Today I am part of the blog tour for Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner: I interviewed her! There is also an INTERNATIONAL giveaway going on. Be sure to check that out!
When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?
A girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But those from whom they expect support are manipulating them both because their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.
After a stormy youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. That is, until he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. To follow his heart, he’ll have to face his demons again, outside the security of the monastery. Is it worth the risk? Can he beat them this time? Or will they finally destroy him?
Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the abbey. All she wants is to learn how to manage her unusual abilities so that she is not a danger to those around her. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything threatens to spiral out of her control. Whether she leaves or whether she stays, how can she possibly avoid destroying – yet again – those she has come to care about?
Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. He knows what he has to do but is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?
JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.
I guess there’s no such thing as a typical author, but I’m certainly not typical. I have a degree in Civil Engineering although I’ve never worked in that area. I’ve mostly worked as an accountant and I’m a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). I’ve run my own accountancy business for many years, where I provide financial management and financial modelling services to public sector organisations. How that led to becoming an author, I’ve no idea.
In my spare time I like to keep fit so I swim regularly and I’m also an archer, something I enjoy very much. I’m actively involved in my local church where I manage the sound system (the minister is my husband – so I have the power to turn his mic off if he preaches too long!). I also have a couple of voluntary roles, one as trustee with a local youth theatre and the other advising a genealogical organisation.
JRR: I also worked the sound system at one of my former churches for a while and it’s hard work! (Turning off that mic can be tempting…. 😉 ) Now, Did you always want to become an author?
No, it happened to me by chance. The story developed in my head and eventually I had to write it down to stop the characters taking over my life. That didn’t work, by the way. Once I got them out of my head and onto paper they started taking over even more of my life!
JRR: What inspires you to write?
Pretty much anything! I can hear something, or see a picture or read something and an idea just develops. I dreamt one of the scenes in Strand of Faith and the rest of the story grew from there. I’m definitely a pantser not a plotter and I find the story unfolds on the page. Sometimes I’m surprised by the direction it goes.
JRR: What does your writing process consist of? Do you research, do you hand-write or type, do you have a playlist or do you need silence?
I don’t have a playlist but I don’t need silence. I’m quite happy to be interrupted and I find it quite easy to get back to work again. I type because my handwriting doesn’t keep up with my thought process – I can type much faster. I research when necessary but once I start research something there’s always a danger it will be hours before I get back to writing!
JRR: Who was the most influential author you read when you were growing up? Did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?
I don’t think there’s any one author that has influenced me more than another. I read extensively as a child and I still do today. I couldn’t pick any one author.
JRR: Oops… Who are some of your favorite authors as an adult?
I have quite a list – some of my favourites include Neil Gaiman, Terry Prachett (Discworld), Jodi Picoult, Annette Marie (urban fantasy), Jodi Taylor (Chronicles of St Mary’s), Sarah Woodbury (After Cilmeri time travel fiction), Trisha Ashley (romance), Diane Gabaldon (Outlander), Anne McCaffery (Dragonrider series). But there are many, many more.
JRR: If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) who would they be and why?
My Dad would be one of them, definitely. He died five years ago which was before I started writing or had any idea about publishing so I’d really like to share all this with him. He influenced at least one of my male characters. I’d love to spend time with Neil Gaiman, because I’ve read so much of his work and it ranges over so many different areas. And that leads me on to my third choice, Terry Pratchett. I could (and have) read his Discworld series over and over again. Spending time with someone with that level of imagination would be fascinating.
JRR: Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
Umm…My TBR pile currently has 25 books in it and that’s just the physical pile. I don’t think there’s any one stand out book that I’ve always meant to read, just a whole lot that have tempted me. I started the Goodreads reading challenge to encourage me to work through the physical pile this year, but much of what I read is eBooks. Using an eReader means I can adjust the font size if I need to instead of having to hunt for my reading glasses.
JRR: Yes, too many books and never enough time! What made you choose the paranormal romance genre to write your first novel?
I didn’t choose it, not exactly. I just wrote Strand of Faith and its sequels and then tried to work out what genre it was. Paranormal romance seemed to be the closest fit for something that is really cross genre.
JRR: Where did you get the idea for Strand of Faith? Did you base any character off anyone you know?
The idea started when I dreamt one of the scenes in this book, and then developed in my mind and on paper. It felt like the characters were telling me their story and I was writing it down. Some were more reticent than others! No character is based directly on someone I know, but I can see some of my friends’ characteristics in some of my characters.
JRR: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Finish it! It’s very easy to start something and not nearly so easy to plough on and finish it. It applies to everything, not just writing. I felt a tremendous sense of achievement when I finished the first draft of all four books in the Choices and Consequences series.
JRR: Is there anything else you would like to share?
I really hope you enjoy reading Strand of Faith as much as I have enjoyed writing it. My plan is to release the other three books in the series over the next fifteen months or so. I’d love it if, at the end of Strand of Faith, readers were eager to read the rest and impatient for the next release date. If you want to look out for them:
Book 2 – Thread of Hope, to be released spring 2019
Book 3 – Weave of Love, to be released autumn 2019
Book 4 – Cloth of Grace, to be released spring 2020
Or sign up for my newsletter at www.racheljbonner.co.uk to be sure you don’t miss out.
JRR: Thank you for your time with this interview Rachel! And now we know when to look out for the rest of the series!!
About the Author:
Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.
Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance. Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun. When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club. Target shooting only, honest. Nothing to worry about.
She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary. It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.
You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at www.racheljbonner.co.uk.
Win a signed paperback copy of Strand of Faith, a set of bookmarks (3 styles plus a business card) featuring the cover art, and a canvas print (40cm by 30cm) of the original cover art. **Open Internationally**
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.