Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Author Spotlight: H. L. Burke

Today I am interviewing a fellow dragon lover and Clean Indie Reads member, H. L. Burke a.k.a. Heidi.
Q: I've read your delightful Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon and have several more of your books in my TBR pile. Which of the books you've published so far is YOUR favorite, and why?

HEIDI: Probably Beggar Magic. The world just has this atmosphere I want to dwell in and the characters are like my friends. It's a little slow moving as far as the plot in places, but I keep going back to it, just to be there. It's a coming of age story about friendship, with just a hint of romance.

Q: Is there any chance of a sequel with the wonderful characters in Thaddeus?

HEIDI: I don't have anything planned yet, but sometimes I want to visit with that kitten again. I'm curious to see how he handles “growing up” because he's basically trapped forever as a kitten. Will he eventually come to resent that and want a chance to move on? Also, a reader told me they'd be interested in a spin-off series about the incompetent but good-hearted Sir Alaric, so I think about that from time to time, trying to imagine him maybe rescuing a princess.

Q: As a military wife with two small children, how do you juggle writing so prolifically with the rest of your life? Any tips you'd like to share?

HEIDI: You can be surprised in what you can get done in 10 minutes, let alone a half hour. I started timing myself and writing in ten minute bursts. I can usually get 1000 words out in about an hour that way. It keeps me focused knowing that timer is going to go off and I only have to write until that timer goes off, then write down my word count. Then I do it again and see if I can beat my time. I also plan out what I'm going to write before I sit down. I think about what happens next and where the scene starts while I do the dishes or take a shower and then sit down and type it out.
Q: I'm asking as an Army brat: Where is your favorite place you've been stationed (so far) and are there any places you'd like to live or visit?

HEIDI: It's sort of a tie between Southern California and Japan. We've really only been to three different duty stations (we've been married a little under 9 years, so one every three years, roughly). Japan was cool but there was a certain amount of guilt/stress coming from my family for keeping my daughters away from the rest of the family. However, it would be great to go back there when the girls are a little older and would be able to remember the experience. Plus they have Cat Cafes.

Southern California was beautiful weather, all sorts of stuff to do, and close enough to home (which for me is Oregon) that Coryn (Claire wasn't born yet when we were stationed there) could visit grandma a couple times a year. We're actually headed back there next, and I'm looking forward to it. 

Q: What is your current writing project? 

HEIDI: I'm about to start the sequel to my Epic Fantasy Lands of Ash. While I write “clean” literature (no graphic or explicit content) this series is a little darker and deeper, meant for adults. A couple of my long time readers actually found it depressing, but it has drawn in some new readers that like the high stakes action and life or death situations involved. It isn't something I'd recommend to the kids reading Thaddeus Whiskers, though, not until they are a bit older.

Q: I know I told you there would only be 5 questions, but I'm DYING to know: How did you come up with your unique twitter handle?

HEIDI: I have always wanted to be a cat. I am also very fond of typing on and on and on. I'm talkative, but online I'm “typative” (prone to typing a lot) . . . I also call my girls my Big Kitten and Little Kitten, and I'm the Mama Cat, so Typative Mama Cat. It suits me.

ME: Well, that explains how you wrote Thaddeus so believably! Love the twitter handle. Thanks for stopping by, Heidi.

To learn more about H. L. Burke and her many books and short stories, visit her website, her blog, connect with @typativemamacat on twitter, on her facebook page, and her Amazon author page.

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