Monday, November 18, 2013
Bonnie Milani, author of Home World, a Sci-Fi Love Story, launches her blog tour!
Home World is a fast paced, well written story about the power and price of love. This story takes place amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Waikiki. Jezekiah Van Buren thinks he has found a way to restore Earth—Home World—to the other worlds of the human commonwealth. His goal is to restore his home to her lost glory.
Ingenious even by the standards of the genetically enhanced Great Family Van Buren, Jezekiah has achieved the impossible: he has arranged a treaty that will convert Earth's ancient enemies, the Lupans, to her most powerful allies. Not only will the treaty terms make Earth rich again, it will let him escape the Ring that condemns him to be Earth's next ruler. Best of all, the treaty leaves him free to marry Keiko Yakamoto, the Samurai-trained woman he loves. Everything’s set. All Jezekiah has to do is convince his xenophobic sister to accept the Lupan's alpha warlord in marriage.
Before, that is, the assassin she's put on his tail succeeds in killing him. Or the interstellar crime ring called Ho Tong succeed in raising another rebellion. Or before his ruling relatives on competing worlds manage to execute him for treason. But Jezekiah was bred for politics and trained to rule. He’s got it all under control. Until his Lupan warlord-partner reaches Earth. And suddenly these two most powerful men find themselves in love with the same woman. A woman who just may be the most deadly assassin of them all.
Paperback: 423 Pages
Publisher: Promontory Press
Twitter hashtag: #HWorld
Home World is available as a print and e-book at Amazon.
Book Giveaway Contest: To win a copy of Home World, please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Friday, November 22 at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
About the Author: Bonnie vividly recalls the book that helped her decide she could out-write another writer: it was a junior reader's biography of Sir William Harvey, the 17th century English physician credited (in the West) with discovering how blood circulates. After about 30 pages of telling herself "I can write better than that!" she grabbed a crayon that just happened to be blue and started editing. She was all of seven years old at the time. Unfortunately for her juvenile bottom it was a library book. She followed the dream through college and after grad school, freelancing feature articles for newspapers along the East Coast. Milani even wrote a cover story for Science Digest! Alas, life and grown up responsibilities caught up with her and by her late twenties she put writing away with so many other dreams while she followed a ‘career track’. After losing her entire family, she realized story telling wasn't just a want but a need and a gift God gave her. So here she is, a self-declared “middle-aged pudge” working on getting back into a writer’s kind of real life!
Home World Website: http://www.homeworldthenovel.com/
Bonnie’s Email: bonnie.milani[at]yahoo[dot]com
-----Interview by Crystal J. Otto
WOW: Bonnie, I love the bio story about the blue crayon and I love that you’ve had a passion for reading since a very young age. What book was most influential in your decision to become an author and why?
Bonnie: Hum...y’know, I can’t really say it was any one book so much as just being a story-teller. Every bunch of kids on the planet plays tag or hide’n seek. That always bored me. So I’d script a story to give the game a reason. Found out the hard way that kids are born actors and that every actor thinks he’s a bluidy critic. Wouldn’t have minded the criticism so much if the kids objecting to their roles hadn’t been physically chasing me down.
WOW: I bet those same kids will be chasing you down again—but this time it will be for your autograph as you climb the ladder of success as an author! Speaking of life as an author, how did you decide which genre was best for you and what appeals to you most about sci-fi fantasy?
Bonnie: I Think the genre chose me. The every-day world has never interested me all that much—I see it every day, so why invest precious time writing about it, too? But sci fi or fantasy, now... ah, THERE’S a universe where my imagination can be set free.
WOW: It’s great to hear that you feel free when writing, because Bonnie, I can’t imagine where you’d find the time otherwise. I had a feeling it was more fun than work for you.
Seems to me you must be a master of time management. Where do you find time for writing, running an insurance business, and keeping up with all the changes in the insurance world?
Bonnie: You are so sweet! THANK YOU for even THINKING I can keep up with all the changes in the insurance world! Personally, I don’t think it can be done—soon as you learn one set of rules... the government changes them. The upside, though, is you never get bored. As a broker, I really do get to see that I’ve genuinely helped people, because when you do insurance right, it’s a whole lot more about taking care of folk than it is about sales. So if one of ‘my people’ has a problem with a doctor balance billing, for example, they call me. Most of the time they just need an explanation of how the insurance really works. Sometimes, though, I’ve called the doctor’s office myself. Those conversations tend to be short and sharp—but they generally end with a corrected bill for my client. That matters tremendously to me.
You’re totally right about time management, though. First thing I learned when I decided to go back to writing was that you will never find time to write. You make time. So my writing time is from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. After that, it’s off to the gym, then on to the office. ‘Cause once the insurance work day starts, everything else goes out the mental window.
WOW: Well Bonnie, I’m so glad you found time to contact WOW! and set up this tour. From our first email I just knew this was going to be fun. I only wish you lived closer, I’d invite you to my book club.
Speaking of which, do you belong to any writing or reading groups in your area? What are your thoughts and feelings about networking among authors and readers?
