Monday, September 23, 2013

A Comedy of Erinn by Celia Bonaduce: Interview and Excerpt


Welcome Celia! It’s great to host you again! Thank you for agreeing to answer a few qustions. Tell us about your current release.

A Comedy Of Erinn is the second book of The Venice Beach Romance trilogy. Errin Wolf is a has-been playwright who is living in Santa Monica, CA, when an offer as a History Channel TV camera-operator falls into her lap. This is her chance to reinvent herself! Her life goes from 0 to 60 when not one but two new men also come into focus.

Tell us about your next release.

The first of the trilogy, The Merchant of Venice Beach came out August 1st and I’m writing the last one, Much Ado About Mother right now. All the books revolve around a family of women – Suzanna in Merchant, her sister, Erinn, in Comedy and both women and their mother in Ado. I consider the books “romantic comedies” rather than “romance novels” – heavy on the comedy, light on the romance. Each book stands alone, so you can read them in any order. At first, I thought I’d just write the stories of Suzanna and Erinn, but I as I was writing, I really liked their mother, Virginia, and felt she should get a chance to spread her wings a little bit, so I added a third book!

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

I’ve been very fortunate in the mentoring department. To begin with, both my parents were professional writers, so the craft of storytelling is pretty much in my DNA. While sitting down at the computer is a solidary endeavor – it’s just you and the keyboard – I’ve been shocked how much my parents taught me about writing just by being with them every day while I was growing up.

The NY Times best seller and romance writer, Jodi Thomas has been a great mentor to me. We met at a writer’s conference where I read my first chapter of A Comedy Of Erinn to a group. It was the first time I read anything I had written out loud. Afterwards, Jodi, who was on the faculty at the conference, came up to me and gave me her business card. She said she thought I had real talent and I should stay in touch because I was about to embark on a difficult journey. She said she’d always be ready to cheer me on! There were days I wrote just so I wouldn’t let her down.

Does your significant other read your stuff?

My husband is banned from reading my stuff. I found that I couldn’t let myself write freely if I knew my husband was going to be reading the “hot parts’ at the end of the day. I read him funny stuff as I go along, but he actually has very little idea what my books are about. There are many women writers I know who don’t let their mothers read their books for the same reason, but my mom is my best editor!

What do you think makes a good story?

I love little plot twists…just tiny additions to the story that seem insignificant but turn out to be meaningful at the end. J.K. Rowling and Armistead Maupin are two authors who are geniuses at this. I have outlined their book, using a yellow highlighter to mark these little tidbits.

How do you react to a bad review of your book?

A month ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer this question, since my first book only came out on August 1st. I grew up in house with professional writers, so I was well aware of the fact that not everyone is going to love everything I write. The first review I got was a 5-star, so my defenses were down when my second review came out and it was a 1 star. After my heart plummeted to my stomach, I realized by the reviewer’s standards, my book only was a 1-star. She was expecting a steamy, dreamy romance novel and my books are light and funny. The romance is secondary to the female lead’s character development. This was not the book for her. Of course, you want everyone to love what you wrote, but realistically, that isn’t going to happen. You just need to put on your big girl panties, move on and hope your book finds its audience.

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.

Really. Hard. Work.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

All my characters are what I call “blender people” – a little bit of this person, a little bit of that person. Sometimes, I’ll even toss a character from a movie or book into the mix. Pop into a bender and whirl! But one thing I never do – I never base a lead character on myself. I feel I can’t let a character “break the rules” if she’s based on me. In my first book, The Merchant of Venice Beach, I threw my personality into the blender that creating the gay pastry chef, Fernando. But in book two, A Comedy of Erinn, I became part of the personality of Suzanna, who was the lead character in book one. Suzanna had grown up by Comedy, and she seemed to react more like I would to new situation. My friends think that Erinn is based on me, but that’s just my annoying external traits coming out, like correcting everyone’s grammar and thinking everybody finds obscure historical facts fascinating.

A Comedy Of Erinn eBook

Title: A Comedy of Erinn
Author: Celia Bonaduce
Published: Coming September 19th, 2013
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Word Count: approx. 75,500
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

~ Synopsis ~

Erinn Wolf needs to reinvent herself. A once celebrated playwright turned photographer, she’s almost broke, a little lonely, and tired of her sister’s constant worry. When a job on a reality TV show falls into her lap, she’s thrilled to be making a paycheck–and when a hot Italian actor named Massimo rents her guesthouse, she’s certain her life is getting a romantic subplot. But with the director, brash, gorgeous young Jude, dogging her every step, she can’t help but look at herself through his lens–and wonder if she’s been reading the wrong script all along…


