Petrea Burchard's novel, "Camelot & Vine," draws on the legend of King Arthur as well as Petrea's Hollywood acting career. She's best known as the voice of Ryoko the space pirate in the anime classic, "Tenchi Muyo!" "Act As If," her long-running humor column about the journeyman actor's life, will soon be published in book form. Burchard's short story, "Portraits," leads the line-up in "Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition," now in paperback. Other writing includes essays, journalism, and short fiction.
Petrea lives in an old house in southern California with her husband and their willful dog, Wilma.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first story when I was six. It's called "The Little Pumpkin." The original, on scrap paper in my own hand, is on my website, PetreaBurchard.com.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I majored in writing in college, but went on to an acting career. I was inspired to write "Camelot & Vine" one summer while studying acting at Oxford, England. When the Oxford course was over, I had a little time to play tourist. One place I visited was the Glastonbury Tor. From atop it, I could see a low, flat hill to the south. I asked our guide what it was. "It's Cadbury Hill," he said. "Legend says it was Camelot."
I had always been a writer as well as an actor, and I was chronicling my experiences and feelings about the trip in a little diary. But I didn't need to write that down. The idea of Camelot as a real place would not leave me. I wanted to visit the real Camelot. And at last, in my novel, I did.
Being a non-famous working actor in Hollywood isn't easy, but it can be hilarious if you bring your attitude. Based on the popular column in Nowcasting.com's ActorsInk, the essays in Act As If take a (mostly) humorous look at the life of a journeyman actor in Hollywood. "Journeyman," as in "not a star." With humor and honesty, Petrea Burchard tells what it takes to be a working actor in Hollywood.
"This tale of an LA poser in King Arthur’s court combines character-driven writing with great pacing and action. The fact that it also includes fascinating period details, a tweaking of ancient legend, and a sexy King Arthur for grown ups makes it the perfect indulgence for those days when you just need to live in another millennium."
—Margaret Finnegan, author of The Goddess Lounge
Losing Your Head
on March 23, 2017
I give 5 stars to books that changed my life. "Losing Your Head" didn't change my life, but every page delighted me. It's a light-hearted mystery narrated in an irreverent and very funny voice, with laugh-out-loud moments throughout. I loved it.