Bonnie, Thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few questions. It will be fun to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Bonnie Leon dabbled in writing for many years but never set it in a place of priority until an accident in 1991 left her unable to work at her job. She is now the author of several historical fiction series, including the Sydney Cove series, Queensland Chronicles, the Matanuska series, the Sowers Trilogy, and the Northern Lights series. She also stays busy teaching women’s Bible studies, speaking, and teaching at writing seminars and women’s gatherings. Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
How long did you write before you were published?
My writing journey is not the “norm”. After attending my first conference in 1992 I returned home and wrote my first novel, a story that had been rambling around my head for years. The following summer I returned to the conference and presented the manuscript to the senior editor for Thomas Nelson Publishing. She loved it and asked for a proposal, which I sent her. Several weeks later she asked for the entire manuscript and a couple of months after that she called to offer me a contract for my first book, The Journey of Eleven Moons.” It all happened so quickly I barely had time to think.
Tell us about your featured book, "Touching the Clouds."
The easiest way to introduce the book is to provide the back cover description. Revell did a good job on it.
She went looking for adventure . . . and found more than she bargained for.
Kate Evans is an adventurous and independent young woman with a pioneering spirit. When she leaves her home in Washington State to follow her dream of being an Alaskan bush pilot, she knows it will be an uphill battle. But she never expected it to be quite like this. As the lone woman in a man’s world, she finds that contending with people’s expectations is almost as treacherous as navigating the wild arctic storms.
When she crosses paths with a mysterious man living alone in the forbidding wilderness, she faces a new challenge. Can Kate break through the walls he has put up around his heart? And will fear keep her from realizing her dreams?
Touching the Clouds will draw you in with raw emotion and suspense, all against the stunning backdrop of the Alaskan wilds.
Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?
There are so many writers, friends and family who have been beside me to guide and encourage I couldn’t name them all. I did not; could not make this journey alone.
God has been the greatest influence. He’s the one who planted the gift inside me and who helped me believe I could do it. He opened every door. I write because of Him.
What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?
Listen to God-given dreams. Believe in Him and in the abilities and desires He’s planted inside of you. Shut out the voices that say, “You can’t”, and listen to the one the only one that matters—God’s. Never give up, but believe in the One who makes all things possible.
What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?
The thing I dislike the most is meanness. I just don’t see any reason for people to be cruel to one another. There’s always a better way. My second least favorite things are scary books and movies. I don’t watch or read something that’s extremely disturbing. It’s just not beneficial.
My favorite stories are real life tales of triumph and love.
I like to read, but with my busy schedule my reading time has been whittled down to the evenings. Saturday mornings I enjoy staying in my PJ’s with a cup of coffee and watching a good movie, I also love to fish. My favorite place is on a mountain lake in a boat on a sunny day. I don’t even have to catch anything. Just being out there is enough.
A weekend at the coast is my favorite place to vacation. The beach has to be fairly remote with natural beauty rather than man-made adventures.
Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.
I’ve answered this one a few times lately so . . . something new I haven’t shared is I love lightening storms with lots of wind and rain. I’m talking about the kind we get here on the west coast, which are tame compared to the storms in the Midwest. Our storms are relatively safe, but exciting and beautiful.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I used to be more disciplined with my time. Now days I’m easily distracted by the Internet, facebook, my family, the news or . . . well there’s a list. I do try to stay on task.
I begin my day with scripture reading and prayer, then sometimes work on a blog, check my email and marketing sites, that kind of thing. After I’ve done that I usually take a break and do some laundry or wash dishes or something, then I go to work on my manuscript. I try to complete a rough draft, first edit, or final edit on a chapter every day. Rather than doing word counts I work through chapters.
Evenings are spent doing critiques for my crit partners, working on Bible studies, or creating something for my fan page on facebook or my blog. And I usually end the evening by reading.
My goal this year is to set aside weekends and evenings for things other than work. I need more me time in my schedule.
What are you currently reading?
For fun, I’m reading A Tailor-Made Bride and in preparation for another series I’m reading a William Faulkner book, Three Famous Short Novels, and Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatzby. I’m also reading some non-fiction historical books for my present series.
Do you grow flowers or vegetables? What are your favorite flowers?
I love flowers, but because of my disabilities I don’t do a lot of gardening in my yard—baskets are nice. The time we invest in our flower garden is destroyed by the deer. They love flowers. I think they must taste like candy to a deer. My favorite flowers are roses. They are rich in texture and fragrance.
I love growing a vegetable garden, but without help I can’t keep one up. My husband will be retiring soon and we plan to put in a garden next spring. I can’t wait for that.
What are you writing now?
I’m waiting for edits back from my editor for book two in the Alaskan Skies series and I’m beginning to plot book three in the series. I’m excited to begin. I love the idea and it has a great ending that I can’t wait to write.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m easy to find. My website address is http://www.bonnieleon.com/.
And thanks for spending this time with us,
We wish you much success.
All you have to do to win this book is be/become a follower and leave a comment, also leave an email address to enter!
This giveaway is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is July 31, 2010. A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator and the winner will be notified by email.