Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome author, HL Burke. HL, tell us a little about you, please.
Originally from Oregon, I'm a military wife and mother to two superhero princesses who now travels the world in search of dragons. I write whimsical fantasy and have a cat named Bruce Wayne. He's BATCAT! I'm a long time lover of geek culture, including Star Wars, Star Trek, Tolkien, and Doctor Who. If it is weird and wonderful, I want in!
Can you tell us about your latest book?
My most recent book is Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors, a YA Steampunk Adventure. It's a fun read with elements of Shelley, Verne, and Wells.
Nyssa Glass is a reformed cat burglar turned electrician's apprentice, settled into a life repairing videophones and radio-sets. However, when her past comes calling, she finds herself forced into one last job. No one has entered Professor Dalhart's secluded mansion in almost a decade, at least not and returned to tell the tale. If Nyssa wants to ensure her freedom, she'll brave the booby trapped halls and mechanized maids. Nyssa has skills, but this house has more than its share of secrets. As she steps into the cobwebbed halls lined with dusty mirrors, she has to wonder. Is the House of Mirrors really abandoned?
What kind of reader do you recommend your book to?
Nyssa owes a lot to adventure games like the Myst series, so it is hard for me to come up with a book that feels “like” her. I kind of see her as a female version of serial heroes like Tintin or Indiana Jones, a resourceful heroine who can solve any problem she faces with her quick wit and resolve.
Now let’s move on to the threes. Give us your top 3 responses to the following to help us get to know you better.
- Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.
Coffee, a computer, and notebook/pen. I bounce back and forth between writing long hand and writing on the keyboard. It seems like different books have different voices that somehow make them better for typing or writing … Nyssa Glass was mostly a typing book (though I did do some longhand writing if I didn't have a computer handy when inspiration struck), but other books I've seemed to only be able to get out by writing longhand … so I like to have both.
And coffee because I replaced my blood stream with caffeine ages ago, and I need to keep drinking it or I get anemic.
- Top 3 favorite ways to interact with readers.
Dragon pictures! Dragons are my favorite mythical beast. I currently have ten books published and of those ten, six are directly dragon themed, one has a dragon as a minor plot point, and two others I went out of my way to at least mention dragons. Because of that, I kind of got a reputation as the “dragon lady.” People constantly tag me in dragon themed things, and I delve into the depths of the interwebs and come back with dragon related prizes.
On this theme, I have an instagram where I take pictures of my “pet” dragon, Theodore, engaging in various activities. Theodore is probably more popular than I am.
I also like to ask questions. I'll name a minor character based on suggestions from my followers, and things like that.
Sometimes I'll take part in themed hashtag games like #WIPJoy or #1lineWed, and every so often you can find me wasting time on twitter when I should be #amwriting.
- Top 3 favorite personality traits that appeal to you.
Laid back … I love cats. Cats are so laid back. Cats don't care what you do as long as you don't poke at them. People give cats a hard time for being judgmental and aloof, but cats just want to live and let live. The best thing I can say about a person is they remind me of a cat. Cats forever!
Flexible … people who can't adjust or who choose not to experience new things bug me. I like people who can be ready at the drop of a hat and don't worry about preparation too much before going on an adventure with me.
Calm … this is one I'm not so great at. I tend to get freaked out and lose emotional control more than I'd like. I'm not really a worrier about things I can't control, but that's partially because I don't like to be in control. I'd much rather hand over the reins to someone else in stressful situations. My husband is a rock. It takes a lot to shake him, and I need that in my life. Definitely one of the things that drew me to him in the first place.
Finally, please share with us where our tech savvy readers can find out more about you and your work.
best contact is firstname.lastname@example.org
author.to/hlburke (Geo-tagged Amazon shortlink)
Thank you for joining us today, HL. It was great to get to know more about you and Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors.