Interview with Coreena McBurnie

When did you first start writing?
I've written poetry off and on for years and have journalled irregularly throughout my life. However, in 2009 I discovered National Novel Writing Month and that really helped me to get into the creative flow and quelsh that nasty inner editor that was holding me back. It gave me a new leash on my writing because I didn't worry about my writing being good or bad for the first time, but just getting the words down. Then I spent years editing. Nano helped me to develop the courage to write about Antigone, someone I've always been fascinated by.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is called Prophecy, and it is about Antigone, a princess of ancient Thebes, and daughter to the infamous Oedipus who married his mother, killed his father, and blinded himself. I was first introduced to Antigone as a character in first year university when I read Sophocles' Oedipus trilogy and fell in love with the story and the strength of Antigone's character. She was so different from many other classical women -- she stood up for herself and her family against all odds. She really is a lot of fun and I always wanted to write about her, but wasn't sure where to begin, given the touchy subject matter of incest and murder. In 2011 I decided on a whim to tackle it head on and not to make excuses for what was in the ancient myths and legends and just started writing. Out came Antigone's true story and her unique voice.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is my first book, so I can't wait to see. However, the Smashwords guides on self publishing have been great and very informative and have helped me to get this far.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love when I get into the creative flow, so much so that sometimes I reread my work later and find connections I didn't even remember making and passages I get excited about that I don't even remember writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
Again, this is my first book, so we'll see. But I do love connecting with people about books and all things creative. There is nothing better than talking with someone else who loves the same books as you do, or who can recommend their favourite books.
What are you working on next?
I am working on Book 2 of Antigone: The True Story called Fate. It roughly follows the plot of Sophocles' second Oedipus play called Oedipus at Colonnus. Look for lots more Olympian gods.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love the ancient Greek authors Sophocles and Homer. Also, JK Rowling, Lisa McMann, Kiristin Cashore, Maria V Snyder, Neil Gaiman, Brandon Mull, Eoin Colfer, Madeiline L'Engle, and the list goes on.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My kids. They are so much fun and I love watching the world through their eyes.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read a lot, and spend time in bookstores, I go out for coffee, I drive my kids around places, I love being around trees.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Various ways:I read book blogs, I randomly search around sites, I get emails from different sites, I subscribe to authors I like, I read Facebook posts, and get recommendations from friends.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember writing a story in about grade 5 or 6 about a dream and a dinosaur bone. I don't really remember the plot, just that it didn't go over all that well with the teacher.
What is your writing process?
I usually get the seed of an idea and just start writing about it. After a few days, I settle down into a plot, though I do like to see where the characters go on their own -- if I let them, they often tell me what they want.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not really the first story. My mom always read to us, especially Dr. Seuss. I loved the Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. In high school I discovered fantasy books, which completely rocked my world.
How do you approach cover design?
I completely lucked out with the cover for Prophecy. I knew I couldn't design the cover myself and really had no idea what I wanted on it. I did some research and found Deranged Doctor Designs and contacted them. When they had the cover to a point where it felt good to me, I ran it passed my then 15 year old son's Facebook friends -- the biggest pool of teenaged girls I know -- and they overwhelming responded to it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Odyssey by Homer -- one of the best stories ever, full of adventure, love, hate, fighting, heroes, monsters, curses.
The Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles -- started me down the road to Classical Studies and ancient cultures.
Harry Potter series by JK Rowling -- got me started reading young adult books, plus they are just fun.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeiline L'Engle -- one of the first fantasy books I ever read which got me hooked on the genre and kept me sane during high school.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore -- a fun read with a strong, compelling heroine and great world building.
What do you read for pleasure?
Lately a lot of young adult and middle grade fantasy,
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kobo.
Describe your desk
I use a lap desk with my laptop so I can sit in a comfy place or coffee shop. I like to have a cup of tea nearby and be surrounded by stacks of books.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After going to some writing conferences and doing some research, it just seemed like the best fit for me. I like the independence and flexibility of it and it seems like an exciting time to be in the publishing industry.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is all still new to me. I have Facebook and Twitter and have spent time building a following.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Western Canada, which has big, wide open spaces. It kind of reminds me of the blank page.
Published 2015-12-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Prophecy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,880. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical
(5.00 from 1 review)
When the mysterious and devastating prophecies surrounding her family are revealed, Antigone, a princess in ancient Thebes, must choose where her allegiance lies: With the gods who have betrayed her family but who she is obliged to serve? With her plague ridden city? With her family which lay in ruins? Or even with herself?