DUCK CHAT: Star Crossed with Bonnie Hearn HillWednesday, May 12, 2010 10:00
Welcome back to Duck Chat! Glad you could join us today.
Bonnie Hearn Hill is here to talk about her new young adult series which has been out in bookstores since March. This sounds like a terrific series – I’m hoping that my non-reading 16-year-old niece will go for these books and suddenly love to read.
Starting out as a newspaper editor, Bonnie’s always had a love of writing. She’s written six thrillers for MIRA before taking this leap into young adult. Bonnie is married and lives in Fresno, California where she holds a critique meeting every week for aspiring writers. She’s definitely one who believes in giving back.
Now let’s chat!
DUCK CHAT: Bonnie, welcome to the Pond! We’re glad you’re here. Let’s not delay and start out by talking about your new young adult Star Crossed series. First would you tell our readers about the series as a whole, and then we’ll talk about the books themselves.
BONNIE HEARN HILL: Simple idea. What if a teen girl in conflict found an old astrology book and tried to use it to change her life?
DC: Has the series evolved the way you originally envisioned it?
BHH: Not at all. I can only think one scene, one act, one book at a time. I am always surprised when I feel the story moving in a new direction.
DC: If you could retire any interview question and never, ever have it asked again, what would it be? Feel free to answer it.
BHH: Question: Why did you switch from writing thrillers to young-adult fiction?
Answer: I didn’t stop anything. I am a Gemini who doesn’t feel limited by any genre. I’m writing the books I need to write, for now.
DC: I’ve heard writers often say their stories take them in surprising directions, or dialogue flows from some unknown place. Is it the same with you? Do your characters surprise you sometimes?
BHH: Yes, they do. Sometimes, I hear their voices before I begin to write. Usually in inconvenient places, such as on the road in my car or in a bubble bath.
DC: The first book in the series, Aries Rising, hit the shelves in March. We, of course, first meet Logan in this book. Would you give us a look inside her life at this point?
BHH: She’s a sophomore, and she finds this old astrology book. All she wants is a chance at the summer fellowship for talented student writers. Well, she’d also like a certain guy, as well. She tries to use astrology to get both.
DC: Do you ever argue with your characters while you’re writing? Who usually wins?
BHH: Never. We are connected, and I am my characters as much as they are me. I used to try to force my characters to cooperate with my plot ideas, but I haven’t done that for some time.
DC: What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?
BHH: I love teaching, but ultimately, I live to write.
BHH: I love the two Star Crossed covers I have seen: Aries Rising and Taurus Eyes. I also love the French version of Killer Body, one of my thrillers.
DC: How about your least favorite cover?
BHH: I won’t name it, but I’ll tell you that Exorcist Green is not my favorite color.
DC: How do you feel your male or female characters have evolved over your career? Do you think you write them differently now than you did when you started?
BHH: I know that you need to be only one woman, one man, one teen, one person from one ethnic background. You don’t have to write for everyone from that background. Thus, I’m more comfortable as any number of protagonists. Also, my protagonists have become less and less like me.
DC: Is there a genre you haven’t tackled but would like to try?
BHH: I’ve written in many genres, and I love character-driven fiction. The character always leads me, and the genre is secondary.
DC: Taurus Eyes is the second book in the series and it’s been in books stores for about a week. It seems Logan has an unwanted dilemma in this edition. Would you tell us about it?
BHH: She falls in love, and she gets caught up in a ghost story. She also has to decide what she is willing to sacrifice for love.
DC: What advice would you give to your younger self?
BHH: No fear.
DC: If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
BHH: A character who pays the price and succeeds against great odds.
DC: What romance book would you recommend our readers pick up during their next bookstore run?
DC: September is when Gemini Night, the third book, is to be released. May we get a little sneak peek of what Logan’s up to in that book?
BHH: She will be missing her guy, wondering why he isn’t contacting her, and she’ll also be trying to land a position with a San Francisco teen magazine. Just one problem. In order to be considered for the job, she’ll have to predict what’s next for a celebrity guest at the magazine’s Halloween launch party.
DC: If you had never become an author, what do you think you would be doing right now?
BHH: I would still be trying to become an author. If you want to write, don’t quit. That’s the best advice I can give any writer.
DC: What’s on the horizon for Bonnie Hearn Hill?
BHH: More books, I hope. I write every day. I’ll also be at Bouchercon in San Francisco this fall. It’s where I set Gemini Night. Love the city.
- dark or milk chocolate? – Dark.
- smooth or chunky peanut butter? – Chunky.
- heels or flats? – Heels, the more diva-ish the better.
- coffee or tea? – Espresso.
- summer or winter? – I was born June 1 in a storm. I love rain, cold, winter.
- mountains or beach? – Beach. The Star Crossed series is set in a fictional California beach town based on one I love.
- mustard or mayonnaise? – If I must choose, mustard. Capers would make me happier, however.
- flowers or candy? – Neither. How about jewelry?
- pockets or purse? – iPhone.
- Pepsi or Coke? – Bottled water. But if there are just two choice, Coke.
- ebook or print? – Print.
And because we still enjoy the answers we get:
1. What is your favorite word? – Yes.
2. What is your least favorite word? – I like them all. I don’t like non-words like firstly, lastly, most importantly, orientated.
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – Rain, ocean, great books.
4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – Anger, raised voices, people who chew with their mouths open.
5. What sound or noise do you love? – Ocean.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? – Leaf blowers too early on Saturday.
7. What is your favorite curse word? – Too many to name.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – A dietician or professional who specializes in diet, weight loss. Or, on the other extreme, a pastry chef.
9. What profession would you not like to do? – I would not be a good salesperson.