Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Terry Burns, author of Beyond the Smoke

by Molly Noble Bull

Today I am interviewing Terry Burns, a fellow Texan from Amarillo. He writes westerns.

Welcome to Writers' Rest, Terry. Now, let's find out about you, and name some of your adult westerns.

Terry: No problem, I write inspirational fiction and I'm fond of setting it in the old West. I'm also a literary agent for Hartline Literary. I have 24 books in print, including Shepard’s Son, Brother’s Keeper, Trail of the Dime Novel, and Don’t I Know You? I have a new novel hitting the shelves this month from BJU Press titled Beyond the Smoke.

M: The plot of Beyond the Smoke sounds great. And didn’t you say this is a Young Adult Novel?

T. Yes. I feel a real need to get younger readers introduced to the western. Most of us older folks grew up on it, but the younger group needs to know those days were pretty cool as well. After all, most of them don't know that there was no such thing as a teenager before WWII. You went straight from whatever education you were going to get to the workplace. Had they lived back then boys might have been working on a ranch, making trail drives or riding with the cavalry. Most of the pony express riders were young men that today would be teens. That's a theme I'm exploring that I think will interest them.

M: Are you switching to the young adult market?

T: Not necessarily, besides, the only difference between a young adult and adult novels is the age of the main characters. Adults enjoy reading about these characters "coming of age" too, so I expect those who have read my earlier books will like this one just as much. I do know boys don't much like to read about girls, but at that age girls love to read about boys. Looks like it's aimed at the best of all three markets. I do know the style, voice, and writing just isn't that much different from my earlier works.

M: Where can we buy them?

T: Most bookstores should have them or be able to order them. And there are always links at my website that have direct links for purchase.

M: You can also write Terry Burns in the search slot at Internet bookstores. Now, give me a taste of this new novel?

T: It's the story of two young people who find themselves orphaned very early in the book and how they had to adapt to a difficult environment and grow up much faster than young people today could even imagine. It's an engaging yarn with a lot of subtle West Texas humor, a bad guy you'll want to kill off yourself and a larger than life Texas Ranger who understands how to set things right without any courts having to get involved.

M: You write inspirational novels. Right?

T: I'm a Christian writer, which means most of my work has a little of my faith in it, never preachy, but you don't have to wonder about my motivation. It simply means my books are always clean enough for the whole family and written at a fast and easy pace the whole family can enjoy. Most of the time there's a light tongue-in-cheek humor involved.

M: In a story, what do you want to give the reader?

T: If I don't make myself laugh, cry, or maybe get mad while I'm writing then I can't expect the reader to get emotionally involved with my book. I like to read books that stir my emotions in some manner and hope I've done the same with my own writing.

M: Did becoming an agent affect your writing?

T: It did. I don't have as much time for my own writing now, but I like helping other people get their words out there. I don't plan to give up on my own writing though.

M: It was great having you, Terry, and I hope you will come back real soon.

No comments: