Today we have fantasy author and freelance editor Ralene Burke with us. Born this side of a miracle (check out the full story at her website www.raleneburke.com), Ralene Burke grew up with a love for the supernatural side of God. Her passion spills over into her writing as she spins fast-paced tales of angels and demons, fantasy worlds, and the broader calling of every human being. A place where the light pierces the darkness. She just published the first in her fantasy novella series, Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior.
Please join me in welcoming Ralene Burke!
1) When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
About 10 years ago, a story popped into my head. Now, as someone who had been a writer/storyteller growing up, this wouldn’t seem odd. Except, I really hadn’t thought about writing at all in about 6 years. But this story popped into my head, and I just started writing. And here, 4 ½ novels later, I haven’t found it in me to quit. So, in 2010, I started taking writing more seriously and started looking into the publishing world. It’s been quite the ride!
2) Tell us a little about your books.
The only novel I have published right now is the first part of my fantasy serial, Bellanok. Bellanok is an island, a haven for myths and legends . . . until a demon finds its way in. Now it’s up to a down-on-his-luck pastor and the Fairy Queen to save the island, which in turn will save the world.
I have 2 other novels that my agent is pitching to traditional houses. One is a fantasy based on the premise, “What if the Armor of God were real?” The other is a supernatural suspense about an amnesiac with the ability to see the spiritual world and the demon trying to destroy Christianity using 21st century technology.
3) How do you write? What’s a normal writing day like for you?
Well, since I edit for clients as well as write, my “work” time varies depending on where my focus needs to be. Typically, I work 6:30-9:30 in the morning on social media and editing. Then I work 6:00-9:00 in the evening on my own WIP, or possibly editing once I get my daily word count in. At least, that’s the way it is all supposed to work . . .
4) Who are your books aimed at? If applicable: What are some of the challenges of writing for your audience?
My novels are aimed at 20-somethings. They’ve passed the coming-of-age phase, but now they are just trying to find their place in the world, trying to move to the next phase of their life. This is a time where I fear many people get lost and need more mentoring.
The challenge is that this age group doesn’t often have as much time to read anymore. Whether they are in college, starting careers, or starting families, there’s just a lot vying for their time.
5) What is the one author, living or dead, who you would like to co-write a book with someday, and why?
Just one? There’s so many . . . Lewis, Tolkien, Peretti . . . I guess if I had to choose someone who I most admire their style, I think I would love to co-author a book with James L. Rubart. His imagination and heart of the story fascinate me. I was so honored to get to tell him what an affect his stories have had on me as a person and as a writer. Maybe one day . . .
6) What are your hopes for your future as an author?
I hope that one day, someone will come up to me and say that their life was changed in part because they read my book, that I somehow opened their eyes to a truth they hadn’t realized before.
On a more tangible note, I hope to continue to write and publish stories for a long while. I’d love to see a novel of mine on the NY Times Best-seller list.
7) What were some of the challenges for you writing your book?
I struggle a lot with self-doubt and perfectionism. I know a lot of writers do. It can be paralyzing at times. The blank page. Finishing the story. Edits. Hitting send. Eep! Often, it is only through prayer and the strength of God Almighty that I have come as far as I have.
Also, I have 3 young kids, whom I homeschool. And I have a work-from-home business. And sometimes I sleep.
8) What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I hope readers come away with an understanding that God can use the most ordinary of people to do extraordinary things, not just for them or even the people around them, but for the world. I hope they will seek God with earnest to find their place in the world, their calling.
9) What can you tell us about any future releases you have planned?
Well, the second part of Bellanok should release in the next couple of weeks (probably December 4). Bellanok: An Urgent Quest begins with Brian on the island as he and the Fairy Queen try to figure out their next step. Of course, any time you’re in a new place, things are bound to go wrong—at least in a fiction world. And there’s no shortage of trouble from the get-go!
10) Star Wars or Star Trek?
Well, it’s like this. I love Star Wars. I never really go into Star Trek, though I’ve seen a lot of episodes through the years. However, I love the new Star Trek movies. I know, sacrilege. Please don’t shoot me.
11) Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like cocoa, raspberry tea, chocolate?
Once upon a time, it was Dr. Pepper. Then I became a diabetic, and switched to Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper. Then I decided to kick soda because of several articles I read that emphasized the various reasons artificial sweeteners were bad for you and hindered weight loss. So, now it’s iced tea, all day—every day. And I need a tall glass to start writing!
12) Favorite color?
13) Favorite dessert?
Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake—or pumpkin cheesecake rolls.
14) How would you like to be remembered?
I really just want people to remember me as a light. A light of encouragement, joy, and of God’s love.
15) What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
I am a procrastinator.
I cannot plot. If I do, I lose all passion for the story and stop about 1/3 of the way in.
I need to lean on God more and more.
My family really does rock. And my husband is absolutely my greatest supporter.
Thank you, Ralene, for joining us today! Here is where you can find her online:
Bellanok on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B016P42OCG