Bonnie Hearn Hill is the author of the Kit Doyle mystery series, and I’m pleased to host an interview with her on my blog today. Her second book in the series, GOODBYE FOREVER, will be released June 1, 2016. I’ve read it and thought it was absolutely terrific: a fast, suspense-filled read. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview as well as a copy of Bonnie’s new book!
GOODBYE FOREVER is the second book in your Kit Doyle mystery series. Please tell us a little bit about it.
Bonnie: Kit, my protagonist, is a true-crime blogger and Sacramento radio host who goes underground to find her husband’s niece, a runaway. This was influenced by an article I read years ago about two teens who disappeared from the same apartment building. I started playing the what-if game and began wondering what would happen if two or more young people disappeared and left the same note.
I also interviewed friends in law enforcement regarding why kids run away. Most were not the kind of stories I wanted to write. Then I remembered another book I had thought about writing, and I combined those ideas.
Will there be more Kit Doyle mysteries?
Bonnie: I’m writing I WISH YOU MISSED ME, the third Kit Doyle, right now. It will publish next year. After what happened to her in GOODBYE FOREVER, I couldn’t imagine poor Kit wanting to do anything other than heal, but then she hasn’t counted on what happens next.
I really enjoyed the suspense created when Kit went undercover as a teenage runaway. Do you have a special interest in this subject?
Bonnie: My interest in camps for “disturbed” kids was part of what influenced this book. I heard some alarming stories about children who had been put in such camps, and I also spoke to parents and teens with firsthand experience. Again, the what-if game kicked in.
What roles do you like your secondary characters to play?
Bonnie: Kit and I are similar in that we lead relatively ordinary lives surrounded by extraordinary people. Secondary characters are tough because I tend to fall in love with mine, and then they think they can take over the book. Virgie, the runaway in GOODBYE FOREVER, plays only a small part in that book, but she stayed with me, and I kept wondering what would happen to her. Although Kit and I are nothing alike, we do share a trait of wanting to save the world (although I’m getting better at knowing how futile that is), and Kit does want a better life for Virgie. Why does Virgie resist? In I WISH YOU MISSED ME, Virgie is back, and I’m forcing her to remember that she is a secondary character, not the protagonist. I also like John Paul Nathan, the former cop who is on the air with Kit and her friend Farley. Both of these men intrigue me in their own way–as they do Kit–and I have to be careful not to let them take over. They are both strong personalities, and they would love to do just that.
What else have you written?
Bonnie: Six suspense novels for MIRA Books, four young-adult novels, a novel with my husband, Larry Hill (about the star-crossed love affair of pre-Elvis singer Johnnie Ray and columnist/What’s My Line TV panelist Dorothy Kilgallen), and some nonfiction, including a book on writing with my good friend Christopher Allan Poe. I also have an unpublished Kit Doyle book that is a prequel to the series.
What part of writing a book do you enjoy most and what part least?
Bonnie: I love it all, even when I hate it, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
California author Bonnie Hearn Hill’s fifteenth novel, Goodbye Forever, will publish in the UK and the United States in 2016. It will be followed in 2017, by I Wish You Missed Me. A national conference speaker and mentor to writers, she writes suspense that deals with social justice themes. Huelga, a film set during the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 and based on one of her books, is currently in pre-production.