Friday, October 7, 2011

Laura Burks: ALTERED

I welcome Laura Burks, author of Altered.
Laura, tell us about your debut novel.
Thanks for asking, Susan. My debut novel, Altered is a young adult paranormal romance with a mystery element. Altered was released September 1, 2011 through Wings ePress in both print and epub.
Altered started out with a few simple ideas: a book that mysterious writes on foggy nights, a curse, vivid dreams, and an eighteen-year-old girl in a small town.  Did I say simple? I thought it was when I started, but as I wrote, the mystery, paranormal and romance element had to fit just right, so simple was not always the case.  I also chose to write Altered in first person, so the reader can really feel the emotions and get in the head of the main character, Jenna.
Here’s a few lines to sum up –
For eighteen-year-old Jenna Larson, spending the summer falling in love should be normal. But when she discovers a cursed book capable of secret writings and a hidden message, finding a way to alter the curse to save a life changed everything. Only Jenna’s choice may have already chosen her.
 Tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.      

I’m such a people person and I love to talk. Answering this question might be too easy. First of all, I have never been a book-worm. Not even sure I like that term, but people use it all the time. I do love to read, but I find stories interesting at so many levels: movies, plays, music, real life, and of course, books.  When I was in the first grade, my teacher went around the room and asked everyone what they wanted to be when they grew up. I heard doctor, lawyer, bus driver, and then it was my turn. Well, the only answer I had was that I wanted to be famous.  Not sure exactly what type of famous I wanted, but in my mind I wanted to share stories. I think I pictured myself in movies. What’s funny is that I probably was thinking “Brady Bunch.”

What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

The most rewarding experience for me has been self-discovery. It’s not the only rewarding experience, but one that was there from the start. You see, when I decided to write Altered, it was a solo effort.  Meaning only my family knew what I was doing and encouraged me all the way. I discovered things about myself I never took the time to see. It wasn’t until I was finished that I met other writers. Of course that opened up another side that I found and still find incredible.
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
Yes, it’s available in all formats. You can visit, , or my website at .
 How do you choose your setting?
I wanted a small town setting for Altered. I felt having a small town would give more of a mysterious feel rather than a large town. Being that I’m from Louisiana, stories of hauntings, curses, and weird happenings are a part of life here or at least in some areas. So I chose a small town in Louisiana as my setting. Now, I have to tell you, the small town I chose is not a cursed town. Remember, it’s a fiction book and I needed a small town, so I chose a place that I was familiar with. If the town I chose has any weird or unexplained happenings, it’s just a coincidence. Now I can’t say that for every place in Louisiana. After all, we are the home of famous ghost stories and voodoo.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
I’m an only child who has always had a vivid imagination. Not strange, just creative. I was also raised and still am a practicing Catholic. Yes, all of this had a big part in my writing. For me, I wanted to write something that my family, friends, and even one day grandchildren could pick up and read. Altered is geared toward young adult starting at the middle school age on up. What I love about the young adult genre is that is draws even the adult readers in as well. Probably more adults read young adult novels today than ever before. Maybe it’s because it brings us back to a innocent, simpler time in our life that we tend to forget.
 Laura, I wish you great succes with Altered.
Thanks Susan for hosting me today.

My pleasure.


Laura Burks said...

Thanks Susan!

Susan Whitfield said...

Delighted to have you over, Laura. I hope folks will drop by and learn more about you.