Greetings all. My name is June Bourgo. I first want to thank Dante for this interview. I was born and raised in Montreal and moved to British Columbia at the age of nineteen. My journey to writing has been a long one. Life had other plans for me and took me down other paths than the writing one. At age thirty-six, I wrote some articles for a magazine and this is where my writing journey began. But it wasn’t until I was fifty-three that I started writing my first novel.
Tell us about your latest book.
My first book, Winter’s Captive, Book1 of the Georgia Series, was released by Fountain Blue Publishing on October 3, 2014. This story was a labor of love for me. Although a tale of fiction, I wanted to give back to the reader lessons learned after I left a nine-year abusive first marriage.
I chose to do so in a fiction story, based not on the subject of abuse, but the expectations and myths we carry into marriage.
Winter’s Captive is a story of a pregnant, urban woman’s journey to survive, lost and alone in a vast, harsh wilderness. Georgia Charles is a heroine who faced with adverse conditions, must make decisions to save herself and her unborn child in a foreign environment. Through this experience, she examines the role she played in the demise of her marriage.
Chasing Georgia, Book 2 of the Georgia Series should be out in a couple of months. A continuing saga of Georgia’s life, this story takes place five years later. It is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and the knowledge that a family is not born of blood, but of communion, love, and respect.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
I enjoy writing women’s’ empowerment stories. Because of my own past experience, I want to see my characters come into their own as I did. The world has come a long way in the past sixty years, but the plight of women has a long way to go. There’s still a high rate of domestic abuse against women in western culture, not to mention the atrocities to women in third world countries.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
Great question. I draw my inspiration from my past experiences and from people I read about. There is another aspect apart from people. I love nature. My second husband, Dennis and I live in the interior of B.C. surrounded by raw land and ranch lands with two head of cat, Marbles, our calico diva, and Picasso, a sub-servant gray tabby. The purity and spirituality of this great expanse is a huge inspiration to my writing.
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
No. I take bits and pieces of people’s personalities and mold them into a character’s traits. But, I stay away from basing them on people in my life. In my mind, I would see that person instead of the character I’m creating, which would get in the way of my creativity. I, also, don’t ever want someone in my life to think a bad character was based on them.
What authors inspire your writing?
Barbara Delinsky is a favorite of mine. She writes stories of everyday life that we can all relate to. And as a Canadian, I have to say I look up to Carol Shields who won a 1995 Pulitzer prize and of course, 2013 Nobel Prize winner, Margaret Atwood.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
It took nine years to complete my first novel. I have to say, I’m one of the lucky ones. I invested time looking for an agent and sending my manuscript out to about a dozen publishers. One publisher took the time to write back and tell me that I had a great story, but this is what’s wrong with it and why they won’t publish it. It changed everything. I tore the story apart and sent it out to two publishers in December of 2010. Two weeks later I had a publisher. The book came out in October of 2011. However, my publisher, to whom I will forever be grateful to, had a different vision than I. I received my rights back in February of 2014 and Fountain Blue Publishing picked it up a month later. The story has yet again been rewritten and ten thousand words added. FBP editor, Ron Bagliere, helped me make the story all that it could be. FBP, also, picked up the second book in the Georgia Series.
Is your book a stand alone or a series?
Although my books are a series, they can still stand alone. I’m currently working on A Missing Thread, Book 3 of the Georgia Series. I’m not sure that a fourth is coming. I think it’s time to leave Georgia to her life and move on to another series. I have ideas floating around in my head but nothing concrete as yet.
Do you read the genre you write for or do you prefer other genres?
Mostly, the genre I write in, but I have writer friends who write in other genres and I will read their works.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Being disciplined. Being your own boss is wonderful, but writing is a business and has to be worked at to be successful.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Research! I love doing research, especially if it means learning things I know nothing about. There’s a certain satisfaction in reading a scene you’ve written about a subject you knew nothing about previously and then seeing the story flow with this newfound wisdom.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
No careful plan for me. I go where the muse takes me. The story and the characters lead me. Sometimes I write the end first, back to the beginning, then the middle. In my first novel, I had no idea how to start Chapter 1. It was the last chapter I wrote. My new favorite word is ‘Panster’. I never knew that I was a ‘Panster’ and not a ‘Plotter’ until I took one of my publisher’s workshops LOL.
Thank you again, Dante, for having me. Here are the links to my sites for anyone who would like to follow my blog, purchase a book, or visit me on my Facebook Author page. My book is available in paperback and e-book format.