Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Tale in Two Parts: Book Review and Author Interview

A Tale in Two Parts
Book Review

A couple of months ago I entered a book giveaway and won a copy of Heidi Lyn Burke's fantasy novel, The Ordinary Knight and the Invisible Princess: A Tale in Two Parts. I was very excited when I received it here in South Africa all the way from the States!

A Tale in Two Parts is a fabulous young adult novel for the young and old. I had a blast reading it and I'm nearly 40. There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor, plenty of adventure, memorable characters and a good dose of romance.

Heidi bravely takes on the fantasy world by including the parts that we have seen on many occasions in the books we have read as kids and the ones we are now reading to our kids, but she puts it into a new perspective with a twist. For example, there are plenty of fairies and knights, but they are not your typical ones.

It really is a story in two parts, just as the title implies. Both stories, The Ordinary Knight and the Invisible Princess, are able to stand alone, but some characters from the first story reappear in the second one.

This book will make a great gift for yourself or someone else this Christmas. There's nothing nicer than curling up and reading a good book during this holiday season.

Purchase on Amazon:

Author Interview:
Heidi Lyn Burke

1. How old were you when you first knew you wanted to write stories to be published?

It is hard to say really. I remember writing since before I could technically "write." I would dictate stories about rabbits and cats for my mother to write under my drawings. I think it was middle school when I got it into my head that this was a potential career. Back then I did a lot of writing with specific friends in mind. I would write short humorous stories for specific friends and pop my best friend and myself into our favorite worlds via fan-fiction. To me, being "read" has always been an important part of writing. Making a financial profit has always been sort of a side benefit rather than an actual goal.

2. How many years did it take before this dream became a reality?

Other than winning a few contests growing up, my experience for the first 27 or so years of my life was just rejection letters. A lot of this was merited. I started submitting manuscripts to publishers very young, and my craft was still immature and unfocused. After I got married, I stopped even trying. I was happy to just put everything on hold. Then out of the blue a friend read a novel I had posted for free on one of my blogs, just because I could, and asked me why I hadn't considered publishing it. On a whim I looked into self-publishing, and it became a conveyor belt pulled me along. Probably a little too fast in retrospect.

3. How difficult is it to write while being a mother to two young girls?

Writing while being a mother of small kids is like doing any other task while the little munchkin monsters are around. Be it cleaning or cooking or sitting in front of a laptop typing about fairies, if you are focused on something other than them, chances are they are into something. This is why I tend to do most of my writing after 8pm or during my toddler's nap time. I'll also take a notepad with me if I am taking them to the park or watching them in the yard so I can get as much work done as possible. And I forgo a lot of sleep. I've been up until 1 am for the last three or four nights because I'm doing the National Writing Month challenge and I'm at the part where my current story is getting interesting.

4. Who or what inspired your stories, A Tale in Two Parts?

The first half of "Tale in Two Parts" was actually written while I was still single, over seven years ago now (I sat on it for a long time before finally taking the self-publishing plunge) and honestly, the concept was a very personal one. I was trying to imagine the love story that I wanted. I knew I wanted a sensible, caring man who would be a protector and a best friend. I had a little bit of a template in my high school crush, a boy who I had never been able to get over no matter how many times people told me he obviously wasn't interested. A few months after I had typed "the end" onto the "Ordinary Knight" part of the story, that very boy, now a full grown man and a US Marine, came home on leave and suddenly wanted to be more than just friends. Apparently, I have the gift of prophecy, because he slipped so naturally into the story I had written for us that it felt like we had always been together. We have been married for almost seven years now, and I'm still head-over-heels with him.

"The Invisible Princess" started out with me playing with the concept of how invisibility would alter the course of someone's life and influence their personality and choices. It eventually grew into a story about "inner beauty." However, the motivation behind writing it was always pure fun.

5. What do you hope your readers will gain from your stories?

I think there are a lot of misguided, incomplete, and just plain wrong versions of what love is like and what constitutes a "prince charming." I hope that people who read my story would take away that true love is sacrificial rather than selfish and that the most charming prince has nothing over a reliable and honorable friend. That you want to be loved for who you are, not for what someone thinks they can get out of you. No, romantic love isn't everything and a life can have purpose without it, but marrying my "prince charming" filled a gap in my heart and life. I am forever thanking God that I ended up with my husband, and I want to lay a foundation for my daughters where they will hold out for a truly good man instead of a "flashy" one.

Disclaimer: I did not receive anything, nor was I asked to do this book review. The book was won in a giveaway. I did the review purely for the pleasure of it. My opinions are my own.

© 2011 Amanda's Books and More, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena