Hi, Ralene! Thank you for joining us today! How long have you been writing? What inspired your quest to become a writer? I’ve always been writing, even when I was little. I had a short essay on Martin Luther King Jr. published in a city-wide magazine in the 3rd grade. In 2005, a conversation with the head teller at the bank where I worked inspired the novel that really set off this journey to write as a career.
Tell us a little bit about Bellanok! A novel inspired by nothing more than a fervent prayer for new ideas, Bellanok is my first published novel. My baby!
A haven for myths and legends. . .until evil discovers a way in.
With evil darkening the mountain to the north, the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm of Bellanok to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.
Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated — a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him that he is some kind of savior.
Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to open the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.
What is the greatest praise you’ve received about Bellanok so far? I had a reader email me to tell me how Bellanok inspired her to make some changes in her life, to embrace who she was meant to be. That’s the highest praise, in my opinion.
Describe your writing style in three words. Encouraging, embracing, and empowering.
What is your favorite thing about writing? What is your least favorite? I love brainstorming and discovering the heart of a story. It’s thrilling to “meet” new characters and dive into their lives, their worlds. Of course, then I go back and read what I wrote and wonder how I’ll ever make it as a writer. Self-doubt is probably the worst.
Your most creative ideas come when. . . I’m trying to sleep. I’ve decided I have a mild form of insomnia.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Take the time to learn your craft. You have to know the rules/guidelines in order to effectively develop your own voice and style. Or, as some say, you have to know the rules to break them.
Can you give us a teaser about your WIP? I’m working on Soter, a sequel to Aletheia (the one due out in September). Here’s a little snippet:
Out of nowhere, Sam stopped. He didn’t turn. Didn’t say anything.
Tristan slowed and clapped a hand on his shoulder. “What are you doing?”
A low growl emanated from the trees. Red eyes appeared in the darkness.
Tristan’s breath froze in his lungs. So now would be the moment of the attack. He flung his bag away from him, and Sam did the same. Tristan noted that there were no lupens behind them on the plain. He forced himself to breathe slowly.
A giant lupen stepped from the woods– the largest he had ever seen. Its massive paws has to be about the size of his chest. Fear wasn’t an emotion he dealt with often, but now it was evident in the pounding of his heart and the sweat dripping down his back.
A lone lupen. Were there more hiding in the trees?
“Why isn’t it attacking?” Sam whispered, his voice shaky.
You stand between two portals. One opens to a fantasy world and the other to a spaceship. You would open the portal to. . . Fantasy, of course! I love a good fantasy story–and what I wouldn’t give to visit some of those lands. Although, if that “spaceship” was the TARDIS…
Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to help everyone SHINE BEYOND! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for several freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is available on Amazon!
When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva.