After much coercion (read begging, pleading, and abasing ourselves). She agreed to answer a few questions. Ava threatened to use my head as a bowling ball if I misbehaved (party pooper!), so I had to keep the questions tame and non-spoilery.
So, here you go. Bonnie Rae, in her own words.
Where did you come up with the idea for the Nether Series? What was the spark that started this ball rolling?
I was actually at a writer's conference in the middle of listening to an agent talk about self-publishing and social media. All of a sudden (and I mean literally all of a sudden) I saw these two teenagers in my head. They were at a park in the eerie wee hours of the morning on a cold night. A boy and a girl, sitting on the swings. I didn't know what they were talking about at the time, but I immediately wrote the entire scene down. I pretty much missed the rest of that workshop, but Nether Bound was born from it, so all is good!
Where is your favorite place to write?
In my office. It's my own little space. I have my story boards of the novel I am currently working on and all of my notes hanging on the walls around me. I constantly feel surrounded by inspiration.It's obvious you've done a lot of research into the mythos of Angels and Devils. What were your primary sources?
I was raised in a strict Catholic house. Talking about the Devil or Hell was not tolerated. So, naturally as a child I was curious about those things. Being brought up and taught that something is so evil and so wrong that you couldn't even utter the name or word made me, as an adult, explore all of these things further. I looked and read many parts of the bible and various religious writings. So I would say that was my primary resource. The rest all came from different books and the internet. I'll admit, sometimes it made me uncomfortable and I think that is from my upbringing. But, I realized that even if things are evil, fearing them to the point of not talking about them only makes it worse. Looking your fear in the eyes, evil or not, and facing them head on will only make you stronger. We cannot defeat things by turning a blind eye.
Tell us about when you first decided you wanted to write. How old were you and what did you write/read that got you interested.
I was eleven. My grandparents had given me a copy of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. Even though I hated spiders, the story opened my eyes and soul to the world of fiction. Even at that young age I realized that with books, I could go anywhere and be anyone. I had a rough childhood and to be able to have that escape from reality made me want to become a writer.
How many books are you planning in this series? Any possible spin-offs?
This series will only have three. As for spin-offs. Funny you should ask. I am definitely ending this series with the possibility of exploring one of the characters later on in their own series. =)
Anything you want to tell us about the next book? When you think it might be coming out? Maybe some non-spoilery hints?
With the next book unfortunately there is no such thing as non-spoiling hints. Sorry =(. But, I am currently working on the third an final book in the series now with a projected release date of February 2013. So you won't have to wait too long =)
Anything you want to tell the readers that hasn't already been asked?
My favorite movie is the Dark Crystal and I am obsessed with Fraggles. Not sure they wanted to know that, but hey, a little useless information is always fun, right?
Who's your favorite character in the Nether series and why?
My favorite character will always be Ava. Ava is very much a part of me. In the first book when readers are seeing how Ava witnesses and deals with the domestic abuse her mother suffers, is very much what I went through as a teenager. And with this second book you will see a darker side of Ava, a side that I related to with my own struggles growing up with depression and mental illness. (Yep, I am not ashamed to admit that - everyone has issues). In the third book (and I can't say much without giving things away) we see Ava come full circle. So each book, in a sense, also depicts a bit of my own life. There will always be other books and other characters, but Ava will always be part of my soul. She was and is the Nether series and the Nether series is my first set of books to completely make it to publication. As a writer we always want to share our stories with the world, but sometimes even though that is what we want, it is still scary. Ava helped me be strong and share a story that needed to be told. She will always have a special place in my heart and in my soul.
Thanks so much for hosting me today, Andrew! I hope you all enjoy this interview as well as Nether Soul!
Thanks, Bonnie. :D It was a joy having you here. If you readers haven't read either of these books, I would encourage you to. They are awesome and beautifully written.
'Till next time.