Please extend a warm welcome to romance and children's author, Stephanie Burkhart. Steph was born and raised in
. Wanting a grand
adventure, she joined the US Army and spent 7 years stationed in Manchester, New Hampshire . She met her husband while
in the Army and they were married in Germany in 1991. Since leaving
the service, Steph has worked for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. She loves
traveling, watching Dancing with the Stars and the New England Patriots are her
favorite football team. Denmark
Anne - Thanks for being here today, Stephanie. It’s a beautiful spring day, just the kind of day to do my favorite thing…talk writing! So, if you’re comfortable, Stephanie, let’s get down to business. Tell us about A Polish Heart.
Stephanie - Rebecca J. Vickery put out a call for a spring/Easter romance for a 2011 Anthology and I took up the challenge. For me, growing up, Easter was a big deal for my family. My mother's family is Polish/Ukrainian and we would visit my grandmother every year, share a mass and Easter dinner. Then we'd visit the extended family. For A Polish Heart, the Easter traditions I grew up with inspired the story. Here’s the blurb:
Darrin Riverton, an architect from the
is assigned to a challenging project which requires a trip to United States .
Sofia Buraczynski is assigned as his translator and his first sight of her
heats his blood. Poland
his guide, Darrin discovers Sofia and
many new things about himself, as well. When a chance is presented for him to
remain in Poland , will he leave behind family and all that is familiar to follow his
The story is meant to be a family/inspirational one and the heat level is "sweet."
Anne – Many authors promote their stories with book trailers. Do you have one?
Stephanie – I do. It’s on Youtube:
Anne – That was lovely! What are readers saying about A Polish Heart?
Stephanie – Here are three comments:
“Luckily, the Almighty seems to have a hand in this simple, straight, and heart-warming tale of romance, to make the reader feel satisfied with the ending.” ~ 5 Stars, Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader
“This is an excellent read. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. When the hero literally turns his life upside-down to be with
, it just touched my heart. I'll definitely be looking for more stories by this promising author.”~ 5 Stars, Vikki McCombie, Amazon Reader Sofia
has always been a stronghold for Christian faith so it was refreshing to see it against the backdrop of the high holy days of Easter. Totally enjoyable read.” ~ 5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader Poland
Anne - Let's return to the more mundane...the writing process. How long does it take you to write a book?
Stephanie - About three months for a novel length book. For a short story, about a month.
Anne - Do you belong to writer organizations, critique groups, or depend on a beta reader?
Stephanie – I’m a member of
EPIC. I also belong to an online
writing group called Writing.com. When I first starting to really sharpen my
craft in the mid 2000's, Writing.com gave me a lot of feedback and guidance. I
also use a beta reader. I've really come to treasure my reader, Kathy. She
tells it to me like it is, and I appreciate that.
Anne – I agree! Beta readers are worth their weight in gold, and I trust and cherish their feedback. Is there one book you are most proud of writing? Why?
Stephanie - Regarding my romances, I would have to say it is "The Count's Lair," Book 2 in my Budapest Moon Series. I've discovered I like to write contemporary, paranormal (werewolves) steampunk and fantasy romance, so I've written romance stories in all three genres. The Count's Lair is a paranormal romance. I'm proud of it because Anton and Amelia's story really spoke to me. It's a 2011 Silver Winner in the Reader's Favorite category Romance: Sci-Fi Fantasy. It was also nominated by Long & Short as a book of the week.
Regarding my children's work, I would have to say I'm very proud of "The Giving Meadow." This was originally a play written for my church's Sunday preschool. It's about a caterpillar who travels through the meadow learning to share and make friends.
Anne - Are you a glass half-empty or a glass half-full kind of person?
Stephanie - Half full. I really try to see the positive things of life because I don't like getting depressed when I take the glass half-empty look.
Anne - How many rejections did you acquire along the way to publication? What kept you going?
Stephanie - I received a ton of rejections, and looking back, I understand why. In hindsight, I'm glad to have received them. Writing.com really helped me develop as a writer. To work on my word counts, I enter Writer's Digest Annual Contests and Popular Fiction Contests and I've always done well in them. In 2008, my short story, "Spontaneous Decision," won 8th place in Mainstream Fiction.
Anne – Congratulations. The Writer’s Digest is a prestigious award. Do you have any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?
Stephanie - Keep writing and have patience. Today's world is full of the "instant gratification" message. Writing, then editing, then publishing a novel or a short story is not an instant thing so don't expect success overnight. It takes patience.
Anne – Final question: Where can readers find you online?
Stephanie – At my website, on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and YouTube. Anne, thank you so much for having me here today.
Anne - It’s my pleasure, Stephanie. It’s been fun. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and A Polish Heart with us.
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