Monday, August 4, 2014

Featured Author: Bonnie Glee

Bonnie Glee is my guest today, and she's here with her novel Satin Murder, published by Safkhet Publishing.

About the book:

Sallee Anderson is a wealthy, somewhat naive, socialite living in the Seattle area in the late 1950’s, who suddenly finds herself a forty-year old widow, the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar shipping company, and the prime suspect in her almost ex-husband Seth Anderson’s murder.  How could she be so neglectful as to misplace the .25 she bought after their separation? How could she not be aware that someone was constantly following her? One thing her gifted discernment did tell her was that her overly caring brother, suddenly by her side, had ulterior motives.

While trying so hard to stay out of the limelight, she is suddenly confronted at a dinner party with someone who could reveal her tiny little secret. She couldn’t suddenly faint because that very person would be at her side in a flash, and the social section in the local Seattle Times would have a hey-day.
She relies heavily on two alias, Nell her best friend and Max the shipping business lawyer. Both rush to her side with motives of their own.

The story weaves through trials with her family, friends, even her loyal housekeeper, and her never tiring, recently acquired personal investigator, Ryan.

Interview with Bonnie Glee

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

Let me see how far back my memory can go. Grade school I guess is when my right brain began to make up stories, young love stories that classmates would gather around during lunch and recess to hear the next revealing chapter. The desire was somehow always there, though it was years before I took myself seriously.

I wrote a letter to the editor and they printed it; unleashing my buried need. I began sitting at my kitchen table as the sun rose over the Wasatch mountains writing snippets of Today Because before our four, soon to become five, children scurried out of bed.

As the children grew, I became a single mom working full time as a grocery clerk and with so many emotions whirling I began writing poetry on any scrap of register tape or torn paper bag I could find. I joined the League of Utah Writers and the Utah State Poetry Society and hoped for Tuesday nights off so I could attend their meetings (the kids loved being at the local roller skating rink next door to the library while I learned from some of the best). Small, but encouraging publications of short stories, poetry, and articles began to happen.

When my oldest son was called on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he asked if I wanted to buy his computer. What joy. Every morning at 5:00 a.m. we met and became the best of friends. I wrote my first novel on that computer, then lost the entire manuscript until just six years ago when I was going through some boxes after moving, looked inside an old briefcase, and there it was. Still trying to find a publication home for this one.

I took a challenge from a newspaper article to write a book during the month of November nearly five years ago, and that is when Silent Memories aka Sallee’s Secret aka Satin Murder was born.

I live in a quiet, friendly, book loving neighborhood near the Wasatch mountains with my life’s companion, Joe, where we plan to enjoy working for a couple more years while watching grandchildren grow and become beautiful people like their parents, camp, fish, hunt, golf, and cook delicious dinners together.

What’s the story behind the title of your book? 

Pretty funny really . . . the first working title was Silent Memories because some of the characters are only children trying to find their way in life. The second working title was Sallee’s Secret because my main character, Sallee has secrets. Then other characters held secrets too; then my publisher, Safkhet Publishing, wisely put my novel into their suspense division and suggested we find a new title. A former co-worker who had read and edited my manuscript, Aimee Frances, came to my aid and suggested, ‘Murder in White Satin Gloves’ thus Satin Murder is now the lasting title.

How did you create the plot for this book?

It came from a family story about an Aunt whose husband was murdered by his partner. I planned to carry on with that plot, but my characters soon told me different.

How do you get to know your characters?

By following them along the paths they tell me.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I love them all, but Sallee’s brother took me to thoughts that never would have been my own.

Is your book based on real events?

Someone in a poetry class once told me "everything has already been written," I nearly gave up writing but then decided, perhaps so, but not written my way.

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?

By taking away my computer, my journal, and the right side of my brain.

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

My librarian friend, Sue; my mother if she were alive; my neighbor, Liz Goodell who reads constantly; my cousin, Karey, e-book fanatic; and my Joe.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book. 

Sallee arrives home ready to relax only to find police cars parked on all sides. The anxiety she endures when a search warrant is flung in her face while policemen are violating her possessions and how her wish for some saving grace to suddenly appear happens.

Who are your favorite authors?

Pearl S. Buck and Belva Plain

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)? 

Two, really. One is My Name was Five and Little White Lies and Butterflies both in e-book form on my iPad.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read? 

Way too many sub-characters.

Do you have a routine for writing? 

While still working part-time, I write in the afternoons.

If you could only keep one book, what would it be?

My hearts says the Bible like Corrie ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place and my mind says Evergreen, which has been my greatest example of an exceptional novel.

You’re leaving your country for a year. What’s the last meal (or food) you would want to have before leaving?

Our Friday date--night homemade burgers and cheesy fries with a very cold coke.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

A library. I’d be too tempted to spend all my earnings at a bookstore.

You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do? 

Have Coke-thirty with family, or friends.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be? 

Scarlet OHara from Gone With the Wind.

What would your dream office look like? 

Just like the one I have now, cozy and endearing but with a new computer.

How did you find Safkhet Publishing and how long did your query process take? 

The process has taken over two years. I could have vanity published several times but after the last offer was $7000 upon signing and another $7000 upon release, I made up my mind to hold on to the dream of a traditional publisher. I sent my query to Safkhet after reading of them on Preditors and Editors Inc.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“Life holds special magic for those who dare to DREAM.” I saw it framed on the wall of an office I visited.

What’s your favorite candy bar?

Dark Chocolate Milky Way.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Mackinac Island, Michigan for the summer and Hawaii for the winters.

What are you working on now? 

I have two novels I’m writing and continuing to submit a previously finished novel. I plan to present a book of my poetry to each of our children on their 50th birthday.

About the author:

Bonnie Glee is a freelance writer who enjoys membership in the League of Utah Writers and the Utah State Poetry Society with previous leadership positions in both. Her publications include a short story "Pigtails" in the Cache Valley Magazine, poetry in Utah Sings: Volumes Seven and Eleven, and other publications; essays in the Healing Ministry, Not Everybody Can Cry, Wasatch Woman, Life After Motherhood; and human interest articles printed in the Logan Herald Journal, Kirk Peterson: Paradise’s Professional Jockey, and the Pied-Piper Marsha Anderson and the Gingerbread Kids. In 2012, she won Honorable Mention for her poem "Where is Comfort" sponsored by Whitmore Library. September 1, 2014 will be the release date of her first novel, Satin Murder by Safkhet Publishing.
She lives in Cottonwood Heights, Utah with her husband Joe, is the mother of five children and two chosen children, 20 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Connect with Bonnie:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter