Name: Paris Afton Bonds
Where are you from: The Universe
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.”
I would described myself as Dancing on Sunshine. I am the mother of five sons, grandmother of ten, and great-grandmother of two. I graduated with an Associate of Arts. True, I had a 4.0 average, but it took me eight years to get my two-year degree, because I was writing full time and raising the boys ~ so I went to college at night, one course a semester. Whew!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news? One of my sons was just sworn in last Friday night as Battalion Chief of The Colony Fire Department ~ I am so proud of him ~ proud of all my sons. Family is everything.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was five when I banged out my first novel (3 pages) on one of those old Royal typewriters. The novel was entitled The Blackhawk Girls Ride Again. My mom saved it, and I still have it somewhere packed away. Why did I write ~ because I was obsessed, possessed, and following my bliss.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My first check I received for an article I had done for Modern Secretary magazine forty-three years ago qualified me as a paid professional writer. At that time I lived in Mexico City and I had interviewed the secretary at the American Embassy. Best part of it was the security pat down I got from a handsome marine guard at the gate. Um-hmmm!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The song ‘El Paso’ by Marty Robbins. Will-o’-the-Wisp evolved out of that.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, I write wrong, then write right. In other words, I have to have something/anything (‘the grass is green’?) in order to work with it and fashion it into a story. Sort of like Michelangelo needing a block of marble before he can sculpt.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I have written forty novels. Quite a few of the historical romance novels are song titles with colors in them: Blue Bayou, Lavender Blue, Mood Indigo, Blue Moon, etc. ~ and Star Dust (but no color, drat).
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, that sacrifice for the sake of a larger issue is always worthy of a reward. Even our James Bond is invariably willing to sacrifice himself in order to stop the evil scientists out to destroy the world.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I do a lot of research, so my novels, especially the historical romances, are not only realistic but authentic. For instance, Blue Bayou Books I and II covered 120 years from 1683 to 1803 with a great portion of the characters being actual historical personages.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Rarely are a character’s experiences based solely on one of mine; usually a composite of people, living and/or dead. I will say among other research efforts, I have visited a brothel, wedged myself into a sarcophagus, crept onto land along the Rio Grande River maintained by a Mexican drug lord, and crashed a Jewish wedding
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
So many books have influenced me. I am a voracious reader ~ a novel about the mistreatment of the Native Americans, was the first to influence me (I think I was nine or ten-years-old; another was , as well as, both no
As far as mentors, I knew no one who had sold a book. Fifty years ago, the writing world was very small and exclusive. That is one reason that five years later I, Rita Clay Estrada, Ann Major and three others formed Romance Writers of America ~ all of us but Rita had already been published. We wanted to help mentor others.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Actually, I have three galleys (about-to-be-published books) piled up on my nightstand, waiting for me to read and give blurbs. The last ‘already published book’ I read was I ~ about the 1900 hurricane that came ashore at Galveston, Texas, killing an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people. This is the worst natural disaster in terms of American lives lost.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
The world of digital publishing is wonderful because it allows the reading public to have access to some truly gifted new writers, who would otherwise go unnoticed in the brick-and-mortar publishing world of old. E.L. James certainly has grasped out interest, has she not?
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Currently, I am writing a series entitled beginning in 1835, just before the Battle of the Alamo and continuing with the Paladin family through, I hope, the Viet Nam War and even further.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My loan banker? 😎
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Most definitely. I go to work five, sometimes six or even seven days a week and work the full day. It is a career (not a ‘job’ – that has such a depressive connation) that I absolutely love. It is, and has been, my passion for as long as I can remember.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Probably at least one word in every sentence. I never read a book of mine after it is published, because I can see so many dang things I would write better.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
With the written word, with reading it and imagining what the writer had in mind with the simple strokes created by typed letters into words into sentences. Truly, I think I was ‘gifted’ or ‘cursed’ with the need to write.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find it challenging each morning to stare at a blank screen.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have a favorite author, Fiona. I have many authors I follow. What I read one day could well depend on my mood ~ romantic, cautious, inquiring, etc.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t have to travel, yet I like to travel for research purposes. But I usually wait until after my novel’s first draft ~ just to make certain I scout out things, places, people mentioned in the first draft. Of course, I come back with tons of research material to enrich the next drafts.
Fiona: Who designed the covers? Various artists have designed my covers. Several of the original paintings I got to keep.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The beginning (the blank screen) ~ and ‘The End’, because I have fallen in love with the novel’s people, places, and period.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes, that writing is like life itself. You never give up. Never, never, never.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, please help keep me from Fiji’s Debtors Prison and read my books ~ http://is.gd/kDn1tF.
And, on a more serious note, I would like to share a quote from Eckhart Tolle: Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The absurd makes me laugh. The loss of friends and family to the Grim Reaper makes me cry. Otherwise I am pretty stoic.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
My soul mate in present time (like, NOW, please) and Mary Magdalena, because she could render almost the full story of Jesus Christ from a female’s point of view.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
To Be Continued (although I saw one that seems appropriate: She was born. She blinked. She died.) Life truly spins by in what in the latter years seems a blink of the eye.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Tennis, Roller Blading, Gardening, Yoga, Traveling
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I do not watch television. Like books, I love a variety of films, depending on my mood. One of my favorite films in recent years was Argo.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Tex-Mex food/turquoise and orange/eclectic but definitely Oldies but Goldies (50’s through 90’s)
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
You know, I so love what I am doing (every single moment of it, except that first second the blank screen clicks on the computer, and I gulp) that I cannot imagine being happy doing anything else. I loved being a mother, love being a grandmother ~ my life is just so optimal. Not to say that things don’t go awry, but I know now at my way, way advanced age that everything does work out in perfect order and timing. I am so very grateful for what I considered calamities in my life. I am just grateful, period!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is http://www.parrisaftonbonds.com. Every month I give away or have drastically reduced deals on its “Freebies and Frostings” page.
Fiona, thank you for the opportunity to share a little portion of my wild, wild world. For your readers, Mood Indigo ~ http://amzn.com/B00G0KFXF6 ~ is FREE April 20th only, and Lavender Blue ~ http://amzn.com/B00GLEXN58 ~ is .99 cents May 18th only.