Joining us today on Kat Logic (as well as during the week) is Bonnie Leon, author of Longings of the Heart. I have to tell you, of all the interviews I’ve done, I am just enthralled with Bonnie. You’ll see why. Grab a cup of coffee (the kind with cool whip and chocolate syrup on top) and pull up a chair. You’re going to want to stick around a while for this one.
Let’s get started.
Katrina: I want to thank you so much for joining us today. I can’t wait for the readers to learn all that I have about you. I’m sure they will be as impressed as I am. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Bonnie: I’ve been married thirty seven years to a guy my brother dragged home from the Kitty Hawk Aircraft Carrier, which was in dry dock in Bremerton for repairs, back in 1969. I was only seventeen. Greg was nineteen. It’s hard to believe we’ve been a couple for so many years, thirty-nine in all—guess that means I’m REALLY old.
Katrina: Thirty-nine years! That’s a long time to be married. What a blessing. Especially in this day and age. It seems no one stays together too long. I’m guessing you have kids and maybe some grandchildren at this point. Tell us a bit about it.
Bonnie: We have three children. Our oldest, Paul, lives in Central Oregon with his wife and our two daughters are married to men in the Army. Kristi also has a son, Gabe and Sarah, our youngest, has three children—Corey, Ezra and Olivia. I so love my grand-babies. Well, they’re not really babies any more. The youngest is four and the oldest is nine. But they’re irreplaceable, funny, beautiful children.
Katrina: Four and nine are still babies. My twelve year-old is still my baby. Where do you guys live?
Bonnie: My husband and I live in southern Oregon in the same home where we raised our children. We love it here in the Cascade foothills among towering cedar and fir trees where all sorts of wild critters frolic. We have so many deer they’re viewed as pests. But I enjoy them—they’re beautiful creatures.
Katrina: That sounds absolutely beautiful. Perhaps you can share some pictures of that this week to give our readers a bit of an image of what you see when you look out your kitchen window. What is a typical evening like in your home?
Bonnie: While my daughter waits to join her husband at his new post, she and her children are living with us. So sometimes it’s boisterous when the grandchildren visit our part of the house. Usually in the evenings it’s just my husband and I. We usually have work to do, me in my office and Greg often has projects to do around the house.
We love to read together when we go to bed. Actually I read and my husband listens. Right now we’re reading In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. And our next book is one written by Ed Underwood. When God Breaks Your Heart. I’ve already read it and it’s a fabulous book.
I’m a night person so after reading I often get up and read a novel, or answer emails or watch something on television.
Fridays are date night so my husband and I try to do something fun together or with friends.
Katrina: Well, no wonder you’ve been married thirty-nine years. Friday nights is date night! 🙂 How do you juggle your writing career and family?
Bonnie: Wish I had profound truth to share with you about this, but as long as I’ve been working I’ve struggled to find balance. Writing and marketing takes a lot of hours and if I’m not disciplined time just seems to evaporate.
For me discipline is key. I need a plan and then I’ve got to stick to it. Course my problem isn’t the planning, it’s the sticking to it. :-] I try to prioritize—turn off the television, don’t answer the phone, stay away from my email and all the other distractions that call to me. I have my days divided into different types of tasks. I work this out according to how awake my brain is. I’m not a morning person so mornings are set aside for the “easy” stuff. I try to use the afternoons for manuscript writing and editing. And if I’ve been disciplined my evenings and weekends are mostly free.
I’m also the deacon of the women’s ministries at our church, so I’m careful to set aside Bible Study time first thing in the morning and some evenings and weekends I spend time on church ministry. I teach workshops and speak for women’s groups so I squeeze preparation for those things in where they best fit. And they require me to be away from home several weekends a year.
As much as is possible, I try to save some weekends for fun. A perfect Saturday morning for me is to stay in my PJ’s with a cup of coffee and watch a movie, usually a chick flick. Going to garage sales on a weekend is fun too. And occasionally I get to join my family for outings to the beach or the mountains. And I love to fish the mountain lakes.
Katrina: Aahhhh, fishing. I knew I liked you for some reason. That has to be one of my favorite past times. With kids and work, it’s real hard to squeeze that in. I’m sure you can relate to that. Does your family read any of your work?
Bonnie: Not everyone in my family reads my work, but most do. My mother is my greatest fan. She never misses an opportunity to tell someone about me and my books. My sister is also very supportive. And my two daughters have read everything I’ve written and love the stories. They’re proud of their Mom. My husband is more of a non-fiction reader, but he likes me to read my books to him.
Katrina: Tell us a bit about your current book, Longings of the Heart.
Bonnie: Hannah Bradshaw reaches for a new beginning. But will secrets from her past destroy the present? John Bradshaw trusts in a new life. Instead, he discovers deception. One evil heart lies waiting to tear their lives apart. Will evil triumph? Or will their longing hearts find joy?
In the early 1800’s, the wondrous land of Australia is full of possibilities as settlers stake their claims. Hannah and John settle their own piece of land in New South Wales and have hopes of starting a family, but their dreams for the future are clouded with trouble.
As they try unsuccessfully to have a baby, Hannah suffers from guilt over her past. What she hasn’t told her husband about this chapter of her life haunts her and threatens to destroy their relationship.
Don’t miss this heartrending second book in the Sydney Cove series!
Enter the Longings of the Heart Australian Outback Contest.
Katrina: It sounds wonderful. I for one can’t wait to read it. One of our lucky readers will have the opportunity to win an autographed copy of Longings of the Heart. I encourage our readers to stop by your site and read more about you and then stop back by Kat Logic and ask some challenging questions. This week, I’m asking the readers to post a blurb about our interview on their BLOG encouraging their readers to join us on Kat Logic for thought provoking questions.
To the readers…. if you’re interested in winning a copy of Longings of the Heart, leave a comment here to let us know you’ve posted a portion of Bonnie’s interview on your BLOG encouraging your readers to stop by Kat Logic to ask some questions of their own. Bonnie and I will be visiting your BLOGs to decide who wins the autographed copy.
Bonnie will be back with us Wednesday and Friday of this week. Don’t miss the rest of this intriguing interview. She’s not only an amazing author, but an incredible woman of faith! I look forward to checking out your BLOGs and hearing your questions for Bonnie.