Saturday, February 12, 2011

LRC Featured Author interview with Bonnie Rozanski (Banana Kiss)

Banana Kiss by Bonnie Rozanski
Thank you Bonnie for agreeing to participate and offering Banana Kiss for giveaway.
If you review any of Bonnie's books this month, you will get extra entries for the giveaway. Make sure you are signed up! Loving the Reviews Challenge and Huge Giveaway!

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Author photo.
Set in an institution and seen through Robin's eyes, this is a world where the disembodied voices she hears are more real than the people who stand in front of her.

--How did you get the idea for the story?
First of all, I should mention that unlike most writers who start with a story and go on from there to build character, theme etc., I usually start out with an idea and look for a story that can bring it to life.
In the case of BANANA KISS, I began with consciousness. If you think of it, just being aware of the world and yourself, colors and tastes and sensations, is pretty amazing. We take it for granted, but bringing the universe together into a single experience is a pretty nifty trick of the brain.   You remember the old riddle?  Does the tree that falls in the forest make a sound if there is no one there to hear it?  No, I decided. The world doesn’t really exist unless someone is there to observe it. 
The whole idea was so intriguing but really so crazy that I decided I could only have someone who was crazy herself defend it.  Voila! A schizophrenic who believes she is God.  But the character got away from me.  Robin became completely real to me and basically wrote the book herself in about five months.  Actually, it might have taken a month less, if I hadn’t stopped writing twice.  I’d suddenly say to myself, “This is totally crazy.  How can I write this?  Who’s going to read it?”  Then Robin would pull me back to it, and I’d write some more before I’d stop and say to myself, “This is totally crazy. How can I write this? Who’s going to read it?”  Finally, it was finished, and maybe it was crazy, but it held together perfectly.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
Besides Robin herself, maybe Derek, her boyfriend, who also lives in the institution.  Derek’s a real charmer, even though he can go from mania to depression and back, sometimes several times in one day.  With him, dinner would never be dull. 
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I’ve always been very eclectic in my reading. I remember when I was growing up, loving Jane Austin, Pearl S. Buck, A. J. Cronin, and James Hilton. These days it might be Phillip Roth, Michael Chabon, Anne Patchett or Mordechai Richler. And science fiction – some hard core, some not. I like Michael Crichton, the Harry Potter books and The Time Traveler’s Wife. I’m a chump for books about dogs: Marley and Me, of course. Or, has anybody read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein or Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow? Actually, that last one’s about werewolves…. And yes, I still read a lot, but mostly at night in bed. My husband bought me a little battery-powered light that clamps onto the book, so I can read while he sleeps.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
My latest Kindle book, SIX CLICKS AWAY, just went live on Amazon a couple of months ago.  It’s about six characters linked by a social network like Facebook.  I call it in order not to be sued. There’s a lonely writer in Toronto; an unemployed engineer in Seattle who finds himself working at the Pike Place Fish Market. There’s a young collections operator in Bangalore, India, who can’t stop caring about the people from whom she collects; a Bollywood producer, and a down-on-his-luck actor who just happens to know the Dalai Lama.  The plot is set in motion when two college students team up for a school project to show just how many links it takes to reach the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, it doesn’t all turn out the way they expect….  
FYI, the Red Adept Annual Indie Awards just announced SIX CLICKS AWAY as one of the top drama winners for 2010.
But back to your question: actually in progress, no.  I’m still in marketing mode.  When I’m finally done with that, though, I plan to go back and rewrite book #7, which is based on newspaper reports of zombiish behavior in people who have taken the sleeping drug called Ambien.  I don’t know if you’ve heard about it or not, but these people get up in the middle of the night to walk, eat and drive cars in their sleep.  The next day, sometimes finding themselves in jail, they have no memory of what they’ve done.  And then (!) there are the patients who wake up after years in a vegetative state – ten minutes after they’ve been given Ambien. You’ve got to admit there’s something intriguing about all this.  Anyway, I’ve got my characters and a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type plot.  Now all I need is some time.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? 
 James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, for sure.  I’d love to get lost in Shangri La for a day.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
No music: it competes with the dialogue in my head.  Coffee’s nice, though.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Teleportation would be terrific.  No commuting.  No airline delays or paying for luggage.  Wait.  Could I teleport my bags, too?

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I already mentioned reading, of course. Besides that, I love theater, cooking, gardening (that reminds me - I have to set out my Brussels sprout seeds in those little peat containers next week).  Biking.  Tennis.  Travelling.  I’m the wife of a college president, so I have social duties as well.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Just thanks for listening.


  1. I'm reading Banana Kiss right now. It is really pretty good. Such a different story from any I've read.

  2. Her description of the book gave me the chills. I'll have to read a story about someone who's voices in her head are more real than those that come to her through her ears. Great interview.

  3. I love the book clamp lights although I keep misplacing mine.... heh~~

    Sniffly Kitty
    Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books
    Loving the Reviews Challenge


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