Author Bio: After spending 11 years in the US Army, 7 overseas in Germany, Stephanie Burkhart found a home in Castaic, CA and is now a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She loves Andes Chocolate, Starbucks coffee and is "Mom's" taxi service for her boys. She's been writing stories since was six. You can find her on the web at:
Website: http://www.stephanieburkhart.comBlog: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com
GRACIE: I’m excited to have you here at The G-Spot, Stephanie! Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot J) and how and when you got into writing?
STEPHANIE: My gosh, I remember watching a kid's show in the 1970's called "The Electric Company" and my favorite was the Spiderman skit. I'd finish watching then go to the kitchen table and draw comic books about the Spiderman episodes.
Growing up as a teenager, I loved reading Claremont's "X-Men," and the Wolfman/Perez "Teen Titans." I also discovered Victoria Holt and fell in love with gothic romance. My early attempts at comic books grew into short stories and then into novels. My love for Holt's gothic romance evolved into a love for paranormal romance.
GRACIE: Wow, we followed a similar path <g>. “The Electric Company” was one of my favorite shows too (“Hey you guuuuuuys!”, LOL). Is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre you write in?
STEPHANIE: I'd have to say the one person who inspired my writing is Dina Hickman. She believed in me early on, always offering an encouraging word. She was never critical – always constructive.
I write in the romance and children's genres. I kind of "lucked" into children's writing. I wrote a couple of plays for my church's Sunday preschool and Vivian at 4RV Publishing offered to publish them. As for my romance writing, I wanted to write in that genre since discovering Victoria Holt.
GRACIE: When did you get The Call and what was your first published book?
STEPHANIE: My first published book is a paranormal romance with Desert Breeze Publishing, “The Hungarian”. Werewolves and witches haunt the streets of Budapest at the turn of the 20th Century. I self-published a couple of books before that one, but I've taken them down to retool them a bit.
GRACIE: What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry that you wish you’d known before you started?
STEPHANIE: Be patient. We're so used to "instant gratification" in our modern society, but it takes time to write a functional first draft, edit, publish then market the book.
GRACIE: Good point and very true. Please, give us a little story behind the story and what inspired your paranormal romance series Moldavian Moon.
STEPHANIE: The Moldavian Moon series is set in the Romanian principalities of Moldavia, Wallachia, Carpathia, and Transylvania. Mind you, I take fictional liberties with the story and Romanian unification.
I originally wrote book 2, “Twilight Over Moldavia”, first. It was intended to be a fairytale in reverse, in that the princess had to kiss the hero to save him. There was the gothic castle and an evil curse. Only Caroline could save Stefan. Once I wrote it, I was left with the question: How did Stefan become cursed? "The Wolf's Torment" is that story. It won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in Fiction: Supernatural.
GRACIE: In “The Hungarian” (Budapest Moon Book One), what do you think it is in Katherine Archibald’s character that makes her the perfect match for Hungarian Count, Matthias Dumas and vice versa?
STEPHANIE: What makes Katherine perfect for Matthias? She harbors the same romantic heart Matthias does. Matthias is moody to the bone, but he believes in classic old-fashioned romance. He loves to give flowers and observe the stars. These are extremely personal gestures to him; he doesn't make them lightly. Katherine appreciates his attempts.
What makes Matthias perfect for Katherine? He's not afraid to let her find her passions, be it books or traveling. He shares in her delights, embracing them.
GRACIE: In “The Count’s Lair” (Budapest Moon, Book Two), what do you think is Count Anton Vargas’ Achilles’ heel and how do you go about stomping it?
STEPHANIE: Count Varga's Achilles' heel is his insecurity when it comes to family. His family and brother treated him poorly. They died and left him with practically nothing. He had to rebuild his life and he didn't have a good, solid role models to emulate. When the Martins and Amelia come into his life, he's offered a second chance at having a family and he's determined to do it right. It's a scary endeavor for him because his concept of family is a bit skewered.
GRACIE: Of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
STEPHANIE: My favorite story? That's a tough one. I love them all for the different opportunities they've afforded me. If anything, I love my steampunk romances, “Victorian Scoundrel” and “A Gentleman and a Rogue”. The Windsors are hoot to write. The series is a bit more light- hearted than my paranormals.
GRACIE: I know this is like asking a mother which is her favorite child, but which of your characters is your favorite and why?
STEPHANIE: Yikes, this one is just as hard. Edmund and Alice Windsor from the “Windsor Diaries” are two of my favorites.
GRACIE: What about your characters makes them unique?
STEPHANIE: Despite the paranormal or fantastical elements, my characters are very human.
GRACIE: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?
STEPHANIE: My favorite aspect is writing the beginning. The creative juices are really flowing. My least favorite is writing the middle. The juices have waned a little and I must concentrate to stay on course.
GRACIE: Are you a pantser or do you outline?
STEPHANIE: I outline the first 3 chapters and go from there.
GRACIE: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have chosen to pursue?
STEPHANIE: A 911 dispatcher! I like helping people.
GRACIE: Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Name some of your favorite books and why they’re your favorites.
STEPHANIE: My favorite authors include: Victoria Holt, the original VC Andrews, Anne Rice, George RR Martin, and JK Rowling. I love their books because they allow their imaginations to soar while keeping their characters very human.
GRACIE: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?
STEPHANIE: I'm working on book 3 in the Moldavian Moon series, "Sunrise Over Brasov." I'm telling Michael and Rosa's story.
GRACIE: Do you have a website and/or how can readers contact you?
YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
GRACIE: Where and how can readers purchase and/or read samples of your work?
STEPHANIE: My Amazon Author Page has a comprehensive list of my stories. http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Burkhart/e/B003R00R5I/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1355892458&sr=1-2-ent
GRACIE: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
STEPHANIE: Don't rush.
GRACIE: Anything else about yourself or your writing you’d like to share with your readers?
STEPHANIE: Here's a nifty little fact: I was married in Denmark in 1991. My marriage certificate is in 5 different languages. Can you guess which ones?
GRACIE: I’m not even going to try and take a shot, but if my readers would like to, they’re welcome, LOL.
Stephanie, thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share yourself and your work with us at The G-Spot and giving us a little insight into your writing and the writing process! We’ll let you get back to writing those wonderful books you write! All the best!