History Hoydens

Example

Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

31 May 2007

Welcome, Bonnie Edwards!



Midnight Confessions
By Bonnie Edwards
Kensington--Available now!





Bonnie will be giving away copies of Midnight Confessions and Midnight Confessions II (!) to two lucky posters.

Faye Grantham didn’t quite know what came over her—except that her body was on fire. She knew what she wanted, craved, needed: hot sex. Right now. Tonight. But nice girls don’t get to do whatever they want, with whoever they want to do it with… Faye feels like someone’s trying to tell her something: go for it!





The long-gone ladies of the old bordello she inherited are with her in spirit—sexual spirit, that is. If the walls of Perdition House could only talk…oh, my. They do. And their ghostly tales of amorous encounters are awakening Faye’s desire for flesh-and-blood men. Who is she gonna call? Mouth-wateringly sexy Mark or hard and handsome Liam? Her wildest fantasies are about to get very, very real…

4 Stars from Romantic Times!Edwards establishes interest from the first page with an extremely unique plot. The story moves quickly as main character Faye goes after what she wants - with gusto. Without losing a beat or leaving out details, the novel achieves a sensual tone that is tasteful and sexy. MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS is definitely entertaining reading.

Midnight Confessions has both contemporary parts, and historical parts where we meet the ghosts of the women who once worked out of the house our heroine now lives in. How did you become pick the time period for the ghosts? What do you love about it?


I picked 1910-11 because so much was happening in the world. Millionaires were on the rise. Travel was exploding. Communication, technology and manufacturing were all moving in fast forward, it seems. A real middle class was rising. Fashions were changing rapidly. And since this was the first historical writing I’d ever done I liked that most people could relate to the times. I’d like to think most people even have old photos from this time tucked away in their homes.


What do you like least about this period? Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?

I didn’t want to take the stories to the First World War. I wanted to remain in a time when all good things seemed possible. I also liked the idea of looking back and knowing that while my characters felt that nothing could go wrong in the world at large…the reader would know that in a couple years the war would engulf the world. A peak into a wondrous time of innocence. (even if the book is set in a bordello – LOL)

You’re writing erotic romance, how do you go about blending history with a really hot plot?

Oh, that was so much fun and surprisingly easy. Once I learned that Butte Montana was a hot spot for brothels and vice and every kind of sin (the Dumas Hotel is still there, a museum) it seemed a natural starting point. Then I learned that there’d been a Free Love Movement as far back as just after the Civil War. I began to think that if a woman was raised in this Free Love Movement her ideas of sex and marriage and a “woman’s place” would be different enough that she’d make a very forward thinking madam. And so I created Belle Grantham, the founder of Perdition House.

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?

Actually I can’t say that I had any one thing spark it. I was at a writing retreat, needing to brainstorm a new idea and I had the idea of a woman inheriting a haunted bordello literally fall into my head. I couldn’t let it go…it electrified me. Any writer will recognize that feeling. All my creative sparkplugs started firing and I knew I was onto something. I felt vindicated every time my research gave me more to work with. It was as if I was meant to write this series. Which I didn’t realize was a series until I got started writing. That was when I knew I had more to say than one book’s worth.



Did you have to do any major research for his book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?


I didn’t know anything much! But I’ve had a lifelong affinity for the time. I think most people look back to a period and feel a sense of “wouldn’t it have been cool to live then”. That’s what I’ve always felt about the early 1900’s. Everything I researched seemed to work well within the context of the stories. I discovered some things about Carrie Nation I didn’t know though. So I used her strident crusader mentality to offset Belle Grantham. Both the real woman Nation and my fictional character Belle wanted the same things. Respect for women. Kinder, gentler men. They just went after what they wanted in different ways. Nation went on the attack: she railed against alcohol and vice hoping that by banishing both men would treat their families better. My Belle wanted men to see women as individuals with choices. Especially by being financially independent. Heck, if women had had more choices for making a living back then, Belle might have run a school, but as it was, she gave some women financial freedom. At least that’s how I see it.



What/Who do you like to read?

I like to read fun historicals. My favorite historical writer is Margaret Moore. Her settings are interesting and I love her heroes and heroines. There’s always a little mystery and suspense in her books and her secondary characters never fail to make me laugh! In contemporaries, I LOVE EC Sheedy’s romantic suspense books. She’s always a guaranteed good read. And her books are suspenseful and unpredictable. Care to share a bit about your writing process?



Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?


I write four drafts. As much as I’d like to write faster or fewer drafts, I can’t break the four draft habit. The first is basically telling the story. Getting the events down. (often the end is a mystery even then). The second draft is where the really hard work comes in. I switch scenes, move stuff around. Kill off characters or blend two characters into one etc. After that, it’s pretty much cleaning up and editing. But, I’ve been told several times I send in really clean manuscripts, so I guess the time spent is worth it. Doesn’t matter anyway, I can’t let a manuscript leave my hands until it’s the very best I can do at the time.



