Meet the author: Geraldine Burrows
Hello, readers! This month’s author interview is with Geraldine Burrows, an author who writes everything from young adult fiction to historical fiction to vampire cult novels. I was introduced to her work when I read one of her young adult novels, a unique blend of contemporary and historical fiction. You can get all the details about Ms. Burrows and her work at her website.
Meet: Geraldine Burrows
What is your favorite part of the writing process, and least favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part is the final “polishing” read-through. The book is done (which is a tremendous relief) and now it’s down to just occasional words here and there—making a judgment about their suitability, utility, originality, vividness, and deciding if there is a better word. I find that very satisfying.
I also have to say that I love researching because I’m a research nerd at heart. In fact, I might love it a little too much because sometimes it’s an excuse to put off the first draft, which is my least favorite part of the writing process. That’s when a little voice in my head keeps saying “What made you think there was a book in this idea?” I don’t like staring at a blank page or having to summarize a 5,000 word plot point in one sentence because I haven’t figured out the complete storyline yet.
One thing that has helped me in doing my first draft is using a voice-to-text dictation program. It seems to facilitate my stream-of-consciousness thinking so that I can actually get the plot down without getting lost in the weeds of sentence structure, paragraph length, punctuation, character names etc.
You write in a variety of genres: what appeals to you about that? What is your favorite genre to write?
Yes, I am an unapologetic genre jumper, although I know this runs counter to the conventional wisdom that a successful writing career has to be built on sticking to one category. But I would be bored as a one-category writer and not every story that I want to write would fit in the same category. For instance, after publishing three YA rom/coms, my next project was an adult romantic suspense about violent vampire cultists. As for my favorite genre to write in, I would have to say it’s whatever one I'm currently writing in, although I do have a continuing fondness for Regency romances.
Tell us about someone who has inspired you creatively.
My earliest creative inspiration was Marvel Comics. My brother and I bought them all through junior high school, much to our parents’ dismay. Even though I was a voracious book reader, it was those comic book characters that inspired me to actually write spinoffs and plot new adventures for them, my first stab at creative writing. I think this is a tribute to the genius of Stan Lee, who created those characters that I loved so much.
What kind of books do you gravitate towards in your own reading life?
Something in a different genre from what I am currently writing, and usually something with a female main character written by a female. I am, however, making a conscious effort to find male main character books that I can enjoy as I think it helps me to become a more well-rounded writer.
One of the best pieces of advice you've ever gotten?
The RUTE Rule.
When my first published novel was going through the editorial process, the editor would occasionally make a mysterious notation of RUTE!!! This was something I’d never encountered even though I’d written newspaper articles, informational newsletters, and legal briefs for my day jobs. It turned out that RUTE stood for Resist Urge To Explain. This was advice I really needed because up to this point, all my professional writing had been explanatory in nature. Even after having written eight books, I still check for RUTE violations and always find a few in every manuscript.