Today debut author Josie Bonham has called for tea, scones and a natter about her first novel, A Good Match for the Major.
Hi ladies. Thank you for inviting me.
How long have you been writing? Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
I’ve always dabbled in writing. I have several part-written novels tucked away in notebooks and computer files. My sister persuaded me to do a Futurelearn creative writing course with her which set me wondering if I could write seriously. When my eldest niece sat down and wrote a fantasy novel, it spurred me on to give this itch to write some serious attention. I happened to come across the Romantic Novelist’s Association, was lucky enough to grab a place on the New Writers’ Scheme and haven’t looked back.
What do you enjoy about writing Regency romance?
My main genre is Regency romance but I also enjoy crime. I’m writing a contemporary cosy crime with my sister at the moment. Or at least I’ve left her writing a section whilst I work on my Regency series. It’s no surprise that a certain amount of romantic suspense always seems to creep into my stories,
I love the elegance of the Regency period. The gentlemen’s clothes were as attractive as the ladies’ ensembles. It was also a time of great turbulence with many young men from both the gentry and aristocracy joining the army. This was bound to change their view of the world and the tensions they must have felt when they returned to a civilian life based on strict conventions trigger plenty of plot ideas for me.
Are you planning on spring-cleaning your bottom drawer? Any manuscripts or ideas you plan to dust down and revisit, or is spring about new beginnings and a new project?
I plan to write a prequel to the first two manuscripts I wrote and then give them big rewrites. These are Regency romances but also spy thrillers, set in 1812 when Napoleon was still to be beaten. I also need to get back to the cosy crime.
Can you tell us – or hint at – what you’re working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m concentrating on getting the first books in my Reluctant Brides Series out into the world. Book one is out as an Ebook with the paperback to follow in June. Books two and three need final edits before they go off to my editor. Book four is at the planning stage. I’m sure Grace is going to be my feistiest heroine yet but I still have to find a gentleman who can keep up with her.
Do you have writing habits – such as always getting up early to write, or writing in the evening? Or do you write when the mood takes you? Are you a plotter or a “pantser”?
I’m a disorganised type so my writing can be rather spasmodic. That said, when a manuscript has me in its grip, I will often write a thousand or two words a day on five or six days a week for several weeks. I am a pantser up to a point but my subconscious has a habit of telling me when to stop and consider if things need changing around. I’m also finding that I am doing more planning around my suspense subplots.
Where do you write? Have you got a little nook at home, or do you write wherever you happen to be on a laptop or on your phone?
I often jot down parts of my stories in rough form in a notebook, especially useful on train journeys or when the story isn’t flowing. Most of my writing happens on the desktop in the study. Especially when the cat is asleep. When he is awake, he considers me sitting down in the study as a signal that it’s time I made a fuss of him!
Tell us about your latest release!
A Good Match For The Major, my debut novel reached the Historical Romance Final of the 2019 Sheila Contest in America. The fabulous cover was designed by Lisa Firth of Oliphant Author Services.
It is available from Amazon on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and will soon be available as a paperback.
I haven’t been able to get a professional author photo taken so My husband took a picture on my phone. It was a beautiful day so we decided to add a green backdrop by taking it on our walk in the local woods.
It’s been lovely chatting with you and once again, thank you for having me.
Josie Bonham xx
Thank you, Josie! Good luck with your first novel, and we look forward to hearing more from you in future.