Friday, April 28, 2017


Welcome to E. E. Burke, a writer whose work I enjoy reading. We’ve worked together on a couple of projects and I have found her to be delightful.


Question: Tell me about your newest book and what was the inspiration behind your writing it?
E. E. Burke: MAYBE BABY, A Texas Hardts Novella.
When I was first asked to write a contemporary novella for Magnolias and Moonshine, I'd just finished my latest historical romance for The Bride Train series. I thought it would be fun to spin off a contemporary series based on descendants of the couple in Seducing Susannah.

In Maybe Baby, you’ll meet Logan Hardt, the fourth of five brothers who've descended from Ross and Susannah. I’m currently working on a series called Texas Hardts that will feature Logan’s four brothers, who grew up on the ancestral ranch called the Double H.

Can you guess why it's called the Double H? Both Hardt men explain in Seducing Susannah and Maybe Baby. Here's the Double H brand. That might give you a hint as to the meaning.

Question: Why and when did you decide to become a writer?
E. E. Burke: I’m a storyteller at heart. From the earliest age I can remember, I made up stories. I also read books, then took those stories, expanded on them and acted them out with friends.
As far as writing goes, during junior high and high school I wrote poetry and song lyrics. At the time, I was convinced my words were inspired. I still have the journal containing my work. I keep it so I can look back and remind myself why I should never write poetry and leave the songs up to truly inspired lyricists like Paul Simon.
I set off to college still telling stories, occasionally writing them down. My father advised pursuing a career that paid a steady salary. Translated: don’t even think about becoming a novelist. I became a journalist instead.
Somewhere along the way, I allowed fear to bind me. I continued to read stories and carted home bags filled with books, feeling personally responsible for keeping the local bookstore profitable. I talked about writing down my stories, but somehow never got around to it.
When my children came along, I made up bedtime stories. Still didn’t write, except for the writing I had to do as part of my advertising job. After I turned fifty, I mentioned to one of my grown daughters that I wanted to write a book, specifically a romance novel. This wasn’t the first time I’d talked about my dream of writing novels.
I’ll never forget her answer. “You’ve always encouraged us to pursue our dreams. What’s stopping you from pursuing yours?”
At that moment, I realized I had gotten in my own way long enough. I set out to write down one of the many stories in my head to prove I could do it, or decide, once and for all, that I couldn’t.
The first book I wrote wasn’t bad. Wasn’t good, either. My second book made the finals in a prestigious national writing contest for unpublished novels. The third book was good enough to publish.
This year, I published my ninth historical romance. I’ve never looked back.

Question: What book has been the greatest influence on you and your writing and why?
E. E. Burke: That’s a tough question because it hasn’t been one book. Numerous books and different authors have had an influence on my writing at different times and for different reasons.
I’ve been most influenced as a storyteller by Mark Twain. I love the way he spins a tale. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book I can read over and over.
For historical fiction: Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels. The author breathes life into historical figures and turns history into drama. His work inspired me to use actual history as a driving force in my stories.
As far as writing romance, the person who has had the biggest influence on my writing is one of my favorite authors, who later became a mentor, Jill Marie Landis. She is masterful at creating sumptuous settings and tapping into deep emotions. Her books Sunflower (A RITA Award winner) and Come Spring are my favorites. I turn to her books, and to books written by a gifted author who influenced Jill in her writing, LaVyrle Spencer, when I need a touchstone for writing emotion.

Question: Where do you find ideas for your books?
E. E. Burke: History. In books, movies, museums, articles, diaries, family chronicles. You name it. I’m a history geek. In particular, fascinated by the history of the American West. Sometimes a character will grab my attention and I’ll start thinking, “What if…” Then a story will pop into my head. I never lack for stories. What I lack is enough time to write them all.

Question: Where do you find ideas for your characters?
E. E. Burke: Same place I find ideas for books. Often my characters are amalgams of real people who went through the event that inspires my story. A few times, I’ve taken historical characters (or well-known fictional characters) and put them in a romance. Characters in books and movies also provide inspiration. I’ve been “pinning” vintage photographs on Pinterest. Even if I don’t know who they are, I find inspiration in their expressions and the setting.

High-powered executive Jen Chandler can’t ignore the urgent ticking of her biological clock. The nesting instinct has kicked in big-time and she wants a baby. The only problem? When it comes to romantic entanglements, she runs the other way. Taking control of her future, she sets out in search of a sperm donor.

Logan Hardt, a laid-back cowboy who shows up at her Atlanta home one day, turns out to have the right genes, as well as a pressing need for cash. But he’s seduced by more than Jen’s generous offer, and the closer the time comes to say goodbye, the less willing he is to honor a contract that would require him to walk away and never look back.

Buy Links:
MAYBE BABY, A Texas Hardts Novella
Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

E. E. (Elisabeth) Burke, Author

Weave together passionate romance and rich historical detail, add a dash of suspense, and you have books by bestselling author E.E. Burke. Her chosen settings are the American West, and her latest series, The Bride Train, features a cast of unusual characters thrown together through a misguided bride lottery.

Other series include Steam! Romance and Rails, which follows the lives of dangerous men and daring women caught up in a cutthroat railroad competition. Her novella, Victoria, Bride of Kansas, part of the unprecedented American Mail-Order Brides series, is a Kindle Top 100 Bestseller and a semifinalist in the 2016 Kindle Best Book Awards.

E.E., also known as Elisabeth, has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the RWA's prestigious Golden Heart®. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream--writing stories readers can get lost in.

1 comment:

Caroline Clemmons said...

I look forward to reading this one and the new series, Elisabeth. Best wishes and thanks for sharing with readers today.