Friday, February 2, 2018

Interview with novelist S.B.K. Burns

Author S.B.K. Burns is with me today to chat about the first two books in her paranormal romance series, Ages of Invention, Entangled (book 1) and Fly Like an Eagle (book 2).

Both romance and sciences have been central to the life of S.B.K. Burns (Susan). As a teen, she wrote romantic musicals between quarterbacks and cheerleaders. After a career as both a science teacher and advanced degrees in science, she began a ten-year journey of paranormal romance novel writing. Her ten books include two series: LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS (about psychic vampires that protect humans from the baddies, even when the humans are not too keen on getting saved) and AGES OF INVENTION (alternate science history/steampunk: where Electress Sophia of The House of Hanover (ancestor to today’s British royalty) runs a time machine where she helps our heroes and heroines save the great scientists of history.

Welcome, S.B.K. Please tell us about your current release and what inspired you to write this book?
My most recent release, Fly Like an Eagle is book 2 of the AGES OF INVENTION SERIES. In this series, I start with a year of historical science and my characters then travel to or from that year.

In Fly Like an Eagle, I start in the early eighteen hundreds at the opening of the Franklin Institute of Science in Philadelphia. I chose the institute because that’s where my high school (The Philadelphia High School for Girls) sent me for my science lab experiments. I was often alone in the great pendulum room. The giant pendulums when filled with sand marked out elaborate flower-like paths as they moved to and fro. I used this experience to have Eagle and Sam, hero and heroine, fly about together on their own giant pendulum. I used to fly hang-gliders. and so Eagle (Migizi in Algonquin language) designs and builds hang-gliders and takes Samantha on a romantic flight over a river valley.

Excerpt from Fly Like an Eagle:
When the two first meet, Samantha is not used to Indians and thinks Eagle a savage. But accidentally up against one another on a darkened staircase they discuss the play Othello they’ll be attending and his presence shakes her to her very core:

“I have read a number of Shakespearean plays. And, yes, you may accompany us.” More interested in reading her science books, she hadn’t spent much time considering the enjoyment of such an event. “Why would you be interested in my reaction to a play?”
His bronzed hand firmly gripped the candleholder. “Because Othello, the dark-skinned Moor, took a white bride.”
She fell silent. His eyes did things to her—things taboo.
Shaken, she said, “And do you remember how that worked out for them?”
“He strangled her,” Vaughan’s son said, then slid past her, clumped up the steps and was gone.
For the briefest of moments, as he brushed past her, he looked into her eyes as if strangling was what he’d do to her.
She held her stomach and bent over. A most disconcerting experience. Why, within a touch of strangulation, had her body come alive?

What exciting story are you working on next?
All of my novels are of diversity and forbidden romance. I’m working on three novels in various states of completion:

Flat Spin (NA): A science fiction/space opera romance where a crack test pilot and astronaut, Shep, falls for an aerospace worker, Jayde. He escapes with her in his spaceplane to return her to a moonbase and her alien parents—against the dictates of the president. In this, I use many experiences I had working for an air force contractor.

Other (YA): A girl, Nessa, rejected by her family on planet New Gaia, meets and befriends an unusual android, Buck, the captain of a rescue crew from Earth, who is not treated as an equal by his people.

Just One Drop of Black (A): Alice, a dark-phase albino from Tanzania (similar to those introduced in my series LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS) is an emergency medical physician who meets and falls for her best friend’s brother, Cam, who is a fire chief with very dark skin. He sees the way his sister was rejected by black men because she’s very dark too, and he refuses to get involved with Alice because she can pass for white with her light skin.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been a writer and reader of prose and poetry my whole life, but I didn’t consider myself a writer until about ten years ago when I found myself writing an entire novel of 95,000 words (Forbidden Playground, first book of the LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS SERIES).

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
At first, all I did was write from 4 A.M. to noon every day. I also attend two read and critique groups and a small group of critique partners. Now, along with my editor friends in critique groups, I spend lots of that time in promotion, which I also enjoy, maybe because what works today for authors is still a big mystery. Scientist that I am, I love to experiment.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m really interested in the idea of consciousness, my character’s inner world. My humor tends to parallel human foibles and silliness. I have lots of fun with my hero and heroine arguing, mainly in order to resist allowing the crumbling of walls they’d built around themselves. And dialogue, I love to write dialogue, probably from reading plays when I was a kid.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be everything: an actor, an astronaut, a mathematician, an astronomer.

As a writer, I get to be all of those.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
By calling my works non formulaic, I’m attempting to share my own unusual experiences in life with my readership (both sexual and asexual experiences) rather than copying someone else’s way of describing events. In a way, my works are my out-of-body memoirs.


Thank you for being here today, S.B.K.

1 comment:

Susan Burns said...

Thanks for posting my interview, Lisa.