Sunday, February 28, 2016

Interview with author Allie Burton

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve lived in four states and three countries, and currently reside in Colorado with my husband, two kids, and a dog. I’ve had many, many jobs from bike police officer to professional sports hockey mascot to advertising executive. I’ve also studied many things in college including art, fashion design, marine biology, and advertising. This diverse background gives me lots of research material for my books. Now, if only I had magic.

Q ~ What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Well, I love to read! I read just about every genre fiction, and non-fiction too. I also run, ski, and golf. And I love going to museums—such great inspiration.

Q ~ If you could have lunch with one person, dead, alive, or imaginary, who would it be and why?
My list would be too long to list here. I find people fascinating, which is probably why I’m an author, and love to talk to people from the past, present, and future.

Q ~ What are you currently reading?
I’m judging the RWA Rita contest so I received a panel of books to read. Top secret stuff!

Q ~ Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?
I really loved Karen Lynch’s Relentless. Rachel Hawthorn’s The Boyfriend Project, and Ednah Walters’ Runes series.

Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?
I wrote my first book in 8th grade when I was snowbound in a hospital and got to eat in the doctor’s cafeteria late at night. It was the first time I’d seen a doctor out of the medical environment and it kind of hit me that they had real lives and loves, too. Kind of like when a smaller kid sees their teacher at the grocery store. It sort of opens your eyes to all sorts of interesting ideas.

Q ~ What’s the best thing that’s happened since you began writing? The worst?
The best thing is the friends I’ve made with other writers. I’ve got one group who lived in the area I lived in when I first started writing and we are good friends until this day. I’ve also got a YA group of author friends who support each other and connect on various promotions. Authors are some of the most supportive people.

What felt like the worst thing, but was probably for the best, was the rejections I received along the way. Those books weren’t ready and the rejections helped me to grow as a person and as a writer.

Q ~ What are your biggest influences in life? Who are your biggest supporters?
My own teenage kids are two of my biggest influences and supporters. The things they teach me about teen life and social media and modern teen relationships are so different than what I experienced. Other biggest supporters include my husband, critique partners, and author friends.

Q ~ Why did you choose to write young adult fantasy as your primary genre?
I started writing romantic suspense and my kids were always looking over my shoulder. I’d have to cover up the screen because I didn’t want them reading sex scenes or gruesome murders. One of them asked, ‘when are you going to write something we can read?’ so I whipped up a story about a soccer player and a gymnast. That story will never see the light of day, but I found my voice in the young adult genre in the process. As for the fantasy equation, I love researching scientific discoveries, ancient history, and then adding my own twist.

Q ~ Do you prefer to write in a small town or big city setting? Why?
My Lost Daughters of Atlantis series is based underwater, so not a town or a city at all. My Soul Warrior series is based in San Francisco. The anonymity of the city makes it easier for the teenage characters to move around and not be noticed by adults, especially when they are doing magic.

Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release and what inspired you to write it?
Cleo’s Curse
is the fourth book in the Soul Warriors series. Each of the books in the series stands alone, but they are based on an ancient relic bestowed with magical powers. I was inspired to write the series after visiting an exhibit on King Tut. The more I research, the more strange facts I come across, the more stories I have to tell.

Q ~ What was the most difficult part of the process while writing Cleo’s Curse?

The most difficult part of writing Cleo’s Curse and all of the Soul Warriors books is seamlessly intertwining facts about the real artifact with the powers I endow to the object. Also, I need to keep the legends I create with each book straight since the other characters appear in each of the books.

Q ~ What characters did you find yourself especially drawn to and why?
I find I’m drawn to loner characters who are set on the path to discovering who they really are and what they want to become and do with their powers. Like Harry Potter and Clary Fray.

Q ~ Do you have anything in the works at the moment? Care to give us a hint about it?

I’m working on the next book in the Soul Warriors series featuring Ash and Lily who readers met briefly in Cleo’s Curse. I’ve also had requests to continue with my Lost Daughters of Atlantis series, so I’ve been thinking…

Q ~ What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Work hard at your craft. Make sure you have an honest critique group or partner who will push your writing to the next level. Take classes and go to workshops. I continually take a couple of classes either in person or online every year. It’s amazing what I learn!

About the author:

Allie Burton didn’t realize having so many jobs would become great research material for the stories she writes. She has been everything from a fitting room attendant to a bike police officer to a professional mascot escort. She has lived on three continents and in four states and has studied art, fashion design, marine biology, and advertising.

When her kids asked, “when are you going to write a story we can read?” she switched from adult novels to Young Adult and Middle Grade and hasn’t looked back.

Allie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Romance Writers of America including the Young Adult, Dallas Area Romance Writers and Heart of the Rockies chapters. She is also a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Currently, she lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

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