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09 May 2012

Interview with Clasher Lynnette Bonner

Good morning! Today I'm visiting with Lynnette Bonner, author of excerpt B.

Lynnette Bonner’s first novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis, released in 2009 from OakTara. Since then she’s written three other books for The Shepherd’s Heart series.

Lynnette says:
I am married with four children. My husband is a pastor and we live in Washington. I was born in Malawi, Africa to missionary parents, fluently speak an obscure language called Chichewa, and have eaten fire-braised termites. I learned to love reading at an early age. My love of reading eventually morphed into an attempt at writing. At first I only dabbled, but then one day I came across a historical tidbit that simply begged to be turned into a story, and my first full length novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis, (the first book of this series) was born. I’ve been writing ever since.

Lynnette, what was your top reading pick of the last year?

This question is tough, if only for the fact that I didn’t have a lot of time to read this past year. I think I’ll have to choose, Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries: And of the Discovery of the Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa: 1858-64 by David Livingstone. A fascinating book I read for research of an upcoming series. It is highlighted and underlined and even gave me specific instructions on how to cook an elephant’s foot – something that I’m sure will come in handy someday!

Um, that's gonna give me pause if you ever have me over for dinner. Not gonna lie. :-) I haven't read nearly as much as I'd like this year either. But when I do, I love discovering new things about the Lord. Have you learned anything new about God's character through this book?

High Desert Haven is all about exploring the question, “Where is God when bad things are happening to me?” The answer I came down to was that sometimes God is simply asking us to trust him. He doesn’t inflict us with suffering, but we live in a sin-sick world and bad things do happen. Our response to those things can either draw us closer to our God, or push us further away.

Very true, Lynnette. Though that's hard to remember sometimes, isn't it? When you write, are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I’m definitely a pantser. I’d love to be an outliner, but so far, that hasn’t worked for me. If I try to write an outline it kills the joy of the story for me and I can never seem to get the tension back.

And when's your favorite time to write?

Anytime I can catch a few quiet moments. :smile: As the mother of four, a pastor’s wife, and part-time employee, finding time to write can be difficult. I sneak it in whenever I can.

Sweetie, we have a lot in common! Where do your best ideas come from?

Ideas for stories come to me from all over. Several of my story ideas have come from historical research. Another book I’m working on germinated from a vivid dream. I’ve also been inspired by sermons that made a particular point and I thought, “Oh that would make a great story.”

I do that in church too! OK, what snack do you like to have nearby as you write?

Almost always coffee in one form or another. And generally some type of chocolate.

Wow, it's like we're the same person. ;-) Share something about the book that you think readers would like to know.

Many of the events that take place in High Desert Haven, were inspired by actual history. I’m always amazed at the depths to which men will stoop simply to get more for themselves in life. And Crook County, Oregon (perhaps aptly named?) definitely had its share of hellions. I’ve told a few of their stories within this book.

If you could interview one character in your book, which one would it be? What shocking or interesting thing might that character say? Why?

I think I might like to interview Janice from the Farewell Bend mercantile. And I have no idea what she might say because Janice is the type of person who just might say anything! Maybe someday I’ll explore her story a little more.

How fun! So, who is your favorite character you've created and why?

Oh wow, isn’t that like asking a mother to pick a favorite child? :smile: Hmm… well, I’ll tell you about a few of my characters and what endears them to me. Sky Jordan is wonderful because of his tender heart and compassion. He was just the kind of man Brooke Baker needed in her life to usher in healing. Nicki Trent was so fun to write. I love her sparky personality and her quick wit. Lastly I’d have to say I loved the characters of Cade Bennett and Sharyah Jordan. Cade because he’s a little bit of a bumbler, but always comes back to fix things. And Sharyah because she is so terrified of the good thing that is looking her right in the face and I think we all are a little bit like that when God gives us the desires of our heart. We feel unworthy and figure that somehow something is surely going to fall through.

Great answer! Before we go, do you have a question for our readers?

Yes: Who is your favorite leading lady and why?

Great question and one I've been dying to know. Come on, readers, tell us what you think! One of you will win a free book on Friday. Please come back then to find out who our Champion will be.
 Have an amazing day!

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Lisa Lickel said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

Great interview, Michelle. It's nice to get to know you a little better, Lynnette. My oldest DIL spent her formative years in the Congo. I love her - she eats or at least tries - pretty much anything.

P. Creeden said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

What a beautifully done interview! In answer to the question - Jo March from Little Women - I always wanted to be like her in every way as I was growing up, including being a writer! :)

Sheri Mast said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

Great interview ladies!
I think one of my favorite leading ladies would have to be little Lucy from the Narnia series. She always had that mixture of innocence and curiousity, love and kindness, yet she could be fierce when neccessary.

Michelle Massaro said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

Good morning! I enjoyed this interview because it was fun to see how much we had in common. Except for the elephant foot thing, hehe.

I have several favorites but I agree with Sheri that Lucy is one of the best leading ladies ever! My daughter is currently reading Prince Caspian and commented how she wishes Aslan were real (she's 11). If only C.S. Lewis could know how much he's impacted our lives with his colorful characters and amazing symbolism.

Hope everyone is having a great day so far! =)

Sylvia Stewart said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

A great interview with interesting and unusual questions. Bravo to the interviewer and the interviewee. You don't need to put me in the drawing because I'm Lynnette's mom and I'm SURE I'll get a free copy. LOLOL Hugs to my favorite youngest daughter.

Scribbler said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

The way writers create characters intrigues me, because they so often just sort of appear and do their own thing, as you seemed to indicate for yours. Mine do as well.

Hope to see you at the NCWA conference.
Ann Gaylia O'Barr

Lynnette Bonner said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

Lisa, how cool! My mother was an MK from the Congo, and yes, we MK's learn to eat just about whatever is placed in front of us. :)

P. Creeden, Jo is a great leading lady!

Sheri, Lucy is too! Although I have to admit that I haven't read those books in just forever - but we see the new movies, now, whenever one comes out.

Michelle, Thanks so much for letting me be part of this clash. Jennifer's excerpt will be hard to beat! And how cool that we have so much in common... which reminds me... How about next Friday for dinner? ;>)

Hi Mom. :)

Ann, Yes, my characters are forever ruining my plans with a mind of their own. :) I'll be at the conference, so I'll look for you!

Jennifer said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

Hi Lynnette! Good to meet my fellow clasher :) My favorite leading lady is a very young lady - Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. I know she doesn't fit the typical definition of a leading lady, but I loved the character and thought she was the strongest presence in the book. I could read that book over and over again!

Lynnette Bonner said... Wednesday, 09 May, 2012

Hi Jennifer,

It's been a long time since I read TKaMB in high school, but Scout is a great choice.

Anonymous said... Thursday, 10 May, 2012

I enjoyed this interview, except for the termites. LOL I would love to win Lynettes book.
Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

Anonymous said... Thursday, 10 May, 2012

My favorite fictional leading lady is Annie, from Alec Forbes of Howglen in 1923 by George MacDonald. Michael Phillips reedited and published it as The Maiden's Bequest in 1985.

Annie presents an example of living a Christ-like life no matter what happens to or around her. Her story is one of my favorite MacDonald books.

Michelle, you can tell your daughter Aslan does live. He is a type of Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Lynnette Bonner said... Thursday, 10 May, 2012

Maxie, You can come for dinner at the same time as Michelle. :D Thanks for dropping by.

Carrie, I've read a lot of Phillips' books, but I don't remember if I've read that one or not. Will have to check it out.

Item Reviewed: Interview with Clasher Lynnette Bonner Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Michelle Massaro