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: www.bonnierpaulson.com
Find Bonnie on Twitter @bonnierpaulson