Smashwords Interview (Vienna Bonbons)

I did this interview for Smashwords soon after we decided to make America’s Junior Miss, Tree People, Vienna Bonbons, and Sombras del Pasado available to a wider market.

Take the link to Smashwords to read about my inspiration for Vienna Bonbons, or read the text of the interview below:

What was the inspiration for Vienna Bonbons?

For the last 16 years I have taught ballet and pointe at a wonderful studio in central Texas. When I choreograph a dance for the annual recital, it is important to me that the dance tell a story. Even if that story is not spelled out to the audience, I believe it is extremely important for my dancers to know two things about their ballet: Who am I? and Why am I here?

I developed this novella from the back story created for our ballet performed to Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Vienna Bonbons.

Describe the main characters in your book.

Josef Mueller – a chocolatier’s apprentice, who falls instantly in love with the charming Sofie when she comes into the shop to buy bonbons. He comes up with a plan to win Sofie’s love by by crafting the most delightful, delectable bonbons the world has ever seen. He’s certain his bonbons are so full of magic, if Sofie bites into one, she’ll be his forever. In a quirk of fate, the Austro-Prussian War intervenes, and Josef is drafted into the army.

Sofie Hansen – the daughter of a famous architect, who comes into the candy shop to buy bonbons for her mother’s birthday. Sofie’s life is instantly, forever changed by the arrival, soon after, of the Empress Sisi, who purchases every last bonbon left in the shop.

Herr Vogel – the kindly business owner of the candy shop, who treats his workers as family, and is always ready to lend support in matters of love.

Gretchen – Josef’s co-worker and friend, who, through the years, moves up to become manager of the business.

Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) – the Empress of Austria, particularly beloved by her subjects in Hungary, who was considered by all to be the most beautiful woman in Europe. Sisi unknowingly starts the ball rolling in Josef and Sofie’s little romance.

What is the setting of your story?

The story takes place in Vienna during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The scene opens in 1866 just prior to the Austro-Prussian War (The Seven Weeks War). The story continues in 1873 with the Vienna Exhibition, picks up again in 1884 when Sofie’s father is awarded a barony, and concludes at the turn of the Century.

What make this book a great read?

The story has a little history, a little romance, a lot of heart … and a lot of chocolate.