Today I would like to introduce an author friend of mine, Bonnie J. Sterling. She is a systems administrator and received her bachelors in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her first published short story is in the MetaHuman Press Anthology Modern Gods (Volume One) titled Ice Beauty. Bonnie also has another piece coming out in the Pro Se Press Anthology To Love and Die, titled Troubled Waters.
Interview with Author Bonnie J. Sterling on the publication of Metahuman Press’ book Modern Gods (Volume One) 3/20/2013
Lisa M. Collins: Bonnie, Congratulation on your first published fiction short story! I was wondering where you get your ideas?
Bonnie J. Sterling: Let me use Ice Beauty as an example. I read about Metahuman’s call for short story’s bringing the gods of mythology into modern day. Thor had recently come to the theaters, which made me think of Freyya, and how she is not really known by most people today. That made me think of a character I had once written who was born of moonlight and snow. Snow made me think of Alaska and the artic. That makes me think of a Top Gear (British version) where they had a contest between a truck and a dog sled team to get to the North Pole. Dog sled team led naturally to the Iditarod. Voila! A story idea has been born.
Lisa M. Collins: Is that the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Bonnie J. Sterling: Actually, I’m a little of both and that really is the randomness of my thought process. As for plotter or pantser, I’m a pantser when it comes to getting the idea, but once I have it I tend to be a plotter. I have to plan the whole thing before I write it.
Lisa M. Collins: Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
Bonnie J. Sterling: If the work is completely fictional, I just go with the flow. However, if like in Ice Beauty, I’m using a character that already has a bible [or a historical record], which is a “who I am” document like Freyya does, and then I’ll do more research. Also, since the story is set during the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Alaska, I did a lot of research to get my information correct. I want my stories to sound authentic.
Lisa M. Collins: Can you think of a well-known writer whose style is similar to your own, and if so can you recommend a book by that author?
Bonnie J. Sterling: I don’t think I could be bold enough to compare myself to a well-known writer.
I would love to write like Robin Hobbs though. I love the way she weaves a story together. Start with the Assassin’s Apprentice.
Lisa M. Collins: What is your daily writing like?
Bonnie J. Sterling: It’s pretty inconsistent right now. I have a new foster daughter and a regular 40 hour a week job. My goal is to write as soon as she goes to sleep until I go to sleep. Sometimes that’s not enough time to turn on the computer.
Lisa M. Collins: You sound really busy. Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
Bonnie J. Sterling: I think it would be great to be a full time writer. However, the reality is that it will probably be a while before I give up the 9 to 5. Published authors who have been at this a long time still have day jobs, so I try to be realistic with myself.
Lisa M. Collins: Can you tell us about your experience working with Metahuman Press?
Bonnie J. Sterling: Working with Metahuman Press has been great and easy.
I saw their open call of story submissions, and followed the guidelines. I got an acceptance email and a deadline. Turned my story in and here I am published. Nick Alhelm is a really nice guy, and has been easy to talk to when I have had questions.
Lisa M. Collins: Can you tell us about some of your other writing and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
Bonnie J. Sterling: Well, I have another story coming out later this year with Pro Se Press in their To Love and Die anthology, my story is titled Troubled Waters. It is set in Hot Springs, Arkansas during the time when gangsters made it their vacation spot.
I also have a dragon series that I’m working on as well as a vampire novel.
As for appearances, I will be at Pulp Ark 2013 in Springdale, Arkansas on April 26th. You might also find me at the Little Rock ColorMe Rad race in June. Though, how you’ll find me there, I don’t know.
Lisa M. Collins: In closing Bonnie, I want to thank you for sharing about your writing. As a new author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
Bonnie J. Sterling: It’s really been my honor and my pleasure, Lisa. I would tell a new author to find a writers’ group and then find a friend in that group who will hold you accountable. I wouldn’t be published without those two things. Also, make the art of writing a priority. Anyone can put words to paper, but having the words make sense and evoke feeling takes talent.
Lisa M. Collins: Thanks Bonnie!
If you would like more information about Bonnie you can find her books on Amazon, and updates about her writing on Twitter, Facebook and on her Blog.