Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcome Author Stephanie Burkhart

First, I'd like to thank Vijaya for having me here today to talk about the Borealis II Anthology and my story in it, "Shadows and Light."
Just a little about me: After being raised in New Hampshire and growing a wicked New England accent, this Patriot fan joined the US Army. I spent 7 years stationed in Germany and will never find a real gyros here like I did at the Greek restaurants in Germany. In 1991, I married a fair haired boy from California. We settled in Castaic, CA in 2000. I now work for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. My wicked New England accent is more like a whisper these days.
Birth of the Borealis Anthologies
Author J. Morgan and Desert Breeze Editor in Chief, Gail Delaney, were talking one day about how they love sci-fi. JMO jokingly said, "You should do a science fiction anthology." Gail, with a devilish gleam in her eye, loved the idea and ran with it.
I pride myself on being able to write multiple genres and I cut my teen writing short stories, but I'd never done science fiction. When Gail asked me to write "Shadows and Light," I jumped at the chance.
The story
Persephone Talon and Elijah Kess are investigating the Uudon Trade on the Borealis for the Rebellion. When they learn they have the same assignment, will their attraction help or hinder their mission?

The Story Teaser
I enjoy watching book/story trailers. I even bought a book once based on the teaser. I think that having a video is a great accent tool for promotion because it gives the reader a visual of the story. I knew I had to have a trailer for "Shadows and Light."

Unfortunately, I have no video skills and paying for a story trailer, which inexpensive if you shop around, makes my nose twitch because I'd rather spend the money on other promotion efforts.

I had to learn to make my own trailer.
Thank goodness for Gail Delaney! We got together and she showed me how to use iMovie on my Macbook. The fun was about to begin.
First, I had to find music. Kevin MacLeod has some great royalty free stuff – you just have to give him the credit. It didn't take long to find the lithium grunge beat I needed. Then I hung out on Dreamstime (a place to find stock photography) and Nasa. Unfortunately, all the good images I had to pay for. The cost was worth it considering my savings. I worked on my textboxes and BAM! I had a great trailer that captured the ambience of the story.

Here's a link to the Shadows & Light Story Teaser on You Tube:

The door slid open to the elevator and Elijah stepped onto SL7. The sickening sweet smell of rotting pineapples hung in the air. He pulled out a small strip filter and placed it over the bridge of his nose. It would absorb the stench and allow him to smell clean air for up to thirty minutes. A small, darkened alcove was just to the right of the elevator. He walked past it and down the dimly light hall. On the surface, it appeared to be a living level. There were rooms, dirty doors, greasy crust on the baseboards. The overhead lights were in need of replacement.
Then it struck him. The hall was empty. Where were the occupants? Granted, they would be slums, as Aachen would put it, but there was no one around. Why?
To keep appearances.
Humph. Appearances. Secrets. Spies. The work was draining. He had to be alert all the time. What happened to that carefree kid with the sunny disposition who learned to cook with his mother in the kitchens of the royal family? He sighed. That kid lost his innocence when he saw the horrors of war firsthand -- sins committed by the TPP. And all he wanted to do was get back at them. Only he was coming to realize that the TPP was infinite and his little part was that -- little. He felt like David in that ancient Earth Bible story David and Goliath. His mother would read to him from it growing up. It would be nice to find that sense of family again.
Focusing, he walked to the end of the corridor. A heavy titanium door marked 'Secure Access Only' stared back at him. The code pad on the side of the door indicated it wanted a retinal verification to enter. Retinal patterns were extremely hard to forge.
Was Dan right? Was the whole level shut off? Why? For what purpose? What were the scientists up to?
A shadow teased the corner of his eye. Spinning around, the shadow disappeared into the alcove near the entrance elevator.

He braced his back against the hallway wall and slithered against it toward the alcove, careful not to make a sound. With his dark uniform and the dim lighting, he should be hard to detect.

The shadow's breathing was normal, taking small rhythmic breaths.
Pouncing, he leapt into the alcove and lunged for the shadow, grabbing its arm. The cloak's hood fell away from her face.

"Persephone?" he whispered.
Goodie Time: Leave a response and I'll be back tomorrow, 9 NOV to pick two people to receive an autographed postcard of the Borealis II cover.
Answer this question: How has Star Wars resonated with you? I'll pick a winner to receive a PDF copy of the Borealis II Anthology.
The Borealis II Anthology is available for Kindle, Nook, Sony Ebook Reader, All Romance Books and at Desert Breeze Publishing.
Here's a link to the Borealis II Anthology on the Desert Breeze Site:

You can find me on the web at:


liana laverentz said...

Ahh, but David won against Goliath :) You have me wanting to read this and I don't read sc-fi. Great job, Steph!

Patti said...

Cool Excerpt Steph! Yay and LAPD dispatcher--super cool--!!

StephB said...

Liana, thats a good thing! Smiles

Patti, yep, I'm a busy bee.

Thanks for popping in.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hey Steph,

I love your tale of how you made a bargain trailer, and even better of how cool it is. And you did it. That's super.

Your excerpt had me too. Enjoyed it!


StephB said...

I'd like to Vijaya for having me today. It's goodie time. hehe.

Congrats to Maggie and Patti for winning the autographed postcards! Patti, send me an email at: with your snail mail.

Congrats to Liana who won the PDF Copy of Borealis II.


Keena Kincaid said...

Fabulous excerpt, Steph. You had me at rotting pineapples, which I've never smelled but can now imagine.

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