The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Sure! I'm a multipublished author who writes romance in her spare time. I have a day job working as a writer for a large international charity, and travel to developing countries to document stories of poverty. I write Egyptian historicals for Dorchester publishing and my last Egyptian historical was The Sword & the Sheath. Now I'm also writing werewolf paranormals for Silhouette's Nocturne line. The first book, The Empath, is out in December. I also pen erotic stories for Ellora's Cave under the pen name Blair Valentine.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My next book is out in December and is a Silhouette Nocturne called THE EMPATH. Here's the blurb: The wolf must have a mate to survive.
Nicholas was the strongest and fiercest of the Draicon, until he was banished for a trumped-up crime. Now, the werewolf has only one path to redemption: find the Draicon's long-lost empath, the woman who will save the pack - and Nicholas himself - from terrible danger.
Maggie Sinclair is a veterinarian, dedicated to healing. She has no idea of her true nature, the magic waiting in her soul - or the man coming to claim her. The survival of their pack depends on them finding each other, on their ability to become one.
But their enemies have also found Maggie, and will kill to stop her awakening to an all-consuming passion..
You can read an excerpt of The Empath on my website, http://www.bonnievanak.com/
Please tell us what you have planned next?
Right now I'm on deadline for my second Nocturne, which features a werewolf Alpha hero from The Empath. That book is set in New Orleans and involves a search for an ancient book of magick to cure a deadly spell turning the hero's mate into stone. After that, I have to switch genres again and concentrate on another Egyptian historical due next year.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
To me the perfect hero isn't perfect. He's got flaws, and vulnerabilities and the heroine brings these out, helps him grow as a person. He's very protective and loving of her, and needs her to balance his life. Inside, he's lonely and just wants to be loved, but it will take trust in the heroine to display his deepest feelings. I love writing Alpha heroes who are big, slightly bad, strong and very masculine, but they are whapped on the knees by their love for the heroine, who brings out their tender side. They'd die to protect her, their sense of chivalry and honor runs deep and is bred into their blood and bones.
One of my more tormented heroes is Nicolas from The Empath, my upcoming Nocturne. He has a very dark secret that weighs heavily on him, and influences everything he does. He also thinks he's good for nothing but fighting and killing, and can't see himself ever being loved. Maggie is a perfect match for him, and brings out his tender side and finally gets him to open up to her.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
Lots, for both historical and paranormal. I've never been to Egypt, so I try to research as much as I can to bring the culture and era to life. For the paranormals, I research the places where the book is set. For example, the Nocturne I'm writing now is set in New Orleans. My husband and I spent a week there, visiting all the places I'm mentioning in the book.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I had been writing and submitting for a few years, here and there, getting rejected. My husband was my biggest supporter. I was halfway through writing The Falcon & the Dove and just wanted to quit, it seemed pointless. One day my husband came home from work with a small gift, a gold starfish. He told me that was my magic wishing star, to wear it on a chain next to my heart where I kept all my dreams and hopes alive. He couldn't understand what I was going through, trying to get published, but he loved me and wanted to support me. And every time I got discouraged, I should hold onto my magic wishing star and remember how much he loved me and believed in me. Months later, the contest I won the contest I had entered Falcon in, and the editor who gave me first place bought the book.
What would you like to tell your readers?
Thank you for taking a chance on my books. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I've loved writing them.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
The best advice I've ever heard was from Susan Elizabeth Phillips at my chapter's conference years ago. She said to ignore the rules, and work around them. I did and got published. She also said to protect the work. Basically it means protecting yourself as a writer from influences that derail you from writing and make you doubt yourself and your abilities.
She's a very wise woman, because there is plenty out there to drain your creativity dry if you allow yourself to get sucked into those particular vortexes. It's a good idea to also achieve balance between writing the books you love and having market savvy.
There's many authors you can learn from in this business. and going to conferences gives you the opportunities to learn from seasoned professionals. I always admired Sherrilyn Kenyon for her inspiring story of how she finally achieved success after a lot of struggles and a period where she couldn't get published, and Christine Feehan, if you have the opportunity to hear her speak, gives excellent advice and is extremely knowledgeable.
The worst advice? For me it was write to the market no matter what the line is, if you want to get published. Bad advice, because if you're not comfortable writing in a genre, it will show. I think the best thing is to write what you like, and add a marketing element that's in vogue. A good example is Cherry Adair's series of romantic suspense that have a paranormal element.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
The Falcon & the Dove, my first Egyptian historical published by Dorchester in 2002. What a thrill that was! I got inspired reading a National Geographic article on Akhetaten, the first monotheistic pharaoh of Egypt. He had a secondary wife, Kiya, and I started daydreaming about what happened to her. I invented a cult of warrior priests whose lineage went back to Egypt's 18th dynasty. They became my Khamsin warriors of the wind, the warriors in my Egyptian historicals.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Check out my website, www.bonnievanak.com or the Myspace page www.myspace.com/bonnievanak or my blog; www.bonnievanak.blogspot.com Sometimes I post excerpts or news on my blog faster than my website is updated. For example, my good friend Jennifer Ashley and I are celebrating our fifth year of our debut books with Dorchester. So we're holding a blog contest to highlight new authors just published with Dorchester. You can check out details of the contest on my blog.
Thank you for this opportunity!