Interview with Lita Burke

Published 2013-09-21.
When did you first start writing?
Like many writers, I have been a life-long wordsmith. I wrote my first story when I was ten years old. It was about a young dragon that wanted to help lost kids find their way home.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
With the Internet tools available to indie authors, the opportunity to put my stories out for readers without going through an agent or publisher is very liberating. This freedom inspires me to do my best.
One of your series is Clockpunk Wizard. What is Clockpunk?
Clockpunk is the mellower cousin of the popular Steampunk fantasy genre. Instead of the gritty steam-powered gadgets found in Steampunk, the Clockpunk reader is immersed in a 16th century Renaissance-style world stuffed with clockworks and Leonardo da Vinci flying machines.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My writing muse is shy after the demands of my day job, so instead we both get up very early (middle of the night, actually) and spin stories before the day clutters up my brain
What's the story behind your latest book?
In my newest Clockpunk Wizard story, Old Bony Blue Eyes, a wizard faces a dangerous journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

This story is from a manuscript I drafted almost 20 years ago for a publisher who wanted a series of fantasy novellas. Although the publisher declined the series, I saved the stories about a wizard-for-hire who flew his airship between the floating islands in his plate-shaped ocean world. I recently dusted them off, incorporated Leonardo da Vinci technology and clockworks elements, and updated the writing craft (considerably).
What is your writing process?
I do a lot of research on historical and literary fantasy elements. I want to get the mythos right. I also do this so I can put my own twist on things. For example, in the Clockpunk Wizard stories, elves are short-lived magicians. In the traditional fantasy canon, elves are a long-lived race.

I am very organized. I plan out each scene in a spreadsheet and answer all of the mechanical questions about which characters are in the scene, the time of day, location, and their conflict for the scene. After I finish the plan, I write the first draft. Then comes several rounds of editing.
How do you approach cover design?
For my first year as an indie author, I had a very tight budget for my writing. I downloaded a free graphic design tool, taught myself how to use it, and created my own book covers. I humbly say that my talents are with writing stories rather than designing book covers. I now use professionally designed book covers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss when I was 4 years old. I loved the silliness of the story, and I was so proud when I could read it all by myself.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am an eclectic reader. As long as the story has a fantasy theme and is not YA, I am likely to enjoy it. Why no YA? I didn’t relate to my angst-ridden peers when I was a teenager. Now I especially don’t have the patience to read about their youthful and foolish ways.
What are you working on next?
My next project is Glitter Ponies. In this Clockpunk Wizard story, Lady Luck’s daughter helps a wizard discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Fire.
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Books by This Author

Old Bony Blue Eyes
Series: Clockpunk Wizard, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 49,070. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
A wizard faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.
Ephraim's Curious Device
Series: Clockpunk Wizard, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 28,600. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
A wizard seeks a magical thingummy to free his kidnapped familiar.
Forever Boy
Series: Clockpunk Wizard, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,130. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
A dog flees his cruel master, befriends a wizard, and discovers his shapeshifting magic.
Tredan's Bane
Series: Tredan's Bane, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 112,370. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
A magical oddities dealer hides her kidnapped husband's dangerous spell book.
Wrath, Prequel to Tredan's Bane
Series: Tredan's Bane, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 4,180. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.75 from 8 reviews)
A retired Enchanter battles a powerful magician to keep a dangerous spell book from falling into the wrong hands.