I pray you had a blessed Easter weekend! Today, I'm sharing an Author Interview with Bonnie Leon. She's stopped by to talk about her novel, Return to the Misty Shore. Have you had a chance to read it yet? If not, be sure to read the info about it and enter the GIVEAWAY!
Blessings to you!
About the Book
Will the conflict between her husband’s belief in ancient gods and her faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer destroy Luba and Nicholas’s relationship?
Return to the Misty Shore—the third book in the Northern Lights series."
It’s a pleasure to be here, Toni. I really enjoyed your questions.
My ancestors are Aleut, Native Alaskan. This series sprang from my family history. Book one, The Journey of Eleven Moons, came from an experience my grandmother had when she was a young woman. She stood on a bluff overlooking a bay on Unalaska Island and watched as a tsunami swept ashore. Return to the Misty Shore is the third book in the series and is the continuing story of Anna and her daughter, Luba.
I couldn’t be happier to continue the tale. I love researching Alaska and the Native Alaskans. It is an amazing place, alluring and terrifying all at the same time.
It sounds fantastic! What kind of research did you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning Return to the Misty Shore?
The research took many months and has been ongoing, right up to publication. There is so much to learn about the time and place.
When I stepped into the project I started with books, reading all I could to gain a grasp of the culture and the challenges of nineteenth century Alaska. I moved on to pictorials, mapping, videos and the internet. While doing the research I found experts to help, people who lived in the area, including a historian who helped fill in all the gaps.
By pulling together pieces from many different sources I managed to paint a picture of the place and time. I heard from a few who lived there or are still living there and was relieved to hear that I got it right.
I love hearing about author's researching skills. Sounds like you were diligent! Return to the Misty Shore is a reprint. Did you make any changes or add any new scenes?
Oh yes. Many. And I actually pulled out chunks that didn’t move the story forward.
A woman who works with the publisher told me that through the years she had read the book three different times and that when she read this most recent version that it was like reading a whole new book. And she loved it!
I think it's great that we authors get an opportunity to improve our older books. It shows how far along we've come in the writing process. Which leads right to the next question: your writing process. How many hours a day do you write?
I live with chronic pain so that can vary, depending upon how I’m feeling and how much medication I had to take on any given day. But, I do strive to put in at least4 – 5 hours a day. When I was young I worked very long days, but at 65 I’m just not able to do that anymore. What I’ve found is that consistency, showing up every day is more important than the number of hours I put in.
I'm floored, you don't look your age at all! And I sympathize with you. I deal with pain on a daily basis as well. Praying you have good days more than bad ones.
Do you need silence or do you listen to music while writing?
I write in a quiet home. Music can affect my mood and it might not match what I need for the scene I’m working on. And if there are lyrics they can be very distracting.
Makes sense. Do you have any tools like, thesaurus, dictionary, etc, that you always use while writing?
I couldn’t write without my thesaurus and dictionary. I have a pretty good vocabulary but not extensive enough to create an entire book without some vocab help.
I also have other books at hand, such as English Through the Ages. Language changes over time, and it’s easy to slip and use a word or phrase that wouldn’t have been common during the time period of a story. Word choice helps carry a reader into a specific time and place. I also have books that help with making sure to use clothing, household items, or tools that would have been commonly used. One book I often rely on is a catalog. I have several antique ones—Montgomery Ward & Co. and Sears and Roebuck. They are extremely helpful.
That's so awesome! I'd love to see older catalogs. Let’s talk about you. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
If I could have my dream job is would be “bookstore owner”. I’m aware that in this day and age it’s difficult to carry it off, but I would love to meet with people every day who love books and there’s nothing like being surrounded by amazing books.
I completely agree! What is your all-time favorite novel?
This is a difficult question, so difficult I can’t name just one. There are so many fabulous reads in a variety of genres. Plus, through the years what I enjoy most changes. I remember being mesmerized by the book The Hobbit. And when I read Hawaii I never wanted it to end. In recent years, I’ve enjoyed Redeeming Love, Same Kind of Different Just Like Me, The Shape of Mercy, The Secret Life of Bees and The Thorn Birds.
I have a long list of others I could easily recommend.
Avid readers can never name just one book. :) Do you drink tea, coffee, or something else?
I drink coffee and tea—decaf. And I also drink soda, but less these days.
I'm a tea fan myself. Last but not least, how can readers support you on your writing journey?
I couldn’t be a writer without readers. So, please keep reading my books and tell others about them. I don’t think most readers realize how important reviews are for a writer. So, I ask, if they love a book please write a review and post it on your favorite sites.
Thanks again for stopping by. I'm sure the readers have enjoyed learning about Return to Misty Shore.
About the Author
Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, Poland, and even Africa.
She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions and especially delights in mentoring young authors. 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 eight grandchildren.
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