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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Interview of Author Stephanie Burkhart

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Stephanie Burkhart.

Latest Book: A Lady Never Lies


Video Link to book 1 in the series, Victorian Scoundrel:

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatch for LAPD. Born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, she served in the US Army from 1986-1997. She has a B.S. in Political Science from California Baptist University. She enjoys chocolates, adores coffee and taking walks at Castaic Lake. She's married with 2 children. Stephanie teaches religious education at her church and is the den leader for her son's Cub Scout den.

Q: How did you celebrate your first book?
A:  I hate to say it, but I don’t remember doing anything distinctive. I think I had a “Sam Adams” and a BBQ.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: Right now my writing schedule is incredibly tough. I took over my son’s Cub Scout den and because of that extra commitment, finding time to write has been a challenge. I write at work, during breaks, time permitting, and I try to write before I go to bed. I do try to write a little day, but mostly blogs writing articles lately. I need more time in the day!

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: Right now I’m trying to open up more marketing opportunities and really target the ones that I’ve found work for me. I didn’t do that when I first started. Right now I’m using Goddess Fish blog tours to arrange review tours and Fussy Librarian for marketing. I also use Book Daily for marketing my book, “Victorian Scoundrel.” I’d like to open up more marketing opportunities, but this is all I can afford right now. I prefer to target review tours because that puts the books in readers' hands and marketing blasts like Fussy Librarian give my stories a small boost. I hope to keep plugging away and soon, hopefully, fingers crossed, more consistent sales will come.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I generally don’t eat, but I like to have a water bottle close by. I don’t listen to music, but I like to have the TV on for the background noise.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: It depends where the story is set. In my Budapest Moon series, I researched Hungarian names. For my Moldavian Moon series, I researched Romanian names. I always try to be true to the setting that’s been established.

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: I chuckle because if I had my way, I’d put Jimmy Thomas on every cover! Sadly, I can’t, but I can honestly say there’s no cover I wish I could change. Each cover embodies the essence of the story within the pages.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Master point of view narration. Don’t shift the point of view within a scene. That’s very confusing for the reader. Also, I think past tense works better than present tense in a novel.

Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: Exercise patience and focus on finding your audience.

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or the end?
A: The middle! I know how I want to start and I know how I want to end, but the middle – that’s the challenge! Going on the journey and making the journey worthy of the end – that’s the part that drives me crazy.

Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line?  What’s the line?
A: The Secret Door, Book 4 in the Budapest Moon series. “Zoltan jerked the steering wheel too late.”

Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas. I love watching my boys open their Christmas gift. The boys also like to bake cookies and go shopping for gifts and chocolates. It’s a fun time.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I was married in Denmark, and I was in the Army between 1986-1997.

Q: As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A bus driver. I had no ambition. (wink!)

Q: Favorite Food?
A: Pizza from Pieology, Pizza Rev, or any place that makes a gluten free crust! I don't have a gluten allergy, but I find there's a big difference when I eat gluten free. I have more energy, and my body's digestive system feels better.

Q: Favorite happy memory?
A: Visiting Berlin on my 22nd birthday, just after the fall of the Berlin wall. I went up one side of the Kurfurstendamn and down the other sampling beverages from various bars with a friend. Transportation was free for soldiers in Berlin at the time so I didn’t have to worry about driving!

Q: Favorite Drink?
A: Propel Water. Coffee is a close 2nd.

Q: How summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Chilly winter nights. I can always put on clothes and layer to keep warm.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Go back to Germany and see the changes since the fall of the wall.

Q: If you could have a super power what would it be?
A: Endurance!

Where can we find you?

Jocelyn Dunkirk is not your typical Victorian lady. She dresses in leather, wears goggles and is not afraid to get a little grease under her fingernails. Gentlemen avoid her like a dirty rivet.

Richard Windsor, the Prince of Wales, travels through time to claim Jocelyn's heart, but if it isn't one challenge, it's another. He determines to be a constant, steady presence in her life, hoping to prove he'd make a worthy husband.

