Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview with Encrypted author Lindsay Buroker - Decoding the writer's mind

Encrypted by Lindsay Buroker
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble Nook
Lindsay Buroker, Seattle-area author of the new science fantasy romance novel Encrypted, is on tour! I managed to overcome the noise of screaming groupies and interview Buroker, who is on the fast track to becoming another popular indie author.

About Encrypted:

Professor Tikaya Komitopis isn’t a great beauty, a fearless warrior, or even someone who can walk and chew chicle at the same time, but her cryptography skills earn her wartime notoriety. When enemy marines show up at her family’s plantation, she expects the worst. But they’re not there to kill her. They need her to decode mysterious runes before their secrets destroy the world...

1. You've stated the rising popularity of Kindle inspired you to start publishing your fiction. When did you first realize any writer could publish directly to the Amazon Kindle platform?

I have to admit it’s been pretty recent! I got my first e-reader (a kindle) in October, and that’s when I first grew more aware of the whole ebook scene. I was one of those slow-to-adopt folks who didn’t want to give up her dead-tree novels. I finally caved because it seemed like a convenient way to travel with a lot of books. Now I’m reading almost everything on there.

Shortly after I got my Kindle, I found JA Konrath’s infamous blog and learned how well some indie authors were doing. Almost immediately I decided to give it a try.

I’ve been making a living as a blogger for several years, so I wasn’t intimidated by the idea of promoting my work online (that seems a lot less scary than showing up at a bookstore and having a signing!). I’m not an extrovert, so it’s always a challenge to make myself get out there and “network,” but I love working on articles and sharing what I’ve learned over at my epublishing blog.

2. Readers seem eager to give you 5 star ratings. What do you think you are doing right that is connecting with readers so well?

Well, naturally the folks who read my books are among the wisest and most intelligent people on the planet, and they recognize a good story when they read one.... :)

Okay, seriously, I haven’t been at this very long, and I’m sure the one-star-this-sucks people will find me eventually. I try to write interesting characters and fun dialogue, because that’s what I enjoy. As a reader, I know I’ll forgive an author a lot in the way of other weaknesses if I love the heroes.

3. You've published 2 novels and 2 short story collections since December 2010. You're either the world's fastest writer or you've had some projects piling up for a while. When did you start writing the works that you currently have published?

Hah, I had a stockpile. The Emperor’s Edge was sitting on an agent’s desk for about seven months (I got an offer on it the night I was uploading the cover art and everything to Smashwords, no kidding. If it had been unconditional, I might have taken it), and I was about to start agent hunting for Encrypted. I’d never been excited about that whole (slow!) process, though, so it didn’t take much to sway me to the idea of being an indie ebook author.

Everything I have finished is out there now, but I’m hard at work on the next book in what will become The Emperor’s Edge series.

4. In your marketing, you mention that you live with two rescue vizslas. What do you enjoy about this dog breed?

Beats me... They’re hogging the couch right now, and I’m sitting on the floor with my laptop. Something wrong there!

Okay, sometimes they’re fun. They’re active dogs (which mean they drag me away from the computer to walk them) with a friendly personality. They have short fur, and they’re easy to keep clean too.

5. I've seen you mention that you write "geeky heroines". How do you define such a character?

Hah, well, Amaranthe (Emperor’s Edge) isn’t too geeky, though she’s definitely a thinker (schemer).

Tikaya (Encrypted) is my true geek. She’s a philology professor who speaks dozens of languages, and her “hobby” is cryptography. She becomes an unsung hero when she decodes all the enemy communications during a war where her people are the underdogs. Her skills attract the bad guys, though, because they need someone to decode some troublesome (deadly) artifacts. Adventure ensues! That one’s a romance, too, and I thought it’d be fun to do a geeky leading man as well (he’s a math nerd).

I guess I’d just define a geeky heroine as an educated lady who’s passionate about her interests and doesn’t always rely on a sword to get out of trouble. There are a lot of sorceresses and warrior women in the annals of fantasy. I wanted to do something different.

6. Any additional comments?

Just to say that people can find out more about my novels and read excerpts on my blog:

Thanks for sending these questions and blogging about my books!

Encrypted by Lindsay Buroker
Download samples or just engage in some retail therapy and buy Encrypted at your preferred ebook retailer.
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble Nook

Other novels and short story collections by Lindsay Buroker:

The Emperor's Edge - A high fantasy mystery in an era of steam

Goblin Brothers Adventures Volume 1

Ice Cracker II (and other short stories)

Access all these works and links to Lindsay Buroker's web activity at her Smashwords page.