A Chat with Author Linore Rose Burkard
Greetings from Marti Pieper in beautiful, blooming Seneca, South Carolina, where bright azalea and gentle wisteria blossoms enrich our views. Today, I’m delighted to introduce to you a friend I’ve not met in person but who lives near where I grew up in southern Ohio. I’m excited to share the work and the words of Linore Rose Burkard with you today!
Welcome, Linore! Please tell us about your book.
My goal with The Brides of Mayfair Series was to fill every regency romance reader’s wish list for what they enjoy most in the genre. There’s nothing more fun than a clean, traditional regency, but too often modern writers contemporize the plots or their main characters. A recent reviewer’s comment that Miss Wetherham is “an entertaining and romantic tale full of all the story line elements that Regency romance fans adore,” was music to my ears. Another reviewer called me “the Queen of Regency,” (a title I ascribe to Georgette Heyer), so that was hugely gratifying!
(Please note: Miss Wetherham’s Wedding is forthcoming via Ingram. The other two books in the Brides Series are already available.)
I’m sure it was! What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
The heroine is the majority shareholder in a tunneling gold mine venture that’s gone dry. While researching gold mining of the past, I learned how dangerous it was, but also a lot of interesting facts about gold for today. For instance, it can be liquefied and used to treat rheumatoid arthritis with good success. I was also unaware that it’s used in electrical wiring, electronics, dentistry, radiation shielding, and coloring glass.
Fascinating! What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
As with every romance I write, I hope readers will close the book with a satisfied sigh, wishing it hadn’t ended. I also hope to instill knowledge of the Regency era, especially for those unfamiliar with it. I do this not only with context and plot, but by including a glossary of terms at the back of each book. Not every reader knows, for example, that a reticule is a lady’s purse, or that the ton (pronounced tawn) is another name for the elite, rich, upper class.
Hmm. I confess to knowing “reticule” but not “ton.” How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
I like to highlight how following the heart is often our truest path, and the one God wants for us. (This is a dangerous assertion today because “following one’s heart,” can often lead to selfishness or narcissism, but my heroines always counter what their heart desires with what is morally right, biblically sound, and objectively honest. If they behave badly in any way, they know it and suffer remorse.) This resonates deeply with me because in my own life, particularly in my family growing up, I had to learn to put my heart—my honest, gut-level self—above people pleasing.
That’s a lesson so many of us need. How do you share Christ in your writing?
As a Christian, I often ask this question, and never has it been more prominent in my thoughts as when I undertook the Brides of Mayfair series—because each of the three books is sweet and clean but not overtly “Christian” like my other books. (Forever, Lately is the other exception.) I felt compelled to follow this path—call it sneaky evangelism, if you will—church attendance and prayer are always mentioned, and genre fiction readers are fiercely loyal to the genre. Regency readers who love my books may well go on to read the Christian ones—and thereby get the gospel.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
I have a few themes, but I’ll discuss one, and it may sound odd at first—real love requires self-awareness. God’s design for love and marriage is often exactly the impetus needed to make a typical, self-centered human being—and my protagonist—wish to become a better person. I can’t seem to avoid making one or both protagonists realize how little they deserve the other—and it may take time to get them to this epiphany—but the realization itself is growth, and like God’s unconditional love, they get it anyway.
Love and marriage require sacrifice, and sacrifice is not usually easy for your ordinary Regency hero or heroine, or any of us, for that matter. Real love, ideally, requires a degree of self-knowledge that should lead to self-improvement of a sort—making us better fit for the man or woman of our dreams.
So true! Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
A teen reader of my apocalyptic YA series (The Pulse Effex) once wrote to tell me that she’d given her copy of book one, Pulse, to a fellow student one morning at her high school. She glowingly revealed that this young lady had finished the book that very day, by the time school ended. I couldn’t help but laugh at the image of this avid reader ignoring all her teachers in class while she devoured my book. It was the funniest compliment I ever got about my writing.
That’s hilarious! What do you read for pleasure?
I seem to enjoy older fiction more than contemporary, though I will read books by author friends. I can re-read an Austen novel any time, and I’ve been going through the entire works of P.G. Wodehouse for the last few months. (What a lark! He’s wonderful.) Other favorites are James Herriot, Heyer and Dickens.
What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I love to cook large meals from scratch with an eye toward healthy eating, plan menus, and—yes, this counts—read food label ingredients at stores! (That last is an absolute hobby—you wouldn’t believe how long it takes me to shop some days. Poison food is everywhere!) I listen to many podcasts, Christian and political, and I like to paint, color with markers, decorate, and garden. My middle daughter has recently enlisted me to watch past seasons of “Dr. Who” with her—a show I never thought I could tolerate, much less enjoy—and wonder of wonders, I’m now a fan. (David Tennant—why, why, did you leave?)
I had a similar experience with Gilmore Girls! Tell us about your next project.
I’m currently working on the sequel to Forever, Lately: A Regency Time Travel Romance. Forever, Lately continues to outsell my earlier books, which tells me there’s a great audience for clean, romantic, and humorous time travel. I don’t see Christian publishers recognizing this, but I anticipate the trend growing. In the sequel, two Regencians are stranded in the 21st century, where mystery and intrigue beset them, until they can figure out how to get back to the past.