Bonnie: I’m a long term member of The Two Roads writer’s group. We meet Weds nights at a small theater in Studio City, CA, in the Los Angeles area. The great advantage to being here in LaLa Land is the chance to have working editors—and out here, that means folks who work for companies with names like, oh, Warner Brothers, Fox Studios, Disney... So I’ve been blessed with feedback from professional editors who are hellfire on wheels when it comes to story structure. Not to mention character development, throughlines, logic, world-building... I am more grateful for the guidance I’ve received than I have words to express. Coming from an insurance broker, that says a lot!
That said, I have to place a caveat on my generally whole-hearted endorsement of writer’s groups. I’ve run a group myself and I’ve conducted private writers workshops, so I’ve had the joy of seeing the lights come on when some element of story-telling clicks home for someone. But I’ve also attended groups where members were permitted to indulge in some truly savage rants. So I’d say it depends on the caliber of the group you’re in. If you’re in a group that’s either essentially a kaffee klatch, or one that permits members to savage each other—then GET OUT OF IT. NOW. There’s never an excuse to try to destroy another writer’s ego.
I can’t even imagine how any newbie’s ego could withstand the kind of tear-downs I’ve seen some writer group members deliver. It’s hard enough pulling a story out of your sweating, swearing soul to start with. Even harder to learn to take a GOOD critique. A mis-guided or just flat-out cruel one can easily make even a talented writer with no other source of feedback give up and crawl away.
WOW: I have to say I am thankful that my writer’s group isn’t like some of those you describe. I think I’d be in tears. Glad you found a group you enjoy!
Bonnie, not everyone knows your since of humor like I do—but you always make me laugh so I’m hoping you’ll share something with readers about your ‘funniest author moment’ if you wouldn’t mind?
Bonnie: Ummm...I don’t know that I can come up with a funny ‘author moment’, but I think my record for embarrassment, at least, lies with a presentation I was doing for the Independent Brokers Association. I was giving a presentation on Long Term Care service utilization projections (really exciting stuff—honest!) to about 300 industry agents, managers, and actuaries. Now I’m an Irish Aries and a broker to boot, so I normally LOVE strutting my stuff in front of a crowd. I didn’t even know I was nervous. Until I got up on the podium. Then I didn’t just forget my speech. I forgot my damned name.
WOW: Well, it’s my hope that after this tour and after reading Home World, it will be impossible to forget the name Bonnie Milani (even for you dear).
So, what’s next for you? I’m assuming you have something in the works already? Can you tell us a little about it?
Bonnie: Ah, woman of my heart! THANK YOU SO MUCH for asking! I’ve got a short story I’m just finishing up. Needs to be polished still, but once it’s ready I’m going to post it as a giveaway. It’s something I HOPE is a new approach to sci fi: I’m calling it sci fi noir. Kind of a Raymond Chandler approach to dirty dark secrets in a bottom rung bar on the last space station in human space...
WOW: Bonnie, that certainly sounds interesting. I hope you’ll keep in touch so I can have first dibs at reading that too!
Now, from a fun subject to something a bit edgier...if you don’t mind my bringing up a delicate subject, in your bio you mention you lost your entire family. Would you be willing to share more on that topic?
Bonnie: No, it’s been enough years I’m okay now. It was losing my mom that finally made me realize I had to start writing again. She was my best friend. We lived on opposite coasts, so I didn’t see her a lot. But she used to come to visit us in CA at least 2 – 3 times a year, just to hang out, catch up, and do girlie stuff together. I knew she’d been sick, but she told me she was doing fine and was coming out to enjoy the sunny CA weather. I didn’t know till they had to carry her off the plane that she’d come out to die.
Turned out she had lung cancer, emphysema, uncontrolled diabetes, AND congestive heart failure. (My mom never was one to do things by half measures!) So for the last few months of her life, I got to find out what it means to be a full-time wife, full-time employee, and a full-time care giver. Was not a happy time. When she died, I very nearly came apart. In retrospect, that probably wasn’t a ‘nearly’, but I didn’t know enough to recognize a break-down in myself. Took me a good three years to come back to myself.
But that depth of misery taught me so much about life. Watching my mom die in pieces made me realize I was on the path to dying without ever fully using the one gift God gave me. At the time, I was working for a pension admin firm that specialized in the entertainment industry. Our list of clients read like the Hollywood A-List: the Jacksons, Rod Stewart, Johnny Carson, Robert Conrad...and those were just ‘my’ accounts. My husband was a contractor, so nights, I pitched in to help him out if he had a project going on in our area. I had to find the strength to do a complete re-write of my life (husband excepted, and even that was a close one!)
WOW: Bonnie, it’s amazing how sometimes our darkest moments eventually become those giving us the most clarity. I appreciate your honest answer and thank you for sharing.
What has been your biggest struggle in going from writing to publishing and what advice would you give others who aspire to publish?
