Friday, April 24, 2009

Linore Rose Burkard

I thought it would be fun to learn more about the author of Christian Regencies, Before the Season Ends and The House in Grosvenor Square, Linore Rose Burkard. Here's a Question and Answer session with out intrepid author.

Linore, what drew you to writing Regency Romance novels?
Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen books gave me a love for the period, and there weren't any Christian regencies to be found. I wanted to change that.

Where did you find your inspiration for Ariana and Phillip?
I think they're both amalgamations of people I've read about and/or known. All of my characters are very real for me, so I suppose I've had to pull them from the world in some way or other.

What do you think we could learn today from how society operated in the Regency period?
England in the 1800s is a world away from the 21st century. Times have changed, but people haven't. Men and women of the time were concerned with their appearances, their finances, their futures, finding the right spouse, and so on, just as we are, today. How they went about pursuing these ends is where all the difference lies, however, and this is precisely where the interest and adventure opens up for writers; We get to bring to life the means and methods of everyday life and timeless concerns from the regency. It is fun and enlightening as a glimpse into the past, but readers can also identify with the basic human need to be genuinely loved for oneself, no matter the setting or time period, and to be certain of one's convictions concerning life, eternity, and faith. Having said that, it is good to remind modern readers that valuing one's purity can be mainstream, as it was then; or that the struggle to find a true love and a sense that one's life has value, has always been a human issue.

What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
I hope my readers will feel as though they've been transported to the Regency for a good, satisfying visit; While they're visiting, they'll be reminded that God is involved in their life, and that happy endings are possible for everyone.

Any Regency romance is going to be compared to Jane Austen's novels ~ how are your books similar / different?
I don't think most regencies are written with this comparison in mind at all. However, other people say my book is "Austen-like." That is a huge compliment, and one I would love to live up to.

Do you have more Regency novels planned?
Right now I'm working on my third book in the series,The Country House Courtship. I have a few more regencies in mind also, which I hope to have published after TCHC.

Can you give us a sneak peek into The Country House Courtship?
Country House is the third book in the Regency Series, and gives one of the minor characters from the first books her own "day in the spotlight," her own romance. It begins about five years later (about 1818) and sees Mr. O'Brien (a curate, now) to a happy marriage of his own.

Do you ever bang your head against the wall from the dreaded writer's block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I do something else. If I can't write a scene for a book, I can always update my website or blog, or do an article for someone, or answer interview questions. I can't really force a scene when it isn't coming; A real block means I need to think about the story more; that something isn't fleshed out enough in my mind to write it out in a compelling way. So getting busy doing something else is the best thing I can do for the book and for me (rather than beat myself up). It allows me to think about what is missing in the scene or in the character until I can get back to writing it more confidently.

Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters, or a host of other problems. What's the most difficult part of writing for you (or was when you first started on your novel journey)?
I think for me the biggest challenge was to believe that I could write a novel in small increments. As a mom of five, four of whom are still home year-round (one is in college), having frequent interruptions is a fact of life. Writing takes a concentration so deep so that when I first started doing scenes, I would find myself getting woozy after standing up. I was shocked at the level of exertion it took to use my brain that hard, I guess! It happens less now--I guess I've grown accustomed to it. And I've learned to appreciate those small blocks of time. Ten minutes in a waiting room can yield a part of a scene I couldn't get done at home. Every little bit counts. I don't despise small beginnings. There are times when I'm in a deep level of involvement with a story or a character, and then getting interrupted can break the mood; but I'm getting better all the time at picking up where I left off, no matter how deeply I've got to dive to get back into the character or situation. For people like me with busy households, this is a must-have ability. I believe it can be the difference between making that deadline or not.

How did (or do) you climb out (overcome it)?
If I do get stuck at some point in the plot, I let it simmer in my mind. I also exercise--for some reason, when I am physically active, my brain gets going in a way that doesn't always happen when I'm sitting with my laptop before me. Swimming and doing the treadmill (walking) almost always result in wonderful new ideas I just can 't wait to get on paper. Sometimes, I've even had to stop walking and run to the pc just to get the idea down so I don't forget. By the way, I always pray for the right idea, too. There is no better writer than God.
The second "nifty" way to solve a plot (or other) problem in a book is to let it sit awhile without reading it. When you come back to it after a long enough interval (as long as you can give it) solutions just present themselves. I find the same thing happens to me with crossword puzzles--if I'm stuck, I put it down and when I come back to it--even an hour later--the word is there. So the key is, give yourself permission to take a break.

Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins, or do you have to tweeze each word out?
In general, I write more than I need and later have to cut back. I don't use a word count, but I may set a goal of one chapter a day or two chapters for a busy week. Other times, I don't think in terms of chapters at all, just events. I may break an event down into four scenes, say, and so my goal for that day will be to get the whole event on paper. In other words, finish the four scenes. Life changes so rapidly with the children, that for me, a hard and fast writing goal just wouldn't work. And, I focus on results, not time spent. Instead of, "Now I'll write for three hours," I say, "Now I'll have this or that happen to a character, or, 'I'll show a different side to this person." When I have accomplished that goal, no matter how long it took, I feel satisfied, and only then.

Thanks for letting me post this fun Q & A, Linore!

6 comments:

sherrinda said...

I loved this interview! It is always to fun to see into the heart of an author.

But Linore, walking on a treadmill and getting ideas??? The only thoughts I have while exercising is..."Owww...I hurt....I wanna quit...I hate to sweat...etc"
Good for you!

Linore said...

Sherrinda,

You're funny! Actually, I get those ideas too, but I force myself not to dwell on them, and just try to let my imagination speak to me. If that makes any sense. Today I got so many NEW ideas that when I finished exercising, I took two minutes to cool down, and then ran to my pc and typed out ten pages, just like that! I wish I could always work that fast! ha.
Thanks for stopping by!

Linore

Carole said...

Thank you so much for this interview. I've read almost every book Georgette Heyer wrote and am so glad Linore is bring Regencies into the Christian market. I plan on reading Before the Season ends soon. Best wishes on your writing career, Linore.

Edna said...

I love this interiew and would love to win a book of Linore's or anyone for that matter. I just love book, and love to read.

Ednda

sherrinda said...

Wow, Linore! 10 pages! I need to invest in a sweat machine, I see. ;) It seems to be prducing some amazing stories for us all to read and enjoy!

Robin Johns Grant said...

Great interview! The most valuable part to me is reminding me how much of a novel can be written in ten or fifteen-minute intervals. I used to do most of my writing that way, but I seem to have spoiled myself lately, thinking I have to have a couple of hours to sit down at my computer. Back when I just carried a notebook around and scribbled things down I was probably more productive.