Linore Rose Burkard creates Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen soul. Her characters take you back in time to experience life and love during the Regency England era (circa 1800 – 1830).
Linore’s books include her debut novel, Before the Seasons Ends, and The House in Grosvenor Square, which will be released in April 2009. Her stories blend Christian faith and romance with well-researched details from the Regency period. Experience a romantic age, where timeless lessons still apply to modern life. And, enjoy a romance that reminds you happy endings are possible for everyone.
I learned about Linore on the American Christian Fiction Writers loop. In addition, I’d seen a number of blog posts regarding her and her debut novel that captured my attention because, as you’ll see in her interview, her journey to publication is unlike that of many authors.
I’m giving away one copy of Before the Season Ends. You could also enter to win a First Sale Scrapbook. See drawing details at the end of the interview.
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•Linore, your debut novel has generated a great deal of buzz in Cyberspace. A big reason is that Before the Season Ends was originally self-published. Why did you choose to publish the book yourself, and how did you market it at that point?
I didn’t feel the need to have an editor’s approval, and I was too naïve of the publishing industry to realize the bias against self-publishers, so I went ahead and did it. Then, I spent the next two years plus, learning to create an online presence and market the book.
•Your marketing efforts paid off in a big way. An editor at Harvest House found Before the Season Ends while surfing the Internet and contacted you. Would you share with us the unique story of how you went from self-published author to one with a contract from a well-known house?
Actually, you just said it in a nutshell. My editor was looking for regency fiction and said he “kept running into me and my book all over the web.” When you’ve been working for more than two years to get that web presence, those are pretty neat words to hear. That was the start—he invited me to send him my book, which I did, and then he took it to committee for me. That ended in my getting contracts for two books, the second of which (The House in Grosvenor Square) will be out in April.
•Did your editor ask you to make many changes to your story before Harvest House published it? I’ve read the new version and understand it includes a chapter not in the original. Was that his idea or yours?
The extra chapter was my idea, and I would say that my editor mostly just cleaned up some sloppy punctuation. But the new edition gave me an opportunity most writers dream of—which is, getting to go back into their book and change things they want changed. After doing more research, I made the “language of faith” more authentic to the regency; no small matter. And we got to add a glossary (my editor’s idea); and we added reading group discussion questions, which really add to the book’s value. They give readers the chance to examine the themes of faith and trust, and to see ways those themes apply to their own lives.
•Another reason Before the Season Ends has garnered so much attention is that you did something that hadn’t been done before. You wrote an Inspirational Regency. What led you to write a story set in this period? How important are the faith elements to the plot?
I fell in love with the regency from Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I loved it so much that I wanted to read an inspirational romance with that setting, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. Then, one day when I was reading what I hoped would be an inspirational regency, it occurred to me that I would have to write it myself. So I wrote the book I really wanted to read. I wasn’t even thinking of publication at that point.
•Having read and enjoyed Before the Season Ends, I join the many reviewers who’ve remarked about the incredible amount of historic detail you wove into the story. A reader truly does feel as if she’s been transported to Regency England. How much time do you devote to research and how do you go about it?
Thank you, Keli, but I’m not that methodical, or consistent. I research what I need to research to write the scene or story I want to write. After that, I do reading—I don’t really think of it as research, just reading for fun, but I learn a lot that way, too. So, I can’t really answer your question. But I do avail myself of whatever resources I come across that I can afford. And I usually always research far more than I need to know for the story—that’s a weakness of mine, and probably lots of writers. We just enjoy the stuff and wish we could cram it all in!
•Many of my blog guests, like me, are not-yet-published writers. We hear so often the cautions against breaking the “rules.” You, however, did something rarely done today. You wrote using the omniscient POV. You give the reader insights into the thoughts and motivations of the vast majority of your characters, something those of us adhering to the use of limited POVs aren’t able to do. What led to your choice of this POV, and what did your publisher say about your use of it? What would you say to not-yet-contracted writers considering its use?
I would never tell a writer what POV to use for their story, but at the same time, I wouldn’t tell them not to use one if it’s their natural voice. I didn’t ask myself, “Gee, what POV should I use?” I just write that way, no matter what story I’m telling, or what time period. I think it’s more a matter of how you see the story unfolding as the writer, and I see mine as movies. In a movie, you can pretty much tell how most of the important people in any given scene are feeling, if you’re supposed to know. That’s how I write.
My editor (or copy editor) does sometimes change my POVs, but for the most part, as long as the reader can easily follow the story, they leave it as is. Again, it’s a matter of what works, not what rules you’re following or not following.
•Would you please tell us a little about Before the Season Ends and what we can look forward to in the sequel, The House in Grosvenor Square?
Before the Season Ends is a story of innocence versus the roguish hero; it’s a tale of sticking to convictions when the whole world tells you not to; and it’s a happy ending that seems like it will never happen, but does. It’s got humour and romance and a couple of good twists and turns, and an ending to sigh for. (How’s that for a teaser without giving away everything?)
The sequel (The House in Grosvenor Square) takes place in the two weeks before a big wedding (I won’t say whose). A lot of strange goings-on, and some close calls, and two ruffians with a grudge. It’s a bit more suspenseful, but the ending actually has three couples tying the knot—I don’t think any romance lover will be disappointed!
•And now a question just for fun. I understand you like gardening, and I know you like England. If a generous benefactor were to finance a two-week trip to the Old Country, which places would you most like to explore and what gardens or grounds would be on your must-see list?
Oh, bliss—a two-week tour to England, already financed? Actually, it isn’t the gardens I’d be heading for. I’d want to see the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, and visit the places where Jane lived; and the Brighton Pavilion, and anything that was around during the Regency in the West End. I’d love any of the places they call “Literary England,” the home of Dickens, or Wordsworth, or the Brontes. And I’m sure I’d spend at least an entire day in the British Museum. After that, bookshops and stores. Libraries would be a luxury, too.
It’s been great having you as my guest, Linore. And now, in closing, is there a final comment you’d like to make or a question you’d like to ask?
I do want readers to know that I have some wonderful reader’s resources on my website. Especially if you’re new to the time period, you’ll love these fabulous resources—and they’re free!
I’d also love to know whether readers think I should do a third book in the series; say, let Beatrice have her “day”? (Beatrice is Ariana Forsythe’s younger sister.) Let me know your thoughts!
Leave a Comment for Your Chance to Win!
On the evening of Jan. 26, I will choose one name from all those who left a comment for Linore. The winner will receive a copy of her debut novel, Before the Season Ends.
Congrats to Sherrinda, winner of the drawing.
You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook!
If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by your blog hostess, Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and January 31, making sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) You may enter once per post.
On February 1, Keli will choose one person who will have her choice of four covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your “firstborn” in your hands.
(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling. Watch for pictures added on future posts.)