Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Allie Burton!
Allie Burton didn’t realize having so many jobs would become great research material for the stories she writes. She has been everything from a fitting room attendant to a bike police officer to a professional mascot escort. She has lived on three continents and in four states and has studied art, fashion design, marine biology, and advertising.
When her kids asked, “when are you going to write a story we can read?” she switched from adult novels to Young Adult and Middle Grade and hasn’t looked back.
Allie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Romance Writers of America, including the Young Adult, Dallas Area Romance Writers and Heart of the Rockies chapters. She is also a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Currently, she lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.
Without further ado, here is Allie’s interview…
I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? I wrote my first complete novel in eighth grade, but I was distracted by a career in advertising where I wrote advertising copy and promotional brochures. My first novel was finally published in 2013 and I haven’t stopped since completing nine books and two novellas.
Why did you choose to write young adult fiction? I started writing romantic suspense and my kids were always looking over my shoulder. One of them asked, ‘when are you going to write something we can read?’ So, I wrote a quick story about a brother and sister adventure. That story will never be published but it helped me find my voice in the young adult genre.
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? Since my books have fantasy elements I’m always researching strange topics: Egyptian gods, strange cults, oceanography, ancient weaponry, and legends of Atlantis.
What are you currently working on? I’m putting the finishing touches on Cleo’s Curse, the fourth book in the “Soul Warriors” series, which releases in December 2015.
Soul Warriors Book 4
An ancient knot entangling Cleo in a world of magic and power.
A driven leader intent on controlling a curse.
A disgruntled slave no longer willing to bow to a modern goddess.
Needing to suck up to her parents, spoiled boarding school student Cleo Carruthers decides to make an effort and attend classes. Except the teachers can’t see her. The Knot of Isis has woven a web around her and she’s become truly invisible.
A slave to Queen Cleopatra in a previous life, Soul Warrior Antony refuses to serve anyone. But when a modern day goddess demands his help, he can’t say no. Saving the world must take precedence over his wishes. Until his wishes get tied up into a knot by Cleo.
Trapped in a strange world, together the two teens must secure the magic of the knot and become unbound from the relic’s powers. But they are being hunted by those who want them to disappear. Permanently.
What motivated the plot of Cleo’s Curse? When researching the legend behind King Tut’s trumpets (which both books Tut’s Trumpet and Peace Piper are based on), I came upon the Tyet Knot which purports to be influenced by the goddess Isis. The magical artifact they encounter
in Cleo’s Curse is the made-up Knot of Isis where one of the powers is invisibility. My main character was used to being invisible to her parents and I thought how ironic if becoming invisible is what finally gets her noticed.
What was the hardest story for you to write? The Lost Daughters of Atlantis series was planned to be three books. When fans requested more underwater stories, I decided to take one of the villains and make her a hero. Adhering to her original backstory and making her likeable was one of the hardest things to accomplish and yet I think Atlantis Dark Tides is one of my strongest books.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I’m a hybrid of a plotter and a pantser or organic writer and my process is always changing. Right now, I map out the major points of the book. Then, I write a fast draft in a week or two. Next, I go through that fast draft and fill in all the missing items including descriptions and emotions and action. I have a critique partner or content editor who reviews what I’ve written, and then I incorporate her comments. Next, I do a deep edit which includes making sure I have enough of the elements and conflict on all the pages, check on duplicate words, and a final read through. Then, the manuscript goes to the editor and I await the editor’s comments.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I love all my characters as I’m writing them and also the secondary characters I put in the books that I plan to write a future story about. Olivia, from Soul Slam, is one of my all-time favorites. She’s gritty and sarcastic and has led a tough life. [I enjoyed her as well.]
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? All of them reflect certain aspects of my personality. My sarcasm and love of puzzles, my interest in history. All of my stories are about finding the real person beneath the façade and I find through writing these stories I’m finding my truth. [So cool. It’s like writing therapy.]
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? No. I’m a firm believer in putting your butt in the chair and writing crap if you need to until you find the sweet spot.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Small town romantic suspense. You may see something from me in that genre in the future. [I was hoping you were going to say that. Should be fun to write and read.]
Which authors inspire you? Rachel Hawthorne, Marissa Meyer, Cassandra Clare, Ednah Walters.
What novel would you read multiple times? Cinder, The Mortal Instruments, Runes. [All on my TBR.]
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? My list would be too long to list here. There are so many interesting people in the world alive and dead, fictional and real.
What is your favorite quote? “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.” Richard Bach [I like that one.]
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? I love all dogs and any ocean animal.
What is your favorite color? Blue. [My original favorite color!]
You can catch up with Allie Burton, a full-time author, online…
Thanks for being a part of A Center Stage Moment! It was great having you here.
Join me next week as I feature Mara Valderran!