Taurus Eyes by Bonnie Hearn Hill
Monterey, California. When Logan McRae travels to a summer workshop, she takes part in a tour of the local ghosts, including folksinger Sean Baylor, who died in the late sixties. Logan tries to sit by her mentor on the bus, but an aggressive classmate shoves her out of the way, and she stumbles into the seat beside Jeremy Novack. He grabs her hand, and Logan feels an immediate connection. She’s sure Jeremy feels it too. She can see it in his soulful Taurus eyes. As strong as their mutual attraction seems to be, they are driven apart when they are both assigned the same topic: Find out what happened to Sean Baylor. She tackles the subject using astrology. Jeremy is determined to make her research difficult and will stop at nothing, including flirting with her, to try to get her to write about anything else. Then, at a hotel restaurant, they encounter what may indeed be Sean Baylor’s spirit. And Logan knows she must convince Jeremy that the only way they will solve the mystery of the singer’s death is to work together.
TAURUS EYES is the second of the Star Crossed Series from Running Press/Perseus Books. ARIES RISING was published in March and GEMINI NIGHT will publish later this year. Bonnie Hearn Hill is a former newspaper editor. She is the author of INTERN and five other adult thrillers for MIRA Books, and her novels and nonfiction have been published in many languages all over the world. A national conference speaker, she has mentored numerous authors.
INTERVIEW WITH BONNIE HEARN HILL
Marilyn: Bonnie and go back a long, long way. In fact, when she was still with the Fresno Bee she wrote a glowing review for my second published novel. We've run into each here and there since then, and I've been a fan of her books ever since she got published. This series is new to me however so I had a few question I wanted to ask.
What made you decided to start writing YA novels? It seems to be a big change from what you were writing previously.
Bonnie: Not a big change at all. I write character-driven fiction, and I'm not married to a genre. In fact, I didn't know my first book for MIRA was a thriller until we marketed it that way. I thought it was women's fiction that just happened to have a murder or two in it.
When I got the idea for an astrology series, I knew it had to be YA, because as far as I knew, it hadn't been done before. I have to tell you, Marilyn, as difficult as it is, I love this genre and I hope to write more YA books.
Marilyn: What is the biggest difference for you with this change?
Bonnie: The length, for sure. I write my novels in three acts, though, and once I got used to where Act I needed to end, I was fine. Another difference is writing first person point of view and having only one POV character in the book. It forced me to write tighter and to find more subtle ways of showing the other characters' conflicts.
Marilyn: What is the most exciting thing that has happened during your career?
Bonnie: What a great question. After 23 years of struggling to have a career as a novelist, I was pretty giddy when MIRA offered me a three-book contract in 2002. I was even more giddy when they changed it to six books.
Another high was having my Star Crossed series (then named something really stupid) getting picked up by Running Press/Perseus. The ultimate high was probably in 2001 when after some disheartening experiences with literary agents, I was referred to my current agent by a good friend and former publisher. The first time we spoke on the phone, she asked all the right questions. Then she said, "I'm ready to commit if you are." At that moment, I knew this relationship was going to change my life, and it has.
Marilyn: Do you have one word of advice for aspiring authors?
Bonnie: Two words. Don't settle.
Push your craft, push yourself, push your career. Don't every get comfortable with your situation. Always look for the next opportunity to grow. Don't write what's safe. Write what challenges you. Even if you fall, you will fall forward.
Marilyn: Thank you, Bonnie, what a great interview. For you authors out there, she's given lots of advice in her answers to my questions.
She's offered to give away a copy of her book, Taurus Eyes, to one of my blog readers, so this is what we're going to do:
Leave a comment with your email address included and on Monday, June 10th, I'll have a drawing from all the people who left a comment.