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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Author Interview : Celia Bonaduce



Today we are featuring Author Celia Bonaduce as a part of a virtual tour of her new book The Merchant of Venice Beach (The Venice Beach Romance #1)
She is Here with us and we will be having a lot of chit-chat but first let me introduce you to her

Celia Bonaduce

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 always a lifelong ambition.

Interview

Sanchit Bhandari



  • Tell us something about your book.


  • Although THE MERCHANT OF VENICE BEACH (along with the two books that make my VENICE BEACH ROMANCE series) is classified as a “romance novel” – I consider it romantic comedy – “Venice Beach” focuses on the journey of the woman-protagonist, not just her romantic entanglements.



  • What gave you the idea for the story of this book? Were there any incidents related to the same?


  • My sister-in-law had taken private dance lessons for years. One day, she showed up for her lesson, only to learn her instructor had quit the studio and moved away without telling her or saying goodbye. She felt so abandoned, she went into therapy. I was so astounded and intrigued by this reaction that I kept coming up with scenarios that could possible explain this amazing behavior.



  • Could you describe to us the journey of writing this book? The parts you enjoyed the most, as well as the parts that were difficult?


  • The journey was certainly a long and winding road! I am a lifestyle-TV producer by trade and a couple years ago, as “realty-TV” was getting more and more popular, I was getting tired of being offered really bad reality-TV work. I thought I’d try my hand at something fulfilling, like writing a novel, and just kept at it. Miraculously, as I completed my second novel (having not sold the first!) I got a call to go back to “good” TV (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and then House Hunters). I then sold my books and am happy producing House Hunters, so I now have the best of both worlds!



  • How did you come up with such a beautiful title? How does it justify the story?


  • Thanks! Originally, the main character, Suzanna, owned a teashop in Santa Monica, CA, but as soon as I hit on using ‘Venice Beach’ as part of my play on Shakespearean titles, I moved the teashop four miles down the road!



  • Describe the characters in 5 words each.


  • Suzanna: imaginative, hopeful, immature, unrealistic, searching.
    Fernando: sardonic, romantic, literate, inventive, traditional
    Eric: pragmatic, realistic, easy-going, intelligent, focused
    Rio: self-centered, self-protective, talented, worldly, cultured.



  • Are you a plotter or a pantser?


  • PLOTTER – maybe too much so.



  • When did you start your tryst with literature?


  • My parents were both professional writers and there was never a rime when words were not revered.



  • A Comedy of Erinn & The Merchant of Venice Beach got published in just 1 month gap how did you manage writing two completely different characters at the same time? Didn’t they fight for Your time and attention?


  • I didn’t write them at the same time. I wrote ‘Merchant’ first and then “Erinn’ – actually, the story point that originally bound them was just the same geographical location – then, as I was in the middle of a massive ‘Erinn’ re-write (after spending two years writing and re-writing “Merchant” – I had an epiphany that Erinn and Suzanna were sisters! I tried to fight it, because it meant that I had to tear both books apart and start again - but it was so obvious that they were sisters there was no escaping it.



  • In you television career, you penned animated series. How did you make the jump from the world of animation to the world of reality?


  • I loved writing for animation and am very proud of my cartoon-credits, which include Hey, Arnold, Ahhh, Real Monsters and Chalkzone, but felt I was losing touch with what TV was buying for kids. I was at Nickelodeon when they picked up ‘SpongeBob” – and I knew I had to get out of children’s programming – I just didn’t understand “SpongeBob’ at all (which means I got out just in time, since it became a monster hit and I would have turned it down) That said, I DID know that Phineas and Ferb was going to be an amazing cartoon! I was looking for a new line of work, and always loved HGTV and lifestyle programming (decorating, renovation, gardening, that sort of thing) – and figured I’d give it a shot. I actually got my first job as a producer because I knew how to sew and they needed a producer on SIMPLY QUILTS!



  • Did Your novel take You in any unexpected direction, something completely off what You had planned?


  • I was blown away when I realized my two main characters were related! I had that revelation at a red-light, and just sat there when the light changed. People had to honk at me to get me going again.



  • What do books mean to you? Records of knowledge, magical fantasy lands, or way to spread your message to people?


  • Books are fabulous escapism. The first book that spoke to me – the book that I was able to read myself and transport myself to another place was “The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle” – I read it in the fourth grade. For a grade-schooler, it was an enormous book – over 300 pages – and I loved every minute of it. It was a library book and I had to keep checking it out. The librarian was only supposed to let me check it out twice but she waved the rule so I could finish it.



  • What are the ingredients you consider necessary for a story to appeal to the reader on an emotional level?


  • Even if they behave outlandishly, characters have to be real. Readers have to relate to them on some level, to have some understanding and compassion – even for the bad guys.



  • ‘The Merchant of Venice Beach’ is a fiction novel set in a Romantic landscape with corresponding characters. Are you a fan of any other novels in this genre? If yes please tell us which is your favorite.


  • I love Fannie Flagg’s characters. I just finished “The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion” and just loved it!



  • Thanks for being with us today.


  • My pleasure! I hope we can do it again!

    The Merchant of Venice Beach

    Release date: August 1st 2013
    Publisher: eKensington
    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.

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