Jocelyn's facing a bucket full of problems. The Prime Minister wants her to assist in ending a coal strike before it cripples the nation while her father attempts to recover from a serious injury. Will Jocelyn's dedication to her country and family ruin the one chance she has at love?

She swatted her hand next to her head like she was swatting a fly. Love could flitter away from her heart like a hummingbird for all she cared. Who needed it? Love hurt.

A knock rapped on the door, but before she could voice a reply, Richard walked in. He crossed the room, raw concern splayed over his face and he knelt before her. "What's wrong?"


"You look annoyed."

"A lady never cusses," she replied.

His lips tipped in amusement. "What else does a lady never do?"

"They never wear the same dress twice."

He pulled up a chair and sat in front of her. "I believe that."

"And a lady never lies," she said.

He slid his hand over hers and laced their fingers together. A sweet jolt pulsed up her arm and she smiled despite herself.

"So what's bothering you?" he asked.

Anything else you'd like to add?

"You've got romance, betrayal, time travel and gadgets. Perfect mix!!! Can't wait for the next book!" - The Crafty Cauldron

"This is a fun series! The author has a huge imagination." - 4.5 Stars, Clue Review

"A wonderful book."- 5 Stars, Michelle Stanley for Reader's Favorites


Stephanie Burkhart said...

Thanks so much for having me here today. I'll be working today, but I'll stop by on breaks to say hi and when I get home.

Steph Burkhart
Romance Under the Moonlight

Lynda Bailey said...

Great interview, Stephanie! I totally relate to the need for more hours in a day. Hang tough and best of luck with your future endeavors... ;)

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Stephanie. It was great to get to know you better. You've had an interesting life. I love the cover of your new book. The book itself sounds unique and terrific. I used to work full time so I know what it's like to try to carve out some writing time. I admire all you do.

Charmaine Gordon said...

Hi Steph, Married in Denmark? My son was married there just last year and they live there, a country no bigger than a carrot. Best of luck with your latest book. You're wonderful and so are are your stories.

Melissa Keir said...

Hi Stephanie, I've read your stories and loved getting to know you better. :) All the best with this new book!

Jackie Leigh Allen said...

Loved your interview and the blurb about your book.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Great post, Steph! I'm doing a lot less gluten these days as well. You are doing a good job of marketing your books. It does take patience and a view of the big picture. Keep up the good work!

Judy Baker said...

Fun getting to know you through your interview. Great looking book cover.

J.M. Maurer said...

Love your blurb and excerpt, Stephanie. Best wishes!

Morgan Mandel said...

I love that title! And, I wish I could figure out the best marketing plans, but it's hard to tell what really works.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Steph, I enjoyed reading your blog tonight and can relate to not enough hours in the day. And I don't have an outside job or kids at home. I hate to disallusion you, but there will never been enough hours in the day! I wish you great success with this new book. Promote. Promote. Promote.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Lynda, thanks for your encouragement. I'm staring vacation next week so I hope I can use the extra time to catch up!

Cara, thank you so much for stopping. It's not easy finding balance when you're working full time. Jen Raneri is the cover artist and I think she did a great job!

Yes, I love Denmark. It holds a fond place in my heart. I've been married over 23 years now.

Melissa and Jackie
Thanks for popping in. Smiles

I love how my body feels with less gluten. There's a big difference and you can feel it.

Judy and JM,
Thanks for stopping by.

I can honestly say after a couple of years of trying different things, you never really knows what works until you hit on it. Right now I like the review tours and the blasts Fussy Libririan give me. Every little bit helps.

Thank you so much for encouragement!
Smiles to all

Rose Gorham said...

Great interview. Enjoyed the blurb.

M. S. Spencer said...

I love Jimmy Thomas too! I think he's on a majority of my covers (that aren't mere silhouettes). And how cool to be in Berlin at that time! M. S.

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