Monday, July 5, 2010
We're happy to have Bonnie Leon with us today talking about her book, Touching the Clouds. To learn more about Bonnie and her book, read on!
1) How did this story come to you?
My mother grew up in Alaska where she and her family lived on a homestead. The only way to get in and out was either by boat or plane. Bush pilots were her connection to the outside world. She loved and admired them.
The stories my mother shared about those days have stuck with me, and throughout the years she’s given me several books about the bush pilots of Alaska. One day while reading one of these books I had a glimmer of a story. It grew and soon I was ready to tell the story of a woman named Kate who flew the Alaskan bush.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
How did you know this was a journey? When I first came up with the idea for this story I thought it would be easy to write. After all, I’ve written several books set in Alaska and I’ve done a good deal of writing placed in the 1930’s.
I couldn’t have been more wrong about it being easy. The flying sequences were extremely difficult because I wasn’t a pilot. I needed to find one and I did—Gayle Ranney. She’s been a bush pilot in Alaska for more than fifty years. She’s amazing. I couldn’t have written the book without her.
When I finished the book I felt that something was out of sync with the story. My editor confirmed my fears and I had to go back and rework the book, beginning with my characters. When the characters change, everything changes. I basically had to rewrite the entire book. But, I feel good about the finished product.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1)Back in the 60’s and early 70’s I was part of the hippy movement, a “flower child” at heart. I experimented with drugs and life and was actually arrested at one point. The real secret, though, is that I have good memories of those times—they were fun and weird, and filled with good friends.
2)After four years of marriage, my husband and I separated and filed for divorce. We had only to show up in court when God stepped in and saved us and our marriage. We will celebrate our thirty-ninth anniversary in August. God is good.
3)The first book I ever wrote (The Journey of Eleven Moons) sold to the first publishing house to look at it and it became a bestseller. That whole process really took me by surprise.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on book three in the Alaskan Skies Series. Actually I haven’t started the process of writing yet. I’m thinking mostly and doing some reading. I know how the book begins and how it ends, but all the stuff in the middle is still a mystery.
5) Parting comments?
Remember that God is good all the time. Even on our worst day, He is good. We can trust Him.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I love to hear from readers. You can contact me at http://www.bonnieleon.com/