Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Eric W. Burgin, 46
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally Chico, California but my family moved to the Portland, Oregon area when I was seven.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a little bit of college, but am mainly a self taught software developer. I’ve spent the last 20 years writing code and managing programmers. I live outside Portland, OR with my wife of 24 years and our two daughters.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Nothing writing related. On a personal note, I just finished my sixth Hood to Coast running relay.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In the summer of 2014 a good friend and I were talking about his life story and the fact he was turning it into a novel (it’s quite the tale). He floated the idea that I should take some of my Dungeons and Dragons adventures from when we were kids and turn them into a book series. I started planning in October of that year and wrote the first words on January 24th, 2015.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I finished my first draft.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
As I mentioned above, a discussion with a good friend and a realization that I have a whole world I built years ago that is ripe for picking of story ideas.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That’s been a struggle. I’ve gone through five or six of them, but I am still not 100% sold on what I have.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to go dark, even when I try and write a happy story, there will be an element of something grim or scary. This is great for my main genre (Dark/Grim Fantasy) but I am also looking at writing some other stories from my world targeted at more of a YA audience and this can be a challenge to keep it a little lighter.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
They always say your first book is actually all about you. Not sure this is true in my case as none of this has happened to me, but I can see some qualities of the characters in myself.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. I can see where that might be useful, but the Internet will have to do for now.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
No cover yet for my novel.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Rise above your surroundings and lean on your friends. My MC makes some bad choices, the main one being not letting his best friend in on what is going on with him. Had he, they could have overcame some of his challenges.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
No new writers as of late. My favorite author is Stephen King. I love how he builds the characters and the world so we care, even though not much happens in the first half of the book. By the time the weird stuff starts happening, I’m hooked.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Only one? I have some close friends that are big proponents of my work and encourage me. I’ve even named a character after one. The writing community in Portland is also hugely positive and encouraging.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It seems like a pipe dream at times because everything in this business takes so much time. I am lucky enough to have a day job that supports my family and a family that supports my goals.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Well, as it happens, I get to do it all over again. After a few revisions, I met with a professional who has become my mentor and she showed me where my story went off the rails. The beginning and end are solid for the most part, but I get the chance to strengthen the overall premise before it sees the light of day.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Absolutely. As a novice author, I fell into the same traps many of us do and waited a long time before getting a professional critique. In the years since starting this process I have learned a lot about the process of novel writing and how to save time in the long run. If I had to do it over again, I would have discussed my MS and idea with a pro after the first draft rather than the fifth.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
That’s a tough call. My story revolves around a kid who goes through some pretty horrible trials. I am actually not sure it will be picked up for a film based on the content.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Learn, learn learn. No one is born knowing how to do this, it’s HARD. We all have some talent, be it prose, or ideas, or world building, but to tie it all together, you have to study. Get involved with a community, join critique groups, attend conferences, and most importantly, talk to those that have already done it. Pick their brains, find out how they did it.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Be patient, it’s coming! I was hoping to be deep in the process of getting this novel published, but have taken a couple steps back so I can produce the best story possible.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by PAtrick Rothfuss. Right now, I am reading Shopping List, a Horror Anthology as one of my short stories is in there. Next up is One Night in Sixes (Children of the Drought #1) by Arianne “Tex” Thompson
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not the first book, but I remember the first book that I couldn’t put down. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weiss and Hickman. The Dragonlance Chronicles were hugely influential to me. I tell my kids that they were my Harry Potter: they made me want to read.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Cry? Just about everything. I am an empathetic person, so anything that brings joy or sadness to others, usually opens the water works.
As for laughing, I like humor of many stripes from bathroom humor to quick witty jokes, to puns.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
So many! If I have to choose one, it has to be the Dalai Lama. His poise in the face of exile, his ability to see all people he meets and friends, and his happy demeanor is an inspiration.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Gaming on my PC, running, cooking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I go in waves. We as a family have not had TV service for over a decade: we cut the cord before it was cool 😉 I just finished Narcos and am currently watching Hinterland, both on Netflix. My favorite comedy show is probably Archer. I also enjoy The Walking Dead, iZombie, and Turn
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
All the food. Probably my favorite type of food is Thai
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d like to say I would get outside more or write more software, but I would probably play more games and watch more Netflix.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“A Kind Human”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?