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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Interview of Author Wendy Burke

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Wendy Burke.

CONTEST: Someone from this blog's Follower's list will win a copy of Wendy Burke's new book, Respite. Winner will be chosen at midnight, 7 October. If you're not a Follower, click on FOLLOW and join!

Latest Book: RESPITE
Buy Link:

When not writing for pleasure and to appease the people running around in her head, Wendy is a TV newsroom assignment manager. She lives with her chef husband and two feline children in the Great Lakes region of the Midwest.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I really want to say I climbed to the roof of my house with a bottle of Brut and shouted to the world ‘I have a book contract!’ but my condo association would have frowned upon that. (Uh, like it frowns upon everything!)

It might be the occasional ‘duh’ in my personality, but I wasn’t quite sure I actually ‘sold’ the book. I had come off nearly a week without internet access and was going through my emails. An email from Decadent had ‘Welcome!’ in the subject line. It was a short note with three attachments, one a contract. Despite pretty much being ‘on the ball’ I still had to ask my husband, “Uh, there’s a contract attached, do you think they want the book?” After much eye-rolling from his end, it began to sink in. I went from ‘OH MY GOD!’ to a sing-song ‘I’m gonna have an editor!’ to tears of shock more than once during that weekend.

Needless to say, I’m STILL walking on air – despite the hard work which is to come.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I don’t know if it’s exactly a ‘part,’ but I ‘find’ ideas very easily. A fire drill at work? – yep, saw that DEA agent from upstairs in our building again...another story. Driving from Wisconsin, gee, what would happen if there was some sort of attack on the…? Front row seats at Miller Park in Milwaukee – well that turned into a mega-novel that really needs an editor’s pen!

After all the ideas are deciphered from a scribble on a Starbuck’s napkin I found in the crease of the passenger seat of my car (notes are hard to write at 75 mph…and even harder to read later!)I let the ‘people in my head’ (that sounds SO psychologically wrong!) take over.

I love character development as well – again, going back to the ‘people in my head,’ they get to go, do, and experience so many things I might never (or may not want to) – it’s vicarious living through writing.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The end. Am I finishing this correctly? Did I get ‘the point’ across? Is there something missing? Did I let down the reader?

It may be that the ‘end’ signals the end of a relationship with some ‘people’ I’ve spent a great deal of time with and with whom I’ve gone on an interesting adventure.

For the most part, I don’t use outlines, so there’s no ‘A happens, then B, which brings us to C’ in a nice concise pattern. I also write from the ‘inside out’ at times, so I have to bring all the pieces together in a way that not only makes sense, but is interesting, entertaining and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the ending.

I joke with my writing partners that I always have great pieces, I just have no beginning, middle or end!

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: For the most part, no. I have a couple of ‘types’ I particularly like so I use that as a model. I have noticed I have very few blonds in my writings – it may be because I have no experience as one, being brunette myself.

However, my writing friends would say my main characters do look the same – I guess it’s the actor, actress or athlete du jour. Whomever I’m hooked on at the time, that’s who the character starts to look like!

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: It’s not really a ‘hobby,’ but since I’m not independently wealthy from book royalties…well yet…(lol!)I do enjoy my ‘real’ job. As a TV newsroom assignment manager, everyday is different; every phone call could be a lead story. Contrary to popular opinion, if it bleeds it –doesn’t necessarily – lead. I really enjoy playfully coercing information out of people on the phone and the interaction with my co-workers, most of them half my age.

When not at work… my husband and I are travel bugs and we do so as much as we can. Every trip, of course, starts another story, so…it’s a tax write off!

I like physical work, since I’m sitting on my butt behind a desk nine hours a day, so I work out every morning on my elliptical while enjoying a good novel – getting two things done at once!

We’re baseball fans in our house, so during the summer there is always a game on. (Again, thanks to the Detroit Tigers and much of the MLB, I have a finished work that needs some good scrubbing.)

I garden, am somewhat of a beerophile (thanks to my betrothed), and really enjoy trying new, interesting and odd foods.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: Political thrillers. I’m a huge Brad Thor fan. I guess I haven’t done one yet, because I just haven’t gotten around to it!

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Facebook – Wendy Burke –author

Ryan Davison needs respite – from war, death, the horror of WWII Europe.

Maddy Raburn needs respite – from family and a secure future which is not of her choosing.

Together they find an exotic world unlike anything they had ever experienced and a passion they would have to fight to save.

His lovely mouth was tweaked into an entertained grin. He gestured to a neighboring chair, friendly and welcoming.

Maddy noticed propped next to his seat was a battered canvas bag, the US ARMY stencil on the side of it was still legible despite its obviously extensive travels. A piece of correspondence peeked from one of the bag’s pockets, addressed to a Sgt. R. Dav….

