Jenny S Burke (writing as J S Burke) has very kindly agreed to come back and give us a quick update on how things are going in her writing life.
Hi Jenny! It’s so great to ‘see’ you again, thank you for giving up your time to chat with me again. Last time you were here, you were talking about your first book, The Dragon Dreamer, which is a fantasy/science-based story of an unlikely friendship between a dragon and an octopus, and is aimed at middle school and young adult readers.
Q1. What has kept you busy since we last spoke?
Thank you so much for having me back here! I’ve written stand-alone Book II of the Dragon Dreamer series. As you mentioned, Carrie, like Book I, Dragon Lightning is a young adult science fantasy with dragons, an undersea world, and unexpected friendship. This is layered for readers age 9 to 99, so it’s a good family read.
The Dragon Dreamer and Dragon Lightning are immersive reads; great ‘vacation books’ to dive into. There are more than 100 positive ratings and reviews for them on Goodreads and on Amazon US. I’m also drawing more fantasy snowflakes for my book illustrations and for the colouring book. These mandala flakes are drawn from animals and plants.
Q2. How different is it writing a subsequent book compared to your first?
In some respects this book was easier, because I understand how to write a science fantasy novel. I developed more characters in Dragon Lightning, which was fun. The Dragon Dreamer has two minor characters who became major players in Book II.
Q3. Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell yourself?
Start writing sooner!!!
LOL. Jenny, I can completely understand where you’re coming from with that one, I’d like to go back in time and tell myself that! When I look back and see all the time I wasted agonising over whether or not to just go for it…
Q4. Has anything in your writing style or process changed as you’ve gained experience?
I’m more comfortable writing in my own style, blending science and author experiences with fantasy. Once when I was aboard a research vessel at sea, three waterspouts headed for our boat. This harrowing experience is now in Dragon Lightning and provides a turning point. The characters come alive for me and tell me what they need to do, which is very helpful.
It’s very exciting when characters do that, as a writer you have greater confidence that your characters are fully rounded and not just cardboard cut-outs. And I also understand what you mean about using real life experiences to enrich your writing.
Q5. What can we look forward to in the future from you?
I’m working on a colouring book with the fantasy snowflakes my dragons grow in the winter clouds and writing Book III of the Dragon Dreamer series.
I love the idea of the colouring books – and as a Brit, I really appreciate you taking the time to put in all those extra letter U’s too! 🙂
Q6. Where can readers find you?
Please do visit me at my sites! And thank you Carrie for having me on your blog!
My pleasure, Jenny and may the new book make you proud! It’s worth mentioning by the way that Jenny writes under the name J S Burke. Links below for books and social media!