Welcome, H. L.!
An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.
Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.
She is the author of a four part fantasy/romance series entitled "The Dragon and the Scholar," YA/Fantasy "Beggar Magic," and MG/Fantasy "Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon," among others . Her current projects are a young adult Steampunk fantasy and an epic fantasy trilogy.
A Little About
The Nyssa Glass Series
Nyssa Glass is a reformed cat burglar turned electrician's apprentice, settled into a life repairing videophones and radio-sets. However, when her past comes calling, she finds herself on the run for a murder she did not commit. As her quiet life goes up in sparks, she must face killer robots, menacing villains, and sarcastic computers in a race for survival.
Nyssa has her hands full just trying to stay one step ahead of the police, but she still has time for adventure, humor, and even a taste of romance.
Author's Rating: Low PG-13 (action violence and a couple mild cuss words per book)
Ten Things You Should Know
About H. L. Burke
When I was too young to be able to “write” I drew a bunch of pictures of rabbits and then dictated a story about them to my mom. I only remember one part, where the heroine bunny goes to visit a friend and asks, “Why is it always snowing at your house?” and the friend says, “Because I am a snow bunny.” Clearly with a brilliance like that at such a young age, I was meant to write.
2. Have you ever named a character in honor of someone you know?
Sort of. For the most part, I don't do this because then they expect the character to be like them … but there are a few exceptions:
In Cora and the Nurse Dragon the characters are reading a book about dragon classification, and I named the author of the book J. C. McCall, after my grandfather, who likes bird watching, so it seemed appropriate. My grandparents got a kick out of that.
Also in Cora and the Nurse Dragon, another writer, Jessica Elliott, was beta reading for me and pointed out I had two characters named Baxter … not sure how I did that, so I said, “Okay, so now the second one is named Elliott! That's what you get for pointing out my errors.”
In Beggar Magic, I got to the end of writing and realized I hated the main character's name (I can't even really remember what it was. Kyndal or something with a K), so I held a giveaway to let a reader name her, and the winner renamed her Leilani after their daughter. Similarly, when I added in a minor character to the same book, I posted in a writers' group “first one to reply gets a character named after them” so Kasan is named after a writer named Kasandra … I do stuff like that a lot, now that I think about it.
The biggest one, however, is Cora and the Nurse Dragon. The original draft Cora was named Desa. Then one of my friends from another writer's group, Bethany Jennings, had her young daughter Cora get very seriously ill. Cora is roughly the same age as my younger daughter, Claire. Even though I've never actually met her or her mother (online friendships), it was hard seeing the reports on Facebook about how she was struggling and how hard it was both for her and her mother. After some thought and prayer, I emailed Bethany and asked if it would be okay if I named the character after Cora, and it was, so I did. Cora (real Cora) is doing a lot better now, miraculously so, and I hope she'll like the adventure her namesake experiences.
3. Do you write using a keyboard, pen and paper, or both?
When you are writing with kids in the house, flexibility is key, so I do both. Usually I do my writing on the computer after they go to bed … but if I take them to the park or the McDonald's playplace or anywhere else where they don't really need me but I sort of need to be “there,” I'll whip out a note pad and try to get as much done as possible between frantically shouting, “DON'T PUSH YOUR SISTER DOWN THE SLIDE” or “GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!"
4. What project are you working on now?
I just finished writing a YA Fairy Tale retelling called Coiled. It's based off a somewhat obscure French fairy tale called “The Green Serpent” which in turn is kind of a mix between the Cupid and Psyche myth and Beauty and the Beast. Except instead of a beast, there's a really really big snake. Like really really big. I'm in the editing stages right now, kind of just waiting to hear back from beta readers so that I know how much I need to throw out and what I can keep, etc.
5. Have you always liked to write?
Pretty much. I mentioned my “rabbit” stories above, but I was always putting something to paper, it seems. I used to write “socially.” My best friend, Ashley, would read my work literally as I wrote it. Like we'd be sitting across the table from each other at the library and I'd be passing her notebook sheets as I filled them. I had a reputation all through high school as being “the writer.”
I sort of paused after I got married. Then after my second daughter was born and we'd just gone through an international move (from Japan to Florida … my husband is a Marine. We move a lot), I thought, “You know, I have a four year old and a 10 month old. THIS is the year I'm going to do NaNoWriMo. That was four years ago. Haven't stopped.
6. Do any of your characters sound/look like famous actors in your head?
I don't usually cast my books. I know authors who know exactly who would play who in their books if they were made into movies … me, I sometimes write parts specifically for Nathan Fillion because we're destined to hang out someday (Call me, Nathan!), but he doesn't know it yet. That said, when I was watching The Force Awakens, from the moment Finn took off his helmet I was like, dang, I want this guy in one of my books, so the hero of Coiled, Calen, is John Boyega.
7. What book are you currently reading?
Marc Secchia's The Horse Dreamer. It has dragons. I like dragons. Also, Pegasai are apparently jerks. Who knew, right? (I kind of did. You give a horse wings, it is bound to get uppity)
8. Do you have any furry writing buddies? (Or scaled or feathered?)
His name is Bruce Wayne. He's BATCAT! He's a big ginger fellow who is incredibly relaxed for the most part. Very occasionally, though, he'll walk across my keyboard just to mess with me.
9. Do you have any other creative outlets besides writing?
I crochet. I actually used to do occasional craft fairs where I'd sell crocheted “critters.” I'd make stuffed penguins, mice, monkeys, fish … even dinosaurs and dragons. I still occasionally make something, but mostly for my kids. It was too hard keeping up “stock” of critters.
10. Who are your 3 favorite characters in your book(s)?
The Nyssa Glass series honestly doesn't have a lot of characters. For the first book, for instance, after the plot forces her into the abandoned mansion of the mad scientist, it's mostly just her, the “house computer,” and the occasional killer robots. That said, the house computer, Hart (short for Dalhart Integrated Home Computer System), is hilarious, and I really wish I could install him in my house. Through out my other books, my favorites tend to be the love interests or the dragons … and occasionally the love interests who are dragons. I write weird books. So I'll say Ewan from The Dragon and the Scholar series because he's infuriating but lovable and Cricket from Cora and the Nurse Dragon because I want a pet dragon so very, very much.