Kelly and I love giving away young adult novels...and this weekend we're especially excited because our "author in the hot seat," Bonnie Hearn Hill, has generously donated all three books in her Star Crossed series to one lucky commenter!
So with no further adieu, let's meet Bonnie and learn about her exciting series.
Hi, Bonnie, could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?
Bonnie: I was a newspaper editor and closet novelist. In 2002, thanks to my awesome literary agent, I contracted for six thrillers with a large international publisher. As much as I loved the thrillers, I wanted to write for teens.
My best friend is a top astrology writer--Cosmopolitan magazine, four books of her own, on TV, radio and blogs all over the place. She's also in my critique group in California. When I told her my idea for the Star Crossed series, she couldn't wait to offer me her astrological insights. Before that, I didn't even read my horoscopes in the newspaper.
Writing these books was so much fun. I love the characters. I love their conflicts and their romances. I especially love the e-mail I get from teens who relate to them, and some who want to write their own books.
Please tell us about your novel, GEMINI NIGHT, and what we can expect from your characters.
Bonnie: It's the third in the Star Crossed Series. Logan, my protagonist, is a junior in high school now, and she has an internship at CRUSH, a San Francisco teen magazine. She'd like to be the teen astrology columnist, though, and finally her editor makes a deal with her. Here's the birthdate of a Gemini celeb who will be attending the magazine's costume launch party. Do a good job of predicting what will happen to this person, and you have the job. The anonymous Gemini is in deep trouble, Logan realizes. And when she studies her own chart, she sees that it's not looking too good for her Aquarius self either. Her goal--discover the identity of the Gemini before the party. The subplots are kind of fun as well. Logan is failing to connect with her guy, who is out of the country. Her two best friends have their own issues, which are revealed at the CRUSH costume party.
Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Bonnie: Write character-driven fiction. Too many authors just write themselves with better hair, hotter bodies, and faster comebacks. Or they write plotty fiction with only action and coincidence, as the reader falls asleep. Ask yourself who this fictional person really is. She must be both proactive and sympathetic--or at least empathetic. What is the hole in her life? This is what makes her vulnerable.
In the Star Crossed series, Logan has to deal with living with her dad while her mom is on a golf tour. The reader knows the marriage is in trouble, but Logan is in denial. Now that she has Fearless Astrology as a guide, she can make predictions and assessments. Ultimately, she learns that no one--not your parents, not your guy, not even astrology--can do it for you. Yes, she solves the mystery, but she also changes and grows as a person. Just as we all do from conflict.
A final tip, and you've heard it many times before. If you know you're supposed to be a writer, then write. Don't find the time. Make the time. Never give up.
Now, for our readers who want to be entered to win these books: leave us a comment with the word "star" in it. You could write out "I'd love to win the Shooting Star series" or just a phrase like "shooting star" or "rock star" or whatever star you come up with! Have fun with it and check back on Monday to see the announcement of the winner.