Thursday, March 1, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, LAURA BURKS

INTERVIEW WITH
AUTHOR OF THE NOVEL "ALTERED", LAURA BURKS


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Thank you again Laura for allowing us this opportunity. My first question is about your diary. It seems this had a lot to do with your writing and it was truly sparked by keeping a diary as so many young girls still do. Do you still have your diary and do you still keep one today?

Hey, Kitty, and thanks for having me today.

As a young girl, I kept a diary where I would write every day my deepest thoughts or things that I did. For me, it was exciting to have something other than pictures. Years later, when my children were born, I began another diary, writing all the special events of their young life for at least the first 5 years. It was those diaries that lit the spark to be more than a “for my eyes only” writer. Today, I don’t keep an actual diary, but in a way, have found that becoming a young adult writer and keeping a scrapbook is another great way to keep certain memories alive.

You mention having once aspired being a decorator, did you ever do any decorating or do you do so as a hobby perhaps?

Wow, Kitty. You’ve done your homework!:)Yes, I love to decorate. Being an only child, I had plenty of time to rearrange my room and experiment with all sorts of new looks when I was young. Drove my parents crazy at times, but it was a blast. I’m not a decorator by profession, but I have been called to help decorate, pick paint, you name it, for many homes over the years. My taste is an eclectic blend of old and new. Things that you would never think to put together, but somehow, it works. It’s a great feeling when I get a call or someone asks me to help with their project. I’ve even had friends tell me that their husband won’t let them hang a thing until they called me first. Now that’s funny. Can you imagine that kind of trust? I’m usually met at the door with a hammer and nails, and a big smile on their face.

Do you feel being a mother of two teenagers as well as the work you do through the Boys & Girls Club in your area help you with your writing about the young adult world, are you better in tune with their feelings?

Yes, most definitely. The work I do, but even more, being a mother of two teenagers has kept me in tune with the teen world in so many ways. My kids and their friends, who think of me as a second mom, keep me young. Our house is the gathering place and always full of laughter, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I tell them often that I’m a kid at heart and refuse to grow up. Really, when you think of it, we all have the inner kid/teen inside of us just dying to stay. The young generation of today, in my opinion, will truly shine as adults.

Being a Southerner myself I know we are usually born learning great family values. Do you ever find yourself instilling these values in your books?

This is another great question, Kitty. Ah, family values, respect and love are the backbones of so many homes. Without it, we fall apart. Yes, as a Southerner, we do have certain proper values handed down. For us, it’s just a way of life we never question.

Being that ALTERED takes place in a small town in New Roads, Louisiana, I wanted to bring the closeness of family between a grandfather and granddaughter without being too sappy. Their relationship shows respect and values, but also addresses some of the differences in thinking between the ages. There is nothing wrong with a grandchild loving and spending time with a grandparent. In fact, it happens more often than what we see in the normal media. I wanted to create something different and real…a story relatable and genuine. We can learn so much from our older generation if we just listen. And what’s even better, the young learn a deeper meaning of those great family values you mentioned. Can’t get any better than that!

How do you feel about writing groups and authors helping authors? I see that you're a part of HeartLa, can you tell us more about that?

Yes, I am a member of HeartLa, or Heart of Louisiana, and have been for 3 years. As an author, I think writing groups and author help is essential. You’re going to have times when you feel you are the only person in the world going through a certain obstacle, or rejections, or whatever. You might even feel a little crazy, which is normal, believe it or not. I mean, as a writer, we push ourselves beyond limits we would have never imagined before we decided to write. You know, those thought of “I must be crazy to think I could do this!” LOL I laugh because I thought this many times, and found out that other writers felt the same way.

If you ever thought you wanted to write, or even if you’re writing now, don’t let those inner voices discourage you. I once read it takes a little crazy to be normal. Whoever wrote that must have had many of those days.

If there was one golden rule, or bit of advice you could have given yourself at the age of 16 having the insight you do now from all you've learned in your life, what would it be and why?

One? I’m nodding over here with a big smile seeing me have a talk with my 16 year old self. First, I’d probably say life doesn’t end in your 40’s and you’ll still have tons of energy. You’ll wonder where the time has gone and be so grateful for all the time you’ve had. I’d tell myself you can be good at more than one thing and not to let anyone tell you any different. Always look for the good in people and never try to please everyone. It’s impossible!! I could go on and one with this question. Why? Well, that 16 year old girl has a lot to learn.

