Welcome to another edition of Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm chatting with erotic romance author Kassie Burns. Enjoy!
Welcome, Kassie! Can you tell us a little about your background?
English was my favorite subject in school, surprise, surprise, and I went on to become a journalist. As if writing all day at work wasn’t enough, I came home at night and switched on the creative juices. When I learned about ebooks I became really excited because I’m a sucker for instant feedback and I love the closer contact between authors and readers. I have books published with Extasy, Loose Id, Changeling Press and Samhain Publishing.
When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?
For me, writing started with reading. I always loved to read and devoured books. It only seemed natural to move on to writing them. The first thing I actually remember writing formally was a short story for eighth grade English. Naturally, it was an SF piece (although not erotic at that age, lol!.
Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.
Lately, I am like a juggler, just trying to keep those balls in the air. My most recent release was Starbound, an SF erotic romance from Samhain. I also Buried Passions from Loose Id and Earth Storm from Carnal Desires Publishing released this spring.
These books run the gamut of SF: A colony ship lost and space and invaded by aliens, an archeological dig on an abandoned planet that unleashes an ancient alien passion and a story set on Earth where terrorism brings humanity to the brink of destruction and only love can save us. What they have in common is passionate romance and complex characters struggling to overcome all obstacles to achieve their happily ever after.
Ah, the happily ever after. So how do you go about developing your characters?
I wish I knew. It’s almost a mystical process and certainly a mysterious one, like a child taking form in a womb. A story idea usually sparks their conception but somehow they take on substance in the depths of my mind and emerge full-blown. Naming them is always important, though, because I like the name to give a hint of their essence. And on the practical side, I admit to being a lifelong student of other humans and their strengths and weaknesses.
What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?
Write what you love. Don’t give up. The business side of writing can become overwhelming at times—not to mention confusing—so remember you started writing because it was fun and never lose that first thrill of putting words on a page.
What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
I’ve always loved SF and fantasy. I love so many books and authors that it is almost impossible to chose a single favorite. Like a mother who loves all her children, I love them all for different reasons. If pressed to the wall for my very favorite, I would have to name the Merlin series by Mary Stewart, which starts with The Crystal Cave.
OK, now what do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding?
The most difficult thing is usually finding the time. I need a block of time when I’m not worn out from other things. Since I have a full-time job, a husband, a house, and two dogs, that’s sometimes hard to do. The most rewarding moment is when that new idea leaps into your mind like a burst of starshine and you can’t wait to get started writing it.
How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
I’m not sure I do, LOL. Usually, something has to suffer neglect. Most of the time it’s the house which is never going to win any awards for cleanest house on the block. Other times, like last year when my husband went through a serious illness, I’ve simply had to stop writing for long periods and do other more important things.
Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
I’ve never suffered from writer’s block where I didn’t have ideas or couldn’t write. I did suffer from burnout, though, a few years ago when my “writing career” seemed to take over the actually writing and I had so much going at once that writing became a job and not fun anymore. It was a hard period, but I learned to pull back and concentrate on what really mattered to me—the joy of creating a story.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read, I watch most of the SF programs that are on TV, I walk the dogs and critique the neighbors’ lawns, and when the weather is cooperative, my husband and I love to go out for a game of golf.
Last question: What is your favorite movie? Did it inspire your writing in any way?
Choosing a favorite movie is about as bad as picking a favorite book. But I notice all my favorites have something in common—good people fighting against terrible odds to protect and preserve what is important to them—those they love. Strangely, my books have much the same themes.
Name names you say? I’d have to mention the Lord of the Rings movies, the Harry Potter movies, The Secret Garden, and on the romance side rather than the fantasy side, Return to Me.
Kassie, thanks so much for being here today! Anything else you'd like to mention?
I have a web site where I feature excerpts from my books, a couple of short stories and my blog. You can also sign up there for my quarterly newsletter. Check it out at http://www.kassieburns.com/