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Published in Author Interview

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Published in Author Interview

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Bonnie Dillabough: Enthusiastic and honest beta readers are a must

Conversation with Bonnie K.T Dillabough upon various aspects of writing. Therefore, I talked about her books and writing habits. However, how book editing and rewriting is important for any aspiring writer and author, explained well here. Read what beta readers does in the process of writing and its benefits, according to Bonnie. At what age did you complete your first ...

Conversation with Bonnie K.T Dillabough upon various aspects of writing. Therefore, I talked about her books and writing habits. However, how book editing and rewriting is important for any aspiring writer and author, explained well here. Read what beta readers does in the process of writing and its benefits, according to Bonnie.

At what age did you complete your first novel?

Bonnie: I published the first book in my series, The Dimensional Alliance, two weeks before my 64th birthday, but I had wanted to write a novel since I was 16 years old.

Tell us what was the experience of writing and rewriting?

Bonnie: I think, like most new authors, I was unprepared for all of the work that had to happen after you type “The End”.  I knew I would have to edit the first draft, but was unaware how much was involved. I edited the first book 9 times with the help of a number of beta readers.  We still found little errors.  So, I sent it to a low-cost proofreader. It was better, but even after it was printed, we found an occasional typo.

After that, I found a professional copy editor, Lynette M. Smith.  Even then, I knew from being an avid reader that small mistakes still can creep into a book.  Obviously, my favorite part is still the writing, but I feel a lot more confident to produce a professional book and I have gotten compliments from people who know the publishing industry.

Who helped you the most in this process?

Bonnie: Once again, it really comes down to the idea that no author is an island.  Enthusiastic and honest beta readers are a must, and I can’t stress enough the importance of engaging a competent copy-editor.  It made all the difference for me and frees me to do a lot more writing.

All the books you have written were self-published or traditional one? If it has been self-published, what processed it involved, its merit and demerit?

All of my books are independently published.  I use Ingram Spark to print and distribute my paperback books which can easily be found in online stores all over and many independent and franchise bookstores now carry them.  As a matter of fact, I have done bookstores in local stores and will be doing a book-signing event at our local Barnes & Noble in a few weeks.

As I considered which publishing track to take, I considered the fact that I am getting on in years and that taking the traditional route would require more time than I might have.  This required me to learn and study the publishing industry and its ins and outs.  It’s a lot of work.

Traditional publishers provide a lot of services for the authors they accept, like cover design and editing and a limited amount of publicity when you launch your books.  

Publishing independently allows you a lot of freedom in cover design and is significantly faster.  It does mean you need to educate yourself.   There are a lot of scams out there aimed at writers, so you have to be careful.  This is one reason that one of the things I do is volunteer my time helping aspiring authors to avoid the pitfalls and make good decisions on which of these to choose.

As an author, where do you want to see yourself in the next five years? And do you intend to stay in the same niche?

Bonnie: There are 9 books planned in this series.  With 4 books published and a 5th one being published in November 2022, I pretty much have my work cut out for me.  After that, I am considering perhaps doing some non-fiction writing or some historical fiction.

Could you please tell the readers that you have born into writer's family, or is there no connection to writing in your blood relations? 

Bonnie: I have no published authors in my family, but I was encouraged to write from a very young age.  I was writing poetry and short stories from the age of 8.  That being said, my grandfather was a brilliant storyteller.  I remember we used to go camping a lot and in the evening he would tell us stories about his childhood.  

Also, there was never a birthday or holiday when I didn’t get a new book for a gift.  As a teen I was called a “library nerd” which didn’t hurt my feelings, because most of the time the library was my favorite place at school.  I had the dewey decimal system memorized in high school.

Who are your favorite authors and a quote that always inspires you?

Bonnie: That’s a really difficult question.  I have read thousands of books over my lifetime.  Some of the authors I most enjoy are Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey.

Probably my favorite quote is when Gandalf is speaking to a fearful Pippin.  It goes like this:

GANDALF: “End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.” PIPPIN: “What? Gandalf? See what?” GANDALF: “White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.” PIPPIN: “Well, that isn't so bad.” GANDALF: “No. No, it isn't.”

Furthermore, kindly let us know your evergreen books you have on your shelves.

Bonnie: Not so many on my physical shelves, alas.  I can no longer read regular books due to vision issues. However, I have hundreds of ebooks.  Probably the most evergreen is the fact that I have a library card and our library participates in ebook loaning, so my choices are limitless.  I still go back and reread The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and The Ender Saga by Orson Scott Card.  It’s actually a pretty long list, and there isn’t room or time enough to describe them all.

Tell us more about your book, “The House on Infinity Loop” how the ideas triggered you and the inspirational story behind it.

Bonnie: First, as I said earlier, I wanted to write a book since I was 16 years old.  Around that same time in my life, I started having a recurring dream that seemed to haunt me all of my life.  I would have it at least one a year, sometimes more often. It went like this:

In the dream, I was at a house-warming.  My house-warming.  In my new home were many of my friends, helping me celebrate and oohing and ahhing over all the cool things about the house.  At some point in the dream, someone would ask me for something.  “Oh sure,” I said happily, “it’s in the other room, I’ll go get it.”  

On my way down the hall, I notice a door I hadn’t noticed before.  “I didn’t know there was a closet there,” I said to myself.  So, I open the door and realize this wasn’t a closet…not even close.  It was a room, the size of a warehouse.  In it were all kinds of weird and interesting things: a small jet airplane, a luxury car, a grand piano, statues and sports equipment, clothing and toys…even a swing set!

“Wow!”  I knew it couldn’t possibly fit into my little house and after gazing around in astonishment I rush out the door to my friends.

“You’ve got to see this!”  I cry and lead them down the hallway, only to discover that the door isn’t there anymore.

As you can tell, the dream was disconcerting even to have one time, but to see it over and over again with only slight variations throughout my life was even more so.  I asked people over and over again, what can it mean?  And they would just shake their heads.

Then one day a friend told me to write it down, so maybe it would get out of my head, and I wouldn’t have the dream again.  I did so.

About that time, I was hanging out with a lot of authors on a video editing project and kept thinking… “I think I could write a book. I’ve always wanted to.”  About this same time, I got the honor to interview Mercedes Lacky, a favorite very prolific writer of science fiction and fantasy.  It was a total fan-girl moment for me, but she was gracious enough to speak with me for about 45 minutes after the interview.  I finally got up the courage to tell her, “I’m thinking about writing a book.”

Her reply?  “So put your butt in the chair and write!”  So I did.  

When I decided to finally get down to it, I took the dream story, altered it significantly and thus was born The Dimensional Alliance series.

The Dimensional Alliance series is the story about a young woman who inherited a house, a cat, and a key from an aunt she had only met twice in her life.  It turns out that the house has a room in it that couldn’t possibly be there. The cat is not a cat and the key doesn’t fit any of the rooms in her house, but unlocks adventure beyond the known universe in adventures that teach her things about herself she never thought were possible.

Science meets fantasy in this coming-of-age adventure.  There are robots AND dragons.  I’m so confident that lovers of science fiction and fantasy will love this series that I am offering the first book at no cost on all e-book platforms. The House on Infinity Loop is where Jenny’s adventure begins, but I’m betting you’ll want to see what happens next. There will be 9 books in the series, and the first four are out in paperback and all e-book formats.  The fifth book will come out in November and I can’t miss that deadline, as my fans are already asking over and over when it will be out.

Join us in celebrating the power of #storytelling

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