TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Bonnie: I get very hard on myself while writing a book. Because I work a demanding day job, when I take time off to write, I need to make it count. If life is getting too distracting and I can’t focus on the book, I’ll sometimes take vacation time and get a hotel room or a cottage for a few days. I’ll write all day and into the night. It’s proven very successful for me.
For example, to write The Shadow Wolf, I had to take a week off to finish the book. I work for a large international charity and just returned from Haiti after the earthquake and the book’s deadline was approaching. The images in Haiti were so horrific and upsetting, I couldn’t make the transition into writing romance. So friends loaned me their lakeside cottage. I stayed there four days and wrote a large chunk of the book. It was intense, hard work and I loved every minute of it.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Bonnie: A little of both. I’m a “plantser.” Since writing for Harlequin, I’ve learned to plot a book because Harlequin wants a synopsis. This has become a valuable tool for me as a writer. I view it as a road map. But I also tend to write out of sequence. If I get a good idea for a scene, I’ll write it as it pops into my head or jot down a few notes.
TQ: What inspired you to write about werewolves?
Bonnie: I didn’t plan on it at first. I got the idea when our dog, Tia, was diagnosed with cancer. I’d lost my mom to cancer and Tia proved such a comfort after Mom died. Finding out Tia was dying from the same cancer that claimed my mother was emotionally devastating. So I started jotting down a story as an escape, and the idea of werewolves entered into the story. But the first Draicon book, The Empath, began with Maggie and her beloved dog who is dying from a rare disease.
I love writing werewolves because of the dynamics of the pack mentality. I also think shifters are very sexy because of their strength and power. This is also why I like giving the guys in my books a hidden vulnerability, to balance all that power and strength. It makes them a little more human.
TQ: How do Draicon werewolves differ from other werewolves?
Bonnie: Draicon wolves each have a true mate, but their other half contains their missing magick. Long ago, when the Draicon first came to this dimension to learn of the earth, they were too powerful. So they willingly split themselves in half, dividing up their powers, to blend into our world. When a male and female Draicon who are destined mates find each other, they regain each others’ magick. This is done during sex when they both reach emotional and physical fulfillment.
I did this because I like the idea of destined mates, but dislike making it so easy for them to fall for each other. It also makes for interesting conflict, especially in The Shadow Wolf.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Shadow Wolf?
Bonnie: Tough question! I like all the action scenes, and the ones with the touch of horror in them (blame my childhood of reading Stephen King), but one of my favorites is the scene at the book’s end. Gabriel is in a no-win situation, and it looks like all is lost. He’s alone and despondent. He’s made an enormous sacrifice for the one he loves. And then Megan comes to save the day, making her own sacrifice. She finally confronts her deepest fears and does so because she loves Gabriel. This scene gave me an “awwww” moment. It’s very sweet and tender. Those kind of scenes are my favorites because of the hero and heroine’s emotions and love for each other. One reason I’m a romance author!
TQ: In The Shadow Wolf, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?
Bonnie: Gabriel was the hardest because he’s complex. He seems easygoing and friendly and funny, but he’s got a deep, dark side he doesn’t like to show to anyone. He’s tormented, and yet longs for connection like most of us. Writing his dark side was easy. I love writing tormented heroes. It was the mask, the disguise, of the funny, insouciant Gabriel that challenged me. Sometimes I’d shake my head and yell at him! I’d say, “Why are you making a joke of this? It’s not funny!” Then I’d realize Megan, the heroine, had the same problem with him, so that actually helped me write Megan.
Megan was the least challenging because her conflict was so obvious and her goals were so clear. She’s been persecuted her whole life just because she’s different and she’s determined to be free of her island prison.
I knew I’d hit my mark when a friend recently told me this was the best book of mine she’d ever read. She thought the conflict and all the problems felt real, even though the characters were werewolves!
TQ: How many additional Draicon Werewolf novels are planned?
Bonnie: I’ve written four Draicon books, The Empath, Enemy Lover, Immortal Wolf and now The Shadow Wolf, and three Draicon novellas (Courage of the Wolf is included in The Shadow Wolf). Right now I am waiting to hear back from my editor to see about a new series I plan. The first book will contain a Draicon wolf who is connected to the Robichaux family.
