Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Interview with Bonnie Leon and Giveaway!!!!

Answer the question at the end to be entered for a giveaway of Bonnie's book.  Leave contact information. USA only, please. 

Interview with Bonnie Leon

Thanks for joining us today, Bonnie!

Why do you write the kind of books you do?

Thus far, I’ve written historical fiction. I love to investigate history. For me, it feels similar to a treasure hunt. And when I plant characters into different times and places it’s always fun to follow their lives. I’m fascinated by the distinctive customs dictated by different historical time periods.

It’s always a challenge to present the language style and word choices accurately in a historical novel, but I love the challenge and feel that the language adds to the interest of a story. The way a person speaks and the things he talks about, plus things like the clothing he wears and the kind of work he does create natural textures and layers to a story. I love that part of writing historical fiction.

2. What would be your dream vacation?

Several years ago, my husband and I made a cross-country trip. We had an absolutely fabulous time. It was such a fun adventure.  Each day, we were surprised and awed by the diversity of our amazing country. One of our favorite places was Panama City Beach, Florida. There were white sand beaches and warm ocean waters in every hue of blue—tranquil and beautiful. I hope to return.

I haven’t been to Ellis Island, but I wrote about it in the Sowers Trilogy.  Ever since I did the research on Ellis Island and on the immigrants that came through, I’ve wanted to see it in person. There were so many hopes and dreams fulfilled there as well as many that were crushed. I will visit one day.

3. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it

Staying on task is a tough goal for me. It didn’t use to be something I struggled with, but life changes and so do people. Each day I need to spend time on social networking, and it’s way too much fun. Too often I look at the clock and discover hours have passed and I haven’t gotten to the job of writing yet. Another obstacle (I hate to call it that) is my family. I love spending time with them, and I’m not disciplined enough to say, “No. I have to work.” A couple of years ago I put out a sign that said, “Woman At Work”, but it was mostly ignored. Oh well, in the end people matter most to me. I often make up for lost time by working nights and weekends.

4. What advice would you give to a beginning author?

·        Work on the craft of writing. Read instructive books and attend conferences where you can connect with other writers and good teachers.
·        Try not to get in a rush. You want your first book to be quality work. One caution, in the midst of “perfecting” the work don’t lose sight of the story. People want to read great stories about interesting people, not great grammar. 
·        Write—if possible every day. Even if all you can find time for is thirty minutes, take that time and work on your latest project.
·        Becoming a seasoned writer takes time. I’ve heard more that, on average, it takes ten years for a writer to publish their first work. So  . . . don’t become discouraged if it seems to be taking a long time.
·        Never forget that God is in the process. Trust Him and His perfect timing.
5. Tell us about The Journey of Eleven Moons.

The blurb from the back cover is a good introduction to the story.
A successful walrus hunt means Anna and her beloved Kinauquak will soon be joined in marriage. But before they can seal their promise to one another, a tsunami wipes their tribe from the rugged shore—everyone except Anna and her little sister, Iya, who are left alone to face the Alaskan wilderness.

A stranger, a Civil War veteran with golden hair and blue eyes, wanders the untamed Aleutian Islands. He offers help, but can Anna trust him or his God? And if she doesn’t, how will she and Iya survive?

6. What one question would you like us to ask your readers?

I’d like to know what their favorite scene was and why. And if they haven’t read the book yet, which way do you like my hair—bangs or no bangs?   J

7. Tell us about the giveaway you’re offering.

I’ll be giving away a free copy of The Journey of Eleven Moon in paperback or ebook format, whichever the winner prefers.

8. What impact did your research have on you personally?

I grew up hearing stories about my Aleut ancestors, but I never truly connected with my heritage. The deeper I delved into the history of the Aleuts the more I felt linked with them. Some of their customs were shocking but so much of what I discovered was amazing. I felt a bond with the people I came from. And while creating the story and its characters I fell in love with the people living out the story. They will always be part of me.

9. Will we know what happens to your character after the end of the book?

The story is complete in itself, but there is a book two, three and four. I hope to revise each of them. Book two will have a major plot shift that impacts the entire series. I can’t wait to rework that plot.

10. If someone else were sitting at your desk right now, what would they see?

Before I sat down to work on this interview I showered and dressed. I didn’t take time to dry my hair or put on make-up so I’m looking pretty plain and a bit drippy.

11. When you’re working on a project, how do you keep the immensity of it from getting you down?

Early in my career I felt the weight of the mountain of work standing before me each time I started a new book, but I’ve learned that a book is written one bite at a time. I break up the project first by jotting down ideas, then creating characters and then putting together a plot outline. And after all that’s done, I sit down and write . . . one chapter at a time. That way, it is not one huge project but several smaller projects that when completed make a whole.

12. Where can readers find you online?

I can be found at


Bonnie Leon is the author of nineteen novels, including the recently released Joy Takes Flight, book three in the Alaskan Skies series and the popular Sydney Cover series published by Revell. 

She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. These days, her time is filled with writing, being a grandmother and relishing precious time with her aged mother.

Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Bonnie's question is:   I’d like to know what their favorite scene was and why. And if they haven’t read the book yet, which way do you like my hair—bangs or no bangs?

Answer the question to be entered into the giveaway.    


angela said...

I have not read the book. no bangs

Bonnie Leon said...

OK. One for no bangs. It sure is easier without. :-)

karenk said...

bangs...yes :)

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Bonnie Leon said...

One vote for NO bangs - one FOR bangs. This is going to get interesting.

And Karen, I'm excited to share this new novel.

Bless you.

Melissa said...

How can I choose just one? Haha....the book is full of great scenes. :)

One of the moments I really liked was right after Erik rescued them from Jarvis and Frank...where Iya studied Erik's face and told him, "I watch you so I always know your face."

I thought that was so sweet and touching. It resonated with how she lost her family at the beginning of the book and all she had left were memories. In her innocence, she didn't realize the importance of cherishing each moment. Now she knows to hold tight to those she loves.

Bonnie Leon said...

Melissa, I love that moment too. I'm so thrilled you picked up on that scene. It's brief, but it reveals so much about who Iya has become.


joye said...

I have yet to read the story .
I am a bangs person-have worn them for awhile now. So my vote is for BANGS

Bonnie Leon said...

Joye, bangs it is. And I hope you have an opportunity to read the book.

Blessings to you.

Bonnie Leon said...

Laura, I love your Christmas decorations at the top of the page - so festive.

Christina Tarabochia said...

I'm going to complicate things and say NO BANGS!! Every scene in the book is my favorite, but I'm probably biased as the Publisher. :)