Thursday, June 9, 2016

Space Kitties Interveiw with author H. L. Burke

 I am delighted to host H.L. Burke today on my blog! Congratulations on your story in the Space Kitties Anthology 2! I can hardly wait to hear more about your story!

What is the synopsis of your Space Kitties tale?

An alien dinner cruise orbits Earth with the intention of sampling some local delicacies and messes with the wrong sort of critter. It's told from the point of view of a young alien whose mother is trying to "expand his palate."

What inspired you to write it?
I have a vague memory of the TV show Alf, about an alien who "loved cats with salt and pepper." Also there is an odd sort of division between animals we feel it is okay to eat and animals that we get shocked at the idea of eating (I'm not a vegetarian, so I can view this with a detached intellectual interest), and how confusion about this might arise when Human culture is observed from an alien point of view.

How long did it take you to write?
First draft ... an hour or two. It's a really short piece. I did run it through critiques and make some alterations here and there over the next few weeks before submitting.

Was there any music you liked to listen to while you wrote?
Oh gosh, this was so long ago. I can't really remember. Like seriously, I couldn't tell you what I listened to yesterday in the car, let alone what I did while writing almost a year ago. For longer pieces that I'm absorbed with for a long time, I might make a playlist of music and listen to it over and over again (I have a lot of World of Warcraft music in my epic fantasy list. Some Steampunk stuff for my Nyssa Glass series. The soundtrack to Coraline for when I write for kids.), but I didn't make one for this piece, so I don't really remember.

What was your reaction when you found out that your story had been selected for the anthology?
Honestly, I was like, "Oh yay! Wait ...? How do I print up this form to return the contract? My printer is out of cyan ink and it won't print black and white without cyan ink. I hate my printer. I really should get a better printer ... ooh coffee!" In other words, momentarily excitement followed by "but how does this work" befuddlement, followed by immediate distraction by shinies. Oooh, shinies.

Are you a plotter or a panster?
Bit of both. I also find different projects demand different approaches. With a short story I might just sit and think out what I want it to be then just start writing while it's fresh. With a longer work I'll usually write a "to do" list of things my characters have to do and things that have to happen to get to the desired end (I usually know the end, as well as a few major plot points).
For my last few novellas the plot has kind of appeared fully in my head and I wrote down a chapter by chapter synopsis, about a paragraph per chapter, about what was going to happen. Then I stuck to it pretty closely.
But I like to leave room for inspiration if it strikes.

What elements does your ideal story contain?
Dragons (well, I will accept stories without dragons, but we're talking about ideals, right?). Relationships. Humor. Closure.

Has there been an author or non-author person who has influenced your writing more than anyone else?
My kids. I'm fascinated by their play and the way they think. A lot of us forget what it feels like to be a kid, when ice cream falling to the ground brought deep sorrow ... when everything was so intense and fresh. They also turn our set ways of thinking on their heads. A lot of my work, even my work for adults, is trying to capture that "seeing things for the first time" feeling.

Have you written any other books?

I'm currently sitting on a portfolio of seven full length novels, five novellas, four (published) short stories. With the exception of three funny short stories from the perspective of children, all my works are fantasy in someway, but I'm kind of all over the place with the subgenres. I have romantic fantasy, epic fantasy, Steampunk, and fairy tale. I write for both adults and children.
One consistency: most of my books have dragons. I really like dragons. Dragons make me happy. If I can't work a real dragon into the plot, I at least try to include my word. It's like "spot the pineapple" in the TV show Psych, except with dragons. Dragons are a lot harder to miss than pineapples, though, so it takes away some of the challenge.

What stories can we expect from you in the future?
My main focus right now is the Nyssa Glass novella series. Nyssa is sort of a Indiana Jones/Tintin/Nancy Drew character who I can throw into any number of adventures, so she's fun to play with. She also has an amazing sidekick who is a hilarious counter to her pragmatic pessimism. I also have an epic fantasy series I'm slowly chipping away at.
About H.L. Burke
Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle
 Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic. 

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

She is the author of a four part fantasy/romance series entitled "The Scholar and the Dragon," YA/Fantasy "Beggar Magic," and MG/Fantasy "Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon," among others. Her current projects are a young adult Steampunk fantasy and an epic fantasy trilogy.

Next contest:

Giveaway information:
If you comment on any of the blog tour posts, your name will be added to a drawing for an ebook copy of Space Kitties 2.  (If you win the Facebook party giveaway, you are not eligible for the blog tour giveaway.)

June 4 - Facebook party 1:00 - 6:00P.M. Central Time
~ Tour kickoff and cover reveal at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog
~ Interview with E Kaiser at The Splendor Falls
June 5 - Interview with Jamie Mortensen at Lesa McKee
June 6 - Interview with Lesa McKee at Bookworm Reading
~ FB giveaway winner announced
June 7 - Interview with Rachel Harris at Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
June 8 - Interview with Faith Blum at Rachel Rossano's Words
June 9 - Interview with H.L. Burke at Jessica Greyson
June 10 - Interview with Aletha Bakke at H.L. Burke, Author
June 11 - blog giveaway winner announced and tour wrap-up at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog

1 comment:

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