Wednesday, April 29, 2009

with Linore Rose Burkard

I'm happy to have Linore Rose Burkard with us today! She's giving away a copy of her new release, The House in Grosvenor Square, but in order for us to qualify for the giveaway we need to have 10 people comment, so tell a friend and leave a comment! :) Linore writes inspirational regency romances that sound absolutely fantastic.

Linore, 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.

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.

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 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.

On a personal note, what is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Once when I was driving with my husband and some friends on a sight-seeing trip out to Eastern Long Island, my husband had to stop the car, and check the oil level. He climbed back into the driver's seat complaining that he'd got some oil on his bare arm. In a moment of misplaced maternal instincts, I cried out, "Don't lick your arm!"  To peals of laughter from our friends in the back seat, my husband thanked me profusely for reminding him not to lick his arm, since of course he was in a terrible habit of doing so. They still tease me about that!

When I was doing some homework for this interview, I saw that someone asked Linore if she could multitask, and I stole her answer because it cracks me up...
Is there a woman on the planet who can't? I'm married and I have five children (homeschooled for years) and I write books, and I'm active in church, and I love my gal pals and shopping and baking and decorating and swimming and watching lovely period flicks or fun spoofs like An Ideal Husband. I think I qualify.

How do you keep your sanity in your busy household and all the demands?

I don't know; must be prayer and God! And I guess I like a busy household.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Lately I've been impressed with how true that Scripture is, that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." His calling on my life is from Him, and consequently does not depend on my strength, or on how "spiritual" I feel (or don't feel) on any given day. God is faithful. He is steadfast. He won't change His mind about me, or about anyone.

If He has called me to write, for instance, He will supply me with everything I need to fulfill that calling. I sometimes sit down to write and worry that I'm not prepared enough; perhaps I haven't finished that new book for research, or I haven't thought out a character fully, yet. But when I give my day's goal to the Lord, I know He will help me get the information I need, whether it means I'm brainstorming while I write, or, as sometimes happens, I have to stop and research a topic or thing during the writing.

Also, I am endlessly amazed at the power of prayer, and how the Lord will come through for every seeking soul, no matter the need! It delights me when I pray with one of my kids for something they are concerned about, and then God answers their prayer in an amazing way. It reminds me that He truly cares for them apart from me, and more than I can.

I also revel in God's love as revealed through the many wonderful sisters and brothers I have in Christ. No one is perfect, and least of all those of us who know how much we need Him--but His mercies are new every morning, and there are blessings within the body of believers that you can't find anywhere else on earth. I never forget how blessed I am to have been adopted into His family.

How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
I can stay in touch with readers if they sign up for my newsletter. In addition to enjoying each monthly issue about the Regency they'll also get updates about my books and writing and speaking schedule. Anyone can sign up on my website, and I always include a free monthly download in my newsletter!

I'd love to meet any of you (my readers or other writers) at one of the speaking engagements I have coming up: Please check my website calendar for the places on the East Coast I'll be. And for writers, in August, I'm doing a couple of great worskshops at the Faith Writers' annual conference in Michigan. Come and learn about online marketing and say hello!

To purchase The House in Grosvenor Square
Buy an autographed copy from the author

From CBD (ChristianBook.com)

From Amazon

From Barnes and Noble
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ALSO...
Linore will be a speaker at the Faithwriters Conference, August 7 and 8 in Detroit, Michigan and I'm very excited to meet her and to sit in on her sessions. Here's the class descriptions:

Book Marketing 101 – How to Market for Online Success
First-time published authors soon realize that books don't sell themselves. Fortunately, you can harness the power of the Internet to let the world know about your message. Join Linore for an author's guide to online marketing success that anyone can implement.

Creating Characters Who are Strong in Their Faith
Fiction readers love following characters who are believable in all aspects of life, especially their faith. But as a writer, how do you include spiritual content without coming across as preachy or offensive? Linore will show you
how to walk this delicate line in an effective way that captures your audience while ministering to their soul.

Faithwriters played a major role in turning my life around. They are an online group of Christian writers that encourage and stretch you in your writing skills. They have Weekly Writing Challenge that many of the participants in Fiction Friday join in on, or used to join in on. When people ask me about a good place to start writing and to learn about the craft of writing, Faithwriters is the first place I recommend.

Thanks so much for joining us! Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into the book drawing, and to tell a friend!

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like it is going to be a great read. I love me some inspirtaional romance, especially set in the olden days.

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  2. Enjoyed and learned from the interview - I also struggle with implausible plots and flat characters, sigh. Thanks for taking the time for this, Patty!

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  3. It sounds intriguing! Great interview. I will be adding Linore to my new author's list.

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  4. Good ideas for overcoming writer's block. Physical activity brings fresh blood to brain. Taking a break lets it solve problems on auto-drive.
    I hope inspirational Regencies is a strong new trend. I love the old traditional Regencies, but so many of the new ones would cause Jane Austen to turn over in her grave.

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  5. I can so relate to Linore as an author who struggles to find time to write amidst all the things swirling around my life. I'd love to read one of her books and get acquainted with another new author (to me). Thanks for the chance to win.

    Miralee Ferrell
    www.miraleeferrell.com

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  6. Merry Lisa Hat3:36 PM

    I really enjoyed this post. Yay! Mrs. B, you're awsome! It's neat to see how you really can multi-task; five kids, a home, writing, church, and schooling -- yickes! But you stay right on top.
    Before the Season Ends was a wonderful book. I can't WAIT to read the next one. Hurry up and keep writing! lol We all want to see what happens next.
    Miss you guys! It was nice seeing you Thursday. ;)

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  7. Anonymous12:09 AM

    I read about it some days ago in another blog and the main things that you mention here are very similar

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