Hello to all of you awesome #BOC followers. I am so happy to have you stop by to check out my latest feature. Please welcome author E.E. Burke, who not only writes some pretty awesome books, but she also blogs and helps promote other authors. Her generosity is what grabbed me and her wonderful personality has kept me. I consider her to be a friend, and I hope she feels the same way!
Hi there and thanks for being so gracious about answering some questions for the Book Obsessed Chicks blog…. I picked you because you are an amazing advocate for the romance genre and you make a difference.
Please tell us a bit about yourself…
Here’s a bio:
E.E. Burke is an award-winning author of sexy and heartwarming historical romance featuring emotionally complex characters in settings rich with historical detail. Her latest series of sweet romances, The Bride Train, features a cast of unusual characters thrown together through a misguided bride lottery. Steam! Romance and Rails is a sexy series that follows the lives of dangerous men and daring women caught up in a cutthroat railroad competition. Think "Hell On Wheels"...with happier endings. Her novella, Victoria, Bride of Kansas, is part of the unprecedented American Mail-Order Brides Series penned by forty-five top Western romance authors. Victoria, Bride of Kansas reached #1 in Victorian and Western Romance and #4 in Historical Romance on Amazon's top sellers lists. E.E., also known as Elisabeth, has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the RWA's prestigious Golden Heart®. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream--writing stories readers can get lost in.
When did you fall in love with the romance genre?
I started reading romance when my grandmother gave me a book by Kathleen Woodiwiss, The Flame and The Flower. From that point on, it was true love. I couldn’t get enough of the romance genre. For years, I spent more on books than I did on clothes!
What made you decide to help spread the word about romance?
Hmm. Not sure. I’ve been a romance fan for many years and have shared books with friends, I would say I’ve always spread the word, so to speak. In 2010, I was a finalist in the RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Several other finalists that year started a blog for the purpose of sharing our love of romance with readers. Get Lost in a Story has been spreading the word about romance ever since.
Who are your favorite authors?
That’s a tough one! Even though I write primarily historical romance, I’m an eclectic reader. Also, I’ve had so many “favorites” through the years I can’t possibly list them all. I’ll share a few authors who have influenced me in a major way.
Mark Twain. His book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been on my Top 10 list since junior high. He’s considered America’s first novelist. I love the way he captures the culture of 19th century America so well through his quirky characters, his ear for dialog and his sharp wit. Speaking of favorite historical authors, David McCullough is at the top of the list. Just about anything he writes, I’ll read. His book, John Adams, remains one of my favorite biographies. OK, I’m a history geek, as if you can’t tell by now. The father/son duo Michael and Jeff Shaara wrote a series on the Civil War that blends history and fiction seamlessly, and their marvelous storytelling inspired me to weave real history and historical characters into my romance novels.
Other historical authors who’ve inspired me…
Paulette Jiles , Enemy Women; John Jakes, North and South; Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain; Larry McMurtrey, Lonesome Dove; Charles Portis, True Grit; Louisa Mae Alcott, Little Women; Laura Engles Wilder, Little House Collection; Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind.
On the romance side, I’ve been inspired by so many authors, having read hundreds of romance novels. One author in particular who has been a big inspiration is Jill Marie Landis. I began reading her work back when she published her first novel, Sunflower. She’s a master at creating deeply emotional stories and has taught me so much about deepening the emotion in my writing. Interestingly enough, she points to LaVyrle Spencer as a big influence--also one of my all-time favorites and a big influence. Other favorites/major influencers with their historical romances include Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Jody Thomas, Lorraine Heath, Susan Wiggs, Lisa Kleypas, Laura Kinsale, Teresa Medeiros, Francine Rivers, Jude Deveraux…barely scratching the surface here…
Do you have any advice for others who want to be romance cheerleaders?
Just get out there and start talking about romances you enjoy or authors you’ve discovered. Reach out and ask authors if you can interview them. They’ll be delighted by your interest!
What new books have you been shouting out about lately?
Besides my new series, you mean? ;)
Well, let’s see… I’ve been following Rosanne Bittner’s Outlaw Hearts series. The second book, Do Not Forsake Me, was nominated for Best Historical Novel for 2015 by RT Magazine. She has a third book in the series, Love’s Sweet Revenge, coming out in September. This series is so special because Rosanne wrote the first book more than twenty years ago (which is when I first read it). Then she wrote the sequel about this special couple, older now and with a family, and has turned it into an incredible saga. Moreover, this series has introduced new readers to Rosanne’s books and reignited her career. It gives me chill bumps every time I think about it.
Another historical romance I’m shouting out is Linda Broday’s Forever a Texas Bride. This is the third and last in her Bachelors of Battle Creek series, and it’s a fabulous ending, and probably my favorite of all three books. The hero and heroine really have to fight (in this case, literally) for their HEA.
What do you do when you’re not shouting out about great books?
I write, of course! And read in between.
Do you have any suggestions for must-reads this month?
Are you a conference attendee? Which ones?
Yes, once a year I go to a national conference, usually RWA or RT. When I can work it out, I enjoy regional conferences. Georgia Romance Writers does a wonderful conference, Moonlight and Magnolias, which I highly recommend.
What does your family think about your love of romance?
Sadly, I’m the only romance fan in my family. This breaks my heart.
Where can readers and authors find you?
Best way to keep up, sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a free book just for signing up! http://bit.ly/SteamFreeBook
PLEASE send me a friend request on my Facebook Friend Page: https://www.facebook.com/EEBurkeAuthor
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEEBurke/
Your Top 10 in Romance
This is so hard to answer because my top list is SO much longer than 10. I’ll give you ten that come to mind as books on my keeper shelf that I go back to time and again because I just love the stories.
Years, LaVyrle Spencer
Nobody’s Darling, Teresa Medeiros
A Knight in Shining Armor, Jude Deveraux
Lord of Scoundrels, Loretta Chase
The Prince of Midnight, Laura Kinsale
The Devil in Winter, Lisa Kleypas
The Prize, Julie Garwood
Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
Come Spring, Jill Marie Landis
The Tender Texan, Jody Thomas