Before we start the process, Linore, what do you do when you are NOT writing?
LB: I’m often busy just keeping my family supplied with meals and everything else they need; cleaning, and cooking and chauffeuring—all the things moms must do. I also teach my first grader at home, and on the fun side, I like to read on my new Kindle, watch movies with the family, join my 12-yr old as we solve Nancy Drew games on the pc, and other stuff. I also love to do a couple of jigsaw puzzles every winter, or at least one big one. (And I’m very picky about them; they have to be gorgeous.)
SKC: I enjoy jigsaw puzzles too, and wish I had more time for them. It’s nice to see you TAKE the time. You look as if you are in the middle of a solid career in Regency writing. Tell the readers what brought you to Regency. And are you also published in anything else, or do you plan on working other genres into your platform? If so what?
LB: I’ve said many times that Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen were my main influences as far as writing regencies. I do have a bunch more regency novels I’d like to have published, but as for adding other genres, yes, I’ve never actually seen myself as ONLY a regency writer. I have a wide variety of manuscripts sitting in my files that I’ve started, or completed, from contemporary to children’s, to other historical time periods. In time, I expect the best of them will get published.
SDC: That will keep you even busier! How long does it take you to complete a manuscript? And how do you determine your settings?
LB: Completing a manuscript varies by book, for me. If I have a deadline, I finish by that deadline, and if that means I’m spending most of the day writing or editing to do it, then so be it. I can’t really say how long each manuscript takes as I’ve only had three published, but the last two were under six months.
SDC: Tell us about more of your unpublished work and what you plan to do with older material.
LB: Well, if I ever stop getting great ideas for new material,
SDC: Time-travel is going strong right now. Good idea. Since Regency deals with a short time period, what do you do to keep your stories fresh?
LB: The period is only short in terms of the “political regency.” In other words, when the Prince was actually appointed Regent. (1811-1820). But the stylistic regency is anywhere from 1800 or so to about 1830. That’s a lot of years, and I haven’t found any need to use most of them. It’s a great era, and even if you limited me to only one or two years, I could still see a lot of different stories happening in that time frame.
SDC: Thanks for explaining that, Linore. I think more need to know the details of Regency. I enjoy reading the titles to your work. How do you come up with titles and the names for your characters?
LB: Thank you, Shirley. Titles and names are strange creatures: Sometimes they come to me effortlessly, and other times I have to go through a number of discards before I settle on one. For a character, for instance, I might choose a name, but then the character becomes someone who, to me, doesn’t fit that name. So I have to find another one. Movie credits are fabulous places to find names, but I never use anyone’s first and second name as it appears in a credit. I might take one person’s first name, someone else’s last name (and make it a middle name for my character) and then another person’s last name. This can be fun, but it can also be exasperating. I’ve had books where I’ve used different names for the same character until the book is almost finished! I have to try them out sometimes, before I can tell whether they truly fit the character or not.
SDC: I should have asked you how it feels when a publisher decides to CHANGE your title after you have worked so hard to come by it. Oh, well. Maybe next time I shall. Every writer has a process that fits her or him personally. Now, it is your turn. How do you settle into your page goals, your chapter goals, your storylines, and the rest? And do you create character studies to work with?
LB: I work most often with “scene” goals. In other words, I get an idea for a scene that helps move the book along, or develop a character, and then my goal is to write that scene. Sometimes in the process of fleshing out a scene, I’ll end up writing three or four scenes. That’s how it works for me. I only use chapter goals in the beginning if I’m having trouble getting started, and I only need character sheets if I don’t know a character well.
SDC: Working with chapter goals sounds like a great process for someone like me, who sometimes has problems getting off the ground. Thanks, Linore! By the way, who do you enjoy reading? And do you have a favorite scripture that keeps you going every day? If so, what is it?
LB: My reading time has really suffered since I started writing for publication, and since I’ve had five children (laugh). But I still like to read the old classics best, or non-fiction, such as Christian living books. I occasionally read and review books for other authors, but my favorite reading is 19th century stuff, or earlier, and research books.
SDC: The readers look forward to having the opportunity to win one of your books, Linore. Tell us about the book you are donating, and please share a reflection question the readers can write in to respond with.
LB: I’ll give a free copy of any of my three books. If the reader is new to me, they can get my first book since they are a series. Any of the books can be read as a stand-alone but most people prefer to read them in order, and I do think that it is more enjoyable to read them that way. It’s just more fun when you already know the characters and how they met, and so on. So, if you win a book, you can request any of the three in my Regency Series.
Before the Season Ends
The House in Grosvenor Square
The Country House Courtship
A reflection question I’d love to hear your answers to is:
What are you most hoping for when you sit down and open a new book from a Christian author? Is it to be entertained? Is it for escapism? Is it for heart-wrenching emotion, or do you prefer a fun and enjoyable love story? If you can please try to zero in on what you MOST hope for from a new book. I’d love to hear about it. Thanks and I’ll check in and comment back when I can.
And thank you, Shirley, for having me and my books on your lovely blog.
SDC: My pleasure. Thanks for being a part of A Pen for Your Thoughts, Linore. As we close out today, please let us know where we can buy signed copies of your work.
LB: Autographed copies are available on my website: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com/books.html
GUESTS…Be sure to follow through with Linore’s great question to reflect upon. I think these are the questions all authors want to know the answer to.We look forward to hearing from you here at A Pen for Your Thoughts.
Congratulations to our winner T. Anne Adams Bivinetto of Rancho Palos Verdes, California! Be watching for Linore's book in the next few days.