Friday, October 1, 2010

Ten Questions with Stephanie Burkhart

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Burkhart.   She is the author of The Giving Meadow, which was published by 4RV Publishing.

1. Stephanie, could you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Adam Sandler and I went to the same high school, but he was in the class of 1984.  -grin-  I graduated in 1986 and joined the Army.  I became an MP.  I spent seven years in Germany and met my husband while we were both attending an Army Leadership School.  We married in 1991.  I earned a B.S. in Political Science from California Baptist University in 1995 and left the Army in 1997, settling in California.  I currently work for LAPD as a 911 operator.  I have two sons ages eight and four.

Writing has always been something I've felt passionately about.  One of my fondest memories is writing Spiderman comics when I was six.  They were inspired by the skits on the Electric Company shows in the 1970's.  My first novel was published in 2001.  It was a military romance suspense called Destination: Berlin.  I enjoy writing romance and my latest romantic release was The Hungarian, a paranormal romance with Desert Breeze Publishing.   

The Giving Meadow is my first book with 4RV Publishing and my first children's book.  It's about a caterpillar who hatches out of an egg and makes friends as he travels through the meadow.  Caterpillar and his friends learn how to share and care for each other.

The story was originally written as an Easter play for the Sunday Preschool I teach.  I showed it to Vivian (Gilbert Zabel) on (we're fellow moderators) and she offered it a contract.  It was a pleasant, unexpected surprise.

2. What was your favorite book as a child and why?

I almost hate to admit I don't have a favorite per se.  One book I enjoyed was Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret, but I was in the 5th or 6th grade when I read it.

I always enjoyed stories out of my children's Bible and I also liked looking at encyclopedias for information on dinosaurs and the planet.  I loved learning about the Earth and space so I gravitated towards those types of books.

3. What is your favorite quote?

It was in my high school year book and it is: "It must be lucky weather when you find the kind of wind that you need."  It comes from a Duran Duran song called "Lonely in Your Nightmare" off the Rio album.  I've always been an optimistic person despite the hardships I've faced and that quote speaks to me of making your own happiness and finding your own optimism.

4. If you could have coffee with anyone living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

Just one person?  I have a whole platoon of picks.  -grin-  At this moment I would have to say Phillipa Gregory.  I adore her historicals on the Tudors and her Cousin's War series.  I just read The Red Queen and devoured it.  I find her research is well done and she fills in the blanks with well thought out speculation that makes sense.

5. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I write mostly longhand.  It's not very interesting is it?  The only time I have to really write is at work on my downtime and we can't have our personal computers, so it's paper to pen.  I try to write at home, but it's challenging.  The boys have to be engaged with the Wii for me to sit down for a minute or two.

6. You did a blog tour in August for your book, The Giving Meadow.  What were your experiences on the tour?

They were wonderful, but the tour was a lot of work.  The Giving Meadow was my most extensive tour to date with 15 blog stops.  In July, I did an 11 blog stop tour.  Prior to that, I did mini blog tours with 6 stops.  I had to have a chart of the month with my stops and a brief summary of the material requested.  I also had to plan out what I was going to give out for promotion.  It was time consuming to plan dates and material, but once the tour started it was very rewarding to see readers and authors responding to the blogs.  I would definitely do another just as extensive because the exposure it gives you as an author is good for marketing.

7. What other marketing strategies do you have for The Giving Meadow?

Well, I've tried calling the local Borders and Barnes and Noble.  They told me to send them an email.  One email bounced, the other wasn't returned.  Now I have to follow up, tactfully, of course, but finding the time between all my other demands is challenging.  What I wouldn't do for a publicist!  There are a couple more local bookstores and I'm hoping to get more reviews. 

I also think word of mouth is important and I think doing the blog tours and offering giveaways is a good thing to get exposure. 

Marketing doesn't come easy to me.  I'd rather write, but I realize marketing is important.  I'm still learning.  I'm on Facebook, Twitter, several Yahoo Groups as well as

Any ideas and tips on marketing would be much appreciated.

8. Could you share a little about any current writing projects?


I have a Christmas short story I'll be submitting to Victory Tales Press called Christmas in Bayeau.  It's a contemporary romance that takes place in France on the beaches of Normandie.

Shadows and Light is a sci-fi/speculative romantic short story in the Borealis Anthology due out from Desert Breeze Publishing in December 2010.  It's a game of cat and mouse between Elijah Kess and Persephone Talon as they try to out fox each other for information on the Uudon trade.

The King's White Rose is a historical fiction about Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville that I'm editing now and it's with my Beta Reader.  Edward IV and Elizabeth were a love match - rare for the nobility at the time.

The Count's Lair is a full length novel.  It's a paranormal romance between Anton (a werewolf) and a beautiful pianist, Amelia Andrassy.  It's set in Budapest in 1901.

The First Flag of New Hampshire is due out with 4RV Publishing next year and it's a young teen mystery with High School Juniors Miguel and Alyssa.

9. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?






10. Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I love cooking in a crock pot.  -grin-  Thank you so much for having me today, Susanne.

Stephanie, thank you for stopping by to answer some questions.   


Karen Cioffi said...

