Name: C. Burnett
Where are you from?
I am from the Vancouver, B.C. area. I have lived there for 48 years.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc.
I have worked in the retail industry for the same company for the past 32 years. I was fortunate enough to find school quite easy, averaging straight ‘A’s from grade 7 through high school
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest news would be having this interview, lol. The most exciting news I’ve had was getting my fourth book published.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing short stories when I was 13. I won a writing contest and was featured in the local newspaper. I actually didn’t enjoy writing the short stories and had dreamed of writing a novel one day. I had to wait a long time before my Muse found me. In the year 2000, I had read a string of not so good novels and said to myself, “I’m sure I can write better than the stuff I had been reading.” I went out onto my sundeck, lay back and let ideas stir. I was amazingly shocked to discover a story forming in my head. I grabbed a pencil and a binder and started writing. It was shocking how the words just came to me. It was the neatest experience I had ever had. 8 months later I completed my first traditional fantasy novel, ending with a word count of over 180,000. Finally, 24 years after failed attempts to write, I finally succeeded.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I knew I could write after I finished my first novel of 180,000 word count without struggling at all. The words flowed, taking me into my new world of fantasy one word at a time. I couldn’t write fast enough to get the words on paper. After I finished my first novel, I wrote ‘The Breeders.’ It was another story that the words just flowed from my imagination and onto paper. After that I wrote a 3 book Middle Grade fantasy series.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I read ‘Lord of The Rings’ when I was 13 and knew then that I wanted to be a writer.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I would call myself a linear writer with a touch of freefall writing. I had to stop reading other novels once I started writing so I could find my own voice, without outside influence.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I was driving home from work one day and spotted a huge bald spot in the nearby mountains that had been recently logged. It made me think of how we as humans are destroying our own world. It made me ask myself one question, ‘What can one person do to help save the world?’ My answer was to get control over our overpopulating world. To do that it would mean capping how many children one family could have. Or, take it one step further, as my main character does, and decides that by eliminating young women, he would be able to stop generations of man. He sees the women as ‘The Breeders.’
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main issue is environmental, how man is slowly destroying his own world, and Industrial Economics, the greed of man.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I put a fair bit of my life experience into this novel. I am also sensitive to environmental issues such as the ones I explain in my book. The murder scenes are scenario’s that I had heard on the news or tv programs.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
First would be ‘Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R Tolkien. Next would be ‘The Wheel of Time’ series by Robert Jordan.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I would have to say I haven’t read any new authors of late. I do have some favorites though, such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, David Eddings and Terry Brooks. The author that struck me the most was J.R.R. Tolkien. His writing style and ability to tell a story pulled me in immediately. It was his novels that inspired me to become a writer.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My freelance editor was a great support. She convinced me that I had what it took to be a writer. She would say, ‘you can be taught how to write grammatically, but you can’t be taught how to tell your story, that’s a gift.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope to be able to make a career one day. I have written 5 novels, started another and have outlines drafted for 2 more. It seems as though I have many more tales to tell.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I was quite pleased with how ‘The Breeders’ turned out, I got to say the things I wanted to. I am also very happy with the cover art.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interest in writing was when I was in grade 7 and learned I could write short stories with little effort.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current work is a traditional young adult fantasy novel titled, ‘Magic’s End’. It is approximately 180,000 words and is now at the editing stage. The story is based on the idea of the disappearance of mages and magic.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. I do find writing for adults much more challenging than children’s books. Your words have to be chosen carefully. You have to think more about what you want to get across and make sure everything is 100% accurate as possible.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
When I had my 3 book middle grade fantasy novels published I did travel locally doing book signings.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I let the publisher know what I wanted the cover to look like and they got it down perfectly, just how I envisioned it to be.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing ‘The Breeders’ was all the research I had to do on schizophrenia and mental breakdowns.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I did learn a lot about mental disorders and just how economic industry is destroying our world.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Gabriel Byrne. He has played a dark character in a few good films.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I do. Never force yourself to write because you feel you have too. If the words aren’t flowing, walk away and wait until you’re ready to continue.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, thank you for your support.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, by Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes. Old Yeller.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I do like going to stand up comedy or watching my crazy cat.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I would like to meet Johnny Depp. I think he would be fun to be around with his quirkiness.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I really don’t have an answer for this one.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I do enjoy building plastic car models and working on my own classic car.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I mostly enjoy documentary or history shows. I love fantasy movies the most, then science fiction.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music.
My favorite food would have to be cheese cake, even though I rarely eat it. My favorite color is burgundy and I love classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I did try acting in live theatre play, perhaps I would have pursued that more.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
No, I don’t have either.