Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Guest Author, Allie Boniface

Today's guest is Allie Boniface, with something different. Her book, One Night in Memphis, is now available as an audio book. In her "One Night in" books, inspired by the television show "24," this busy author takes us on a whirlwind tour of Boston, Napa, and Memphis, and addresses the questions of: Can anything really change in twenty-four hours? Can everything? You'll have to read the books to find out the answer.
And now, here are Allie's answers to a few questions I came up with after reading her website. Welcome to Liana's Place, Allie, and I hope enjoy your 24 hours here :).
What do you like best about small towns?

Oh, I think the intimacy and the safety. You don’t feel alone. Others look out for you. Others know what’s happening in your life. You see a familiar face in almost every store you step foot into. The postal workers know your name without asking. Your neighbors bring you casseroles when you’re sad and watch your pets when you’re gone. There’s a comfort in that.

What do you like best about big cities?

Ah, the excitement and the variety! Cities offer such diversity of people, restaurants, music, culture, overall experiences…No matter what you’re looking for, you can usually find it in a city. And you can lose yourself if you want to. People on the street are much less likely to know you by face or to care about your personal business. There’s a comfort in anonymity, sometimes.

Which do you prefer to set your books in and why?

Interestingly, I’ve set more of my books in small towns than in big cities. I find myself drawn to the complexity of small towns. If everyone knows everyone else, what does that mean for an outsider? Or, what effect does that have on someone who’s spent her whole life there? What are the positives, and what are the negatives? Even if the setting is a big city (like One Night in Memphis), small towns still play a part. In this book, the heroine ends up in Memphis because she is fleeing her own small town of New Hampshire. She’s just broken up with her boyfriend, and she knows that EVERYONE will find out about her heartache in a matter of hours. She’s trying to escape (but boy does that turn out wrong!)

How do you research the cities you set your books in?

So far, I’ve written books set in cities that I’ve visited – I’m fortunate enough to have traveled a lot, and every time I’m in a new place, I take lots of pictures and jot down notes in my journal. Every city is a prospective new story setting!

What musical instruments do you play and how did that influence the stories you chose to tell?

What an interesting question! I play the piano, which I’m sure had some influence on the musical element of One Night in Memphis. (Listen for Ronnie, the amazing blues pianist in this book!) I’m a huge music lover overall, and I often weave songs into my stories in one way or another.

I notice you have at least three romances that take place in the space of 24 hours. Can you tell us what inspired you to explore this concept?

I was out running one morning when that writer’s “What if” popped into my head. Most romances unfold over a period of weeks, months, or even years. But what if two people met and felt fireworks right away? Could I write a story based on that concept? This was also when the TV show “24” was at its zenith, which I think subconsciously influenced me as well.

How does it feel to hear your words being read aloud in an audio book? Did you read it yourself, or did someone else? If it was someone else, how well do you feel they captured the essence of your story?

That’s a great question. Audio Lark hired a narrator for my book, and while I admit it was a little strange at first hearing my words read out loud by someone else, I really ended up loving it. Of course there are always spots in your story that you “hear” differently than someone else does, but that’s part of the reading experience. One thing I did find interesting was that the narrator gives my hero, Ethan, a southern accent. At first I thought that was strange (I never heard him that way inside my head), but he lives in Memphis, so of course he would have one! And I think within the story, it makes perfect sense.

You’ll have to listen and tell me for yourself, readers!

The blurb for “One Night in Memphis”:

What if a woman, tired of broken hearts and bad choices, traveled a thousand miles to the heart of Memphis, Tennessee, and spent a night forgetting her past in the blues clubs of Beale Street? What if a man who lost his wife to cancer ventured to Beale Street's social scene for the first time in over a year? And what if they met and realized love was still possible for them both?

Dakota James and Ethan Meriweather have both given up on finding happiness in a relationship. When they meet in downtown Memphis, at a crowded nightclub, neither has romance on the brain. But as the evening unfolds, and small talk turns to the stuff of hopes, dreams, and shared loss, a kinship grows that surprises them.

Before the night is over, though, Dakota's past will catch up with her in the form of a violent ex-boyfriend. As dawn approaches, and tragedy threatens to tear Dakota and Ethan apart, both will have to make a decision that could change their lives forever. Is new love worth putting your life on the line for someone you've just met?
For more information, visit Allie's website.


Pauline B Jones said...

most interesting! I grew up in a small town, but have lived in cities since I married. They are very different! big congrats on your audio book!

SilverWolf said...

Congradulations on your audio book. I was born in a big city and raised outside a small country town. I now live in that small country town. I work in a big city and your right it's great if you want to get lost or diversity but give me the small country town anytime I like to quiter atmosphere.

Allie Boniface said...

Thanks for having me here, Liana!