I'm excited to introduce you to...
Linore Rose Burkard is best known for her inspirational regency romance series with Harvest House Publishers. Today, as L.R.Burkard, she also writes YA/suspense. Linore teaches workshops for writers, is a mother of five, and still homeschools her youngest daughter—preferably with coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. She grew up in a family of ten in New York City, graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in English Literature from CUNY (City University of NY) and now lives in Ohio with her husband, children, three cats and a Shorkie.
PULSE shows the aftermath of a solar flare which has caused an EMP (an electromagnetic pulse) which takes down the electric grid for the continental United States. Life is changed, virtually instantly. Reduced to existence without the help of anything electric or electronic—no heating systems, no air conditioning, no telephones, (not even cell phones) no TV, radio or internet, people have to learn to survive like Pioneers. Most transportation would be immediately disrupted. (Your fancy new expensive car probably won't run after am EMP, either.) Can you imagine? I did. And thus, my series was born.
What did you learn while writing PULSE?
I learned SO much—that an EMP is possible, for starters. It's not broad science fiction—it can really happen, and has happened in the past. But the largest recorded event in history took place in 1859 before we had this tremendously fragile infrastructure based on electrical wires. If the same event were to occur today, the US Congress estimates that it would result in the deaths of over 70 million people in this country. That's the bad news. I also learned good things, that food storage is possible, and that there ARE ways to survive if such a disaster were to occur. But it takes preparation. Throughout the book, readers can see how some people did prepare and get by—and how others didn't.
I'm not an in-depth planner. I plan one to two huge things to happen in the lives of all of the central characters—which may or may not overlap with each other—and then I fill in the blanks, supply the back story that is vital—and only that which is vital—to bring about those events. They may need foreshadowing, or earlier instances and these lead up to the main event, which becomes the turning point of the book—the climax. After that, I wind things up, tie loose ends, and I've got the whole book done. There's a lot of brainstorming that happens on the way, but it happens organically—one event leading to another. I don't artificially impose things on a story that isn't already going in that direction.
What's the most random thing you had to Google while writing the story?
I had to try and find out what ingredients are needed to build a bomb. This is important to the story, but I didn't enjoy having to look it up! I figured, now the feds are going to think I'm a terrorist, when I'm just an author doing research! (I've had to research many things for this series, including the Congressional Report about what the effects of an EMP on the United States would look like. Very eye-opening.)
Did you get to do any fun research for the book?
For Book Two in the series, I did (RESILIENCE). There's a really cool character named Roper, a beautiful guy who loves to tell one-liners. So I had to dig up a bunch of one-liners that aren't copyrighted, but also aren't so well known that the reader would've been familiar with them already. It was great having Roper in the story. He helped me inject a little humor—and romance—into an otherwise dystopian setting.
What are your favorite writing conferences and why?
The ones I'm teaching at! Why? Not because I don't enjoy learning from others, but because I relish helping other writers, and I hone my own skills and expertise when I prepare to present it for others. At a recent conference where I taught a class, an attendee said to me afterwards, "Your workshop was worth the price of the whole conference." Statements like that make the preparation worth it. I try to pack my classes with value a writer can walk away with and implement, whether in their writing, their marketing or their publishing.
The third book in the PULSE EFFEX SERIES. PULSE is like Season One of a suspenseful show you'd watch on television. Book Two, RESILIENCE, is Season Two. So I'm almost finished with Book Three (RESISTANCE) and I'm considering adding a fourth installment, which I'll call RESURGENCE. Each book takes the characters further along as they survive in a world gone dark, while also introducing new characters, new dangers, and new close escapes. I'm a visual person and I see my scenes unfold like a movie—so that's the best way for me to describe each book—like a full season of a show. But I'm careful to remember my audience for this series—many of whom want to learn survival tips while they're entertained. Again, I want to pack as much value in my stories as I can. (Which is why there is almost always a character who is in need of—and gets to hear—the gospel.) "Never a dull moment," is how one reader put it, when reviewing this series.
Tell us a little more about yourself, with three things not many people know about you.
I was a Fine Arts major for two years before getting my BA in English Lit. I love art, especially Impressionism, and I enjoy painting. #2. I'm a licensed firearm carrier—my husband and I enjoy spending time together at a little "shooting range" on our three acres. #3. I come from a family of eight children and grew up in a three story house with grandparents on the third floor for some of those years. That meant there were often a lot of people around at any given time! To this day, I can write with all kinds of noise around me.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I have a newsletter that has attracted a great group of "readers, writers, poets and dreamers." I send new issues out once or twice a month and I have content that not only informs readers of my book progress or news, but which gives inspiration and encouragement to writers as well. I love to include survey questions so I get to know my list. I also do two book drawings a month from that list, so anyone can get two chances a month to win a book by joining my tribe. They can sign up at either of my websites, which are http://www.LinoreBurkard.com, or http://www.LRBurkard.com.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Emilie!
You're very welcome!
Websites: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com, and http://www.LRBurkard.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorNewsfromLinore/ or https://www.facebook.com/linore.burkard, or https://www.facebook.com/LinoreRoseBurkard/
by L.R. Burkard
What do you do when the whole world stops?
Andrea, Lexie and Sarah are just ordinary teens--until a mysterious event shuts down the entire electric grid. In the dead of winter, there's no heating systems, no internet, no cell phones, not even a stinking working car. In this chilling Christian YA tale, most of the population doesn't survive. Pitting faith and grit against a world without power, the girls and their families must beat the odds. But can they find the strength to survive when society collapses and technology fails?
Purchase: PULSE (The PULSE EFFEX, BOOK ONE)