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Monday, November 23, 2009

Author Interview with Stephanie Burkhart

Please join me in welcoming author, Stephanie Burkhart. Thank you for joining me today, Stephanie. Will you please tell our visitors a little about yourself?

When I was a young girl, my muse came to visit. She was a rambunctious little girl, like me. She liked to read and taught me a love of reading. Some of my favorites were the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and comic books. In high school, I grew to love Victoria Holt and really gravitated toward romance novels because I liked how their happy ending usually inspired hope in the reader. In 1986, when I was 18, I went into the army. I got out of the army in 1997 and I got a job working at LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher in 2000. I live in Castaic, CA and I have two sons, 7 & 3.

Wow! You were in the army and now a 911 dispatcher. I bet you don’t have any trouble coming up with ideas for your books. Will you tell us how you got started in writing? How difficult was your journey to publication?

In 1986, I decided I wanted a grand adventure and joined the army as an MP. My muse thought it would be cool to go with me. I was sent to Germany. In 1988, I went on the Berlin Orientation Tour when I won soldier of the quarter for my battalion. While my adventure to Berlin was relatively uneventful, my muse recognized its importance. “This is it, Steph - your first novel.”

It took approximately ten years, but “Destination: Berlin,” became my first novel. It was originally published in 2001 by IUniverse. IUniverse is known as a self-publisher, but I enjoyed going with them.


Why don’t you tell us about your newest upcoming release?

I have an upcoming release called “The Hungarian” with Desert Breeze Publishing due out in May 2010. It’s a paranormal romance. The story takes place in Budapest, 1901. My hero, Matthias, has been bitten by a werewolf. Then he meets Katherine and falls in love. I know werewolves aren’t easy to tackle, but what I love about “The Hungarian” is that I explore the psychological aspects of the man during the 26 days of the month that he’s not a wolf.

Sounds fascinating! Where did you come up with the concept for your story?

Steph: Well, I wrote a short story called “The Wolf’s Kiss,” which is a paranormal romance that takes place in Budapest in 1901. I submitted it to the Writer’s Digest Pop Fiction contest and it won an honorable mention in the Romance genre. A lot of people had read the short story and suggested I expand it to make it novel length, which is what I did.

Okay, say you have this great idea for a book, what do you do next? How much plotting do you do?

I make a lose plot, because sometimes the characters take me on a different direction. After a rough outline, then I plot the sections of it. After I write the opening, then I plot the raising action, once that’s done, I adjust to where the characters wanted to take me and I plot the next part.

Do you have a favorite book you’ve written? How about a favorite character?

My favorite book was “The Wolf’s Torment.” “It’s a blend of fantasy, paranormal, and romance genres. Set in Romania in 1866, Crown Prince Mihai Sigmaringen is a boy who must become a man when his best friend, Viktor, is bitten by a werewolf. Having been hurt by his first love, Alexandra, Mihai slowly falls in love with wife, Theresa, as outside forces conspire to keep them apart.

I really liked Mihai, Theresa, and Viktor, but Viktor would have to be my favorite. He’s just an ordinary guy who, after being bitten, slowly loses his humanity. It’s a dynamic change for him that comes about very slowly.

And I thought I had a wild imagination. You’ve got me beat by a long shot. So Steph, what do you like to do for fun?

Haha!! Go to work. Work is where I escape to unwind. I like to watch movies and go work out at the gym.

Do you have a favorite food or snack that you can’t live without?

Well, I’m heading back to weight watchers so right now my favorite snack is grapes. I’ve had a heck of time trying to get the pregnancy weight off from my last son, and he’s 3 now.

What advice can you offer for any aspiring authors out there?

Patience. Writing is 10% writing and 90% editing and you have to be open to the editing process and patience is a big part of that.

Very True Steph. Your books sound wonderful. Where can we purchase them, and do you have a website we can visit?

You can visit http://sgcardin.tripod.com for my official website. You can visit Amazon.com for “Destination:Berlin” and “The Wolf’s Torment” as well as IUniverse.com’s website. “The Hungarian” will be out with Desert Breeze in May 2010 and will be available at their website. Both “Destination:Berlin” and “The Wolf’s Torment,” was published under a pen name, SG Cardin.

Thanks again for joining me today, Steph. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better and hearing about your wonderful books. Below are some blurbs about Steph's books.

ALL THAT REMAINS
When Darrin enlists a sassy lawyer to help him, Kristina turns out to be more than he bargained for.

ARE YOUR DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
Darrin and Kristina struggle to keep their family together.

DESTINATION: BERLIN
It's 1988 and Corporal Sharon Cates must safeguard top secret material as she makes her way to Berlin through East Germany.

ACROSS THE FICKLE WINDS OF HISTORY
Paul Kerensky must stop Olga Romanov from being named the Heir Presumptive

THE WOLF'S TORMENT
Prince Mihai is determined to modernize his country, despite the heavy myths of witches and werewolves.

13 comments:

Anne Patrick said...

Good Morning everyone! Hope you enjoyed the interview. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

Mary Beth said...

Hi ladies, loved the interview! Your books sound very interesting Stephanie. It's always neat to read about different authors and their stories of how they made it to publication.

Diane Craver said...

I read Nancy Drew and Victoria Holt, too. I love it when I see my mystery on the same page sometimes with a Nancy Drew book. :)

Your book "The Hungarian" sounds fascinating. Congratulations on your honorable mention for your short story from Writer's Digest - that is quite an honor. They have so many submissions.

kbosch101 said...

Hi Stephanie and Anne, I enjoyed the interview. Very interesting! Oh, and I too, was a Nancy Drew fan.

StephB said...

Anne, thanks so much for having me. I'm sorry I didn't pop in sooner, but I went Christmas shopping with my 3 year old while I had some SPARE time.

NOTE TO SELF: Don't go shopping with a 3 year old.

Thanks so much, Mary Beth, Diane, and kbosh101!! Nancy Drew rocked. What I loved about Nancy Drew was that she was POSITIVE role model for girls my age back in the late 70's, early 80's when there was few of them. She really helped to inspire the detective in me.

My books are all different genres, but I've had fun with them.

Smiles to all and to Anne for letting me visit!

Steph

lainey bancroft said...

Great interview, ladies!

The upcoming release sounds fabulous, Stephanie!

And boy, can I relate to the reading.

Nancy Drew... Trixie Beldon. Cherry Aimes. The Meg Mysteries...hmm, should probably leave before I date myself any further. :0

Cindy Weber said...

Facinating interview ladies! I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew too. That is until I discovered The Bionic Woman:)

Anne Patrick said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed Steph's interview. Her books do sound very interesting. Thank you for stopping by and showing your support. We both appreciate it!

Steph, thanks so much for the interview. It was fun!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Wonderful interview, Anne and Steph! Congratulations on your Hungarian - it sounds a fantastic read!

Celia Yeary said...

STEPH--I'd say you have a rambunctious imagination--your muse, that little dickens. I alwasy admire anyone who follows her dream, no matter how she/he does it. Excellent post--Celia

StephB said...

Thanks everyone! The Bionic Woman rocked! I loved that show. I tried to keep up with the recent update, but I couldn't and I don't think it was around long. Sigh..

Steph

LK Hunsaker said...

Hey Steph, guess I'm the only other Hardy Boys fan in the crowd. ;-)

Viktor was indeed an interesting character to follow.

Best of luck with The Hungarian!

Victoria Roder said...

What a wealth of information and exciting places you have to draw from. Your upcoming release sounds exciting. The best to you.

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