I’m delighted to welcome Jennifer Bohnet to my blog.
It was great to connect with you through The Romantic Novelists’ Association. I’ve been a member of the RNA for a number of years and continue to be amazed by some of the brilliant authors and supportive affiliates, I have encountered during that time. But before we discover more about your latest release, Villa of Sun and Secrets, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: Authors can release books, making them available to readers in various ways…via an agent, or working directly with a traditional publisher, or they can even go the self-publishing route. Which method of publishing do you prefer, and why?
Jennifer: First I’d like to thank you, Arabella, for inviting me on the blog.
I’ve been a bit of a hybrid for the last couple of years – self-published and with HarperCollins but I much prefer working with a traditional publisher. I’ve recently been signed by Boldwood Books for 4 new novels plus my backlist – which consists of my five self-published books. I don’t currently have an agent and find the support offered by a publisher invaluable. Marketing and promo are hard and time-consuming and as an indie author, I lacked the confidence to push my books. With a publisher, it’s still hard and eats into writing time but there is more support in the background.
Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, Villa of Sun and Secrets?
Jennifer: Villa of Sun and Secrets will be out 8th August. I have a notebook of ideas and last year after A year of Taking Chances was published by HQ I was wondering what to write next and in the notebook were a few unconnected phrases: unknown aunt; south of France; divorce; two new beginnings. I started to play around linking them together and the story slowly evolved as I wrote it.
Arabella: A slice of Chocolate Cake, a piece of Fruit, or Burger and Fries?
Jennifer: A piece of melon please – with a slice of parma ham on the side would be perfect.
Arabella: If the person of your dreams, (husband/wife/partner/or superstar), were to take you out for the night, where would they take you and what would you do?
Jennifer: Dinner and then the theatre. Actually just taking me to a really good production of a play, any play, would be wonderful! I miss live theatre with English language plays so much living in France.
Arabella: Currently, what is your most favourite T.V. programme, and why?
Jennifer: I rarely watch TV – A lot of French TV seems to feature dubbed American detective series, which I simply don’t like. Every July though we tend to get hooked on watching the Tour de France. (Really exciting this year too!)
Arabella: When writing a book or chapter, which do you concentrate on first: plot, character, or setting?
Jennifer: When starting a new book I decide on the setting and then find the characters who inhabit it, listen to their stories and then start to weave the plot. I’m more of a pantster than a plotter but these days I do plan a bit more than I used to – basically because I find writing from several points of view I can get in a dreadful muddle! After about 10K words, when the story is starting to gel for me, I make a note at the beginning of every new chapter of the scenes that are needed at that point to move the story on.
Arabella: How do you research your novels and characters?
Jennifer: My books are contemporary and on the face of it, don’t involve much research – just up to date general knowledge of what is going on in the world. The book I had to do the most research for was Shadows of Conflict (a new edition of which Boldwood Books will be publishing in the future), which is set in and around Dartmouth in South Devon. During WW11 a large part of the coast down there was evacuated for training exercises before D-day. We lived in Dartmouth for several years and I already knew a lot about the history of that particular event but books and the Internet refreshed the details.
Arabella: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their writing journey?
Jennifer: Remember you’re in it for the long haul. Few writers achieve overnight success, or write a breakout novel at the first attempt. Write the best book you can and never give in to the doubting Thomas that exists in all of us! But most important – enjoy the writing journey wherever it takes you. And once you’ve started writing a story try to write everyday even if it’s only a few words or a paragraph: it keeps your subconscious involved in the story.
Jennifer - Thank you for joining us on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat and sharing a little about your journey as a Women’s Contemporary Fiction writer. I think I might even pinch your idea about making a note at the beginning of a chapter to drive the story forward.
All the best and lots of happy-ever-after writing…
About Jennifer Bohnet:
I find it hard to believe but I've lived in France now for twenty years. After eleven years down on the Cote d'Azur where Richard was a guardien for a villa, we moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in the depths of Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! I've sold hundreds of shorts stories to the women's magazine market in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark - I even had my own newspaper column in a group of local Devon papers at one time. My latest book - number 13! - Villa of Sun and Secrets is published by Boldwood Books on 8th August.
Jennifer’s Social Media Links:
FaceBook Author page: goo.gl/PDKQ8D
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/@jenniewriter
Blurb: Villa of Sun and Secrets
It’s never too late to live the dream.
Carla Sullivan’s 50th birthday is fast approaching when her whole world is turned upside down. Discovering her feckless husband is having yet another affair and following her mother’s death, she is in need of an escape. Finding an envelope addressed to her mother’s estranged sister Josette in the South of France gives Carla the perfect plan.
Seizing the moment, she packs her bags and heads to Antibes to seek out the enigma known as Tante Josette. But as the two women begin to forge a tentative relationship, family secrets start to unravel, forcing Carla to question her life as she has always known it.
A Villa of Sun and Secrets Amazon: http://mybook.to/VillaofSun