Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nano Guest: Stephanie Burkhart

Nano-part2010Welcome to Stephanie Burkhart! Steph’s here to talk both about Nanowrimo and her Christmas release.

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I'd like to thank Loraine for having me on her blog today. Loraine's artistic spirit inspires and motivates me and I'm delighted to visit.

Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH. When I was 18, this New England Patriot fan joined the US Army for a great adventure and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. I met a fair-haired California boy and we were married in Denmark in 1991. fulda89-5Little odd fact: I went to Berlin in 1988, before the fall of the wall. Now, the adventure over, I work for LAPD as a 911 Operator.

Loraine asked me to tie in my topic to NaNoWriMo. A challenge to say the least, since I wanted to talk about my Christmas story in the Victory Tales Press, Stimulating anthology. Talk about creativity.

Let's start here: What do Loraine and I have in common? We're both doing NaNoWriMo, we were both in the Germany in the late 1980's and early 1990's, and we are both self-published.

I met Loraine through our self-publishing endeavors on Writing.com. She was so organized back then and I was just finding my way. Writing is a passion for us which leads me to… (drum roll please)


This is my second year doing NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month) The goal? Write 50,000 word novel in a month. An ambitious goal indeed.

For me, I must prepare. In October, I put together my maps, charts, pictures of my setting and characters, draft character bios and do a rough outline. For this year's project I researched the myths of werewolves, witches, flowers, herbs, and roots. If I don't do the prep work, I'm not ready to write on day one.

I usually write 1700 words a day. However, I'm at work so I have to handwrite it. By the time I get to the computer, I have 5-8K to type up! As I write this, I am 28K into my NaNoWriMo project. The official website says at this rate, I'll make my goal on 25 NOV. J

This year's project is kinda' new and kinda' not. It's a rewrite of an earlier paranormal story, "The Wolf's Torment." I intended to take away some of the horror elements and add more romantic ones. I made several changes to the story. The biggest: Sonia was no longer a maid, but Mihai's half-sister. Mihai is a witch, a concept I did not develop earlier, but am exploring this time around. Just about everything I've written so far is new material. The story is taking new, exciting twists and turns. It's set in Romania and Romania is in Europe so I'm using this to transition into talking about my Christmas story, "Christmas in Bayeux," which is in a Christmas Collection, Stimulating, published through Victory Tales Press.

christmascollection"Christmas in Bayeux" takes place in France, which is in Europe. Ingenious, aren't I?

My hero is Aiden Seward. Aiden was in the Army serving in Iraq when he learns his parents have died. His parents only son, the Army releases him from active duty. Aiden seeks out the World War II beaches of Normandy hoping to heal his aching heart and finds Noel, a woman he knew 9 years ago when she was a foreign exchange student in his home. Can they find love?

Here's an excerpt:

Aiden smiled as she approached. Since he'd last seen her nine years ago, she had gotten taller. Her brown hair peeked out from her cap, flecked with copper highlights. Her cobalt eyes pierced his defenses now, just as they had before. He took a long breath. Despite the winter clothes, she was stunning.

Her eyes swept over him and then sparked with recognition. "Aiden!"

"Bonjour, Noel!"

She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a quick hug. "Bonjour!"

Her warm glow infused him with hope, cracking his battlements even further. Her genuine embrace was what he needed, but he wasn't here for her. He needed to set his heart and his mind straight and she would be a big part of that. Taking a step back, Aiden feathered his eyes over her. "It's good to see you again, Noel. You've changed…"

"Oh, I was just a girl when I was an exchange student in your house."

"You were sixteen."

Her cheeks reddened. "Oui – now I am a woman. How are your parents?"

"They passed away while I was in Iraq."

"Oh, I am sorry to hear it. They had such kind hearts. I adored them."

"That's part of the reason I'm here."

Her eyes softened. "I was surprised to get your call. Bayeux is such a small town. I knew there must have been a reason. Come inside and talk to me." Her voice was low, silvery, full of concern.

