A Little Bit of Blackmail — Interview with Author RC Bonitz

Happy Thursday, Scribe fans!  Suze here.  Today I’m very happy to be interviewing RC Bonitz, whose debut novel, A Little Bit of Blackmail, was

released in digital form on November 4 and is now available in print form as well from Silver Publishing and Amazon.  Click here to buy Bob’s book and to see other offerings from Silver.  Without further ado, here’s Bob:

How do you battle the Doubt Monster?  Doubt Monster: the nagging feeling while writing, that your prose is terrible, your plot is silly, your characters are insipid, and no one in their right mind would read this drivel, let alone buy it.

The DM used to win every time. My first book was revised so many times the original story disappeared. We all have  to learn to trust our own judgment. That becomes easier as you go along and learn; at least it did for me. I’ve been writing a sequel to A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL  and just decided it was all wrong. There was no doubt in that decision. I knew what it needed, so I’m starting again.

Have you thought about writing something that is completely different for you?  Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t gone before?

I’ve written suspense, a historical love story, a variety of short stories as well as the sweet romance. Played with a mystery too, and a children’s book of wizards and monsters. My grandkids all became qualified wizards in that one. I haven’t tried vampires yet- can’t seem to get into them.

Author Bob Bonitz
What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?

The recent sale of my first book,  A BLANKET FOR HER HEART. It’s been sitting on the shelf a while. An author I met via email she said she had started a publishing house. Did I have anything to send her? Well, I hunted up the file on A BLANKET FOR HER HEART  and sent it off to her.The next day she came back and said she loved it, wanted it. We signed a contract a week later.  [Suze’s note:  We’ll be sure to let you know when A BLANKET FOR HER HEART is available.  Check back soon!]

What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer?

I’d find a way. I’ve never worked so hard or had as much fun in my life. I dictate now (voice recognition) and use large print, but that’s just scratching the surface of what can be done.

They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere.  What is yours?  What is it about?  What makes it terrible?  Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?

My secret story is  HANNAH, about a young woman who flees her parent’s poverty stricken farm in England, determined to go to America and make her fortune. It’s the best writing I’ve ever done, but it was heading for a tragic ending so I put it aside. I’m thinking of changing the direction of the plot and going back to it one of these days.  [Suze’s note:  Bob!  Not every book has to have an HEA.  This sounds like a great story!}

Author Jane Haddam says that anyone who seriously annoys her gets bumped off in her next book.  How do you incorporate your real-life experiences into your stories? 

I’m sure I use my life experiences, but more than anything I write my dreams. They’re a bit more interesting than my suburban life. I do incorporate things I’ve learned over the years, but my characters are pure invention.

You are a guy writing romance, a genre that has traditionally been a woman’s provenance.  What made you decide to write romance?  Who are your favorite romance authors?

Interesting question. I was writing pure love stories because I’m a romantic, but I was getting nowhere with sales. (I wrote horrible query letters before Kristan Higgins taught me her secrets.)  At my wife’s suggestion I went to hear Suzanne Brockmann speak and came away impressed with her ideas on why one should write romance novels. So, I checked online and found CTRWA and here I am.  [Suze’s note:  CTRWA is the Connecticut Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and Kristan Higgins is one of our goddesses]

Your book, A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL, released on November 4 and is available through Amazon as of November 9.  What has been your experience working with Silver Publishing, a digital press?

Silver Publishing has been wonderful thus far, giving me a lot of input in the editing and cover design processes.  Dancing With Bear Publishing has given me a contract for A BLANKET FOR HER HEART, which will come out after the first of the year. They have already scheduled and gotten me on blog talk radio to do the first promotion for the book. I can’t speak to their edit process since we haven’t started that yet.

Both publishers will produce ebook versions in just about every possible format, as well as paperback versions. And both pay high royalties. I can’t say enough about both houses- I’m  very impressed so far.

What was your biggest misstep in your writing career so far?

I would say two things. First, I wrote an entire novel before I knew how to write well. And second, once I thought I knew what I was doing I kept trying for perfection. I think most of us do that to a point. Going back to read our finished, polished manuscript always gives us fits. How could I have written that, we groan in despair. Oh crap, I’ll never be a writer.  Start again. I finally took a strategy of Jess Andersen’s. send it out and see what happens.  [Suze’s note: Another goddess — Jessica Andersen, author of many Harlequin romantic suspense novels and the Nightkeeper series] 

Do you have a word-related pet peeve?