“You’ve made your point. Now let’s go,” Jude said, trying to take the camera case out of her hands.
“Oh? And exactly what is my point?”
“That you’re the teacher’s pet…the good little camera girl who won’t let a blizzard stop her. Now let’s get out of here!”
The wind picked up and Erinn almost lost her balance. She realized that the ground was starting to freeze underneath them. She admitted to herself that there was no point in being out – she’d never get a shot worth having, even if they didn’t freeze to death.
“When defeat is inevitable, it is wisest to yield,” Erinn yelled to Jude.
“Whatever, dude. Let’s bounce.”
Jude threw the gear in the back and felt his way to the passenger side. They both got in and Erinn started the car. She hoped Jude would stay quiet. She was feeling so shaky.  Not from the cold, but from the realization that she was not being a good producer. To put it in Jude’s vernacular, she sucked!
Erinn tried to pull out onto the road, but the wheels just spun on the ice. Erinn and Jude looked at each other.
“Are we stuck?” Jude asked.
“We can’t be,” Erinn said. “This is an SUV. It must be four wheel drive.”
“Not necessarily,” Jude said. “Do you see any kind of lever or button or anything that would let you switch to four wheel drive?”
“No. There isn’t anything. Are we doomed?”
Doomed? Jesus, Erinn. You are a glass empty kind of girl, aren’t ya?”
“Actually, I’m a “the glass is the wrong size” kind of girl…woman…but I think that’s beside the point right now. What should I do?”
“Start rocking the car. Put it in first, then reverse, then first, then reverse. Then give it a little gas and see if we can get out of this.”
Erinn started shifting gears and made a mental note. Next time, she wouldn’t settle for anything less than an SUV with four wheel drive.
Miraculously, the car shot forward. Erinn gasped and Jude slapped her on the shoulder approvingly. Erinn turned slightly towards what she hoped was the road…it was so covered in snow that she couldn’t actually see a road, but it must be there. Making sure no one was coming – fat chance, she thought - she started inching the Explorer through the ice and snow. She was creeping forward, when the car became completely unresponsive and started sliding towards the right. Pushing the gas did nothing. Turning the steering wheel did nothing.
“Oh, no,” Erinn said.
“The car has lost traction. We’re skating on the ice.”
Erinn frantically turned the wheel to right and then to the left. The car continued to slide.
“Stay cool, Erinn. We’re on flat ground. Nothing can happen. Just chill.”
Erinn tried to relax, but the car kept sliding sideways, the weight of the vehicle causing it to pick up speed. Clearly, they weren’t on completely flat ground or the SUV wouldn’t be hurling itself sideways, but Erinn decided now was not the time to argue this point.
Erinn felt the vehicle tipping. She was jolted violently sideways and caught, suspended, by the seatbelt. She craned her neck to look at Jude, who was looking UP at her from the passenger seat. The SUV was completely on its side, like a gigantic dead beast.
“Now, we’re doomed,” he said.
Erinn tried without success to free herself from the seatbelt. With every gyration, the belt tightened around her neck. She tried to hold still. She craned her neck and watched Jude brace himself against the passenger door with his right arm. This gave his seatbelt some slack and he was able to release the lever. He thudded against the passenger door, but at least he was free. Erinn felt her breastbone pressing into the seatbelt as she hung sideways. She watched as Jude twisted himself around, crablike, and faced her. She looked into his eyes.
“The camera case,” she said.
Jude sat back on his heels.
“Dude,” he said. “Seriously? Forget the gear right now. We’re in deep shit.”
“The camera…” Erinn breathed heavily. “Check the camera...”
“What are you…one of those freaks who needs to record their own death?
“His or her own death,” Erinn corrected, gasping. “ ‘One freak’ is singular.”
“You are so pushing your luck, lady,” Jude said.
Erinn was running out of breath, and she hung limply forward.
“Come on, Tin Lizzy,” Jude said, wedging his back against her.
He must look like Atlas with me on his back instead of the world.
She had her eyes closed, but she vaguely sensed that he must be standing on the passenger window…or the passenger arm rest. What if he broke one of them? Would the rental company charge them? Did she buy the right insurance? Weren’t they in enough trouble having skidded into a ditch?
Erinn heard Jude’s voice through the fog. His back was to her.
“When I lift you up, you need to unhook your seatbelt. Come on, Erinn, you can do this.”
Jude gave the faintest of pushes, but not enough to lift her.
“Crap,” Jude said. “I can’t get enough traction with the console in the way.”
Jude turned around so that he was facing her. Their eyes met.
“The camera case,” she said.
Jude ignored her, and tried to lift her off the seat belt, but there was no way around the console.
“Shit! Crap!” Jude said.
“Jude…there’s a knife…” Erinn croaked.
“…in the camera case!” he said.
Erinn could hear him scramble to the back of the SUV and unlock the camera case. Erinn was reminded of sounds one hears when one is drifting off to sleep. Every noise sounds strangely amplified – and yet the sound is of no interest. She had the vague sensation of falling and when her head cleared, she was laying on Jude, up against the passenger window. Jude was panting for breath, knife held aloft. She could hear the slit seatbelt clanking behind her.
She reached around Jude’s neck. His expression changed, softening. She touched the passenger window behind his head.
“Thank God it’s not broken.”
“Lady, I have a knife.”
Erinn was suddenly very aware that she was pressed up against Jude. She tried to lift herself off him, but each time she thudded back against him.


Celia Bonaduce
Currently a Field Producer on HGTV’s House Hunters, Celia Bonaduce’s TV credits cover a lot of ground – everything from field-producing ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to writing for many of Nickelodeon’s animated series, including Hey, Arnold and Chalkzone.
An avid reader, entering the world of books has always been a lifelong ambition. The Merchant of Venice Beach, A Venice Beach Romance, was published August 1st, 2013 by eKensington.

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There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
·         3 x $10 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)

·         5 Print copies of A Comedy of Erinn (US Only)
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