Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 Questions answered by Wendy Burke!

How did you start your writing career?
          I’ve been writing in one form or another all my life, even as a child I made up stories, usually in my head. I had penpals (that's actual WRITING, not email!) through junior high and high school ...a few I still have, and they’re no longer friends, but now adopted ‘family’ in New York City and Edinburgh, Scotland.
            Of course, there were all those papers in college, but I guess that doesn’t count.
             But since then, I’ve written for my ‘regular’ job, I’ve spent my adult life in radio and TV news and other jobs.
            I ‘seriously’ began ‘novel’ writing about ten years ago. A dear friend of mine was going through a rough spot and I told her I was going to write her a cheesy baseball romance novel. 300,000+ words and five years later (and after MANY trips to games for ‘research’) the book was completed. Unfortunately, my dear friend, Deb, never was able to actually get a copy, she died the year before I finished it. But, in her stead, I’m having other works published and certainly will edit the hell out of ‘Crossing Paths’ and get it in print somehow someday in her honor.
Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
         Gosh, she comes up A LOT in my blogging - Deanna Wadsworth. Butt-kicker is a better description of what her role is in my writing. When I feel something completely totally ultimately SUCKS, she kicks my ass, literally!
            I also have great support and mentoring from the gang at the Maumee Valley Romance Writers’ Association. A super bunch of published and non-published folks who aid, commiserate, encourage and hold each other accountable.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
Brad Thor
     When it comes to authors I would like to someday ‘emulate,’ Brad Thor and James Rollins are my two favorites --- if ONLY I could write action like they do! I guess they’re ‘mentors’  in a sense, I tend to 'study' the writing and writing style of authors I enjoy--- if that makes me the 'student', I think I need to meet the 'professors' - wouldn't you agree gentlemen?
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
        That’s easy to answer --- writing the END. I love to write and sometimes the characters take me in directions that don’t always ‘meld’ with whatever else I’ve written. I’ve slowly come to learn that ‘tossing’ scenes (putting them away for another book!) is perfectly okay. 
            And, once I’m at ‘the end,’ I always wonder if I’ve written it correctly and given the reader what that person expected.
            I guess a second answer to ‘the hardest part’…up until recently it was GETTING PUBLISHED! Thanks DP for the opportunity!

Plotter or Pantster? Why?
         PANTSTER all the way. I usually write from the middle out. If a scene comes to me, I write it and figure out where it goes as the work progresses.  

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
         I’ve had SEVEN other names than my given name in my adult life. (See an earlier ADDD blog.) Why? Well, I’ve been in radio since I was 17. Every station had a program director with a different idea of what his on air people should have as names.
            I do use a pen name now, because the name I go by where I live and work is attached to a certain personality and professionalism that is ‘me.’ I kind of want to keep that all separate.
            I’ve always liked the name ‘Burke’ for a first OR last name. I wash having beers with DW one nigh after I got my contract with DP and we kind of went through a list --- ‘Burke’ was the winner.
            Gee, I sure wish I had a better explanation than - ‘hey, I pulled it out of my butt,’ but basically, that’s what I did!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
          At first a doctor. Then a cop. Then I wanted to write soap operas for ‘normal’ people.
           I got bitten by the radio bug in junior high and have been rabid ever since.
         Contrary to popular opinion, ‘video’ did not kill the radio star, ‘over corporation’ did. You can hear the same ‘bumper voice’ from one end of the country to the other…sad. I miss my early days in AM radio – manning the board during Milwaukee Brewer baseball games, reading the obituaries and missing animal reports. Much simpler time.
            But, now I’m in TV--- never thought I would be as I have a face for radio! I’m behind the scenes so that’s good thing!

What songs are played most on your mp3 player?
    I'll take mp3 player as any source of music. So: 80s on 8 on Sirius XM in the car; On the Road to Human Being (CD), Kerry Clark; How Did We Get From Saying I Love You...The Ordinary Fear of God. (My current WIP was inspired by song.)

What would we find under your bed?
      Wait...let me look. One balled up piece of paper (cat toy), one homemade flannel catnip mouse (cat toy), one crunchy catnip rat (cat toy), and slowly growing dust bunnies.

Does your significant other read your stuff?           
No. Nor do the two cats, as exceptionally intelligent as the two of them are, Buzz and Lou  have no opposable thumbs so turning pages is difficult. And, they don’t have computer access unless it’s already on, so their ‘read’ time is a bit limited. (I don’t want them going to those ‘over 18 catty’ sites either, where they can view things like this:
Miss Playcat - October 2010
(Now, that’s just disgusting! Playcat magazine on line, I think!)
            And, as for my husband, for some reason I think I would be ‘mortified’ if he read what I wrote. I don’t know why. He always jokes that I ‘kill him off’ in the first chapter – but he’s not six-two and blond, so it can’t be him.
           For some reason, I still think I would be mortified – why would I share it with the public and not him? Maybe I think the public would be much kinder as a critic! And I guess if he really wants to read it, heck, he can BUY it!

Wendy Burke blogs regularly for A Daily Dose of Decadence and her first release RESPITE will be for sale soon from Decadent Publishing. She can be found on Facebook – Wendy Burke Author, at her blog site, Whatever Wendy! at her local writers’ group site, MVRWA.net and Twitter - @WendyBurke1994.  When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a wonderful life with her handsome chef husband and two furry feline kids.


Maureen said...

I wonder if a real kick-ass CP would be helpful for me, or if I'd just laugh her off...?

Dogs make better beta readers. ;-)

Kathleen said...

I had penpals when I was in school,too. I can't believe I actually wrote letters.

Very nice trailer, Wendy! All the best on your upcoming release.