Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Thanksgiving interview with Susan Burns

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I hope you’ll be spending the day with family or friends, but whether you do or don’t, please take the time to count your blessings. 

I am so thankful that for the first time in many years we’ll be spending Thanksgiving with family!  My daughter Cyndi and her husband are now living in North Carolina, about fifty minutes away from us and we are invited to their house for dinner next Thursday.  There will be a large group of people there making the day feel even more special.  A far cry from Fred and me cooking a three pound chicken to celebrate, or, going to a restaurant for dinner.  This year will be real.

I am also thankful that I have so many writing friends.  These writers all enjoy the thrill of putting words on paper and some have gone so far as to get published.  It has been my pleasure to introduce you to some of these published writers, including today’s guest author, Susan Burns (pen name: S.B.K.Burns).

Welcome, Susan. Tell me a little about yourself.  I live in sunny San Diego and am married to my mechanical engineer husband, Chief Science Officer of a hybrid-electric transportation company. We have a twenty-year-old son who works with him to pick up Dad’s knowledge.

How long have you been writing? Since I was a kid, but full-time for about five years.

What type of writing do you normally do? I write mainstream romance, mostly paranormal, with lots of sexual heat. My most recent release is Entangled. 

Give us a brief synopsis of Entangled. Like my other books, it has themes of both science and romance. The science theme involves a plot where a Stephen Hawking type wheelchair-bound scientist invents a time machine, a quantum computer that uses quantum entanglement to bring him back in time to a ten-year-old Scottish boy from 1717. Problem is, to accomplish what he must, the boy must die.

The romantic plot takes hero, Taylor, and heroine, Dawn, into the past where they intend to stop the scientist, Taylor’s brother.  Instead, hero and heroine become entangled in their emotions and each other, causing a time quake that may change their future so much that they never existed.

What prompted you to write this book? I like blending science (the quantum computer) and spirituality (past life regression), the two ways into the past; each team, scientific and spiritual, trying to stop the other back in 1717 Scotland.

How long did it take to write Entangled? Six months, as part of our local San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America which each year challenges us to write a book in six months.

Do you have a favorite line from the book? “I’m sorry. I hope you don’t think me rude,” Taylor said, “how I barged in here, seducing your parrot and invading your video collection.”
     Had he just used the words seducing and invading in the same sentence?
Is it published and, if so, when and by whom? Entangled was released by Black Opal Books on September 21, 2013.

How can my readers get a copy of the book?

What do you do besides write? Like most published writers, I  spend most of my time outside of creative writing in revising each novel three or four times for my editors. I work with a group of artists on book cover art and comics. And I have a blog site, under construction, in which I post my musings about a possible language to link science and spirituality, called The Union of Opposites (

What else have you written?  Among others, Getting Them Up, is a coming-of-age story of a young male scientist who is abducted into a world of giant reptilian women with questionable motives, who run a hospital ship to presumably cure human diseases.

This year’s RWASD Challenge novel is a sequel to Entangled, more of a mainstream steampunk called Fly Like An Eagle.

An inspirational holiday short sci-fi story, Lost and Found, is available as a Kindle version.

What is your advice to would-be writers?  It is so much better to write poorly than not to write at all. You can always edit the poor writing and replace it with gems. In other words, never edit while you’re wearing your creative cap. It will shut your creative self down faster than a put-down followed by a colorful expletive.

What do you wish you knew when you started your writing career?  That it takes a village to write a novel. If you are lucky enough to get any criticism, at first take it to heart and then modify your work. Once you’ve written five novels or gotten a publisher to send you a contract, know your voice and be selective in the criticism you take.

And, something I learned from you when you, Linda, were presiding over our Alpine Writing Group in California: always be gracious, no matter whether or not you’re going to take the criticism.

Thank you, Susan, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone!

Quote of the Day:  Come, ye thankful people, come/Raise the song of harvest home/All is safely gathered in/Ere the winter storms begin.  Henry Alford.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Veterans and Hamburgers

Hi from sunny North Carolina.  The leaves are turning, the mornings are brisk, the sky is blue, and the temp is in the 70s by afternoon.  Just a little touch of Heaven here.

My daughter and son-in-law moved down from Connecticut to North Carolina last weekend.  They live in a gorgeous house on six acres of land, with their own pond and dock, in the little town of Lillington.  They are about fifty minutes south of us which is a lot closer than when they were ten hours away.  Now we just take a nice country drive and we’re at each other’s house.

We had one noticeable change from El Cajon last week.  On Thursday we had 13 trick or treaters come to our house, compared to the 140 or so we had in California every year.  We planned for 50 kids; consequently, we have a bunch of candy left over.  Oh dear, whatever will we do with it?

Since next week is Veterans’ Day, I’d like to tell you about a park here in Garner.  It’s called Lake Benson Park (it borders Lake Benson) and is just minutes from our house.  Within the park is the Garner Veterans Memorial which was dedicated on May 4 of this year.


The memorial is a citizen-driven project with pillars representing every war since the country was founded. Each brick in the walkway is in honor of a veteran.  The Garner Veterans Memorial is one reason why Garner was chosen, along with nineteen other cities in the United States, for the All-America City award. This memorial is both peaceful and beautiful and a fitting tribute to all of our military, past and present.

It is my pleasure to announce that the third book in my Cranky Seniors Series is now published and available on Kindle for $2.99.  It is called Hamburgers and Headaches and depicts the highs and lows of Fred and me owning a restaurant.

Happy Veterans’ Day.

Quote of the Day:  If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind, whom should we serve?  Abigail Adams