Monday, 7 November 2011

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Stephanie Burkhart

Q: What's "Danube in Candlelight" about?

STEPH: The story takes place in Budapest, 1922. The Hungarian nation is rebuilding after losing World War I. Morgan Duma returns form England and almost immediately, her mother, Katherine, is gravely injured in a fire. Morgan learns her father, Matthias, is a werewolf, and in order to save Katherine from a morphine addiction, he's going to turn her into a werewolf. