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Bonnie Hearn Hill, shown here with Hazel Dixon-Cooper and Christopher Allan Poe, worked as a newspaper editor for 22 years, a job that, along with her natural nosiness, increased her interest in contemporary culture. Prior to her new Star Crossed series from Running Press/Perseus Books, she wrote six thrillers for MIRA Books, as well as numerous short stories, nonfiction books and articles.

A national conference speaker, Bonnie founded The Tuesdays, a bonded and successful writing workshop in Fresno, California, and she also teaches an occasional online class. On Fridays she meets with her private critique group (humorous astrology author Hazel Dixon-Cooper, prescriptive nonfiction writer Dennis C. Lewis, and musician/thriller novelist Christopher Allan Poe). What happens in those groups ranges from spontaneous applause to "getting filleted," as Bonnie's students and colleagues call it.

FAQ

WHAT'S YOUR SIGN?

I'm a double Gemini, saved by an Aquarius Moon. Air and Fire with very little Earth.

DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO WRITE?

Yes. When I was in the fourth grade, I won a 25-words-or-less contest sponsored by Coca Cola. The writing bug bit. In addition to freelance writing from an early age, I was a copywriter for a top 40 radio station and worked for a newspaper—all of the time, secretly writing novels.

ANY OTHER INTERESTS?

Health and fitness. Literacy causes. My writing students. And cooking. The Star Crossed Brownies in Aries Rising are based on my recipe. E-mail me if you'd like the recipe.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WRITING?

I love it all, even when I hate it.

DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING SPACE.

My first real office, not a back bedroom, has six walls with double doors set beneath a clear glass transom. There's an L-shaped glass desk with great feng shui, and almost always a sleeping cat (or two or three) sprawled on top of it. A Larry Hill abstract on the wall adds depth and texture. I even found a wrought-iron mannequin that looks just like Calypso in Aries Rising (which I wrote before I found her). She stands behind me when I write.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BEGINNING WRITER?

Read. Find a mentor you can trust. Write something every day and try to get out of your comfort zone. Don't play it safe. Even if you fall, you'll fall forward. Don't worry about making it perfect. Just get it down before you or someone else can convince you that you can't. A surgeon friend of mine says, "I can fix anything but dead." Well, I can fix anything except a blank page. And so can you.