Guest Interview: Bonnie Paulson + Book & Gift Card Giveaway!

Born and raised in the Inland Northwest, Bonnie has a degree in Radiology Technology - yes, you can bring broken bones her way - as well as multiple years experience in the medical transcription field.

Four children and a yummy husband chase through the hills with her on dirt bikes in pursuit of the perfect trail. Dirt and mud are no deterrence. In fact, Bonnie prefers the rain.

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Jude Deveraux are two of her favorite authors and she can't get enough of anything romantic - this includes chocolates. Don't you want to be a strawberry dunked in the stuff?

The characters in her stories beg to be let out and it's all she can do to keep up. You'll find different storylines where the hero and heroine tell their own story. Bonnie is just as surprised as you by what happens. She's cried writing a scene or two.

Sometimes, she thinks she is Joan Wilder.

Q: Welcome, Bonnie! Can you tell us what inspired Breathe Again?

A: During a shift interning to be a radiologic technologist, I was with a technologist called down to the trauma room for some films. Halfway there, we received a second call – she wasn’t the one to go, someone else would replace her. She asked why and they replied the trauma was a gunshot wound to the head. I found out later she’d discovered her son that way a year or so ago. I gave her space and wrote the first three pages in the break room. Suicide is terrible and so is terminal disease – Maggie has to deal with both and realizes neither is the way to go.

Q: That is so tragic and sad. Why do you write romance?

A: Oh, romance is the essence of what makes us human (in my opinion). It’s locked in the melancholy or pushes the truly joyful. Romance isn’t just subtext for sex or physicality. I see romantic notions in the mailing of a letter to an elderly person because they aren’t caught up in the current tech trends. Romance when a child passes a flower to a sleeping kitten. It’s the sweet parts of our lives that touch our hearts.

A friend of mine said she wasn’t a romantic at all, didn’t understand it. I laughed. The moment didn’t seem appropriate to point out that packing up a lunch for her husband and leaving a napkin on top with his favorite candy wrapped inside marked with an XOXO was romantic and even a bit mushy.

I write romance because I see it, breathe it, smell it, feel it and live it. I can’t help but want to share it with the world.

Q: I agree, your friend does sound romantic. Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?

 A: The original title for Breathe Again was Whispers of Me. The betrayal of her husband’s suicide slammed Maggie into a shell of herself. She barely recognized what and who she’d become. When Carina Press picked it up, they decided a new title would be more marketable. I didn’t mind. They let me and my editor come up with a list of 12 to 15 possibilities for them to choose from. A fave was Breathe Again. I love it, they loved it. Good all around.

Q: It's a wonderful title! Where is your favorite place in the world?

 A: Beside my husband. As long as he’s with me, the world is bright and cheery and I’m loving every where (on a dirt bike is even better!).

 Q: Which element of story creation is your favorite?

 A: The first few pages – the set up. I love it. I’ve written about 20 book starts just for the fun of it. There’s something special about getting to know the characters and introducing the plot and setting. I love beginnings.

 Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?

 A: Dealing with the brother. I actually cried while writing this piece and the tears burned. I felt betrayed – even though it’s set up throughout the story, I still hate what happened.

 Q: What inspires you? What motivates you?

 A: My family. Plain and simple. I claim to be an underachiever, but I know I’m not. I do the things that are necessary for my family.

 Q: Please describe your journey to publication.

 A: I have a P word for this. Persistence. I wrote the first book – rejected. Second book – rejected. Third book – published. I worked and worked and learned and learned. Even though rejections are discouraging, I tend to be hard headed and refuse to let people reject me for long.

 Q: What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before you made your first sale?

 A: Humility. Willingness to learn from others and assimilate what they suggest was the best thing I could learn. I take most suggestions given to me, filter them, and use what I need to or learn what I can and move on to the next.

 Q: What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?

 A: That I wouldn’t want to stop writing even when marketing demands my time. Also, pick a brand and a genre and stick with it. I love contemporary romance and need to stick with it for a while. I have some thrillers and romantic suspense planned, but I need to stick with what I have going for now.

