Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Author Spotlight: Divine Inspiration: Q&A with author Stephanie Burkhart, her muse Juliet & Gael from MUSEum!

Author Stephanie Burkhart

Welcome to a chat with Author Stephanie Burkhart, Gael, the owner of MUSEum, and Juliet, Stephanie's pixie muse from New Galatia.

Gael: Welcome ladies to the Desert Breeze Spa. Barbie will be here in a minute for your nails. Any coffee before we start?

Steph: I'll take some.

Juliet: (wrinkles nose) Lemon water for me, please.

Gael: (snaps fingers) Gus! Coffee and lemon water.

Juliet: (plops down on Stephanie's shoulder) I'm ready Gael, fire away.

Steph: She's a go-getter.
Gael: I can tell. How does she do it if she doesn't drink coffee?

Steph: Energizer Bunny Batteries.

Gael: Okay, let's talk about your latest release, "The Wolf's Torment." This is a paranormal romance with werewolves, witches and a vampire thrown in for good measure. Where did you find the inspiration?

Juliet: I told Stephanie she had to write an epic.

Steph: We compromised with a 3 book series.

Juliet: No seriously, Stephanie wanted to write a fairytale in reverse so she wrote "Twilight Over Moldavia" first. Poor Prince Stefan was cursed to be a werewolf. Can the beautiful princess' kiss lift it?

Steph: From there I wanted to know about Stefan's parents – Mihai and Theresa. How could they curse their son to become a werewolf? "The Wolf's Torment" was born.

Juliet: I helped. Thank Odo for pixie dust and Sandra Sookoo.

Gael: Mihai sounds like a very romantic name. How did you choose it?

Steph: I wanted a distinct Romanian name.

Juliet: She pulled it out of a hat. Trust me.

(Gus passes out the coffee and lemon water)

Gael: Where does the story take place? In Romania or Moldavia? What's the difference?

Juliet: Romania could use a little modernizing if you ask me.

Steph: (swats at her ear) Moldavia is a Romanian principality on the coast of the Black Sea. Romania was actually united in 1859, but for the story I fictionalize it.

Gael: Why pick Romania?

Steph: I wanted a place were you would believe these creatures might actually exist.

Juliet: Did you know that being a witch in Romania is a legitimate work profession? Check this out:

Juliet, the Pixie Muse

Gael? How important is the setting?

Steph: Very! It helps to set the mood and feel of the story.

Juliet: And let me tell you the Black Sea is very creepy. There's an Ukrainian folk tale that tells how a destructive arrow was thrown into the Black Sea. When the sea is violent or has a real turbulent storm, its blamed on the arrow.

Gael: Sounds like you did a lot of research.

Steph: I read up on the Black Sea, Orthodoxy, and Vlad the Impaler.

Juliet: Orthodoxy! There's a beautiful religion. They crown each other when they get married.

Gael: What's "The Wolf's Torment" about?

Steph: It's a coming of age story for Mihai. He has a secret – he's a witch. He must embrace his witching heritage to save those he loves, but he doesn't find the courage until Theresa steps into his life. Love is a very powerful motivator.

Gael: How does the character of Viktor fit into the story?

Steph: Viktor struggles with demons that are too feral to control. Can he master the beast?

Gael: Sonia is Viktor's wife and Mihai's sister. How important is her character?

Steph: Just when Sonia thinks she's found happiness it's snatched away from her. How she deals with it shows true courage.

Gael: Sonia gets sick, doesn't she?

Steph: Yes.

Gael: How does Theresa come into Mihai's life?

Steph: It's an arranged marriage, but Mihai and Theresa have been dreaming of each other since they were children. What they share is very similar to the "kenning", which you read about in romantic Scottish historicals. Theresa is really help-mate for Mihai. She loves children as much as he does. She's perfect for him, but her patience is tested like it never has been before and I think that's what makes readers connect with Theresa.

Gael: You frame events in the story around holidays. Why?

Steph: To show the passage of time. There's Christmas, the start of Lent, Martisor, Easter, weddings, deaths…

Gael: I've never heard of Martisor. What's that?

Steph: A Romanian holiday held on 1 March to celebrate the start of spring.

Gael: Is Mihai a skilled witch?

Juliet: He gets witching lessons from Theresa's sister, Beatrice.

Steph: I love Bea! She tells it like it is.

Juliet: I think there's a little of Steph in Bea. –wink—

Gael: Spill! What's the most pivotal scene in the novel?

Steph: Viktor's decision to switch the babies.

Gael: A baby switch! How awful!

Juliet: Well, he is a werewolf. What do you expect from him?

Gael: One last question: In the movie, who plays Mihai?

Juliet: Daniel Radcliffe! He makes my wings flutter. And he's over 20.

Steph: But he's played a witch before.

Gael: Who plays Theresa?

Steph: Jennifer Ferrin. – but honestly, Jon Hensley circa 1986 has the perfect look for Mihai.

Gael: Thanks for popping in ladies. I see Barbie is here. Enjoy your spa day.

Steph: Thanks for having us, Gael.

Juliet: I'd like hot red roses for my nail polish…

BLURB: Mihai Sigmaringen has a secret – he's a witch. Will love give him the courage to save his family from a destructive werewolf.


From The Pen & Muse:
A complete werewolf story through and through, Burkhart does it again with an amazing cast of characters, entertaining dialogue and plot. Lovers of historical paranormal romance will enjoy this read, the first in the Moldavian Moon series.

Link: http://thepenmuse.net/archives/2720

Visit the Book Trailer on You Tube and give it a 'like' at:


The Wolf's Torment is available as an ebook only on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Sony Ereader. Formats include: PDF, html, and epub which can be found on the Publisher's Website at: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-163/Stephanie-Burkhart-Moldavian-Moon/Detail.bok

About the Author: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She also served as an MP in the US Army. Multi-published, she has a children's book, "The Giving Meadow" with 4RV Publishing. She's an avid reader , loves coffee in the morning, and her favorite movie witch is Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter!

You can find me at:
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  1. Daniel Radcliffe to play Mihai? Apologies to Daniel, but I think your muse might need to have her eyes checked. :-) He's a nice kid, but I pictured Mihai as someone a bit more sculpted, Chris O'Donnell maybe.

  2. Hi Juliet, honey you did a great job inspiring Steph. I know what is Martisor. Tell Gael to read your previous blogs. And keep me a spot at the spa. I badly need a massage for my sore muscles.

  3. Keena, Juliet is a bit flaky at times. (and bossy) I, personally CAN NOT imagine Daniel Radcliffe as Mihai.

    Of course my "ideal" Mihai is Jon Hensley circa 1985, but it's not 1985 anymore so more modern choices: Robert Pattinson, Christen Louis Cooke, Jamie Bamber, Henry Cavill.

    I'm game for a good suggestion.

  4. JULIET: Mona!! You've got a spot at the spa, Sweetie. Steph, push over. I'll get some lemon water for you and we'll call Barbie right on over!

    STEPH: I just want to give a shout out to Mona for inspiring me as well. I love her international contemporaries and I enjoy writing them because of her.