What are you planning to work on next?


I’ve got several ideas for both light and dark contemporary paranormals. And of course, Midnight Confessions III is tapping at my forehead, I think I’ll look at moving up to 1912-1914. The next release is set in the brothel, but unfortunately, it’s strictly contemporary. It’s a novella, Rock Solid, in the anthology BUILT, due in stores at the end of July.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Sharron Gunn said...

Amazing site. I love the name 'hoydens'. Lots to read and a contest to boot. What more could you want?

10:55 AM  
Blogger Cherie J said...

Hi Bonnie!

Good to see you here. I think Midnight Confessions sounds hot! I am intrigued by your original plot. Thanks for being here.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Edwards said...

Hi Sharron. I thought you'd like this site. I love the word hoyden too. Evokes such a "wild girl" image, don't you think?

Thanks so much Cherie for the comment about MC being original. I hear that a lot.

It's paranormal without being dark...which is kind of different these days.

But the historical aspects of the plot really intrigued me. I never thought of writing anything historical before...this was perfect for me to get my feet wet.

Bonnie

11:15 AM  
Blogger CrystalG said...

Midnight Confessions sounds good. I like the time period you have set the book in. A refreshing change.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Kalen Hughes said...

Bonnie, thanks so much for being with us this week. Your book is a bit of a departure for us (half contemp? Oh the horrors, LOL!) but I love the idea of the historical and the contemporary mingling like this.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Edwards said...

HI Kalen! Thanks so much for inviting me!

Thing was, once I figured out I wanted to step back in time I had to come up with a reasonable explanation for the heroine to be so accepting.

In one of those twists that happen to writer's minds, I saw a poster of Marilyn Monroe standing over the subway grate. You know the famous one of her skirt blowing up?

It came to me then that my heroine sells vintage clothing! She's already in love with an older era so for her to show interest in and make 'friends' with women from 1911 made more sense.

The more I read about the old movie sirens...the early 1900s...the life of prostitutes etc. the more enthralled I became.

But whoa! is it tough to avoid research overload. I found myself wanting to add too much.

Does that happen to everyone who writes historicals?

I even went so far as to research the first souped up automobile...b/c I love cars, too. Oh, yes, the 1912 Ford Model T Speedster.

See? I can't resist. LOL Finding the car helped me find another heroine!

Ok, sorry, time to stop now.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Amy S. said...

Great interview!!! I loved Midnight Confessions and can’t wait to read Midnight Confessions II. Sounds great!!!! I love books like this!

2:15 PM  
Blogger Kalen Hughes said...

But whoa! is it tough to avoid research overload. I found myself wanting to add too much.

Does that happen to everyone who writes historicals?


I think that's one of the major traps you have to avoid when writing historicals. I know I get all caught up in stuff and my agent or editor crosses it out with a *yawn* next to it. LOL!

4:04 PM  
Blogger KimW said...

Stopping in to say "hi" Bonnie. Loved reading all your interview answers. It would be neat to travel back and experience those free love times, wouldn't it? Well maybe only for a short time. lol That period in time is so interesting to me. Your book sounds really good! Congratulations on the great review.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Wow, Bonnie, so much great information :)

6:29 PM  
Blogger Kimberly L said...

Hi Bonnie, your book is going to be a great read. It's actually got a little of historical and contem in it. Way to go on pulling this off. I cannot wait to read this book.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Edwards said...

thanks so much everyone.

And just a reminder that I'll be blogging here again on Saturday about doing the research. But I'm beginning to think you may have read it all!

What fun today has been!

Thanks to all the hoydens (gee I really do like that word!)

Bonnie

8:22 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Thank you for blogging with us, Bonnie!

I love the time period you are writing about...and I love the word "Perdition!" ;-)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Bonnie,

terrific interview. Can't wait to read Midnight Confessions.

1:30 AM  
Blogger anne said...

What an enlightening interview. I am looking forward to reading this unique and fascinating book. Thanks for the great visit.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Edwards said...

Kathrynn,

About "perdition" LOL. I wanted to use it in the title. My editor didn't care for it though so I came up with MC.

But all the way through the series I played with the word and the meaning.

"it's Hell living in Perdition" and "it was Heaven in Perdition" and so on. What a hoot. There are references like that all over the place. Every time I wrote one, I chuckled.

I probably had more fun with it b/c I wasn't able to use it in the title!

Gosh I love writing!

Which reminds me...I have a brand new opening scene to write. Don't you hate it when you realize you started a story in the wrong place? Well, love/hate...

Bonnie

8:32 AM  
Blogger kim h said...

sounds very hot bonnie, great cover

11:59 PM  
Blogger Sue A. said...

Oops! I should of read the interview before asking if there was going to be a Midnight Confessions III.

I'm intrigued by the unique plot and the mixture of time periods. Thanks for the great interview!

12:59 AM  

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