Today I am thrilled to talk with Desert Breeze Author author Stephanie Burkhart about her upcoming story in the Desert Breeze Anthology “Be Mused” — and other things, too!
Please tell us a little about your story; what inspired you?
STEPH: The story is called “Matchmaking Amusement.” For the muses, I drew on a pair of ancient lovers, Tristan and Isolde. They’re from the muse island, New Galatia, near Ireland. I also had an opportunity to travel through Europe when I was in the military, so I drew inspiration from Berchtesgaden, Germany. It’s a place I’ve been to several times. My husband and I went there early in our relationship when we were falling in love. Berchtesgaden is a very romantic place for me.
I haven’t had the chance to read your story yet. Please tell me a little
about the plot.
STEPH: Isolde is a muse who inspires contemporary action/adventure writer, Jane Ryan. Jane lives in NYC. When Jane finishes her novel, Isolde announces she’s going on vacation and heads off to Berchtesgaden. Tristan is a muse who inspires World War II action/adventure writer, Antonio Martinez. When Antonio finishes his story, Tristan goes on vacation to – you guessed it – Berchtesgaden. When he meets Isolde, the sparks fly, but in order for them to have happily ever after, they have to get Jane and Antonio to fall in love.
As a writer, what’s your favorite work environment?
STEPH: Jane would say a café in Greenwich Village. Antonio would say a cottage on the beach. But me? Believe it or not, it’s at work, during my down time. My house is one distraction after another with an 8 and 3 year old. Work is where I get my “me” time. I work for LAPD as a 911 dispatcher.
Concerning your writing process, how do you get started with your stories?
STEPH: I usually outline a rough plot and then I conjure up my characters. I do a bio sheet on my characters so I have a reference for them, then it’s pen to paper. Depending on where the characters take me, I modify the plot as needed.
Where do you go or what do you do to get inspired?
STEPH: I draw on memories. When I was younger, I traveled a lot. I have lovely visuals of New England and Germany. I suppose, if anything, I like to drink wine – but not too much if you know what I mean. *wink*.
Please tell us a little about how long you’ve been writing. What got you started? How have the themes in your work changed?
STEPH: I’ve been writing since I was 6. The first thing I ever wrote was a Spiderman comic book inspired by the Spiderman vignettes on the Electric Company back in the 1970′s. I suppose my early themes were action/adventure based, inspired by my love of comic books.
Now, I want to be able to write a little bit of everything well. I’ve been recognized for mainstream/literary stories, children’s writing, horror stories, thriller/suspense, and of course, romance.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve written? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?
STEPH: It’s a novel called “The Wolf’s Torment,” which will be releases by Desert Breeze in May 2011. It’s complex and darker than most of my writing. I really learned to write with this novel. I got into the research. I learned a lot about Romania and the Orthodox Faith.
8) Please tell us about jobs in flow, what’ can we look forward to next?
STEPH: “The Hungarian,” Book 1 in the Budapest Moon series released 1 MAY 2010 with Desert Breeze. Matthias Duma is a Hungarian count who meets an exotic British noblewoman, Katherine Archibald and falls in love. He has a secret that is unbelievable. When he tells Katherine, will she still want to be with him?
I also have a children’s story called “The Giving Meadow” coming out in April through 4RV Publishing. I help with the 3 year olds in my church and last year, I came up with a play I called, “The Giving Meadow” for Easter. I showed it to Vivian Zabel and she grabbed it up.
I just signed on to write a story for the Borealis Anthology Desert Breeze is releasing in Dec 2010. In Feb 2011, Book 2 of the Budapest Moon series, “The Count’s Lair” releases.
What would you like to write that you haven’t done yet?
STEPH: The story for the Borealis Anthology. I’ve done futuristic horror, but not romance.
Any particular themes that are near and dear to your heart?
STEPH: I love coming of age stories, and stories where the hero finds out just what he’s made of. “The Wolf’s Torment” is a coming of age story for the main character, Crown Prince/King Mihai Sigmaringen.
I have to ask — who do you like to read?!
STEPH: JK Rowling! I love her imagination. James Conroyd Martin wrote a wonderful book called “Push Not the River,” and “Against a Crimson Sky.” I adore Keena Kincard. I also enjoy Judith McNaught and Deborah Macgillivray. I also love Tami Dee’s “Mists of Time Series.”
Thank you, and would you please consider coming back again for another visit soon?
STEPH: You bet!
And good luck, Steph! it was a joy to talk with you!