“Thank you,” she mentioned, handing over a bottle and extending a hand.

“Madeline Raburn.” She swallowed hard as he took her hand, callused and strong. His warm grip and something in his pure blue eyes again had her reconsidering her rules of independence.

“Davison, Ryan Davison. Have a seat.” A slight twinge crossed his brow as he began lifting his left leg from an adjacent chair.

She stopped him with a gentle hand to his knee. “I’ll take this one.” She sat across from him, plopping her dusty boots next to his injured leg. “So, Ryan Davison, do you come here often?” Why she knew he would find the corny line funny, she did not know, but was glad he did. His easy chuckle and broad smile forced her to stare. She had to stop herself – wrong time, wrong, place, it would just be …wrong.

He ran his hand through his sandy blond hair. “Actually, I do,” he continued to chuckle. “Been here three times in the past three days.”

“And you’ve been in town…”

“…three days.”

“Guess you’re a regular then.”

“I suppose.”

She stopped suddenly, turned and hurled a blue line of French vitriol toward the bar. The two whispering men shut up immediately. Turning back to her tablemate, she smiled, slightly embarrassed, “Sorry. A woman can’t travel alone without it being thought she’s on the sly, you know?”

Ryan tapped his ear, “I apologize. I would have defended your virtue if I could have heard them.”

She understood, embarrassed she did not realize his situation more thoroughly-the stenciled canvas bag; his overgrown standard issue military-looking haircut; the tarnished chain which peeked from the neckline of his sweater and, not that she was looking quite this closely, the outline of dog tags against his hard chest. Then, there was the seemingly embarrassed tug on his sleeves. Maddy had noticed the scars before he had a chance to cover them.

Maddy dropped her face guiltily. She should have known better, put it all together before she had the chance to make such an insensitive blunder. Here she was running from her well-to-do life back home, while he was most likely resting after his life-and-death experiences of the war.

“I’m sorry,” she said quietly.

Ryan shook it off, “No reason to be.” He sipped his beer until she raised her face. “What were they saying?”

She could see his little smirk. It immediately put her at ease. “They were commenting on my possible employment.”

“And they didn’t say anything about archeology, did they?”

She raised a well-groomed eyebrow at him, questioningly.

He cocked his head toward her bag. “Your pick is showing.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
First, thanks for the opportunity. In my ‘regular’ job I usually do most of the question asking, so being on the other side of the inquiry was interesting!

So far, this process of writing/editing/getting published has been an incredible experience, learning and in other aspects. If you write and want to get published, surround yourself with other writers – it’s great to have people around to help, commiserate, celebrate and kick you in the butt when you think you ‘can’t.’ Find a local chapter of the RWA or other writing group and share your stories with others. You’ll be surprised how much important and welcoming input you’ll get from them.

I have to say a huge ‘thanks’ to my butt-kicker, Deanna Wadsworth! If you want an adult take on a childhood classic, check out her ‘Red Riding Hood’ on


Molly Daniels said...

Wonderful interview Wendy:) Congrats on joining the 'Published Author' club! LOVED your reaction to the Welcome email:)

Deanna said...

Okay...seriously?!?!? :) You just plugged my book....awww, you shouldn't have!!! Love you too! I just kick your keester because want the world to experience the FANTASTIC stories you have created like I have!
Look Out Public: you are going to fall in love with Wendy Burke!

Annie Alvarez said...

Hi Wendy! Fabulous interview and congrats. I still "walk on air" about having my books published. It's a great feeling isn't it? I loved the blurb. :0)

Fran Lee said...

What a wonderful interview, ladies! Your new book sounds delicious!

Cornelia Amiri said...

Great interview. I love the blurb and excerpt.

Tina Donahue said...

Great interview, Wendy and many congratulations on being published. Many you sell lots and lots of books. :)

vickyb said...

Great interview and the book sounds great! Congratulations!

Isabel Mere said...

Excellent interview, Wendy. Saying goodbye to characters I've spent so much time with is difficult for me too. I actually write them a letter telling them how much I've enjoyed getting to know them. Gives me a sense off closure and permission to introduce new folks into my life.


Linda Kage said...

No! I missed the contest deadline. Ugg. Oh, well, I still enjoyed reading the excerpt for Respite. Nice to meet you, Wendy. Love your book cover.

Sandy said...

Great interview, Wendy, and interesting answers to the questions.

Wendy Burke said...

Just wanted to say THANKS to everyone for the comments and encouragement! And, to RBRU for the opportunity for some exposure. I've been on the questioning end of many interviews, but have really never had to be the one interviewed! So thanks again RBRU for being 'my first!'


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