Monday, June 27, 2011

Interview with Author June Bourgo

Here is the wonderful June Bourgo and her wonderful book Winter's Captive that is due out in October this year.

Hi June, welcome to the Adventures of Molly Mavis Gumnut Blog.

Thanks so much for having me, Trish.

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

First, I was born and raised in Montreal. I moved west in my late teens. I love BC. Victoria and Vancouver are beautiful cities. I can enjoy the sophistication of the big city and live in the raw beauty of nature not too far away.

That sounds wonderful, and perfect for an author. Where do you write, June? Do you have an office? Or do you sit in your garden?

I have an office to write in, but I like to sit by our trout stream and write. I usually carry paper and pen with me wherever I go, because sometimes I see interactions with people that inspire me to write and I don't want to forget what I saw.

That's like me, I always carry a pen and notebook wherever I go. You never know what might inspire you and it's so easy to forget things. Now, tell us how long you’ve been writing, June.

I always enjoyed writing as a child. I was an average student because I was a lazy student. I did what I needed to, to get through the course. But I always exceled in English and got top marks.

That's great. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

As a teenager, I was very shy and definitely a dreamer. Secretly I wanted to write, be a rock star, and be a stewardess so I could travel the world. I grew up in a loving and protective family but the support to have a career really wasn't there. As a female, I was encouraged to take typing so I could work as a secretary until I met a man and became a wife and mother. The fifties dream LOL.

Yes. I can relate to that. Not all parents see the artistic side of  their child. I look for it in my grandchildren and can already see that one is a potential author. He has a great imagination and is great at drawing.

Do you remember your first writing attempts, June?

I do. I remember writing about being a snowman when I was nine and walking down the street and melting away in the hot spring sun LOL. I got an A for that. Then, as a teenager, I tried to write the great Canadian novel about a girl in Quebec in the days of the French Voyageurs (fur trappers). Like I knew all about that! That was my first lesson in writing about what you know. Haha.

That's funny, June. I remember my first story. It was about a miniature person that lived in my pocket. I named her Inchy and she was a right trouble causer. LOL.

What genre do you write the most?

Fiction - women's stories, all about empowerment.

What other genres have you written in, or would like to pursue?

Well, at the moment, my passion lies with women's stories. I love getting into the psyche and I'm very character driven as opposed to plot driven. I enjoy creating plots, but they are there to serve my characters only.

What is the main theme of your latest book? And what inspired it?

Again...empowerment. That shy protected teenager, along with being a dreamer, was extremely niave. I married the wrong person for all the wrong reasons. He was an abusive alcoholic. It took me nine years to finally get the courage to get myself and my son out of that destructive relationship. My first novel, Winter's Captive, is based on the lessons I learned and the growth I gained from that time of my life. It is a fictitious story about a pregnant women who is abandoned by her cheating husband and she escapes kidnappers in the Canadian north. She spends the winter lost and alone in a remote cabin, experiences childbirth solo, and reflects on her life while trying to survive a harsh winter. The book was a healing process for me and my therapy.

That was very brave of you to do. Many women never have the courage to do that as they fear the reprisals, and quite right in some cases. You're also very brave to talk publicly about it too. Good for you, June.

What goals do you set out to achieve when you start writing a new story?

Wow, that's a tough question! I don't write outlines. I loosely write down the main characters name and list all the things I see happening to that character before my preconceived ending. I, also, don't write in any particular order. I know a beginning and an end. I write where the muse takes me knowing only that that piece will be near the end, or in the middle somewhere, etc. I just follow the muse of the moment and sooner or later all the pieces fit together. It is the only way I can do it. To start at chapter 1, go to 2, then 3, etc. sounds so restrictive to me and boring LOL. So after all this rambling, my only goal is to write, no rhyme or reason to it.

Are you a fast or a slow writer?

By some peoples achievements, slow. My first novel took nine years. Well, actually two and a half years. The rest of those years, life got in the way. But the past year I completely rewrote it and found a publisher after three tries.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I guess I answered that above partly. I expect my current novel to take me a year. If I could retire full-time, probably six months.

How do you cope with the friends and family that don’t support your writing or believe in your writing?

Generally, if we don't support something a family member is doing, we keep our mouths shut, unless it is somethng destructive. But the rest of us will talk to each other about it. A typical family LOL. I can be a private person and some of my friends didn't even know I write.

That's sensible. I make the mistake of telling everyone I'm an author, leaving myself wide opene for critisism, sometimes, but not always.

What is your next project, June?

A sequel to "Winter's Captive". My main character has more to say and more to share about herself with the world.

Great. Do you ever base physical appearance of your characters on people you know, portraits or actors?

Good question. Portraits or actors - no. Physical appearance somewhat, but I do draw more from personality traits and character of people I know. I use names of my grandchildren for secondary characters that may only appear in the story on one or two pages where we don't need to know anythng about that character. I don't use names of people I know for main characters because first, I can't disassociate their name from their personalities and that gets in the way of the character's development. And secondly, I don't want anyone I know to think a character is based on them, especially if the character's role in the story is a bad one LOL.

I know what you mean. For my characters, I merge a few people I know together, then they can't recognise themselves. LOL.

Introduce the main character from your latest book. Who are they? Let them speak for themselves. What would they like to say?

My name is Georgia Charles. The most important thing I can tell you is to get to know yourself. Don't define yourself by what you do or who you are with. Be your own person. And if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. It's up to you to decide how much sweetness to add to the lemons, no one else. Live for today.

Fantastic, June. Thank you so much for answering all the questions. That was very entertaining.

I enjoyed it too, Trish, and thanks for inviting me to your blog.

June's bookWinter's Captive will be published in October 2011 by Asteroid Publishing Inc, Toronto.
You can follow June at:


  1. Thanks so much, Trish. You ask tough questions but I enjoyed talking with you.

  2. This was a fantastic interview. And June, you handled those questions like a champ! Great job, guys! (((clapping))) I can't wait to get a copy of this book in my hands.

  3. Thanks for answering, June. You were fantastic.

    Chriisy, thanks for visiting, I can't wait until June's book is out too.