Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and now live in the metro Atlanta area. Before my latest novel, I wrote a young adult science fiction thriller series called, “I Am Human.” It’s about a silent alien invasion and how the fear of the aliens slowly changes the community. As the novel progresses, the main characters – Matt and Savannah – begin to question their community’s response to the invasion and have to make some tough decisions about just what it is that makes us human.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Vampire Manor. I love fantasy and paranormal fiction, and I had an idea for a new origin story for vampires that’s based on a real myth. In fact, the myth is so suggestive of a vampire origin story that I can’t believe it hasn’t been used before. Vampire Manor is essentially an Historical Paranormal novel, because it’s set in a 1920s Tennessee mill town. The dark Tennessee mountains lend a wonderful “creep factor” to the setting, and then there are also all the issues of the big divide between the rich and the poor that existed at that time in the United States. Vampire Manor is a great way to learn a little about U.S. history, if you think you’d enjoy your history with a side of vampire!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Only that I prefer to write at night. Perhaps that just makes sense, however, since I write fantasy and paranormal fiction!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’ve been devouring books since I was first able to read, so it’s almost impossible to answer that question – there have been too many influences! I’ve read fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction since elementary school, though. Some of my earliest favorite books were in that genre – A Wrinkle in Time and Half Magic, for instance.
What are you working on now?
I’d like to continue Vampire Manor into a series, so I’ve been plotting a sequel. I’d like to develop the origin story and the romance, as well as have Lillian go head to head with some of the more dangerous elements in the manor. The stakes will really go up in the second book. I’m waiting to see the fan response, however – I’d love to hear from the fans and work some of their ideas into the book! Also, I’m almost halfway through writing a magic school fantasy book. Of all my books, it will be the most imaginative, and it is FUNNY. I hope to release it in a few months. Sign up to be notified on my website at www.rlburke.weebly.com, or click the “follow” button on my Amazon author page to be notified when it releases. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I still have so much to learn about the marketing side of this business, but I’ve loved learning it.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep it real, even when you’re writing fantasy. Never manipulate your characters to serve the plot – readers hate that. The plot must follow the characters. If you’re writing and all of a sudden you find yourself saying, “Wow! I didn’t expect THAT to happen!” then you know you’re on the right track.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
A high school language arts teacher once said to me, “It doesn’t matter how important your writing is. If it isn’t entertaining, no one will read it.” How true.
What are you reading now?
Books about marketing books, a Japanese cozy mystery, an urban paranormal novel, and a book about how algorithms relate to everyday life. I probably read as much non-fiction as fiction.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Complete my fantasy novel, finish plotting a sequel to Vampire Manor, and just keep writing!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Besides “How to Survive on a Desert Island”? That question is just excruciating to a reader. I guess I’ll go with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Huckleberry Finn, and then I’m going to cheat and bring my Kindle.
Author Websites and Profiles
R.L. Burke Amazon Profile