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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Keying into your Inspiration: An Interview with Angela Bonomo

What made you decide to write your first children's book?
It started out as a Christmas gift for my family. I was awakened at 2:00 a.m. one morning and felt the need to sit down and write. The Forgotten Princesses just appeared on the page. The next morning I showed it to my husband and he loved it. He said I should get it published. I figured he was a little prejudice because he loves me, so I asked my daughters to read it. I didn’t say anything to them, except to please read it. They loved it and said I should get it published, too. 

Was there any particular author you read that made you think, I could write like that?
None specifically,  but I really like Peter Brown and Mem Fox. 

How long did it take you to write your book?
The first night I wrote the entire story in under an hour. The rest took months.

How many rewrites did you do on it?
I’d say it was about 50-60.

Who helped you with the editing?
My daughter is an English teacher. I went to her first and then to my publishing house’s editor.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I guess it would be choosing the direction the story and /or characters head. There are a lot of “What ifs” to answer.

I would also add that building the tension is one of the hardest parts for me, due to the limited amount of words I am allotted, with it being a picture book.

What is the easiest part for you?
Starting is usually the easiest part 

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
My family and friends. They have been amazing. I would be amiss if I did not also say, my Lord. He has opened so many doors. I never would have imagined all this.

We have all experienced rejection. Give me an example of how you learned to write past it.
As I did not traditionally publish, I have not had much rejection. Time will tell when I query my next manuscript.

What made you choose the indie route?
I wanted to keep control over every aspect of my book and this allowed me to do that.

What was the most challenging part about putting together the book?
Time crunches. If I wanted “The Forgotten Princesses” out ASAP, I had to be ready to drop everything and get to work on whatever my Publishing house needed.

What do you know now about writing that you wished you had known sooner? 
That I would have to market myself not just my book. I am more comfortable being the cheerleader in the background, encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone. You have to become comfortable stepping into the spotlight.

What is the best writing advice that you’ve received or could give?
If you want to write anything, then you should start by reading as many books, in the genre you’re interested in, as possible. I was told 100 books is a good start. Then take notice of what you like, and do not like, about the author’s writing. Buy a few of these books to use as Mentor Books. They will become some of your best teachers.

Are there any other points about writing that you would like to add?
Get involved in a writers group, in organizations like CBI (Children’s Book Insider) and SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) if you are looking to write for children. If you are interested in writing for adults, you will need to research that on your own, (sorry). Either way, study your craft or be careful to choose wisely, whether it be an organization, writing group, publisher or agent.

What is the next book that will be coming out?

It is about a little boy with school issues. 

Can you give me a short synopsis?
Not yet, don’t want to give away too much till I get an agent. But I will keep you posted.

That's all for today's interview. If you would like to learn more about Angela's writing and her book, here are two links to get you started.

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