
Rich and powerful, Bryan has no idea what he’s in for. His life is great, except for one tiny detail.
He's single and the women he knows are after his money. He's at the bar of his own hotel when a drop dead gorgeous woman comes on to him. One minute she's seducing him and the next she's giving him a hard time. He finds the combination very intriguing.
Diane’s plan is dangerous but simple. Seduce this guy until his clothes come off so she can take his picture. Then it’s blackmail time.
Brian falls into her trap, but only to a point. Bad news for Diane - nobody blackmails Brian Smith. Furious but fascinated, he confronts her.
His fury fades once he hears her story. This daring, captivating woman steals his heart, but he's still the villain to her. How will he win her heart?
Their story is just beginning in --A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL. Available from Silver Publishing
Thank you for hosting me today Lily. It's been fun! RC