Monday, July 10, 2006
FEATURED AUTHOR: Gwyneth Bolton
SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Gwyneth Bolton: I was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. Writing is the one goal that has been a constant in my life. When I was in the eighth grade, I took part in an after school creative writing program. It was just a six-week program, but taking part in it made me dream even more of one day seeing my name in print. There weren’t a lot of other creative writing opportunities where I grew up, but I continued to write out my novels on three-hole-punch paper. In 1996 I won the College Language Association Margaret Walker Creative Writing Award for Playwriting for my one-act play, “I’m Every Sister.” I have dabbled in poetry, screenwriting, and playwriting but my heart belongs to fiction.
SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?
BOLTON: If Only You Knew is the sensuous, emotional, and drama-filled story of Latonya Stevens and Carlton Harrington III. He is Millionaire's Row and so alpha he makes jungle lions look tame. She is Overtown row houses and lives to annoy arrogant men who think they can boss people around. Despite their differences in social standing and upbringing, they have one similarity that is detrimental to happily-ever-after. Because of what they witnessed as children with their own parents, they don’t trust relationships or love to last. They spend their time together waiting for it to come to an end. It is their shared fear of trusting matters of the heart that stands in the way of them finding true love.
SORMAG: Do you ever have a hard time letting go of a character after the novel is finished?
BOLTON: Yes I do. It’s so weird to talk about. But my characters usually come to me in my dreams and they usually come with a force until I start writing their stories. For example, I didn’t set out writing this book. I had finished my first novel, I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, and wanted to get started writing the connecting story to it, Sweet Sensation (which will be out in March 2007). I started the writing and this character, Carlton, the hero from If Only You Knew, started invading my dreams. He was such a strong alpha-male type character that I was like, “No way, dude. I’m a feminist. I can’t write your story. Sorry.” But being the strong alpha-male that he was, he wouldn’t give up. So I figured I’d write a little of it to get it out of my way. I ended up writing the entire thing. Sometimes the characters from a finished novel will come back in a dream. It’s funny because they’ll have me rewriting their stories in my head and sometimes I just get a glimpse of what they’re doing after “the end.” Sometimes I just don’t want to say goodbye. So, I’m happy when they come back for a visit. But I think it’s really just my overactive imagination. Because I sometimes have dreams about the characters in other folk’s books and rewrite the stories of novels I’ve read and television shows or movies. But we won’t even go there…
SORMAG: What do you feel is the key to writing convincing characters?
BOLTON: Opening up a vein and letting it flow. I find that I have to tap into my emotions big time to bring the kind of emotional intensity I want to my characters. Even though I may not have experienced what they are going through, I need to tap the space in myself that can best relate and let the emotions flow from me to them. The other advice I got at a writer’s workshop once was to love your characters and then put them through hell. I loved the advice because you really have to find something to love in the characters in order to make the readers love them and you have to take them through something to keep the reader turning the pages.
SORMAG: What makes your writing style unique?
BOLTON: I honestly don’t know. This is only my second released book. So, it’s hard to say what my style is or if I have one. This book is also a little different from my first novel, I’m Gonna Make You Love Me. And it is really very different from my December 2006 release, Divine Destiny, which will be my first paranormal erotic romance. I read a lot and I read a variety of different genres. If I were pressed to find something unique about my writing, it would be that I really try to take readers through a range of emotions. I want them to laugh, get angry, maybe shed a tear, and feel the passion. And maybe there’s a little bit of drama thrown in for good measure. At the end of the novel, I want readers to have that satisfying sigh moment that readers get when they have finished a book they’ve enjoyed. I don’t think that I’m the only writer that does this so it isn’t something that is unique to me.
SORMAG: What are you doing to promote your book?
BOLTON: I’m promoting the book on various websites such as Shades of Romance and I have also done a mass mailing of cute little postcards with the book cover on them. I’ve done interviews whenever and wherever I can. At this point, since I have several novels coming out this year and next, I’m really just trying to get the word out about Gwyneth Bolton the romance author and trying to build a reader base.
SORMAG: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
BOLTON: Just the joy I get when I get an email from someone who has read my book and enjoyed it. When readers connect with the words I wrote enough to sit down and write me and email or go to my website and sign my guest book, that is just always a surprise, a pleasant surprise. I still get all giddy and can’t believe it. Having readers connect like that blows my mind. As a writer, I thought no experience could match getting the call from an editor saying I want to publish your work. But getting a note from a reader who read my book and loved it is right up there with that experience. I’ve decided that my new favorite thing is checking my email and getting a note from readers.
SORMAG: What do you do to make time for yourself?
BOLTON: Read. I admit that I have a serious reading addiction. (The first step is admitting you have a problem, right.) Whenever I need “me time” I take a moment and just read book after book after book. With all the wonderful novels coming out these days it’s really easy to take this kind of “me time,” a lot. I have to make sure that I write just as much as I read now. But I’m still finding time to just sit, chill and read.
SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
BOLTON: Readers can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or snail-mail at P.O. Box 9388 Carousel CTR, Syracuse, NY 13290-9381. They can also visit my website http://www.gwynethbolton.com
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