Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Interview with Celia Bonaduce

Hello everyone, I have a rare treat for you today. I often have writers and giveaways on my blogs and we love all that. But today, I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing a very talented author, Kensington house published author Celia Bonaduce. And there is an excerpt, author information and a giveaway :)

Welcome to Keira’s Corner, where there is always chocolate, and lots and lots of coffee.

Keira: You have a story out through Kensington Publishing entitled The Merchant of Venice Beach. What is that about?

The Merchant of Venice Beach is the story of Suzanna, a 32-year-old who is sort of stuck in arrested development – that eternal youth phenomenon that seems to happen with some regularity in Southern California. She owns a tea shop in Venice Beach and she just wants to shake things up. She’s stuck in neutral (with her two best friends since high school – Eric and Fernando - who also work at the shop). Looking into the eye of her 33rd birthday, Suzanna decides that it’s time to finally grow up and that a torrid affair with a hot dance instructor might be just the thing.

Keira: What do you wear, to write?

I wish I were one of those writers who considers writing his or her “job” and gets dressed to sit down at his or her own home computer. I’m more of a yoga pants girl – although I will wear a supportive cami!

Keira: Is writing your only talent?

I am a pretty good singer and cook and if I do say so myself, and a really good seamstress!

Keira: Where in the Hell did you find time to write?

I started writing when my career as a TV producer (mostly lifestyle, cooking, gardening, that sort of thing) was…uh…floundering. So I had plenty of time to write. About two years ago, my career picked back up and God knows where I’m going to find the time to finish book three of the VENICE BEACH ROMANCES (of which MERCHANT is number one). This is a very stressful question!

Keira: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

I have a heaven-sent mentor, Jodi Thomas, the New York Times bestseller. She took me under her wing and had such faith in me that some days I would write just to prove that she wasn’t wrong to have faith in me.

Keira: Do you use a particular writing method?

One of my best friends does Ashtang yoga. She practices a set of poses every day, building on her set as she learns new poses, but always in the same order. I sort of adopted that as my writing style. I start at the beginning of my book every day, making small (or large) edits as I go and then build from there.

Keira: What time of day, do you write best?

Morning – most definitely. In my job as a producer on HGTV’s House Hunters, I fly all over the country, so I don’t have an internal time zone – jet lag is not an affordable luxury in my profession. But when I first wake up, that’s when my brain is firing on all cylinders.

Keira: Please share a particular detail about one of characters.

I found that I couldn’t let my main character be “free” if I related too closely with her (what will my mom think? What will my husband think? What will my brothers think?), so I stepped back and identified with a secondary character – Fernando. So, yes, the gay pastry chef with the snarky attitude is me.

Let’s get personal…

Keira: What is your favorite animal?

I just can’t believe what a gift to humanity dogs are. They are so loving and loyal. I love watching YouTube videos of dogs reuniting with their soldier-owners when they come back from months at war. I’ll just sit and blubber.

Keira: Can you tell us a secret?

I have tattooed eyeliner – and I have a tattoo on my hip of a crying heart (for my favorite book “The Crying Heart Tattoo” by David Martin)

Keira: What do you consider a household staple?

My husband bought a Vitamix and he is always whipping up really gross spinach based concoctions. Left to my own devises, I would have used the thing as a doorstop, but one day I decided that I would make popsicles out of some super-ripe fruit. Now I always have them in the freezer.

Keira: What are you reading?

I’m reading The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan. I’m just getting into it, so I haven’t really formed an opinion, but I always admire books where the author has done a great deal of research in order to bring a time period to life. This book takes place in Paris in 1878. Along those same lines, I loved Life after Life by Kate Atkinson and Sacre Blue by Christopher Moore for the same reason.

