Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Empath

BONNIE VANAK SAYS...

I've been writing since childhood, when I penned adventure stories and poems. After receiving a journalism degree from the University of Florida, I worked for several years as a journalist. I left newspaper reporting behind when I took a job writing for a large international charity. A few years ago, I discovered I needed a diversion from the emotional strains of traveling to poor countries and encountering horrific suffering. So I began writing romance novels. THE FALCON & THE DOVE is my first book. It won the historical category of the 2001 RWA Melody of Love contest.

THE TIGER & THE TOMB, my December 2003 release, is an historical that won second place in another RWA contest. TIGER features Ramses, a fierce Khamsin warrior of the wind who swore a blood oath to protect his sheikh with his life. He hides the pain of having to marry for honor, for his heart dearly wants to marry for love. Little does he know the mysterious green-eyed thief who steals from him a kiss and the map to his ancestor's treasure-filled tomb is the bride destined for him.

THE COBRA & THE CONCUBINE, my third historical from Leisure, takes place half in England, half in Egypt. It features a heroine who was enslaved to an evil sheikh as a child and an English nobleman who purchases her as his concubine after she rejects his marriage offer. Cobra is followed by THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID, my 2006 release, and THE SWORD & THE SHEATH, released March 2007.

Why romance novels? I've been reading romance novels since childhood. Some of the first authors I read were Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Mary Stewart, to name a few.

I've always enjoyed reading romance novels as an escape. Two years after my mom died of cancer, I started writing them as an escape. During the day, I keep busy working as a journalist for a large international charity. My travels have taken me to Haiti, Nicaragua and other poor countries. Writing romance novels provides a healthy balance to some of the horrible suffering I've witnessed.

Forget the rules!
FALCON came about in the summer of 2001 after I listened to some very wise advice by author Susan Elizabeth Phillips given at a romance writer's conference. She told everyone to chuck the rules and write what you love.
I listened. After picking up a National Geographic article on "The Pharaohs of the Sun," I became intrigued with the mystery surrounding Akhenaten and his worship of the sun god, Aten. Although his first wife, Nefertiti, was well-known, little was known about Kiya, a minor wife. Seems she mysteriously disappeared and her name was erased from a temple called the Maru Aten. Why? No one knows.

And so I created the legend... and the book...
TIGER followed FALCON, simply because I adored Nazim/Ramses so much and he needed his own story. So I gave this "warrior of love" a tale of his own, set partly in the barren wildness of Egypt's Arabian Desert. The gold mine in TIGER is based on an actual gold mine worked during the days of the pharaohs. But the "secret of one hundred kisses" Ramses employs on Lady Katherine is a Khamsin tradition I invented.
Contrary to what some readers have told me, the Khamsin are NOT an actual Egyptian tribe. They are pure myth, birthed from my heart and a desire to create a warrior tribe who embrace ancient Egyptian mysticism and tradition.

The research...
Most of my research was conducted at the library and on the Internet. I am very grateful to the good librarians at the Broward County Library. And I promise, I will never, ever, ever be late again with books...
Ok, I promise to try!

This information is shared from here.

The EmpathThe Empath

December 2007
Silhouette Nocturne

Nicolas was the strongest and fiercest of the Draicon, until he was banished for a trumped-up crime.
Now the werewolf has only one path to redemption:  find the Draicon's long-lost empath, the woman who will save the pack--and Nicolas himself--from terrible danger.
Maggie Sinclair is a veterinarian, dedicated to healing.  She has no idea of her true nature, the magic waiting in her soul--or the man coming to claim her.
The survival of their pack depends on them finding each other, on their ability to become one.  But their enemies have also found Maggie, and will kill to stop her awakening to an all-consuming passion...

Recently, I had the good fortune to read THE EMPATH, and as a great fan of Jacob (Taylor Lautner) of The Twilight fame, I enjoyed Nicolas's story very much. But I'm in a dilemna now. Are vampires hot OR werewolves hotter?

Friends, what do you prefer? A cold, dead, 107 year old guy who stalks you at night OR a sizzling hot, with six-pack abs, werewolf, who redefines the meaning of HOT DOG?


13 comments:

  1. How great hearing chuck the rules and write what you love was the turning point for you. I wish you success!

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  2. Great picture with the giant pink bird :)

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  3. Hi Theresa, Hello Lacey,

    Thanks for checking out Boonie Vanak's interview!

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  4. I love how you decided to just go after what you enjoyed writing. As a horror author, I sometimes struggle with that. Good luck with the book. Werewolf love novels seem to be coming in.

    Draven Ames
    http://dravenames.blogspot.com/

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  5. Hello Draven,

    You're right. Werewolve love stories are so in now.

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  6. These historicals sound very original and interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Susan Elizabeth Phillips gives GREAT advice. I attended her workshop at national in Orlando. She is so down to earth and approachable.

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  8. Looove a great romance, and these sound great. Thanks for the great interview.

    And vampires or werewolves? Do we have to choose?

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  9. Hi Liz,

    These historicals do sound original based in Egypt. Thanks for coming by.

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  10. Hello Wendy,

    The advice was to chuck the rules and write what you love. But the question is will everybody sell what they love?

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  11. Hi Julie,

    Well you can have both!

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  12. Hi Nas, thanks for the post! Glad you enjoyed The Empath. I'm on deadline right now with another three stories for Nocturne about a werewolf, a jaguar and a vampire.

    Thanks Julie, Wendy, Liz, Draven, Lacey and Theresa for the comments. Lacey, funny story about that bird. It was in 2005 when Hurricane Wilma dumped a tree on our house and we had extensive damage to the house and the yard as well. We got the roof fixed, had the front lawn entirely redone and the day it was finished, my DH bought giant inflatable flamingoes (we live in Florida) and had them waiting for me when I got home from work. It was his way to celebrate our house finally getting fixed. Happy reading, everyone! Bonnie

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  13. Hi Bonnie,

    You welcome. We'll have to look out for your next stories now. And if it's a werewolf, a jaguar and a vampire, then wow! It'll be something to look out for!

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