 Q: Can you share with us “the call” story?

 A: Telemarketers always bug me during my writing time – afternoonish when my kids are sleeping. One or two a day, you’d think I was rich.

 November 4th I sat down to write a particularly difficult scene and my phone rang. I glared at the offending buzz and shook my head.

 Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. I groaned and answered. “Hello?”

"Is Bonnie Paulson available?” Super sweet voice which makes it even harder to say no, not interested.

 “This is.” Mama taught me manners and I use ‘em.

 “Hi, Bonnie. This is Angela James from Carina Press. I’m calling about the manuscript you submitted.” At this point, my eyebrows scrunched together. Had I done something wrong? I’d never heard of an editor calling an author. Maybe I’d offended someone. Still wasn’t 100% certain she wasn’t a telemarketer.

But Ms. James continued on and I realized she was offering me a contract. I’d only been saying “Uh hunh” to her comments and she paused, asking if I had any questions so far.

My response? Yeah, she tweeted about it. I said, “I think I’m gonna throw up.”

Q: Wow! That is both hilarious and inspiring. Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?

A: Keep it up. Persist. Don’t give in to the discouragement. That story needs to be told and you’re the only one who can do it.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I have a contemporary romance series on submission right now, a contemporary romance series in the works and a non-fiction piece I’m working on with my CP.

Q: Best of luck with all your projects! Would you like to ask readers a question?

A: I would love to, thank you! Do you have a book that brought you to tears and made you laugh that you would like to recommend? Why did it touch you and how?

Bonnie has a copy of Breathe Again as well as a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs! A separate winner for each! Please leave your email in some form, or a way for us to contact you if you win. Thanks!

Bonnie's Website:
Find Bonnie on Twitter @bonnierpaulson


Donna Goode said...

I read a book last winter that touched me deeply. I cried at the end because the hero died. Incredible and so unexpected! I have literally never read a romance where the hero dies--ever! The author had written an epic hero, though, and so it fitted her story. It was Raelikson by Renee Vincent.

By way of comment, I loved your statement about humility and the willingness to learn from others. I've learned so much from Nicole. She inspired me to have the courage to cut the beginning off the story of my heart in order to make it into the story that needed to be told. The first hundred or so pages was lopped right off! I couldn't believe the result. It made a world of difference. Then she challenged me to keep changing the opening scene until my heroine actually emerged and took real form. Thanks, Nicole! And thank you, Bonnie, for a wonderful interview! I'd love to read a copy of your book. My email addy is

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Thanks Donna! Great book!

And I'm so glad Nicole did that for you. She has been nothing but supportive since I "met" her a while back.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

AubreyLaine said...

I would love to win!
littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

Jade! said...

Amazing giveaway, I'm from the UK so the gift card would be the best prize for me as I can order and pay postage.

The last book that drove me to tears was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I have never been so emotional over a book ever!

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Aubrey and Jade, thanks for stopping by!

Good luck with the drawing.

Sherry said...

I really enjoyed your interview and I think your book will be very good. I've read a few books that have brought me to tears although I can't name any of them right now. There's one book that I read when I was on 7th or 8th grade that I'll never forget because I cried so hard while I was reading it. It was a historical and everything bad that you can think of was done to the hero which was bad enough but what topped it off for me was the hero died at the end of the story. I hated that I read to feel good and can take a lot of things happening to the characters but I want a HEA of at least HFN ending.

sstrode at scrtc dot com

Teresa Woodworth said...

Bonnie -

First, I can't believe that you would ever think of yourself as an underachiever! I get exhausted just thinking about your daily schedule!

I can't wait to read Breathe Again. (I loved your original title.)

I can't recall the last book that made me cry, but like you I will cry when I'm writing a poignant scene. I did read The Help which made me sad at times just because of the injustice in how we treated people in those times.

Congratulations on your book once again.


Maria (pronounced Mariah) said...

I am a very emotional person and lots of books make me cry! It is really not a good thing to be driving into work listing to a book and start bawling. But I do!

mmafsmith at gmail dot com

donnas said...

