Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ralene Burke {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Ralene...

Born this side of a miracle, 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…

The Lord gave her a heart for the written word and also for helping others, and thus was born her desire to become an editor as well.

Whether she’s wielding a writer's pen, an editor's sword, or a social media wand, she always has her head in some dreamer's world!

How to connect with Ralene...

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Writer Interview | Ralene Burke

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil . . . Okay, okay, I won’t go back that far. My first novel idea came while working at a bank. A friend was telling me the story of how she met her estranged grandmother, who ended up being her bus driver. The story wouldn’t leave me alone, and thus I began to form my own plot about a girl and the father she believed was dead. Of course, that book is still at the back of my closet.

...Writing is my passion. I couldn’t not write. I’ve tried before and ended up in such a depression that only time with God and writing, writing, writing could cure. God gave me this gift, and it is my responsibility to use it for His glory. Thus, I spin wild tales of the gifts He gives others!

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...Aletheia, the fantasy I’m polishing up to send out, is probably my favorite. The themes and characters resonate with me the most. I have such a heart for showing the world how God uses the most unlikely people for extraordinary things. And it was just fun to write! 

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...Alethia is a fantasy telling of the Armor of God. Karina, a healer-turned-queen is given a quest to retrieve the Armor of Elohim in order to defeat a warlock and an ancient evil set on sending her world into eternal darkness. Of course, she meets several people along the way that are meant to help her achieve this goal—in fact, they each are predestined for a specific piece of the armor.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...The main character, Karina, is my favorite. She’s humble but strong. While she struggles with accepting that Elohim would choose her in spite of her past, she isn’t afraid to step into her leadership role when the situation calls for it.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...No matter who you are, not matter what you’ve done, God has always loved you. He chose you for a purpose.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...A mix of both, I’m sure. I don’t think I’ve ever consciously based a character on real life, but a couple of my story lines have been inspired by real events. The second novel I wrote, The Impossible Choice, is based on the story I heard of the father who took his son and his son’s friend fishing on a boat. A storm came up and the boys were tossed overboard. The father had only enough time to save one—an impossible choice. He knew his son had accepted Jesus as his savior, but he was not sure if the friend had. He opted to save the friend.

Someone in The Impossible Choice has to make a similar decision . . .

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...My overall intention when writing is to encourage and inspire people. With so much in our lives trying to pull us down, to make us feel inadequate and alone, I want people to see that we don’t have to believe the lies. We were meant for more, for better.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Take the time to learn the craft. Be teachable. And write. Don’t necessarily think that you’re first novel is going to be “the one.”

...Also, since I’m a social media consultant, start using social media now. You want to build a following BEFORE you’re published—this will be key for your marketing strategy.


What is one thing you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?
...Hanging with my family. I try to make a point of spending time with my husband and kids when I’m not absorbed in work.

Thinking of Fathers Day, is there a story you’d like to share with the readers about your father?
...Oh, there are so many! One thing I remember when I think of my father is not really a specific memory, but a series of them. My dad was in the Army. He worked with tanks, teaching and training other soldiers, and was gone a lot. However, when he was home—he was home. If he was around, he never missed a single softball game, school production, or 4-H project. He got involved. I know so many fathers who wanted to “relax” when they were home, and he so easily could have. But he didn’t.

What is one thing you are looking forward to for the Summer?
...I’m most looking forward to our trip to see my parents! That’s vacation this summer—10 days in Virginia with family. My sister and her family, who currently live in Japan, will be home, and there’s going to be a big family picnic with family from all over the country. Yay!

Thank you so much for being a guest for {Writer Wednesday} Ralene, and for taking us into your world :) Your novel sounds great and I hope to see it in print soon!!! I love your advice for building your audience now, and your story about your father is so inspiring. I think it's good advice for us all - no matter where we are, we need to be "all there" because that's where God has placed us.

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