Monday, April 15, 2013

Author Allie Boniface Has Seen the World and Still Thinks Small Towns Are the Best


Allie Boniface is a small-town girl at heart who's traveled around the world and still finds that the magic and the mystery of small towns make them the best places to fall in love and find adventure. From the New England coast to Rocky Mountain hotels to tiny European bars, she's found more character and plot inspirations than she could ever count. Currently, she's lucky enough to live in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley with her own "Hometown Hero," a guy who can fix, build, drive, and grill anything and is the epitome of the strong and silent type.
When she isn't writing love stories, Allie is a full-time high school English teacher who gets a kick out of helping her teenagers negotiate the ups and downs of writing along with the ups and downs of life (because, really, she's still trying to do the same thing!). And while she'll continue to travel far and wide, Allie knows there's really nothing like coming back to the place where the people who have known you forever welcome you home with open arms. 

Allie will be awarding a $10 Amazon or a B&N Gift Card AND an e-copy of any of the author's backlist (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Go to this link to follow along on Allie's virtual tour. The more you comment, the better your chances to be a winner!


Allie on the subject of Allie and her advice to
young writers starting out.
What advice would you give a high school senior who wants to become a fiction writer? What one thing should they start doing immediately that could impact their career? What would you tell them was your most difficult challenge as a writer?
Hello everyone, and thanks to Christy McKee for having me visit here today! I'm all around cyber-world this week and next, talking about my new release The Promise of Paradise, which is a contemporary romance about two people who rent the same house in a small town one summer and end up...well, you know...falling in love. This book is actually a re-release of a story that came out in 2007, only with some new (steamier!) scenes, an epilogue added on, and a minor character who becomes the hero in my next book coming out in May, Beacon of Love.

I guess it's probably obvious that I love to write, right? The Promise of Paradiseis my fifth novel, and I have no plans to stop writing anytime soon. I love creating characters and storylines, love working at a plot until it finally emerges (usually after many drafts) as complete. And I write romance because I love exploring the connections between people, and I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Now, make no mistake about it: writing is hard work. But I do enjoy it as a creative outlet, especially since my full-time day job is demanding as well: I'm a high school English teacher.
Yes, believe it or not, I spend my days teaching grammar and Shakespeare (among many, many other topics) to groups of teenagers. And I love it! I never dreamed I'd be a teacher when I was actually in high school, but once I found my focus in college and did my student teaching in an inner-city school, I never looked back. Teenagers can be tough, but I'm blessed to work in an enrichment program, which means my kids are super-smart and super-well behaved. (For the most part, anyway. I mean, they are still teenagers).
And while some (most?) of them moan and groan about having to learn comma rules or having to analyze characters in a short story, every once in a while I have a student who not only likes to write, but wants to be a writer. So what advice do I have for them? Here's the skinny:
1. Read. A lot. Read the genres and the authors you enjoy, but branch out too. Look at what's on the various best-seller lists, or what your school library is featuring this month. The best way to learn how to use language is to study how other, published writers use it. By reading, you will internalize not only the rules and when/how to break them, but also how writers create their own distinct voice.

2. Write. A lot. Play with genres and with structure. Try poetry. Try short stories. Delve into the beginnings of a memoir or heck, a full-length novel, if you'd like. Write all the time, every day if you can. Keep a journal or a notebook with you so you can jot down thoughts as they come to you.
3. Join a writers' group, if one's available to you. This one might be tough, though your school may have a literary or poetry club (if not, why not start one?). Share your writing with other people for feedback – but remember, this can be a challenge. When other people read the writing you love, they might not love it as much as you do. Try to listen to their constructive criticism, but DON'T let them tear you down or discourage you. Find someone whose opinion you value. This might be a teacher instead of a peer. Or try It's free to join, and you'll find a ton of writing advice and support in there!
4. Develop a thick skin. One of the most challenging parts of becoming a writer, for me, has been learning to deal with negative feedback and reviews. The same way not everyone likes the same book or movie or TV show, not everyone will like the book you write. That's OK. If you like it, that's enough. Always remember that. Write for the love of it, for the passion of the craft, and never let anyone discourage you from pursuing your dream of writing and publishing.

The Blurb...
Harvard grad Ashton Kirk is headed for a promising law career when scandal breaks apart her family. To escape, she changes her name and rents an apartment in the small town of Paradise, New Hampshire, where no one knows who she is.
Ash hopes for solitude, but all bets are off when Eddie West, the town’s most eligible bachelor, moves in downstairs. The sexy auto mechanic loves his women and his cars shiny, sleek, and fast, and when he meets his new housemate, he wastes no time getting friendly. But Eddie is nursing his own recent loss, and the last thing he wants to do is let someone new into his life or his heart.
Can two people from different worlds find common ground and a place to fall in love? Or will Ashton’s past and Eddie’s scars keep them apart just as summer heat brings them together? Is it possible to find your soul mate in the place you least expect?
Now for a taste... 
“You okay?” Eddie glanced over his shoulder.
“Yeah. Just resting.” Ash reached for another chair, but this one sprung open when she touched it, and the next thing she knew, it had pinched her finger in its hinge. Hard.     
“Ow! Dammit.” Yanking the finger free, she blinked back tears. “That hurt.” A blood blister welled up immediately, and she put it to her mouth to try and suck away the pain.
In an instant Eddie was there. He reached for her hand and held it under the weak light that shone out from the kitchen. “Ouch. That’s gonna sting for a while.”
“No kidding.”    
He looked at her, concern in his eyes, and suddenly Ash knew she was in trouble. Big, huge, complicated trouble. She felt as if someone had pushed her out of a plane from about a million miles up, and in that moment on the roof, when Eddie held her hand in his, she fell and kept falling, past the point where she knew whether it was right or wrong, to some bottomless, buoyant space where all she wanted to do was stay in his gaze forever.
 “Ash? You okay? You want some ice?”   
God, she loved the way the words sounded in his mouth. She loved the way he took her nickname and made it sound like no one else ever had. Even the pinpricks of desire Colin had once stirred now seemed like long-dead embers.     
“No, I think it’s—” She couldn’t finish the thought, not with his eyes on her like that. She wanted to pull her hand away, to run the finger under cold water and make the sting go away. But she couldn’t move. Eddie’s gaze traveled from her hand to her face, and in the next instant there was no more space between them: no floor, no rooftop, barely any air at all.

Christy, thank you so much for having me here today! And for all writers, teenagers or adults, I welcome your questions and am happy to give advice or share stories about my journey into the publishing world. Drop me a line anytime at, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a comment on my blog. Or all of the above!

Where in the world is Allie?
Twitter: AllieBoniface1




Mary Preston said...

Loved the taste thank you, & "complicated trouble", the best kind to read about.


Allie Boniface said...

Thanks so much for having me here today!

Ingeborg said...

Sounds like a fun read.


Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm not sure if i'm a small town girl at heart, but I do like reading about them!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Christy McKee said...

Welcome, Allie!

I am a small town girl and always will be. I love the feeling of a community that knows you and your history.

So glad you are here today.


Shannon R said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I definetly agree that number 4 is true, I hate hearing critisism but it is a necssary part of the process

fencingromein at hotmail dot com