Character Interview: Bonita by Carl R. Brush

For the author:
1.      I’ve been writing since I could write, which is a long time now. I had a parallel, very satisfying, career as an educator—English, drama, administration. Over the years, I played around with short stories, novels, and plays. In the last few years, though, I’ve settled on historical novels and now have four of them out there. Three are set in northern California—1843, 1908, and 1910—and one (with co-author Bob Stewart) in the Texas Revolution of 1836.
Outside of my scribbling life, I’m surrounded by bundles and bundles of blessings. A super wife, three fantastic stepchildren, and six grandkids. Those of you with grandchildren probably think yours could measure up to mine, but get over it.
I live in Northern California where I grew up and where three of those four novels take place.
We like to travel around, my wife and I, and between the two of us we have more plans of all kinds than we’ll be able to accomplish in a dozen lifetimes. We’re going to keep at it, though. 

2.      Find me in cyberspace at

 A. Website—
 B. Twitter—@carlrbrush
 C. Amazon Author page—

3.      Links to purchase

Other novels by Carl R Brush can be found at the following locations:

For the character:

1.      Introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Not to overstate the case, but the truth is the truth, and I like to lay things out plain and bold. Bonita is about me and by me. It’s starts back when I was twelve and is actually a long letter or diary I am writing to my lost daughter so in case she ever stumbles across it, she’ll know who I am and that I carried her always in my heart.
If you’d like an English name for me, try “Bonnie.” It means pretty much the same thing as “Bonita”—pretty. Though when I look in the mirror, I’m not sure I live up to it in either language.
Bonita Kelly’s what I go by now, though it was Bonita Richardson till I was twelve when the story begins. I thought I was Captain Richardson’s niece till one day in 1843. As far as I knew, I was a rich girl destined to live a privileged life on San Francisco Bay. That’s what they told me, but it was a lie. My real parents . . . well, that’s getting ahead of myself.
I suppose the main thing to know about me is that I don’t suffer dishonesty well. My willfulness gets me into a deal of trouble. Deep trouble. And I fear I won’t survive long enough to find my child, which is one reason I’m writing this tale to her. Just in case.

Besides which I miss her, and talking to her on the page is one way of keeping her with me, even though, thanks to the criminals who stole her from me at birth, I know nothing about her for sure. Not even that she’s really a girl.

Looking back over these pages, I realize that in the last ten years I’ve gone in my young life from rich to poor to rich to poor and back again with much pain of body and mind. Put that way, it may not sound as if Providence has blessed me. But if you knew me, you’d understand differently. Step closer. I’ll be glad to tell you all about it.

2.      What do you think about the author? Tell us everything. We want to know.

Since I’ve advertised myself as getting down to cases, I must state that Carl has enormous audacity to suppose that he can write—in first person—about a twelve-year-old girl with any authority at all. He’s obviously not female, in the first place. In the second place, old as he is (He won’t tell me exactly, but it’s not hard to tell he’s got a little snow on his roof.), it’s beyond presumptuous of him to assume he could know the heart of a girl-becoming-a-woman.
I personally think he may have bumped me a ways beyond my maturity from time to time in the narrative, especially in the beginning. But that may not be such a bad thing, since I always imagined and wanted myself to be older and wiser than my years. Even if I wasn’t.
We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well, Carl and I, and I am pretty sure he likes me even if he thinks I’m foolish and foolhardy and is afraid for me sometimes. I can tell that he has put me in certain situations that he has no idea how I’m going to get out of. That scares him as much as it does me.
But I’m sticking with Carl for the time being. We’re beyond Bonita already, and he’s taken me from San Francisco to New Orleans on another quest. I have no idea how this one’s going to turn out. I don’t think he does either.

3.      What are your feelings about this story?

There are a lot of things in this story that should never have happened, and if people had been honest and forthcoming, they never would have. I’ve been put through hellish circumstances unnecessarily, and I wonder if people regret what they’ve done to me. I try not to resent and hate them, but I don’t always succeed. You wouldn’t either, believe me.

4.      How do you feel about being a character in this book?

Going in, I thought it would be exciting to be the main character in a book named after me. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, and I wonder now if I would have made the same decision if I had it to do over again. No use thinking that way, though. I decided. I did it. I’m here now and moving on.

5.      What do you see in your future? (No spoilers please!)

I can tell you haven’t read the novel if you’re asking that question. There is so much left undone and unresolved that I can’t begin to tell it all. I’ll just say that I can’t wait to get started solving some of these dilemmas.

6.      Is there another (Bonita) in the future? Will you be part of it?

I already mentioned a slight bit about what’s in progress. And yes, it will once again be about me and by me with Carl along for the ride.

7.      Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor/actress would you want to play you and why?

I don’t know enough about young actors to name a twelve-year-old me at this point. However, it would take a brash and flashy Jennifer Lawrence to play the twenty-something Bonita who takes San Francisco by storm. Because that’s what I do. Are you up for it, Jennifer from Louisville, Carl’s wife’s hometown?