She’s a busy lady. A loving wife. A devoted mother and grandmother. And one amazing author. Thankfully, she had enough time for us at Ashberry Lane to ask her a few questions about her latest release.
Ashberry Lane: In the Northern Lights series, you bring the story full-circle. In the first two books, Ana clings to the Native ways at first, then leaves it for town life. Now, in the final book, Luba, her daughter, returns to the Native way of life. When you started writing this series, did you know that’s where you would end up?
Bonnie Leon: Yes. That was the plan all along. When I create a series I usually know the basic plot of all the books in the series. When I imagined the story I knew that Luba had to return to the place of her ancestors and discover her roots. And what was truly special about writing this series is that I also discovered my roots.
AL: How were you able to vividly describe all the settings in the books? Have you traveled to the places you wrote about?
BL: I’ve never been to the Aleutian Islands, so when I received a letter from a life-long resident telling me that my descriptions were spot on, I was thrilled. I invested a lot of time in research, gathering information from books, magazines, pictorials, videos, and from those who had lived there. Ray Hudson, a historian and resident of Unalaska for many years, was a tremendous help. He answered my every question and helped me bring the beauty and culture to life in the pages of this series.
AL: The original story was inspired by one of your ancestors experiencing a tsunami like Anna did in The Journey of Eleven Moons. How much of this series is based on your family’s history?
BL: The opening of The Journey of Eleven Moons came from an experience my grandmother had. She stood on a high bluff and watched a tsunami charge into the beach. This sparked my imagination and the story unfolded from there. The historical and geographical background is accurate, and the location is part of my family heritage. My great-grandmother and my grandmother spent much of their lives on the Aleutian Islands, but beyond that the story is fiction. I did write a stand-alone book that follows this series that includes this same cast of characters and comes right out of my grandparents’ life.
Thanks, Bonnie, for a fantastic end to this series!
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