Monday, April 16, 2012

An Interview with A.M. Burns

Please join me in welcoming A.M. Burns as he shares with us a little about his writing, what his latest release is, and where he’d like to visit.

About the author…

A.M. Burns started writing in high school for a way to pass the time. Over the years his writing and imagination have developed to the point where he was ready to share his stories with the world. He has a vast love of nature, and hopes that is conveyed in his writing. In his adult life he has lived in California, Colorado and Texas. He is a member of the Colorado Springs Fictions Writers Group. A lifelong love of birds, lead him to become a falconer and he currently enjoys hunting with his tiercel red-tailed hawk Zephyr. In addition to his hawk he shares his home with several dogs, a couple of cats, various rodents, a pair of horses and his loving partner.

Favorite authors: J.K. Rowling, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Asprin, Carrie Vaughn, Kelley Armstrong, Laurell K. Hamilton, Anne Rice, S.M. Stirling, Lynn Flewelling, Mercedes Lackey, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggsm. R.A. Salvatore

Favorite Music: S.J. Tucker, Pandora Celtica, Madonna, Bette Midler, Blackmore's Night, Dolly Parton, Inkubus Sukkubus, Loreena McKennitt, and Cher.

1.  Please list the link to your website and books with purchase links.
2.  How long have you been writing? What got you in to writing?
I’ve been writing since high school. I’ve always been really creative and writing is a fairly cheap creative outlet as far as materials go. It was also something I could do to pass time sitting in class after I got my work done that looked like I was still doing class work and kept the teachers off my back. When I started doing tech support years ago it was again something I could do when I had down time that made it look like I was working on something. Eventually I got to the point that I realized that my little works that helped pass time were good enough to get out into the world and share with others.

3.  What was your first published book? Looking back, is there anything you’d change about it?
The first book that got published was “Perfect Love” I recently finished doing a reedit of it since there were a lot of errors in the first edition. Would I change anything about it now? No, I think it’s a pretty good story.

4.  What or Who has influenced your writing?
Life influences my stories more than anything. I had a lot of people early on giving me lots of encouragement and actually still have most of them around helping me out.

5.  Where do you get your ideas?
The people around me and life in general. I have a great cast of characters in my life and have the whole time I’ve been on the planet. They provide endless fodder for my stories, sometimes without even meaning to. The strange comments people drop, and my friends drop lots of strange comments, can suddenly become story ideas. The odd sci/fi comedy horror book I work on in-between other things right now is a good example of an odd comment that took off on its own steam. The book is tentatively called “Tales from the Scary Queen.”

6.  What hinders your writing? (distractions? noise?)
When I’m on a roll not much hinders me. When I worked corporate jobs, I’d write between phone calls and during lunch, so my ability to pick things up after disruptions is good. Last year I finally got a laptop. We live an hour outside Colorado Springs and two from Denver. Most of the time when we both have to go down for something, I let my partner drive and I take the laptop and write in the car. I’m a touch typist, but can’t read too much that I’ve written without getting car sick, but can still crank out about a thousand words an hour or more, in the car. Deer walking past my window on a pretty day, that distracts me until I take pictures.

7.  What genre are you most comfortable with? What would you like to explore?
I do a lot of urban fantasy. That’s what I enjoy reading and what I write well. My first short story sale was a western horror piece. That combined with living in the mountains has inspired some western ideas that I’m going to explore soon.

8.  Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some semblance of common sense?
That all depends on what I’m writing. Mysteries have to be plotted out so you don’t miss important details. Action/adventures and romances I just turn the characters loose and see what happens. I much prefer the free form, by-the-seat-of-your-pants writing.

9.  Which of your books is your favorite? Why?
I love my Yellow Sky books. Last year I decided to make some changes to the main character Tal O’Duirwood, he’s half dragon, and he really came alive for me in a way most of my other characters haven’t. There is so much to explore in his character now. I just can’t wait to share more of his adventures with the world.

10. Do you incorporate some of yourself into your characters? Personality traits? Likes? Dislikes?
It’s hard not to. Most of my characters drive cars I like. Some of them have hobbies or professions that I find interesting. When possible, I make them look like folks I like to look at. Most of the big ones have belief systems that I follow, not necessarily religious, but their concepts of right and wrong.

11. What do you think is the perfect hero/heroine? Why?
I think a good hero/heroine needs to be strong, and inspire the readers. Too often today we have people around us either in our lives, in print, in the movies ect., that don’t inspire us to better ourselves. A good character will do that, they will make the reader want more. It was said of James Bond, that men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him. That is a good hero.

