Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Many Facets of Writing: Author Interview with Bonita Y. McCoy

Was your first novel published actually the first one you wrote?
Truth Be Told which was published in 2018 wasn’t my first book to write. The first book was Twisted Plots. I wrote it in 2014 but didn’t have it published until 2019.

What inspired you to write cozy mysteries?
My love of cozy mysteries led me to writing Twisted Plots. And because I taught high school literature for years, my protagonist, Amy Kate Anderson, owns a book shop.

You’re both indie and traditionally 
published. What was the most difficult part of producing your own books? 
I self-publish my Sawyer Family Romance Series and Winged Publications publishes the rest. I do my own book formatting, but I hire someone to do the covers for my self-published titles. You would not want me to make a cover. I also hire an editor and run the manuscript through several Beta readers before pushing publish. My Beta readers have saved the day several times.

What type of promotions do your run? 
I run promotions on both the self-published and traditionally published books. Facebook is my choice for paid ads, though I do have some Amazon ads running and will do a KU promotion every few months.

What does your editor remind you to do most often?
I tend to use “as” when it should be “while”. Over the years, I’ve made a list of the words or phrases that weasel their way into my writing. It’s two-sided just so you know and part of my editing process.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing? 
In 2020 and 2021, I was a finalist in the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards for Best Cozy. And in 2019, Twisted Plots won a publishing contract. Like many authors, I suffer from imposter syndrome. Having someone else tell me they liked my work, helps me on the days I wonder why I write.

We have all experienced rejection. How have you learned to write past it?
My very first critique with an agent ended with her telling me the only reason she finished the ten pages was because I had paid her for her opinion. She promptly told me the entire first chapter was back story and that the action started in chapter two. She was right. I made the changes and it’s one of the cozy’s that was a finalist at Killer Nashville. What I learned was to listen to those in the industry who knew a lot more than I did.

What has surprised or frustrated you the most in writing/publishing? 
Writing isn’t simply sitting in a chair writing the story which surprised me. To be a writer means you are a marketer and a partner with your publisher. You’ve got to do your portion toward the publishing like the self-editing, input on cover designs, whether you’re traditionally published or self-published. I wish someone had told me that a writing career involved all these facets. I probably would’ve done more research in the other areas while I wrote that first novel.

I see you’ve done a few books jointly with other authors. How did those come about? 
My publisher asked the authors if they’d like to participate in a box set, and I said yes. I also did an independent Christmas box set with a writer’s group back in 2019. I love working with other authors. We cheer each other on.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give? 
Start now building a platform. You don’t have to be everywhere but be somewhere consistently. And write a reader magnet for your newsletter. I’m still trying to fit that into my writing schedule, and it’s putting me behind not being able to offer potential readers a gift to join.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add? 
If you feel called to write, if you love it, if your characters keep you up at night, then write. It’s the most wonderful job. You’ll be glad you did.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short blurb? 
My next book will be the third in the Amy Kate Mystery Series called Twisted Vows. Let’s just say the minister is found dead at the wedding, and the groom is standing over him, holding the bloody cake knife. Should be fun!!

That does sound intriguing. If you'd like to learn more about Bonita's books, here are some links to get you started.