Bonnie: Wow (sorry—no pun intended!) that’s a good one. I’d say it REALLY depends on just how much time and talent an individual author has to dedicate to learning the publishing trade. I’ve been agented before, many years ago, but that didn’t get that particular book sold. Just getting the agent, though, took months of query letters—and, of course, even more months enduring rejection letters. Or worse, just being ignored altogether. So when I FINALLY had ‘Home World’ ready to submit I realized I absolutely did not want to invest another year of my time chasing somebody else’s tail. Hesitant as I was about indie authoring, I knew I couldn’t possibly do less for myself than an agent or trad pub house would do for me as a new author.
Only it didn’t take me long to realize that I am a techie disaster. I can punch keys on the keyboard (and occasionally just punch the board...) but that’s about the extent of my competence. The more homework I did on the who-how-what-where of physically producing ANY kind of book, the more I realized that it would cost me more in lost production time on my day job than I could ever hope to make back. So I split the difference. By using a combination book service/publisher in Promontory Press, I’ve been able to keep costs down by managing the elements I can handle with a ‘little’ help from my friends—editing, marketing (uh, well, kinda-sorta), proofing, artwork, etc—while turning the things I’d have to learn from scratch over to Promontory for a fee. So far, it’s worked out quite well.
WOW: Bonnie, I wouldn’t call you a ‘techie disaster’ at least I haven’t found you to be a problem—it’s been very enjoyable working with you!
Is there anything else you’d like to share? Where are you living and do you have any pets? Anything like that?
Bonnie: Husbands count? Afraid I’m one of those dreadfully boring folk: no children, no pets, no family aside from one very cute husband. On t’other hand, I live in Los Angeles, and that’s like living in a sci fi world all by itself. I’m about the only native speaker of English on our block (English is my hubby’s fifth language). So social get togethers out here give the U.N. competition: we have friends from Armenia, Mexico, Iran, Germany, France, the Phillipines, Cuba, and I forget where else off the top of my head. Most of my husband’s family were raised in France, but the clan itself is spread across Iran and Turkey, so they use all three languages—with an occasional aside into English—interchangeably. And we won’t even get into the curl-your-hair culture clashes.
So, overall...I manage to keep grinning.
----------Blog Tour Dates
Monday, November 18 (today!) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!
Tuesday, November 19 @ The New Book Review
Bonnie Milani gets the spotlight today at The New Book Review—find out more about this science fiction/Fantasy novel Home World.
Wednesday, November 20 @ Steph the Bookworm
Home World giveaway and chance to chat with author Bonnie Milani as she speaks candidly on the topic of "The Importance of Networking for Authors."
Thursday, November 21 @ CMash Reads
Bonnie Milani, author of Home World (Sci-Fi Fantasy novel) answers the question "Where Do You Get Your Ideas" and offers readers an opportunity to win their own copy of her new book!
Friday, November 22 @ Blue House Review
Join Bonnie Milani as she answers "So, Who are You Anyway" in a guest post and visit with fellow author Lauren Scharhag at Blue House Review. Bonnie has just released her debut work Home World and offers readers a giveaway of this sci-fi/fantasy love story!
Monday, November 25 @ Trisha Slay
"Writing Your Way to Health" guest post by Bonnie Milani as she shares her thoughts as well as her debut sci-fi/fantasy novel Home World. Don't miss this post and fabulous opportunity at a book giveaway—good luck winning your very own copy of Home World!
Tuesday, November 26 @ Selling Books
Don't miss today's author interview with Bonnie Milani and find out more about her debut sci-fi/fantasy tale Home World
Wednesday, November 27 @ Book Worm
Join Anjanette Potter as she reviews the Sci-Fi/Fantasy book Home World by Bonnie Milani and enter to be part of the giveaway so you can read this great book for yourself!
Friday, November 29 @ The Book Bag
Bonnie Milani introduces her sci-fi love story Home World to the readers at the Book Bag and also offers a guest post "Voices" and a giveaway of this fabulously received debut book!
Saturday, November 30 @ Choices
Bonnie Milani shares insights into "What Makes a Good Critique" and offers Choices readers the opportunity at the giveaway of Home World.
Monday, December 2 @E.M Havens
Bonnie Milani and Emily Havens spend time together chatting it up and Emily reviews Bonnie’s debut sci-fi romance Home World. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the ladies also offer a giveaway for Home World; this is a stop you won’t want to miss!
Wednesday, December 4 @ All Things Audry
Join Bonnie Milani as she chats with Audry about "Finding Writing Time" and offers a giveaway of her exciting sci-fi fantasy book Home World.
Thursday, December 5 @ Mom~E~Centric
Bonnie Milani talks to Jerri about “Dealing with Rejection” and shares more about her debut sci-fi love story Home World while generously offering a giveaway as well. This is a blog tour stop you won’t want to let slip by!
Monday, December 9 @ Thoughts in Progress
Bonnie Milani answers "How Do You Deal With Rejection" and offers a giveaway of her newly released sci-fi fantasy book Home World!
Thursday, December 12 @ Deal Sharing Aunt
Join Vicky as she reviews the Sci-Fi love-story Home World (#World) by Bonnie Milani and get in the giveaway of this ever popular debut publication!
To view all our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.
Get Involved!If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Giveaway Contest: Enter to win a copy of Home World! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget THIS Friday, November 22nd.
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