Welcome New Author Celia Bonaduce
Ms. Celia Bonaduce had my attention before I ever read her new book—the moment I found out a bit about her. A woman with a full time career, an HGTV Field Producer (one of my all time favorite shows). And after reviewing my interview questions with Ms. Bonaduce, I’m more of a fan, because anyone who works so hard, continues to dream and work for those dreams refusing to give up—well, that’s what it takes to make the impossible possible, and I can relate.
The Merchant of Venice Beach is a delightful read and within the first few pages, I found myself connecting with the sweet and honest, yet at times hysterical voice, reminding me of the same sort of connection I felt with Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series—minus the paranormal activity and southern setting. Adequately paced, funny in parts, and complicated with Savannah’s emotional shifts, I enjoyed the read and I appreciated the world Ms. Bonaduce painted, very much.
Structure. The sentences, the scenes, and her lovely descriptions of her characters captured my attention. I loved the tearoom. It was so human to me: “The walls of the tearoom were a very pale mountain laurel, not pink and not lavender and, while Suzanna had lots of china, none of it matched. She pretended it was a design choice, but in reality, she hadn’t had a ton of money to drop on cups and little plates.” (14)
Her supporting characters. I loved the names, the personalities from the two male best friends Eric and Fernando. Suzanna our MC had known them since high school. She worked with them. She lived with them, and one of them, she had been in love with the entire time, and hidden crush stories are some of the most intriguing pieces in romance novels because there is never a promise with how they’ll end up.
The Merchant of Venice Beach, is a character-based story. Written so tight and with such a lovely voice, Ms. Bonaduce immediately pulled me into Savannah, her MC’s world. I imagined her as my neighbor or a friend, and she wasn’t. She’s just a character and I really wished I knew her. I loved the details in knowing how she met her friends. I enjoyed learning about her own quirks like over thinking and jealousy over her beautiful best friend. No matter who you are, you’ll find something about Savannah to relate to.
And Now, For The Interview—Ahem…
Where did the idea for this book begin?
My sister-in-law, who lives in San Francisco (I’m married to her brother and we live in Santa Monica, CA) was home for Christmas and told me a story – she had been taking private dance lessons for over a year and one day, she walked into the studio and found her instructor had moved on – and she was now feeling so abandoned that she was in therapy. I thought this was remarkable and decided I had to write about it. The interesting thing turned out to be that once I started taking dance lessons myself, I totally got what she was talking about. I would have been really hurt if my instructor left town without telling me.
Tell me a little about your desire to write. When did you know it was something you really wanted to do?
I was raised by two writers, so it’s practically in my DNA. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing – and learning. My parents both took passing on the art of writing very seriously.
How long have you been working with this story line and the characters?
This was my first novel, so I had many false starts. I’ve probably been working with this storyline at least five years, although if you saw the original version, you might not recognize it as the same story at all. Some of my characters go as far back as ten years and some of them are newly hatched.
Where do you write? An inspiring safe place?
I write in my home office exclusively, but I wish that were not the case. I am trying, not successfully, to be able to plunk my laptop down at a coffee shop or at a park bench and be equally inspired, but I’m not there yet!
What 1-2 surprises came up while writing this story?
THE VENICE BEACH ROMANCES actually started out as stand-alone novels with only the location (Venice and Santa Monica) as the links. One day, I was driving down the street and had an epiphany that my main characters from the first two books should be sisters. I tried to talk myself out of it because it meant a TON more work – I would have to rip apart both books, but I knew it had to be done and I’m really glad I listened to myself.
Briefly tell me a memory of you growing up, and how it defines your character?
I have a strange way of writing. I know I can’t let my character be completely free if I identify too closely with her, so I always align myself with a secondary character. But my characters (the sisters) were raised in a very intellectual household (their parents were college professors) and that hints at the brainiac household in which I was raised.
How have your experiences on HGTV translated into your writing?
A COMEDY OF ERINN – the second book in THE VENICE BEACH ROMANCES – is an insider’s view of the life of a TV field producer. The experiences I’ve had on lifestyle shows – cooking, gardening, crafting, house hunting – are great fodder for story-telling. For a novelist, you really could not have a better job than a producer of lifestyle programming. You spend every day meeting and working with artistic, eccentric, fascinating people…each one of them with a wonderful story to tell. You just have to soak it all in.
What one piece of advice can you give aspiring authors about making their dreams of becoming published come true?
Rejection cannot hurt you. If someone turns down your book, you are in the same place you were in before you were turned down. But when someone says “yes”…everything changes.
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.
Thank you Celia Bonaduce, for letting me be a part of launching your success. I hope your every dream comes true. Hugs.