Wonderful interview, Susanne.

Stephanie, most writers don't like having to market, but like you said, it's necessary.

Doing virtual tours and possible bookstore visits, school visits, and call or email your local news papers for an interview. You might also contact your local library about carrying your book.

And, you might also think about some article marketing to bring outside traffic to your site.

Beth Bence Reinke said...

Steph, writing longhand can be very productive. Good for you! I like pen and notebook sometimes, too. :o)

Lovely interview, Susanne. I enjoyed reading about Steph and her books.

Beth Bence Reinke said...

Steph, writing longhand can be very productive. Good for you! I like pen and notebook sometimes, too. :o)

Lovely interview, Susanne. I enjoyed reading about Steph and her books.

StephB said...

Susanne, Thank you so much for having me today. I'm tickled pink to be here. Caterpillar is hanging on my shoulder munching on some grapes. Bless him!

Karen, great ideas for marketing, thank you so much for sharing. They are difinately going on my to-do list.

Beth, it's so sweet to see you. Longhand does have it's advantages. I find a write a little bit slower and it allows me to visualize scenes better.


Sherry Gloag said...

I am gobsmacked that you are asking for advice on promotion, you always come across to me as so proffesional and knowing exactly what you are doing! I am in awe of your achievements. your comments give me hope! LOL as I am just starting out on that road. LOL
Another great and insightful interview.

Vivian Zabel said...

Having Steph as one of our authors is great. I wish 4RV were a large enough company that we could take all her books, but ... *sigh*

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Very nice review, Susanne.

Best of luck, Stephanie, with your books.

liana laverentz said...

I love crock pot cooking, too :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne .. always interesting to read interviews .. so thanks for hosting Stephanie here ..

The Giving Meadow is a wonderful title ..

however your schedule sounds hectic to say the least - but a real marker for us all to follow ..

Fun - thanks for the chats .. Hilary

Janet Johnson said...

Aren't crockpots great?

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Stephanie--I just won a copy of your book over at Terry's blog. It is so sweet! The illustrations are precious too! Congratulations on such a lovely book!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great interview. I used to visit Manchester as a kid because we had family friends there. I had no idea Adam Sandler was from there.

Good luck, Stephanie, with your novel. :D

Angela Ackerman said...

Great, down-to-earth interview. Much success, Stephanie!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Stephanie, I enjoyed interviewing you. The Giving Meadow is a great children's book and I wish you much success with it.

Susanne Drazic said...

I wanted to say hi to everyone who stopped by to check out the interview with Stephanie and to leave a comment.

Have a great weekend!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Now that's some serious book touring!

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing the interview, Susanne. Stephanie, it's great to read your answers, and I know what you mean about marketing. I'm doing a blog tour now also. The Giving Meadow sounds like a wonderful book. Best wishes to you!

T. Anne said...

What a great interview! Stephanie you are an interesting person. 911 operator and you read Phillipa Gregory? I heart you. I'm glad to hear you devoured the Red Queen. I plan on picking it up soon. Great to know you and congrats on your book!

Jackee said...

AWESOME interview, ladies. Thanks! I've heard Stephanie's name before but it's great to put her books with her face. And her insight into marketing was invaluable. Thanks again!

Happy Monday, Susanne!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Great getting to more about Stephanie. So interesting that she likes to write longhand in today's computer/laptop world. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

I want to thank everyone who has stopped by since I said hello yesterday. I'm glad you have all had a chance to check out the interview with Stephanie.

Hope you all have a great week!

StephB said...

Susanne, Ladies, I just want to thank everyone for popping in. I really appreciate it.


Sherry, It's so nice to see you here! I've been meaning to check out "The Brat." I'm still learning when it comes to marketing, trust me.

Vivian, thank you so much for popping in. It's wonderful to see you here. I'm really looking forward to brining my NH History Detective series to 4RV. I've written NH, ME, VT and RI so far.

Liana & Janet, I **LOVE** my crock pot. And I'm always looking for new Crock pot receipes, too.

Sharon, Congrats on winning the book. I hope you enjoy it!

Stina - Manchester has changed since I grew up, but many things are the same. I have to admit it, it's nice to fly into MHT.

T. Anne - Phillipa Gregory rocks. She puts something out, I am there.

Jackie, *waves hi*

Jenifer, what I like about longhand is that the scene plays out in my mind longer, I savor it.

Susanne, Ladies, Thank you so much for a special and fun visit!


Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Great interview! How cool that she went to school with Adam Sandler!

I'm amazed by how versatile of a writer Stephanie is! I wish her the best!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Marketing? Just be willing to do whatever it takes!

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for stopping by again!

Hi Carolina! Hi Diane! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the interview with Stephanie.

Julie Musil said...

I feel like I should know Stephanie! My husband is with the LAFD, and I'm also a huge fan of Phillipa Gregory. Okay, maybe I shouldn't know her. Anyway, great interview with lots of fun details. Good luck with "the Giving Meadow."

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Julie. Stephanie is such a wonderful author to work with. I enjoyed interviewing her. I hope you get a chance to read The Giving Meadow. It is a wonderful book that both children and adults will enjoy.

Have a great week!


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