Descriptions that read like shopping lists. My eyes glaze over and I’m gone.

What is your junk food of choice?

Nothing beats ice cream. Moose Tracks (California variety), rum raisin, vanilla fudge with lots of fudge.

What’s the most dangerous or risky thing that you’ve done?

In my lifetime? Wow, lots. Some might say telling my wife I’d marry her on our first date, but I considered that a sure thing. Maybe sailing a little boat in 55 knot winds and ten foot seas on Long Island Sound not too many years ago? Or, as a kid, riding a bike at 60 plus mph down a long steep curving mountain road. Those come to mind at the moment.

What is your guilty pleasure? {Remember: this is a ‘G’ rated blog! }

Those reside in my dreams and won’t ever make my books!

Thanks for being here today, Bob.  Readers, Bob will drop by periodically throughout the day to answer your questions, so stay tuned.  


21 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Blackmail — Interview with Author RC Bonitz”

    1. Hey Kristan- What else? I’m having fun doing promotions. Actually, I’m about a third of the way through an untitled sequel to BLACKMAIL and waiting to hear from my editor regarding A BLANKET FOR HER HEART. I’m also waiting for the print release date for BLACKMAIL so I can get aurographed copies to folks who’ve asked for them. I did manage a day of fishing before summer ended despite all that. How about you? When’s your next release coming out?

  1. Congratulations on the book, Bob. I need to check the Nook shop again to see if it’s arrived. Good to know that sometimes the Doubt Monster, in trying to look out for our writing, can be overzealous.

    1. Yeah, I’d heard B&N would load the book immediately and Amazon would take a week, but it went the other way around. I’m about to contact the publisher and get them on B&N.
      you have to watch that Doubt Monster. He can decimate your initiative. Not to mention your fun.

    1. Hi Katy. Silver is a relatively new publishing house, but they’re organized like a tradirional one. Their cover artist, Reese Dante, is outstanding. She’s up for a number of awards in the Covey Awards competition. Despite that, she sent me a number of designs to look at including the omne we chose and then we tinkered with finalizing the details of the design. I say we because I always felt I had the final say.

  2. I’m so excited for you, Bob. I know this has been a dream for a long time for you and I love this story. I too am waiting for it to be available for my Nook. If not soon, I’ll just have to get a hard copy from you. I can’t wait to see the final version. Good luck with sales…you’re on a roll! Enjoy!

  3. Congratulations Bob. I’m probably the only person alive that is yet to have an e-reader, so I have to wait until it comes out in print, but I’m really looking forward to reading it. I wish you much success.

    1. Hey Gerri–You can download free apps from Amazon or B&N to read books on your PC, Mac, iPad, phone etc. I read a bunch of books on my PC using their free Kindle program before I got a Kindle. It’s a good way to decide what kind of ereader you ultimately want to buy.

    1. Hi Marian- I’m not sure how Amazon got BLACKMAIL so fast but I just got a revised schedule from the publisher. B&N will probably be another week or so before they have it up. I’ll be sending schedule updates on my blog at http://www.rcbonitz.com And thanks for the congrats. I look forward to reading your book when it comes out.

    1. My pleasure; thanks for having me. You guys are doing a great job. I’ll be off line for a while when I go to read at the Funky Monkey later today, but I’ll try to check in later this evening.

  4. Bob, I just got your Blackmail book on my Mac from Amazon. I am submersed already. Love it…let’s see if I am as good as Shirley to finish it before tomorrow. I loved her review, excellent. Your characters, him and her, are so real. Don’t ask how I know…Best of luck for continued success.

    1. Thanks Gail. I’m delighted you’re enjoying it. You never know, when your book goes out into the world, if it’s going to live or die. Pins and needles and all that. Bob

  5. Great interview, Bob. I’m reading A Little bit of Blackmail and loving it. I’m waiting for Diane to lighten up on Brian. A sequel should be interesting-are you thinking Jessie and Ike?

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