I am always hard at work on “The Next Book”…or books. Like many authors, I am often uncomfortable talking about the work in progress. However, I’ve recently begun working on the seventh installment of The Country Girl Empress series called THE EMPRESS'S DIADEM, the continuing story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
When does the next book come out?
This is a difficult question to answer, as the “next book” will vary by which format you are looking for, such as hardback, paperback or e-book. Visit my website or my social media outlets such as Facebook www.facebook.com/authorapiperburgi or Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7121827.A_Piper_Burgi often for up-to-date information.
Do you create your own cover art?
So far I have had complete control over my book covers. Since I self-publish, it is up to me to provide the cover art.
Can I submit my manuscript to you for editing or a blurb?
Unfortunately, I am currently unable to provide help with editing or blurbs.
When it comes to writing historical fiction, what is your rule for historical accuracy?
As a rule of thumb, I don’t like to go against known historical facts. However, although many times we know what happened, we don’t always know why or how. Writing historical fiction allows me to use my imagination and conjecture; something a biographer or historian cannot do.
I want to become a published writer. What should I do?
The first thing you have to do is write a book or story from beginning to end. Then you have to make it the best story you can create. There is no way around that. The second thing you have to do to be a writer is to keep on writing. Don’t listen to people who tell you that very few people get published, and you will not be one of them. Keep on writing, maintain the faith in the idea that you have unique stories to tell, and tell them.
But what about the ‘getting published’ part of being a writer?
There are whole websites devoted to this topic. You can either become a traditionally published author, submit what you have written to potential publishers and hope to get a deal. Alternatively, you can go the self-publishing route. Either way it starts out with: First, write the story.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The best advice is also the simplest: Write what you love! Moreover, do it every day. There’s only one way to learn how to write, and that is to write.
Do you find it difficult to switch from one writing type to another? What techniques do you use that help you switch “writing gears”?No, I do not find it difficult to switch. There are days when I’m in the mood for working on my fiction piece, other days I prefer to work on non-fiction. I don’t have a unique technique. It’s all about how I feel that day.
How long have you been writing? When did you start? Why did you start —what triggered your writing?I’ve been scribbling for as long as I’ve known how to write. However, I didn’t start writing seriously until about ten years ago. I began writing in my spare time shortly after my mother had suddenly passed away. Just a few months prior she had asked for my help to get her memoirs published, but neither one of us had any idea where to begin.
What was your “writer dream”—your goal— when you began to write? Has it changed over the years?My original goal was to make the pain I felt, caused by my mother’s death, somehow a little more bearable. As time went on, I’ve adjusted my goals. These days it’s primarily about story-telling, less self-healing.
When did you first know that you were a writer?I suppose I should have known from the beginning that I want to be a writer. I come from a long line of storytellers. I’ve always been an avid reader since I first learned how to read, and as a child, I spent a great many hours alone wholly absorbed in my imaginings.
What does the act of writing bring into your life? Why do you want to write?Writing provides me an outlet for my creativity and imagination.
On average, how much time do you spend writing a day? Do you have a schedule that you keep?
I don’t have a set schedule for my writing, but one way or another I spend about 6 to 8 hours every day writing. I’m very much a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person. I find a rigid timetable kills my creativity.
What stimulates your creativity or serves as a writing inspiration? Conversely, what creates a major writer’s block for you?
Many define writer’s block as their imaginary friends refusing to talking to them. Thankfully, so far mine haven’t stopped talking to me for too long – knock on wood! I can’t rightfully claim that any one thing or situation stimulates my creativity, but rather my mind is constantly churning out ideas, and most of them I capture and incorporate into my writings.
Some techniques that have worked for me in the past: Setting deadlines, exercising, taking a break, going outdoors, talking to people around me, reading, and working on my manuscript back to front.
Do you ever get “stuck” when writing—have trouble beginning a project or getting through it? If so, how do you handle those “work-in-progress” ruts?
Like all writers, I have good days and not so good days. On the not so good days, when the words don’t seem to want to flow, I take a break from writing and recharge either by reading, cooking, or traveling (if time allows).
What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most? The least?
Love the writing/creating part the most, closely followed by researching my subject matter; it makes me feel like I’m on a treasure hunt. I’m not so fond of editing.