Interview with Darlene Burns

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I am from an era where you went outside for your entertainment. A lot has changed in the last twenty years here in Los Angeles; the city itself wasn't the melting pot it is today. It was on the cusp of that happening during my teenage years. I began writing as early as eleven years old. I had a book report due in my fifth-grade class. The reason I was so excited about was because we had a choice on the topic. My Mother is an avid reader and she was the first person I asked on what should I write about. She stated, "talk about your surroundings". I am proud to say I received an A for that paper. It wasn't the grade that made me proud, it was the writing process and studying what was outside my door that was exciting.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy of writing is the fact I get to tell a story that starts off one way and then ends up totally different than what I expected. I write out outlines that I let guide me. However, as I start the writing process, I let my characters go where they want to go. I also get to create characters that I believe people will root, cry, and cheer for.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean everything to me. I wouldn't be a success without their support. From feedbacks to reviews, fans always teach me something and I respect their viewpoint. I take constructive criticism very seriously and apply it where applicable. You can't grow as a writer if you don't listen. I'm a very good listener.
What are you working on next?
I have quite a few things on the way. I am working on the next installment in the series. I am active in the LGBT community. I hope to do some charity work in the next few months. I will release a few short stories before the release of the next novel. I'm also working on my website to give a platform for authors and independent artists to promote their work and network.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have a few. Stephen King is, of course, ​my all-time favorite. I have been reading his work since I was twelve years old. Robert J. Moore, Imani Writes, Anne Rice, Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I look forward to being with my fiance' and seeing what the day holds. I can't wait to travel and see more of the world. And of course, ​steal a moment to read.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a great deal of time with my Fiance'. She keeps me grounded and focused. I read, write, and catch up on all my shows I missed during the week. I try to go for walks and do volunteer work.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
This is a great question. My household had two sets of encyclopedias. One set was embossed in brown leather and gold. It was like the internet in print form. The other was for children. Ages five to twelve. It started with fables and beautiful stories of people in history. I would sit for hours in a quiet part of the house and read through these books. I would be mesmerized and swept away.
How do you approach cover design?
My Aunt helped me tremendously with the concept. The cover was very difficult at first. (I knew what I wanted, but she said that it needed to be simple and still make an impact). So when I reached out to her, her company came up with this beautiful interpretation​. I was very honored and blown away. I owe my cover and part of my success to her and her company for developing the cover.
What do you read for pleasure?
Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy and a little Sci-fi
Published 2015-09-25.
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