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Monday, May 28, 2018

Get to know Bonnie Phelps today on the #RB4U Blog! @bonniephelps15

Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us, a place for all romance and all genres. We’re very happy to have you here with us today. First, tell us a little bit about yourself…

Please tell us a little about yourself...
I thought it might be fun to share answers to some wacky – and not so wacky – questions to help you get to know me a little better. 

1) You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? I think I’d like to be sunrise salmon. Wouldn’t it be great to be the promise of a new day, new beginnings, and the color that welcomes people to what could be?
2) A penguin walks through your door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? Ready to cha-cha, chica? I have a secret desire to be a ballroom dancer – no talent but lots of enthusiasm – so of course, this mysterious penguin is there to ask me to dance.
 3) Are you a morning person or night owl? I’m a morning person. I wake up and my mind is buzzing with plans for the day.
4) What states have you lived in? California (born and raised), Arizona (6 months), New Mexico (3.5 years), Florida panhandle (1 year), Massachusetts (3 years), Ohio (3 years), and then back to California. We also lived in South Carolina for a summer. My husband was in the Air Force for almost 12 years and Uncle Sam moved us around a lot.
5) What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Peppermint Stick (Unfortunately it’s only available during the holiday season now) but the fresh-churned peach that we used to make is a close second.
6) Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?
Stupid question. Thor would win. Chris Hemsworth is such a hottie!
7) What is your guilty pleasure? Hiding out and spending the afternoon reading. There are always so many things on my to-do list, that I feel like a slacker when I curl up with one of my favorite authors.

What or who initially inspired you to become a writer?
The easy answer is reading. I jump into whatever I’m reading with both feet and join the action. I’ve been known to give it a different ending by having the characters make different decisions. The longer answer is that I've always made up stories. As an elementary school child my head was filled with stories. I remember creating stories about cowboys, adventure, daring do, and space aliens invading the earth. These stories would play out over and over in my imagination as I experimented with what characters would do as I changed the situations.

What kind of research do you do for a novel and how extensive do you get?
Sometimes it's to learn more about a major theme running through the book and other research revolves around the little things that add color or authenticity. For instance in “My Texas Heart” I researched techniques to stop stuttering, signs and treatment for emotional abuse in children, Texas divorce and child custody proceedings, and California emergency child custody hearings. Not all my research was about heavy topics. I also researched slang phrases people use and either Texas or South Boston, Austin neighborhoods so I can figure out where they live (I also pulled listing photos from real estate site so I have a visual), pre-schools for Chad, companies in Austin to make sure the place josh and Fiona work might actually exist, and motorcycle brands so I picked the perfect one for Josh.

Do real life events find their way into your stories?
My story ideas often start with something I've seen or heard but not any particular real life event. Ideas grow from snatches of conversations, people I've seen, people going about their everyday life, someone I've seen interviewed – then I start wondering what if...

When do you write?  Early morning? During the day sometime or all day?  After the kids go to bed?
Any time when I can find a few quiet minutes to put a scene together, but I find an hour before lunch and at least an hour in mid-afternoon works best. Because I tend to start scenes by writing them out by hand I can get words on the page in short periods of time. First thing in the morning is usually devoted to going through email, working on marketing stuff (like blogs social media, and putting together teasers and other graphics).

Do you ever see yourself as the heroine/hero or find yourself relating to them when you write a story?
Maybe there are authors who can divorce themselves from their characters but I suspect the vast majority – myself included – need to put themselves in their characters’ shoes. I have to imagine what they are feeling, thinking, and how they'd react. A little bit of myself is bound to come through.

What is your favorite method of in laptop, desktop, iPad or the old-fashioned pencil and paper?  And do you plot out your story or go with the flow of your muse?
I start with pen and paper to get the creative juices flowing and then as I type this into the computer I revise and keep going until the muse stumbles. Then it's back to pen and paper. As far as the story goes, first step is to write a brief story concept – a few sentences to a short paragraph. After that I develop the main characters by creating a detailed character profile - background, how they see themselves, and how they think they fit into the world. From there I pull out my copy of “The Emotional Wound Thesaurus” by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi to hone in on the hero’s and heroine’s points of conflict and what motivates them to behave the way they do. Finally I create 10 to 20 bullet point ideas of what of what I think could happen during the book. Then I start writing and let the characters decide which ideas work and which don't. The characters also tell me things I didn’t know would happen and insist I put those new plot points in the story or they go on strike.

Share your favorites:
Favorite color – deep rose
Favorite dessert/snack – cake
Favorite Season – Fall
Favorite sad song – Stay With Me by Sam Smith
Favorite Romantic movie – Kate and Leopold
Favorite Actor – Harrison Ford
Favorite Actress – Katherine Hepburn
Favorite way to relax – Toss-up between reading and baking

Where can our readers find you? 

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it?
I just released “My Texas Heart: The Texas Kincaids #3”.

5 Stars: This author has a way of painting beautiful word pictures and creating realistic, endearing characters, and you won’t be disappointed with her work. Amazon Reviewer

Divorced from one woman who put her career ahead of everything – including their young son, Chad – Josh Kincaid isn’t about to make that same mistake twice. If he ever falls in love again, it’s going to be with a woman who puts family first. Chad is the most important thing in Josh’s life and he’ll do whatever it takes to be an active part of his life. But his ex has other plans and painfully shy Josh has to step up and fight for his son.

Feisty and driven, Fiona Reilly has plans. She left home to break away from the expectations that she marry and stay home to raise a passel of children. Nothing wrong with that life – it’s just not for her. Instead, she’s going to make something of herself and build a business to be reckoned with. In no hurry to fall in love, Josh and his adorable son capture her heart, forcing her to choose between her dreams and building the home she didn’t know she wanted.

Love has a way of messing up even the best of intentions…

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