I’m excited to host author Ralene Burke today as part of the blog tour for her new fantasy novel, Armor of Aletheia.
Ralene and I caught up, and I got to pelt her with questions about life, writing, and everything in between.
Jebraun: Yay! I’m so happy you’re here. First of all, the cover is stunning. The gate! The mountains! The purple!!
Now. I want to hear about your journey with this new story. There are so many steps to writing (and publishing!) a novel from the thrill of the first draft to the joy of seeing your book on a bookshop shelf. What are some highlights from a few of the steps of Armor of Aletheia?
Ralene: Armor of Aletheia was a long project for me. We had a lot of personal things going on throughout the writing/editing process, so it took a long time. So finishing each step was a huge accomplishment, a reason for celebration. It was also the story that snagged both my agent and my first publisher. Woot! Which then turned this into my first traditionally published novel. The best part so far has been the reader’s reactions. It has been such a blessing to me to see how the readers are relating to the characters, to their situations, and that the story is staying with them. That’s all I want with these stories that live in my heart.
J: That has to be so satisfying for you. Let’s dig into the story. Any settings or characters based on real places or people?
R: No, not really. Well, except Karina, the main character, is a lot like me and her journey echoes mine. I wanted people to know my journey, to see my discoveries, and maybe that would help them in their own lives, with their own journey.
J: I love this! This is why we write, isn’t it? So good to hear that your story is touching those who read it. What about some of the deeper points about Armor of Aletheia. What themes really resonate in this story?
R: Embracing who you are. We were all created for a purpose, something that only we can fulfill. But oftentimes, we resist that calling for one reason or another. Maybe we’re scared, maybe we don’t feel worthy, maybe there’s something standing in our way like finances, education, obligations, etc. But it’s important that we find and embrace who we were meant to be. That’s when and where we will shine the brightest!
J: Yes! So good. Learning lessons like these are challenging though it’s satisfying to pass them on. Obviously, this knowledge has been hard-earned. But you managed to capture it and put it down on paper. I’d like to hear about what inspires you. What feeds your soul? How do you refresh yourself creatively?
R: Reading good books, watching great TV shows/movies, listening to amazing music. I’m really influenced by other people’s art. It inspires me.
J: I’m right there with you. What about sustenance for your body, haha. What’s your favourite snacks or drinks whilst writing?
R: Dark chocolate M&Ms and a big glass of iced tea. That’s how I accomplish those crazy 10k days!
J: Mmmm. Sounds perfect. To end here, do you have any wise words of advice for a newbie writer?
R: It’s important that you learn your craft. Be sure to study the art of writing from many sources. But don’t forget to write, write, write. And then write some more.
J: Thanks for joining me today, Ralene. Godspeed and best of luck as your story gets out there in the world!
You’re invited to celebrate with Ralene at her book launch for Armor of Aletheia on Facebook. Chat with her and other authors, and there will be prizes! RSVP here.
Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a social media wand, or a freelance editor’s sword, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to help everyone SHINE BEYOND their circumstances! Her novels, Bellanok and Armor of Aletheia are available on Amazon.
When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .
Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island in a town filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.
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