We're excited to have Ralene Burke with us today talking about her book Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior. To learn more about Ralene and her book, read on...
1) What would you like readers to take away from your book?
Bellanok appeals to a theme that’s near and dear to my heart: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. While I’m pretty sure there’s no island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle that houses mythical creatures of old, Brian’s struggle with his calling and where he’s supposed to be is a very real issue for most people. God prepares us as He needs us, and sometimes we have to realize that His path is not ours, and His ways are not ours. But when we sit back and let Him lead . . . oh the things He can do!
2) What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
My biggest struggle has been balancing life and writing—a struggle I am sure many are familiar with. I’m a wife to a disabled veteran and a homeschooling mama to 3 kids. Add in duties with ACFW, Realm Makers, and my editing/writing business and life gets busy!
3) Which books on writing have been the most helpful to you and why?
Writing the Breakout Novel (Donald Maas) and its companion workbook have helped me to learn how to develop a deeper intention with my plot and characters. To go with that, Plot vs. Character is also a great book!
4) What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, writing-related or not?
Do my kids count? I am so proud of them and the little people they are turning out to be! Outside of them, I am very proud to have finally gotten up the gumption to self-publish Bellanok as a mini-series. It’s been a fantastic learning experience!
5) What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
I must admit, I am quite the pantster. I usually do not know much before I start writing. I might know a couple of characters and a general idea of how the story will end. I’ll write about 3-5 chapters, hit the end of what I “know”, and start playing the “what if” game or some other trick to get the next few chapters out.
6) What are your favorite writing conferences and why?
I’ve not been to a lot of different conferences. For a long time ACFW was the favorite of the few I’d been to, and I still do love it. But now my favorite is Realm Makers, a faith-friendly conference for speculative fiction writers. It’s full of great workshops, opportunities to interact with business professionals, and of course plenty of time to be a geek with other geeks. J
7) What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up the Bellanok series, and planning revisions for the first book in a fantasy trilogy based on the premise question, “What if the armor of God were real?”
I’d be a better soccer mom? LOL! If I weren’t writing, I’d probably be an editor or social media consultant—maybe both. I’d still be homeschooling and doing everything else in my life!
9) Tell us a little more about yourself, with three things not many people know about you.
a. I am allergic to coffee. Sad, but true.
b. While I was a pet person growing up, I now cannot imagine adding a pet to my household—and not just because I’m allergic to just about everything.
c. I am really an introvert. Most people would think because of how social I am that I am an extrovert, but I’m not. I need my time alone to process and recharge. If I don’t get it, I become quite crabby.
10) How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
E-mail: raleneburke [at] gmail [dot] com
Facebook: Ralene Burke