Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meet Celia Bonaduce, Romantic Comedy Writer Extraordinaire

Posted by Susan B James on 10:27:00 AM with 4 comments

Meet Celia Bonaduce, who writes romantic comedies, which some reviewers have labled Women's Fiction.
I met Celia at a Romance Panel at The Flintridge Bookstore in La Canada. I loved her style and bought her first book, The Merchant of Venice Beach on the strength of it. I loved the story. 
Celia mentioned at the panel, the disparity between the story and the cover.

For reasons known only to Kensington Press was marketed as . . . well you judge. Here is the cover. The Cover has NOTHING to do with the story. The book has 88 reviews on Amazon. Most of them are five star, but a few were disappointed because the cover promises a different type of story. Here is are some excerpts from the book:
"It was as if he had offered her a pearl and she had asked for the discarded oyster shell."

"The bike-path hugged the curves of the Pacific shoreline like a pair of Spanx"

“This is going to be worse than signing up at a gym,” Suzanna thought. “Well, maybe not. I don’t think they are going to weigh me at the dance studio.

There are two other books in the Venice Beach series: Comedy of Erin and Much Ado About MotherYou can read more using the link and Amazon's "look inside" feature, but here's a sample) I note they are doing better with the covers on these two. 
Excerpt from COMEDY OF ERINN:
“Cary was just saying how much she enjoyed your plays…back in the day.”
            “Really?” Erinn asked, genuinely startled whenever someone remembered her work.
            “Oh yes,” Cary said.  “Especially Family of Mann.  I saw it many times with my mother.  We loved it!”
            “Well,” Erinn said, “It can’t compare with Isn’t That Weird?”
            Mimi glared at her, but, in her determined agent’s way, tried to keep the focus on Erinn’s accomplishments.
            “Oh, I remember the reviews,” said Mimi. “ ‘Erinn Elizabeth Wolf tugs at your heart strings and brings tears to your eyes’.”  It was quite a time!”
            “And now here I am, having tea with the woman who tugged at a million heart strings and brought tears to a million eyes,” said Cary.
            “Two million eyes, actually,” said Erinn, absently.  “Unless you’re assuming that Family of Mann  played to one-eyed audiences exclusively.”


Erinn took stock of her sister, Suzanna: She’s a good sister, a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter. She runs a crazy little teashop and bookstore at the other end of town and she’s loved by the entire community. She’s got a great epitaph waiting for her. Erinn quickly tallied her own self worth: She was a good writer and TV producer. "But I’m going to be cremated, so I don’t have to worry about filling up a big piece of granite," she thought.

I REALLY love your humor. 

Celia, I know you have another life beside your writing life. Will you please tell us something about yourself.

I’m a field producer on HGTV’s House Hunters.  It really is the best job ever.  I travel all over the United States (I’ve been to every state except Alaska!) - and have the great opportunity to see a city literally “behind the scenes”.
I want your job! 

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when Kensington told you they wanted to publish your book.
That is a moment no new author ever forgets! I was actually on a House Hunters shoot, and I saw I had a call from NYC - I thought it must be my niece, and excused myself to take the call (my family doesn’t call me when I’m on set unless there is an emergency, so I ALWAYS answer!)  But it wasn’t my niece - it was my agent telling me that Kensington wanted a three book deal!  I was so stunned, I practically fell over.  I sat down as quickly as I could, but forgot I had my glasses in my back pocket.  I did break them, but I didn’t care.
That is a wonderful story. Thank you

When and where did you find your agent.
Getting my agent, (Sharon Bowers of the Miller Bower Griffin Agency of New York) was a classic six degrees of separation situation. One of my friends was repped by her and I had sent my book to my friend to see if she liked it.  My friend not only liked it, but offered to send it to Sharon! OK, that’s only one degree of separation.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
I consider myself a romantic comedy writer, rather than a romance writer.  I would say, first and foremost, Nora Ephron is my favorite. I love a new writer named Joshilyn Jackson and hope one day to be  David Sedaris or Bill Bryson.  My literary GOD is Neil Simon.
I love Neil Simon! Next to Tom Stoppard and Noel Coward, he's my favorite.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
The day I got the call from Sharon Bowers that she was going to represent me was probably the most exciting day of my writing life.  I had been submitting material for over two years and to finally have someone besides my mother say “You’re a good writer” was wonderful. Knowing I wasn’t going to have to continue to roll the ball uphill by myself was just such a relief.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I’ve been working for HGTV shows for about 12 years.  My first producer’s job was on a show called SIMPLY QUILTS - and I actually got hired because I knew how to sew (the thought process being “it will easier to teach a seamstress how to produce than it will be to teach a producer how to sew”).  I just loved that show - and I still quilt to this day!
I love their reasoning.
My sister-in-law- collected and sold antique quilts in the seventies. I used to mend them for her, using antique fabrics. Apparently the red and green dyes they used is the 1800's cause fabric to rot more easily than other dyes. I did a lot of leaves and roses.

What’s your snack of choice while writing?
No food or drink gets anywhere near my computer (or sewing machine)!

I love the Medieval Gingerbread Recipe from The Merchant of Venice Beach. I already put it on my Recipe Page Try this, my friends. It's wonderful. I made it Celia's way and then made it substituting almond meal and coconut flour for the breadcrumbs for my Paleo-manic son.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Do NOT fear rejection!  I hear people say “I’m afraid to star submitting my book” and I have to wonder - why?  If you get rejected, you life doesn’t change ONE BIT.  But if someone says “yes” (and it only takes ONE) - your whole life changes. GO FOR IT.

Tell us about your latest release. 
I have a new series called WELCOME TO FAT CHANCE, TEXAS - which will be rolled out in July 2015.  It’s another trilogy - but this time the action takes place in a ghost town in Texas instead of Venice Beach.  Dymphna, one of the heroines from MUCH ADO ABOUT MOTHER (book three of the Venice Beach Romance Series) leads the way.

Dymphna looked around the room. There was a sideboard with bagels, cream cheese and assorted jams, a tray of perfectly presented pastries, pitchers of orange, grapefruit and tomato juice alongside a silver tea and coffee service. There was also an array of purposefully mismatched teacups and crystal juice and water glasses. None of the food had been touched. If it weren’t for the fact that a few of the teacups were absent from the line-up, there would be no indication that the library was already full of people.
Dymphna fleetingly thought of her friend Suzanna’s teashop in Venice. Suzanna could give this household a tip or two about throwing a brunch. Suzanna effortlessly made every day seemed like a celebration at 'The Rollicking Bun.' Nothing was picture perfect at The Bun, but everything was inviting. Everything in this room was picture perfect, but nothing was inviting.
I just pre-ordered the book on the strength of your excerpt.

What’s your current WIP?
SLIM PICKIN’S IN FAT CHANCE, TEXAS is the second book of the FAT CHANCE series and I’m working away on this right now.  I love animals and I’ve added a bunch (we are in Texas after all) - but worried I might be focusing too heavily on our four legged friends!

And finally, where can we find you online?
Twitter: @celiabonaduce
Instagram: Yocelia

Thank you for being here. Celia has graciously offered one set of the three Venice Beach romances to one lucky reader. You know the drill. Happy reading and be sure and try the Medieval Gingerbread.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview! I enjoyed reading about Celia's story!

  2. Entertaining and inspiring interview! Thanks for sharing your journey, Celia :)

  3. What a fun interview and great story. An impressive author with interesting credentials, for sure. Love the excerpts. Good luck!

  4. Great interview. I loved hearing about Celia's other life. :)


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