Monday, 26 August 2013

Author Interview: Lindsay Buroker

Lindsay Buroker

Regular readers to my blog will know that I just love The Emperor's Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. You can find my reviews here and here. I sent Lindsay a few questions about the series and herself which she gladly answered for us. Hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did . . .

Lindsay, let me begin by asking what inspired The Emperor’s Edge Series?

Hm, lots ;) I always liked action-adventure stories, ones where the "adventuring party" goes off on a mission and has to save the victim, the city, the world/universe, etc. As a kid in the 80s, I grew up watching Star Trek reruns, Macgyver, and the A-Team, so you could say I was prepped well for quirky heroes and campy dialogue. I was an only child so read a lot, too. Mostly historical fiction (more adventure stuff) and books about animals (animals having adventures, that is). In middle school, I found fantasy and science fiction novels, and from then on, all the stories taking place in my head existed in secondary worlds that involved swords (even the science fiction. . . you can't go wrong with swords, right?)

I always loved good dialogue too, lines that surprise and make you laugh out loud. That's a big part of what makes me fall in love with characters. When I was "getting serious" about writing, I came this [ ] close to choosing screenwriting over novels, but books were my first love (and I didn't think I could handle the Hollywood lifestyle anyway). As a dialogue-junky, I couldn't imagine writing anything that didn't have an ensemble of characters to interact with each other.

So, I'd say everything from age five onward led me to the Emperor's Edge stories, though I do distinctly remembering getting the idea for Sicarius and some of the other characters when I was watching the movie U.S. Marshals of all things. Tommy Lee Jones as a 60-year-old Sicarius? Hm, probably not. I think it was just the idea of this team of experts working together to catch the bad guys.

Anyway, that's probably more than you wanted to know. It is interesting to me now, given that I've drifted toward female main characters of late, that Amaranthe wasn't an original part of "the team." She came later, after a reader in my writing workshop said I needed some women in the story. At first I tried to write a story where I integrated her into the team (Sicarius was in charge back then, if you can imagine). It ended up being an OK story, but didn't impress me enough that I ever polished it up with thoughts of publishing. Things got a lot more interesting when I decided Amaranthe should be in charge of this team of guys. So the first EE book was all about how I could make that happen and get the band together.

Who is you favourite character and why?

I don't have a favorite character, insomuch as I have pairs of characters that are fun for me to write because of the way they play off each other. The dialogue and the way people interact with each other is much more interesting to me than a character by him or herself. I always enjoy writing Amaranthe and Sicarius together, Books and Maldynado, Maldynado and Yara (actually Maldynado's kind of fun with just about anyone, heh).

Which character was the hardest to write?

I'm going to say Basilard, mainly because he can't talk. He's got his sign language, but when the team is skulking about in the dark (and this happens a lot!), it can be hard to find ways to keep him alive on the page. Even when it's not dark, he has a quiet personality, so I'll have to remind myself to have him comment now and then. I think I do best with him when he's off alone with one other character. Naturally, in group situations, your mouthy people are going to do most of the talking (I'm looking at you Maldynado. . . and you, too, Amaranthe --you've been accused of burbling, you know).

To answer the unspoken question, yes, authors do have conversations with their characters from time to time . . . It's not weird. Really.

Tell me something personal about yourself.

I like the number 3, the color blue, and I recently jammed my toe so hard in a tennis match that I'm fairly certain the nail is going to fall off this summer. Hey, you asked. ;) 

Thanks Lindsay!

Now I know you are dying to get your hands on Lindsay's books, so I'm happy to tell you that book one in the series The Emperor's Edge is free everywhere.  It's so worth reading. Lindsay also has a fantastic blog where she posts stuff to help other self-published authors. It's a great resource. 


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