First of all, the winner of my second annual movie ticket giveaway is Lorraine Reguly. Second of all, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! I hope you will be able to enjoy a little quiet time in the week ahead. Finally, I’ve decided to take next week off from posting, so that means this wonderful interview with author Lita Burke will be featured until I return with one more post before 2014 rolls around.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
Old Bony Blue Eyes is a fantasy clockpunk novel.
Wizard Kadmeion faces a dangerous journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon. Along the way, Kadmeion seeks help from Lady Luck and Lord War. A fairy coaches the wizard about girlfriends. He also learns many magically useful things, like what happens when two powerful wizards laugh themselves silly.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
I was able to read at a very early age, and have always enjoyed the make-believe worlds in books. It was easy to imagine my own places, people, and creatures. Using words to describe them was fun, it preserved my imaginings for re-visits, and seeing the pages filled with my words was satisfying. Things are still the same today. I adore writing fantasy. I create elsewheres and take readers with me on my journeys. As artists, writers are tour guides.
3. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
I pick the entire Oz series by Frank Baum as my favorite novels. The stories have clever little girls, puzzles to solve, and value courage, intelligence, and a kind heart. I want my story heroes to be good people in challenging situations, too.
4. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
My blog About the Fantasy Worlds of Lita Burke is where I talk about enchanted creatures, books I’ve read, writing tips, and my stories. I also highlight fantasy-themed photos and produce videos of offbeat fantastical worlds.
5. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
I am self-published. I took that path because after thirty years of struggling to find an agent or publisher, I became impatient to get my stories to readers.
I format my own text for e-books and paperback versions. When I started as an indie, I did my own covers. I humbly confess that my talents are in word craft, not book cover design. Now professional artists and photographers create my book covers.
6. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
I’ve worked for over a year to build a quality blog filled with interesting material, I tweet daily, and have recently explored using press releases. The best advice I’ve gotten about marketing and publicity is to be patient and try different things. No one has the secret formula for turning you into a best-selling author. The path is different for each of us, and we must explore it without a map.
7. Describe your writing background.
I have a college degree in the sciences, but for fiction writing am self-taught. I own dozens of books about the writing craft. I relentlessly comb the Internet for writing tips. It has been ten years since I attended a writer’s conference. My budget, and time demands of my day job, disallow much else.
I am very organized. I plan out each scene in a spreadsheet and answer all of the mechanical questions before I start. After I plan, I write the first draft. Then comes several rounds of editing. I self-edit and use Word’s read aloud feature to catch pesky typos, plus I use a thorough grammar and style program. Only when I consider it ready to publish do I give it to a beta reader to review.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
My next project is Glitter Ponies. In this Clockpunk story, Lady Luck’s daughter helps a wizard discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
I am a scientist in my day job, and find almost everything interesting. My heroes are also inquisitive and not afraid to embrace change. They also tend to be pragmatic, just like me.
You can connect with Lita Burke and her social sites via her blog. Her books are available via Amazon and other book retailers.
All images appear courtesy of Lita Burke. Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2013.