Bonnie McCune Interview
The Indie Book Butler Interview.
Indie Book Butler: Let’s start things off with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself for those not already aware of you and your work.
Bonnie McCune: I’ve been writing since the age of ten when I submitted a poem to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated my career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing. Simultaneously, I’ve been a freelance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features. For years, I entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Bake-Off. My true passion is fiction, and my pieces have won several awards. Never Retreat is my third novel and fifth book of fiction. Visit me at www.BonnieMcCune.com
IBB: You’ve got twenty words to tempt us to read your book(s). What would you say?
BM: A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military corporate star for a huge prize, when a massive flood imperils survival.
IBB: Where do you like to write?
BM: In my office, a spare bedroom in my condo, with a view of the outdoors, surrounded by mementos and books.
IBB: Is there anything you must have in order to write?
BM: Ever since I stopped smoking years ago, I have to have sunflower seeds in the shell to munch on. Also a beverage, usually coffee.
IBB: What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
BM: Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy, a funny, philosophic view of life. The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander, a riveting snapshot of contemporary relations. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, and hundreds of others.
IBB: What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
BM: Persistence. Any well-adjusted person would have thrown in the towel years ago.
IBB: What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
BM: Writing for me is a method to understand people and life as well as a release and a mental exercise.
IBB: Have you received a favourite review of your work?
BM: “Few novels operate on such different levels, moving their characters to challenge not just each other, but their own perceptions. . .McCune provides just the right blend of comic relief, interpersonal encounters, and outside environment changes to make her story a powerful blend.”
—Midwest Book Review
IBB: Were there any particular parts of the writing/publishing process that you struggled with?
BM: Self-marketing in all aspects. I’m still struggling to find an agent and get an understanding of readers in general.
IBB: Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
BM: It took me years to understand that rewrites aren’t a sign of failure, they’re the way you get better. Rewrite, rewrite.
IBB: What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
BM: Honesty, trust, a mutual love of books. An editor has experience outside the realm of most authors, so contributes a great deal to the process.
IBB: If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
BM: I’d ask for straightforward information, supported by examples, so I could improve my work.
IBB: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
BM: Be prepared for years of hard work. Enjoy the journey, not the destination.
IBB: What does your writing future hold for you?
BM: I hope more books. I’m working on a massive sci-fi novel, Emancipation, which combines adventure, emotion, philosophy, and romance.
IBB: How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
BM: The publisher has always come up with the final concept. I feed in ideas and constructive criticism.
IBB: How often do you read? What genre?
BM: I read constantly in many genres. Women’s fiction, mainstream, literary, sci-fi. Not much mystery or fantasy.
IBB: Before we let you escape, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
BM: I’ve begun reading Fredrik Backman, a Swedish writer, who has such very human and funny characters. Jill Shalvis writes women’s fiction with strong romances. For an unusual perspective, Sonali Dev’s perspective is Indian-American with a wealth of rich detail about intergenerational life. Kristin Hannah’s able to move from heart-rending historical to contemporary women’s lives with ease.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.
For more on Bonnie and her work, please visit:
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