Title:  The Merchant of Venice Beach
Series: A Venice Beach Romance Book 1
Author:   Celia Bonaduce
Published:  August 1st, 2013
Publisher: eKensington
Word Count:  approx 68,000
Genre:  Contemporary Romance

The Rollicking Bun—Home of the Epic Scone—is the center of Suzanna Wolf’s life. Part tea shop, part bookstore, part home, it’s everything she’s ever wanted right on the Venice Beach boardwalk, including partnership with her two best friends from high school, Eric and Fernando. But with thirty-three just around the corner, suddenly Suzanna wants something more—something strictly her own. Salsa lessons, especially with a gorgeous instructor, seem like a good start—a harmless secret, and just maybe the start of a fling. But before she knows it, Suzanna is learning steps she never imagined—and dancing her way into confusion.

About the Author:
Currently a Field Producer on HGTV’s House Hunters, Celia Bonaduce's TV credits cover a lot of ground - everything from field-producing ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to writing for many of Nickelodeon’s animated series, including Hey, Arnold and Chalkzone.

An avid reader, entering the world of books has always been a lifelong ambition. eKensington’s The Merchant of Venice Beach, A Venice Beach Romance Book # 1, was published August 1st, 2013.

Excerpt from The Merchant of Venice Beach by Celia Bonaduce:

     Suzanna was in a panic. After several futile attempts at looking for shoes on-line, it became clear she was never going to have enough alone time to really investigate the subject properly. All the research she did manage just brought about more questions, not less and Suzanna had to admit that she really needed some expert help in finding the right shoes. Now her first salsa lesson was looming, and she had somehow not managed to find the time to go to Dante’s Dancewear. She didn’t know exactly what she wanted, but she knew she couldn’t show up at the studio in the wrong shoes…whatever that meant!
     Slipping away from The Bun as soon as the afternoon tea crowd had settled down, Suzanna pointed her Smart Car towards Westwood Boulevard, where Dante’s Dancewear beckoned. Suzanna walked noiselessly into the store, ready to appear confident and assured. After all, she didn’t know everything, but she knew she wanted “character shoes.”
     “You don’t want character shoes,” said the stone-faced skeleton behind the counter.
     It’s times like these when Suzanna remembered why she never left her comfort zone. When she was managing The Bun or hanging out with Fernando and Eric, curve balls like this were never hurled at her.  The little self-doubts pricked at her like tiny toothpicks, but she pulled myself together, arched an eyebrow and breathed… “Oh?”
     “A character shoe has a leather sole. You want a suede sole for classes.”
     “Oh,” she paused emphatically. And then, because she couldn’t stand not knowing, added, “Why?”
     “The suede glides on the wood floor,” she replied, “and a suede soled shoe is lighter and easier to dance in for long periods of time.”            
     It took Suzanna a moment to let go of her character-shoes-dream, but since her character-shoes-dream was only about a week old, she found she could easily replace it with the new, more dance-centric suede-sole dance-shoes dream. Because, make no mistake, she planned on dancing for long periods of time!            
     She asked the skeleton to show her some suede-soled dance shoes that would lend themselves to sensuous salsa.            
     “What color?” She asked.            
     Red? Too showy. White? Too virginal.            
     “Black!” Suzanna said.            
     “You don’t want black.”            
     Suzanna left Dante’s Dancewear a little more unsteady and a lot less sure of herself than when she entered, but she had to congratulate herself.  She had bought her dance shoes.            
They were beige.            
     Apparently in the dance world, one referred to “shoes” in the singular. You bought a “shoe” and somehow your other foot magically got shod. According to the skeleton, one did not want a shoe that stood out. One wanted a shoe that blended in. Suzanna argued that the whole point of dance lessons was that she was damn SICK of fitting in.  The skeleton replied that she wanted her form and herself to stand out – not her feet.            
     “Beige hides footwork mistakes,” she said.            
     So Suzanna bought beige.            
     Suzanna clicked off the alarm in her Smart Car and hid her clandestine purchase in what was passing for a trunk in the vehicle that was passing for a car. Suzanna wondered briefly if the hot dance instructor would be impressed with her wise choice of a beige shoe. She looked down at her iPhone calendar – she’d find out in less than 4 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for joining us today Celia, it's been a pleasure.
Keira Kroft

No comments:

Post a Comment