12. What is your latest release? Please share the blurb and purchase info with us.
The latest release as off the first of April is “Perfect Trouble”
When Connor Wildman opens a portal to another world in his closet, Ethan Samuel Peters is called in to find the young man. With his trusty werewolf partner, Dusty, at his side, Ethan enters the portal and finds himself in the realm of Fairie. The realm beyond the portal is in chaos due to Connor’s unauthorized visit. Ethan must fight his way through angry elves and emboldened trolls to reunite Connor with his family, while trying to stop the Fairie Queen from declaring war on Earth. Meanwhile, can Ethan’s assistant Tiffany find the person responsible for the theft of sacred objects all over Dallas? The second book in the E.S. Peters investigations series brings even more action than the first and delves deeper into an elegant cast of characters.

13. What do you have in the works?
I’ve got several things going right now. Hard at work editing the second Yellow Sky novel, that we’re still trying to figure out a tile for. Getting final edits done for a high fantasy parody entitled “Dr. Gnome” and gearing up for the third of the E.S. Peters books entitled “Perfect Aim”

14. Do you have any suggestions/comments for prospective authors?
I love talking with new authors. The first advice I have is to write. Don’t talk about it, don’t dream about it, do it. As long as you’re writing, then you’re a writer. Join a critique group. There should be one nearby you or there are several online. A good critique group will help you grow as a writer more than anything else. They might make you cry after then dissect your finally-crafted work, but that pain will make it better. The odds are your first editor is going to be a lot harder on you than a critique group, but you’ll go far. We are at a pinnacle of major changes in the publishing world. It’s an awesome time to be a writer if you’re willing to work for it.

1. If you could be an animal, what would it be? Why?
An eagle. They are awesome creatures with vast territories. There are apex predators that just happen to be completely gorgeous.

2. If you had super powers, what would they be? Why?
Weather control. Hey, Storm is wonderful. She’s at one with the world around her, and she can fly.

3. Is there anywhere you’d like to visit? Why?
I’d love to go to Stonehenge. It’s such an incredible place with so much history. Besides at some point Tal will have to go there in a story and I should go there first to get it right, completely good excuse for a vacation.

Author Name: A.M. Burns

Book Title: Perfect Trouble

Genre: Urban Fantasy/gay

Publisher: Mystichawker Press

Format: Ebook, paperback

Excerpt: PG

A sleek furry form flew out of the water and landed hard on the bank not far from me. It was longer and shorter than a werewolf. He got up, shook himself violently spraying water and sand in all directions. He looked at me, smiled and loped back into the water. There were rumors that a romp of wereotters had taken up shop in South Dallas, but this was the first time I’d seen one. It made me feel a little better knowing that Dusty had some help with the kraken.

I went back to the circle in the sand. The outer symbols were drawn out as Dusty and three wereotters hoisted the kraken up out of the river and carried him toward me.

Now to say that a kraken is ugly is like saying that Hugh Jackman is attractive. It’s a gross understatement. The creature was foul. At first it smelled like a river full of rotten fish. Then I realized that the odor was just the river water running off its scaly hide. Odd protuberances, almost like small tentacles, coved its body. It’s long tail drug the ground, even though Dusty and the otters had it hoisted on their massive shoulders. A rusty chain that one of them had found and used to bind the OD also drug along behind them.

I stepped aside as they carried the kraken into the circle. I quickly redrew the line that the tail and chain smudged. Then I finished the inner circle that would bind the kraken until I finished the banishing spell to send it back to the watery dimension that spawned it.

Dusty gave the OD a hard fist to the head and it slumped to the ground inside the inner circle. He made sure that neither the rusty chain nor any of the kraken’s appendages crossed the lines of the circle.

Once I was sure that the inner circle was complete and should hold the kraken, I turned back to Dusty and wereotters, who had all returned to their human forms. I could only assume that the otters were brothers. I’d go so far as to say that they were probably triplets. They were tall and lean, standing at least six foot four with shoulder-length golden blond hair and strange blue eyes. Unlike Dusty who’d returned to his human form fully clothed, the otters stood there on the sand in their full Nordic glory. Their broad chests and washboard abs were lightly dusted with short blond hairs, leading down to impressive packages. I must say, back a couple of years ago before I met Dusty, I would’ve been tempted to take on the three of them if they were interested.
Dusty was explaining to them that if they stayed in the circle, they’d need to be quiet and make sure not to break it. Two identical heads shook and two of the young men shifted back to their otter forms and raced back toward the river.

1 comment:

A.M. Burns said...

Thanks for the awesome opportunity to connect with your readers. You have a great site.