Great interview. Thanks for taking the time to share today.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Na said...

Hi Bonnie!
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is one of my favourite authors as well and I especially liked Ashes in the Wind. It has a passionate love story where the journey to HEA isn't easy but is so satisfying in the end. That is what I look for in romances and I agree there are romantic notions everywhere. I like being able to connect with people emotionally and do this often in romance books. I think romances can be very heartwarming especially when it involves a tragic circumstances. It gives hope.


JC said...

I'd love to read Breathe Again!~

amandawk said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

June M. said...

I have to say that it doesn't take alot to bring a couple of tears to my eyes when reading. I did read an historical romance lately "11 Scandals to Start" by Sarah MacLean and it caused me to cry a few times. I generally try to limit the number of sad books I read b/c I like HEA books. But I really would like to read this one, it sounds great. Btw, I started training as a Rad Tech but switched to Elem Educ. Since I have never got a teaching job, I wish I had stuck with Rad Tech.

June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

IandSsmom said...

Wow this sounds like a great book! I'm all emotional just reading the interview!!
Thank you for the giveaway!!

tammy ramey said...

Hi Bonnie,
the cover is beautiful and the book sounds wonderful. i can't wait to read it.

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I am teary eyed reading your comments. Thank you so much for the support and kind words.
Nicole did an awesome job on her questions and I'm grateful for the chance to meet all of you. I follow the people who comment in blog posts. So thank you for stopping by and good luck!
Nicole will be announcing the winner! (Right Nicole? )
Again, I had so much fun. Thank you thank thank you!

Nicole North said...

Wow thanks so much, Donna!! What a sweet thing to say!! I love helping people learn and I'm glad the classes helped.

Lizzie Walker said...

I think Donna and I read the same book. I am sure that my dear friend is referring to Raelikson. It moved me deeply especially since I had suffered several losses within the same year. The moment I was done, I emailed the author Renee Vincent. I told her that I had a lot to discuss with her. LOL

We did talk, not that day but a few weeks later and boy did we talk. What a fabulous author as are all the ladies and lads of Celtic Hearts.

*I see romantic notions in the mailing of a letter to an elderly person because they aren’t caught up in the current tech trends. Romance when a child passes a flower to a sleeping kitten. It’s the sweet parts of our lives that touch our hearts.*

That line Bonnie, is completely inspiring to me. How true and I feel that if a painter can color the world with their paintbox, why can't a writer express themselves in words? We have a wealth of inspiration around us.

The subject of your book has touched close to home for me and so I find myself wanting to read. We never know what goes on in the lives of others and how we affect them.

I wish you much success! It seems you are already on your way.

Great interview ladies!

Nicole North said...

I'm so glad you've been our special guest today, Bonnie! Thanks for visiting with us! I found your interview very inspiring too!

Julie said...

What a beautiful cover this book has, Bonnie!! I love it! I can't wait to read your book - it definitely sounds like a story I will enjoy reading:)
jwitt33 at live dot com

Asa Maria Bradley said...

Hey Bonnie,

Can't wait to read your story. I used to work in hospitals and am looking forward to good romance in that environment. :-)

Brooklyn Ann said...

I read a romance where the hero died. If the rest of the book wasn't so good I would have hated it. The 1st Hunger Games book made me cry too.

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I keep coming back to read these thoughtful and heart-swellingly touching comments. Thank you so much everyone. I'm inspired by the authors around me and the readers who take the time to enjoy the hard work authors put in.

I have the prizes out in the email. Thank you again so much!

Jess said...

I'd love to win a copy of Breathe Again! Thanks for the giveaway!


Dee said...

I loved this interview. Bonnie's book sounds like a must-read and I'm really intrigued by her dirt bike racing--that's so cool!

Thanks for the chance :)

deeg131 at gmail dot com

Liz said...

Great interview! I'm contemplating writing my first novel and am always glad to see interviews with those who have been through it, as well as to find out about new books to read!

eemoody77 at gmail dot com