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).
Bio:
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.
Links:

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

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