Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She spins fantastical tales to encourage people to SHINE BEYOND. She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.
Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 5-part serial, started in October 2015!
When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .
Connect with Ralene...
--> Website: http://www.raleneburke.com
Author Interview | Ralene Burke
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...Hi, my name is Ralene Burke, and I’m an author. (Hi, Ralene.) :)
...I’ve always been a storyteller, just ask my dear mother who had to sit and listen for hours about the recap of a darling little girl’s day. I didn’t start taking writing seriously until after I had my first kid and found myself home by myself for hours a day. Finally, I actually had TIME to write—well, when I was awake anyway.
...I keep writing because, well, I have to. I have these stories and characters inside, begging to be heard. If I don’t sit down and write, I think I slowly start to go insane. Ask my family, they actually notice a difference.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I think my favorite novel so far is Aletheia, the first in my fantasy trilogy. It is the first book that I think I really found my voice and my message. The characters inspire me and really seem to be a piece of me.
What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...I am self-publishing a fantasy serial entitled, Bellanok. The first part, The Reluctant Savior, is already out; part 2 should be out by the end of November.
...The hardest part about self-publishing is that there is no one to push you. There’s not an editor breathing down your neck for edits, or a publisher pushing you to do more marketing, no one to care if you don’t get it all done. So, you have to set goals and schedules and use your own willpower (with God’s grace) to get it all done.
...The easiest is having total control over every aspect of your novel, from editing to production.
Tell us a little bit about your book. Why are you/did you write it?
...Bellanok is a haven for myths and legends . . . until a demon finds a way in. Now the fairy queen must find a savior, and, together, they must save the last measure of innocence in the world.
...The story came to me during a prayer time. I don’t remember what the prayer time was for, but I know it wasn’t for writing. In fact, I was working on a completely different story at the time. But, with the idea came the entire original first chapter . . .
...Bellanok is a story about two people finding their place in the world and accepting their calling—two things that many new adults struggle with.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...Oh, they are each my favorites in their own way. The most fun to write, though, is Roman. He doesn’t talk a lot, but, when he does, he’s sarcastic and witty.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...God can take anything that may seem ordinary, including us, and use it to do the extraordinary. It’s amazing what can happen in our lives, what we can accomplish, when we let God take the wheel.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...For a writer, inspiration comes from everywhere! Every experience, every relationship—the good, the bad—every bit of our lives feed story and character for us. None of my stories so far have much “real life” in them, though, certainly many of the emotions and struggles are the same.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I write to both encourage and inspire people. I want them to go further, delve deeper, and become who God created them to be, no matter how out-of-the-box (or even within the box) that may feel.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Read and write, then write and read. Do both extensively—inside your genre and out, nonfiction and fiction, good and bad. We learn and absorb the more we see and do.
...That and find a support system in the publishing world, fellow writers who will understand your plight.
What will you do for Thanksgiving?
|Ralene and I at ACFW Conference|
What is your favorite food of the Thanksgiving dinner?
...Oh goodness. Well, if there’s fried turkey, then that is definitely it. Otherwise, it’s pumpkin pie!
What are three things you’re thankful for?
...I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; my family and friends, and this voice God gave me to tell stories.
______________________________I'm so glad I got to have Ralene on the blog again. She's seriously the sweetest person you'll ever meet! See - I just smile every time I'm with her. I also had the opportunity to take her headshots and to hang out with her at Realm Makers. The more Ralene I can get in one year, the better!
It's also awesome to celebrate the release of her first book! It's a steal right now for $0.99 so you should probably go grab it. Just sayin' :D
I had Darlene Franklin on the blog last week and she graciously offered a copy of Tobagganing for Two! I've got our winner...
Congrats Melanie! I'm sure you'll enjoy this :)