Oh, and one last thing. Watch out for that piece of metal in the road when you drag race your new sport car. You will hit it!

Do you ever allow your children to read and critique your work?

They hear about my work whether they want to or not. I see their eyes rolling when I walk in the room with paper in hand. “NOT AGAIN!” They laugh. Their friends have to sit, too. Really, it’s funny because they’re supportive, but like any home where you’ve worked on a project for a while, it’s like a re-run of a movie. You can say the words before the actors do. Honestly, I trust their input, but I tell them it’s payback for all the times I sat for hours with them for homework. They have to give me at least a little time, right?

What is your usual writing process, how do you prepare to sit down at the computer or typewriter and get at it?

I don’t have a schedule or process other than I need to have the house as quiet as possible. The only time that happens is when everyone is either at work or school. I have a computer/TV room with a large window, so even when I spend several hours pounding away at the keys, I still feel part of the world. My somewhat normal writing process is to write at least a little every day, more when time allows. Here lately, I’ve made a deal with myself to not get on the computer on the weekends. I figure the break and family time are very much needed.

Who are some of your inspirations as far as writing and what do you like to read when you are not writing your own books?

Inspiration, for me, comes from just about everywhere and everyone. Certain lyrics in songs mold scenes or situations. That’s probably one of my favorite inspirations. Watching people has been a big help when it comes to movements, attitude or gestures. Once, I was inspired by a billboard. Who would have ever thought almost entire scene could come from a billboard? My mind went crazy with that one. Another big one, and the most important one, is being observant with life. All those little moments we normally look past, I’ve learned to respect and appreciate more.

As far as what I like to read when I’m not writing is what I’ve always been drawn too…young adult novels, especially the ones with a slow, longing romance. The ones that have you rooting for them to fall in love, but they just don’t know it yet. I also enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling books that Mitch Albom writes. Great real life moments all tucked in and weaved with a good message.

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring authors? Please give us your links as well, so we can learn more about you and your works.

Aspiring writers, as well as already published writers, always need advice. We live on the edge of learning and the drive to continue. My best advice is to listen to advice. When you are around other writers, listen to their experiences and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Or if you can join a group, either online or in person, will make you feel you’re not alone in your journey. And remember, whether you’re published or not, if you write, you ARE a writer. So many wonderful works are never published, but should be. Just think of all the talent yet to be discovered. I knew when I started to write ALTERED, being my first attempt as a novel writer; it would be a long shot to have it published. That’s normal. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. You just never know who will enjoy your work as much as you do.

If you’d like to see more about my debut novel ALTERED, a young adult paranormal romance mystery, please visit my website or any of the links below:

Website:www.lauraburks.com.
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Burks-author-of-Altered/239915156042141
Email:lauraburks@cox.net
Blog:http://laura-burks.blogspot.com/
goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12504172-altered

ALTERED is available in print, Kindle and all forms of e-book, and can be found at these sites:


FICTIONWISE:(NOOK, etc.)http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b12774....

PRINT AND ALL EPUB FORMATS:(pdf for NOOK & KOBO) (mobipocket for KINDLE)
http://www.wings-press.com/Bookstore/Alt...

AMAZON(PRINT/KINDLE)
http://www.amazon.com/Altered-Laura-Burk...


Thank you again Laura for this wonderful opportunity, I do hope we can do this again in the future!

Thanks, Kitty, for making this possible. I had a lot of fun with this interview. For you and anyone reading this, please feel free to stay in touch.


ALTERED

a young adult paranormal romance mystery novel by Laura Burks

Hearing her name started it all...

All eighteen-year-old Jenna wants to do is have a slow paced and predictable summer in the small town of New Roads with her grandfather. But on Friday the thirteenth, the unpredictable occurs when she mysteriously hears a voice leading her to a buried book. Jenna is unaware that a secret curse lies within and she's just unleashed its hold.

As writings appear in the book strangely matching her vivid dreams, Jenna's curious nature takes over pulling her deeper into the mystery and the connection to her family. What she didn't expect to find was a forbidden love and a choice to save a life.

Will Jenna's choice remain a secret? Or did the secret choose her?


Read more:http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=interviews&thread=1165&page=1#ixzz1nsgZBOzm

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