Friday, December 11, 2009

Interview with Terry's Client Bonnie Calhoun

Bonnie, the Madison PI series kicks off soon from Abingdon Press. I know you worked with Michelle Sutton on it, but Michelle is Tamela's client so I'll let her handle talking to her when she is ready. But you were the one that had the idea for this black and white sleuth team, weren't you? Tell me where the idea came from? And how it developed?

Yes this was my idea. I came up with this because, out of all of the Christian fiction I read I really haven't found a lot of diversity or multicultural interaction. The idea comes from my own real life. My extended family is a blending of multicultures, and my husband is white. We've been together for 28 years and between him and family interactions there is plenty of fonder to keep me writing novels until the Lord returns. This developed out of a real situation that happened long years ago in my family and with enough embellishment I have turned it into a full length novel.

The first book is called "Thicker than Sisters" - can you give us a little teaser about what to expect?

Precious Madison has a chip on her shoulder.

Olivia Baldwin is the epitome of that chip.

Bridging the crack will create a bond that can never be broken.

PI Precious Madison is tough, jaded, and judgmental, but are her street smarts enough to save sheltered heiress Olivia Baldwin from her naiveté of the real world.

A young man is murdered, and the two women are drawn into the mystery when they assume that the police write it off as a random crime. Unraveling the truth puts their lives at risk when they uncover a high-level crime organization, and another dead body that disappears before they can report it.

As the danger escalates, Precious and Olivia, learn to depend on each other for survival.

And There's a second book, "Thicker than Blood" contracted in the series and an option for more after that. What can we expect to see down the road?

In Thicker Than Sisters we see the coming of age of Precious' story and her coming to terms with her situation and her relationship with the Lord. In Thicker Than Blood we delve into the story of what has made Olivia the person that she is, and how she matures into the life-hand that has been dealt her.

Bonnie, you are the owner and publisher of the very successful Christian Fiction Online Magazine as well as for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, how do you find time to write? How do you think these roles impact your writing career?

LOL...I find time to run the organizations and also write because I've given up on sleep. It was overated anyhow...LOL. I also have a full time day job.
I am a clothing designer and seamstress and I own my own business. I prioritize my projects at any given moment of the day, and I've learned to stay organized and within my own system, no matter how muddled it becomes. I work infinitely well under pressure. Actually over my life time I have found that I tend to thrive under pressure, so that is a plus that adds to my writing career!

What are you working on in addition to this series?

I'm working on another multicultural suspense series.

What's the best piece of writing advice you ever got? The worst?

The best writing advice:
Read Brandilyn Collins to learn how to write suspense.

The worst advice:
Ignore that looney Snowflake Method by that crazy nuclear physicist.

Anything else you'd like to take this opportunity to say?

Be true to yourself, and if you have a dream of being something.... be the best you can be and the Lord with honor your diligence.

Thanks, Bonnie

Look forward to your books coming out


Jill said...

I love this idea and I look forward to a "Thicker than..." series!

I did my MA in cultural studies/minority literature, and most of my work centred on crime fiction.

We've come a long way since Marcia Muller and "Sharon McCone".

I love the way the genre has grown and changed over the years (let's hear it for women in crime!!!) and the genre seems to welcome new sleuths who reflect cultural diversity and changing demographics.

Good luck with the series - I hope it's a runaway hit!

Cheers, Jill
"Blood and Groom" is now in stores!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Bonnie: I count it a privilege to live in the same era with you. I believe the Lord is proud of you, too, the way you use your gifts to lift Him up.

Bless you, my dear.

Diana Flegal said...

You are the real energizer Bunny! I look forward to reading this series and the next time I get to hug on ya! Blessings to you and all that you do to encourage and support writers.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Bonnie, I met you at a GPCW conference at the time when Christian Fiction Online Magazine premiered. Congrats on its success and on the release of the novel by Abingdon. Thank you for your encouragement to me. I'm happy to get to know a little about you here.

Marth Ramirez said...

Great interview! Wishing you many blessings and much success!

Bonnie, you don't know what door you opened for me by mentioning Brandilyn's book. I searched for the book on Amazon. Nothing. Then searched her site. I have ben lead to her site for a week now but it wasn't until today that I looked at her site carefully.

She is actually one of my FB friends:)

Anyway I was led to her healing page, that led me to the Healing Room. I need major prayer and healing so I know that this was all of God.

Thank you!
God bless u!!

Unknown said...

Developing a story idea for a novel is not always easy and it is different for different writers. Jorge Luis Borges said (and I think he was right) that the author must believe in the characters fully. If you have that, other things in the book are passed over. Maybe so, but I always add a locale I believe in and a plot idea, so I know where I'm ending up. You can see my approach in my recently released first of three books in my Angela Fournier series, Angela 1: Starting Over. To learn more, please click on my name and follow the link to my website. I also invite you to view my blog and comment, at Thanks!

Lynda Lee Schab said...

What a wonderful interview! And the series sounds fabulous. Can't wait to read it!

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Thank you all for such wonderful words, and Martha I feel so blessed that you found what the Lord had for you, thru Brandilyn. Her own healing was phenomenal and the grace of the Lord just oozes from her in helping others find healing.

And Dave...every story I ever write is taken from a real life incident of mine. LOL...that way I don't have to think up too much...just come up with subplots (and some of those are real too!) Sometimes I just have to embellish them a little bit more to flesh out the actual word count :-) Remember...fact is ALWAYS stranger than fiction :-)