Noel took his hand and led him into the church. It was as cold as it was outside, but he could feel Noel's refreshing heat through her gloves. It lit a vague, sensual spark inside him.

Check out the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE

Buy Links:

Amazon: (print) http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Collection-Anthology-Stimulating/dp/1456304410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289273692&sr=8-1

Ebook, Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/29148

Create Space, Print book: https://www.createspace.com/3494425

Victory Tales Press: http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php

Goodie Time: Leave me a post and I'll pick out two winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Tell me your favorite Christmas story and I'll pick a winner to receive a print copy of the Anthology. I'll come back on 01 DEC to pick the winners.

Find me on the web at:


Jillian said...

Hope you got done, Steph! I did. on the 25th- Jillian

Margaret Fieland said...

Steph, you are were so much better organized than I was. I had most of the Nano stuff in my head, though I did write down the bare bones of the conflict, setting, characters, and some plot points, most of which went out the window when I started writing. I passed 50,000 words on Saturday.


LK Hunsaker said...

Steph, glad to have you here today! Had to chuckle about the organized comment. ;-)

LK Hunsaker said...

Jillian and Margaret, congrats on hitting 50!

liana laverentz said...

You do have a way with words. Low, silvery...I like it already! Congrats and kudos to both you and Loraine for meeting (and exceeding!) your NaNoWriMo goals. I stand (or sit, as the case may be lately, as in sitting in my chair) in awe. Maybe next year I'll join you in your inspiring race to the finish line. Happy Holidays!

StephB said...

Hi all - Jillian & Margaret - congrats on being NaNoWriMo winners! I hit 50,206 on 28 NOV so I'm a big finisher, too! I even ordered a T Shirt. Silly me! Liana, you're more than welcome to join us next year. Maybe we can do one of those late night write in. LOL!!


Danielle Thorne said...

That's so cool you know Loraine and you were both in Germany. Steph, I can't believe you hand write and then go to your computer. You are amazing! Congrats on your NaNo novel. Amazing what we can do when we commit ourselves--although I'm sure most writers need to be committed!

karabu said...

My wrist aches just thinking about writing that much longhand and then trying to type it!

As far as favorite Christmas stories go, that's a tough one. Although I don't think of it as a Christmas story exactly, I did see it listed as one once, so I'll say "Little Women". I do love the Christmas scenes in it anyway.

Congratulations on the anthology and on NaNoWriMo!

Kathy said...

Stephanie loved the excerpt what a sweet wonderful love story. Perhaps when my funds improve I will be able to run over to Amazon and grab a copy. Just stopped by to say hi from a fellow RomVet and NaNo participant. Good luck with sales. Ps I didn't quite make the deadline I fell 3,523 words shy of the count. I managed nearly 25k in two days yesterday and today but not early on. I can't get into that deep stage planning. I write with a little bit of an idea for the story sort of a tag line maybe. The main characters names and that is it. This year the story flipped over on top of me as I got into it.

StephB said...

Nice to see you pop in, Sweetie. I agree - we you put your mind to something, you can make it happen.

Karabu, I'm surprised my wrist doesn't ache. I try to take good care of my forearms and wrists. With all the typing and writing I do, thankfully, I have no carpal tunnel.

Kathy, 25K in two days is AMAZING. I love the RomVets group.

I used to start projects with very little planning, but they took much longer to finish. I find if I can do the premlinary work, then the actual writing comes a lot faster. I think it's because I elimate the research aspect of it early and I don't have to research as i write.

Good time!

Congrats to Karabu and Margaret - winners of the autographed postcard. Send me an email to sgcardin1@yahoo.com or botrina_buchanan@yahoo.com and I'll send them out to you right away.

Congrats to Kathy - winner of the print copy of the book. Send me an email to one of the above addresses and I'll get that copy out to you!


LK Hunsaker said...

Steph, good for you for getting the T-shirt! Posting a photo on your blog?

Liana, Danielle, Kara, and Kathy: thanks for coming by to join Steph, and congrats to the winners!