EM: Welcome to My World, Andy. It is lovely to have you here today :-)
A.M. Burns lives in the Colorado Rockies with his partner, several dogs, cats, horses, and birds. When he’s not writing, he’s often fixing fences, hiking in the mountains, or flying his hawks. You can find out more about A.M. and his writing at www.amburns.com, or follow him on tiwitter @am_burns
- How long have you been writing for?
I’ve been writing off and on for over twenty years, ever since I was in high school. I used to do it to help pass the time, now I do it to pay the bills. I really turned serious about it several years ago, and thanks to the sour job market, I’ve had lots of time to polish my work, revisit some old characters/friends from the past and meet a lot of new ones.
- Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?
It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing, and not until a few years ago did I think I might be able to make a living at it.
- What is your favourite genre to read? To write? And why?
I love reading modern urban fantasy. There is just something about it that resonates with me. I love the way authors take classic themes, classic monsters and give them a new twist, within reason that it.
My writing is all over the place. The stuff that I get into the most is also urban fantasy, but one of my first short sales was a western tale which I really enjoyed. Later this year I’m going to do a time travel set in one of my urban fantasy series which will go back to the old west. I’m really looking forward to that.
- Who is your favourite author? Fave book? And why?
Favourite author and book, that’s really hard because there are so many good authors out there right now, and more coming on the scene every day. Sorry can’t answer this one with a definitive.
- How do you get your ideas?
Life supplies me with more ideas than I could ever use, and when I run out of them there, my partner is a goldmine of them. My E.S. Peters Investigations series have mostly been inspired by folks I know here in Colorado and crazy things they have done. The most recent one “Perfect Trouble” was inspired by my good friend’s son and some of the odd things he’s done. Yes he’d try and take over another dimension if he could.
- In your opinion what is the hardest part of the writing process?
Finishing the book. I never stopped to realize this until recently and I read it on a blog a few months back. But I can start a story, and it flows really strong until I’m about 75-80% done with it and then it just stops. I know how it’s going to end. I know what’s going to happen, and it’s like pulling teeth to get the rest of it finished. About that time my editor normally steps in and starts cracking her whip to inspire me. … no I don’t normally write those types of stories. VBG
- In your opinion what is the best part of the writing process?
Getting to know my characters. A lot of time I don’t know my characters real well until I get into the story and they start doing things and I’m like “wait a minute, I didn’t know about that.” Recently while I was writing “Heartsblood Fusion” a novella in my Yellow Sky series, Tal O’Duirwood, one of the central characters in the series, who happens to be a dragon, announced he was in Roswell, New Mexico back in the forties during a certain incident there. Great, now I get to write that story too, never a dull moment.
- Are you a planner or a panster?
Yes. It depends on what I’m writing. If a story is a mystery, it needs planning, that way it can lay out correctly and I limit surprises, like loose ends I forgot to tie up that my editor lets me know about. When it’s an action or romance I pants it all the way and let the characters have free rein of the story, sometimes they take a lot longer than I figure to get done, and sometimes they tie things up fast. Either way it’s a lot of fun.
- Do you prefer to concentrate on one story, or juggle a few?
I always have several stories going at one time. That way if I bog down on one, I can turn around and work on something else for a while and come back to it. In the past three weeks, I’ve completed two novels, “Perfect Trouble” the sequel to my first book “Perfect Love” in the E.S. Peters mystery series and “Dr. Gnome” a high fantasy action parody that is the first of a series. I’m editing the second novel in the Yellow Sky series with the hope of having all three books out by the first of May.
- Tell us about one of the most favourable scene you have written.
I think one of my favorite scenes to date was between two of my favorite characters Tal and Alex. The scene takes place shortly after they met and they are falling in love. Tal decides it’s time to tell Alex that he’s a dragon. They’re up in the mountains, so to prove it, he changes into his dragon form and they fly across a mountain valley.
- Out of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite and why?
Tal O’Duirwood has to be my favorite character. He started out years ago very different that he is today. Last year I had the idea for some changes to him, and he came alive in so many ways to me. He’s a dragon, well half dragon, who works for a group called the Coaltion of Magical Creatures that oversees all the magical creatures and magic users in the world. I’ve gotten into him and have had a good number of short stories come out, a couple of which will be published in different anthologies soon, two novels and so far 5 books in various stages. His story stretches back almost two thousand years, so there’s a lot there to explore, including Roswell. LOL.
- If you could meet any fictional character, who would you meet and why?
See another hard question there are so many There are classics like Captain Nemo, who would be interesting to just sit and talk to for hours on end. Mister Spock for the same reason, well and maybe more. Gandolf and Dumbledoor would be on the list. Do I have to choose?
Are you working on anything at the moment?
While I’m waiting for the final edits on “Dr. Gnome” I’m polishing away on the second Yellow Sky novel, working title “Dallas Death” but no one really likes that title. I’m also working on a comedy/scifi/horror called “Tales from the Scary Queen” and the second book in my YA series “Coyote’s Time”
Do you have any current release?
When Connor Wildman opens a portal to another world in his closet, Ethan Samuel Peters is called in to find the young man. With his trusty werewolf partner, Dusty, at his side, Ethan enters the portal and finds himself in the realm of Fairie. The realm beyond the portal is in chaos due to Connor’s unauthorized visit. Ethan must fight his way through angry elves and emboldened trolls to reunite Connor with his family, while trying to stop the Fairie Queen from declaring war on Earth. Meanwhile, can Ethan’s assistant Tiffany find the person responsible for the theft of sacred objects all over Dallas? The second book in the E.S. Peters investigations series brings even more action than the first and delves deeper into an elegant cast of characters.
Purchase link: http://www.mystichawker.com/Books/Perfect%20Trouble.html
Where can readers find you on the internet?
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5134598.A_M_Burns
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0054EVI6W
Mystichawker Press Author Page: http://www.mystichawker.com/amburns.html
Any advice you would like to give aspiring writers?
The only bad writers are the ones who don’t write. Get out there and write. Beyond that, join a critique group. Most towns have them or there are several online. Real critiques can help you develop your writing better than anything else you can do.
EM: Thank you so much for joining me, Andy!