It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Alison Burke, author of Search For The House of Dreams.
About Alison Burke:
I was born in Lancashire and started my career by training as a State Registered general nurse and progressed to midwifery. Later, I joined the army and became an officer in the QARANC (Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps). On a posting to Malaya, now Malaysia, I found my true love. This was an ideal setting for a marriage with young children, and now my memories are a wonderfully rich source of material for my writing.
About Search for the House of Dreams:
It is the year 1847 and 18yr old Genevre Stratton is treated more as a servant than a daughter in the elegant house her parents have rented in the fashionable city of Bath. Appalled by the dishonesty and overriding social ambition beneath their veneer of respectability, only her love for her three younger siblings keeps her there. Left to cope alone when their false world falls apart, she fights to keep her brother and sisters together, until poverty forces her to yield them to the care of their half-brother, George Coleman. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, he is the enemy who becomes her lover. To surrender all to her passionate desire for him, or to keep the independence of a new-found musical career on the London stage, is her choice to make, until an unexpected call of duty takes her to Paris. Must the old, dark secrets she discovers there alter the course of her life forever ?
Author Interview with Alison Burke:
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- What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
To the Brontës parsonage at Howarth in Yorkshire.
- Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
It helps them to have confidence in what they write and to market their work assertively. If they have not produced a marketable product, they will soon find out, but at least their work will have been exposed to offers.
- Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
In that I aim to offer readers an experience that they will enjoy, I write to give them what they want. At the same time I aim to bring a fresh and interesting slant to my story telling.
- Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Yes.Some thrillers appear to be devoid of much emotion or the character development resulting from this. Instead they depend on a series of sensational events. Presumably this reflects the emotional capacity of the writers, but they sell well, and therefore must the needs of a large number of readers.
- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Julie Cohen, Janet Gover, Katie Ford and Jean Fullerton are all members of the Romantic Novelist Association, to which I belong. They give encouragement as well as honest, constructive criticism and run courses on various aspects of writing.
- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t be scared.Get on and write something.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The cost of a first writing course an Adult Education Centre. The basics of writing fiction were made clear to me.
- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Three, all of these have some potential and may be revised and improved and finished later.
- What does literary success look like to you?
Success means writing novels that ordinary people will buy, read, enjoy and escape from the mundanities of everyday life.