TQ: What's next?
Bonnie: Next up is a trilogy of three paranormal erotic novellas titled The Ancients. These short stories are part of Harlequin Nocturne’s new Cravings line. Three triplet sisters are half-demon and half-angel and are coming into their powers. To prevent them from turning demonic, three pararnormal beings are assigned to mate with them and tame their dark powers.
The first novella is Bitten by the Vampire and is out in October. The second is Mated to the Wolf and is a November release, and Hunted by the Jaguar is the third story, out in December.
These were fun, sexy stories to write, but challenging as I’d never written a trilogy before. There’s some humor in the stories to keep them from being too dark.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Bonnie: Thanks so much for hosting me! Readers can catch up with excerpts and releases at my website, www.bonnievanak.com or at my blog, www.bonnievanak.blogspot.com
About the Draicon Werewolf Novels
The Shadow Wolf(Harlequin Nocturne, August 23, 2011)
On the run from authorities, gutsy Megan Moraine knows shadow wolves like herself have no place in this world. But she's still prepared to do anything to protect her young charges. That resolve is tested when the trio is captured by Gabriel Robichaux. Everyone knows that Gabriel is a ruthless bounty hunter, a member of an elite group called the Enforcers. Why then is Megan so attracted to her enemy—a wolf who hunts his own people? A wolf whose languid, sexy drawl makes her dream the impossible?
Amazon : Barnes & Noble : Books-A-Million
Immortal Wolf(Silhouette Nocturne, October 1, 2009)
Exiled to a life of extreme loneliness because everyone she touches dies, Emily Burke has every reason to distrust Raphael Robichaux. The immortal werewolf possesses immense power and has been summoned by her pack to end her life. And yet, from the moment she lays eyes on the powerful rebel, he awakens all the longings she's kept bottled inside…and gives her hope.
When Raphael meets Emily, he knows something enormous is at stake. For not only does he see that her blood can restore life—but she is his destined mate.
Trust doesn't come easily to Emily. But somehow Raphael must convince her to put her life in his hands. Only then will an ancient prophecy be fulfilled and a terrible evil destroyed….
Amazon : Barnes & Noble
Enemy Lover(Silhouette Nocturne, November 1, 2008)
Overwhelming arrogance demands that Damian Marcel claim Jamie Walsh no matter who vies against them. For she is the only woman who can sate this powerful were's untamed hunger. But Jamie believes Damian is the Draicon werewolf who murdered her brother. She fights the dominating male at every step--only to succeed in binding herself to him.
Now the same magick that links them together is slowly killing Jamie, for she is infected with a spell that's turning her to stone. As they race against time to find a cure and to ward off attacks from the evil Morphs, dare Damian hope that his draicara will finally accept him as her lover...forever?
Amazon : Barnes & Noble
The Empath(Silhouette Nocturne, December 1, 2007)
THE WOLF MUST HAVE A MATE TO SURVIVE...
Nicolas was the strongest and fiercest of the Draicon, until he was banished for a trumped-up crime.Now the werewolf has only one path to redemption: find the Draicon's long-lost empath, the woman who will save the pack--and Nicolas himself--from terrible danger.Maggie Sinclair is a veterinarian, dedicated to healing. She has no idea of her true nature, the magic waiting in her soul--or the man coming to claim her.The survival of their pack depends on them finding each other, on their ability to become one. But their enemies have also found Maggie, and will kill to stop her awakening to an all-consuming passion...
Amazon : Barnes & Noble
After years of newspaper reporting, Bonnie became a writer for a major international charity. She travels to destitute countries such as Haiti to write about famine, disease and other issues affecting the poor. When the emotional strains of her job demanded a diversion, she turned to her childhood dream of writing romance novels.
She lives in Florida with her husband Frank and two dogs, where she happily writes books amid an ever-growing collection of dust bunnies. She loves to hear from readers. Visit her Web site or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: One commenter will win a copy of Immortal Wolf from Bonnie!
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
Werewolves or were-something else?
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 31, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*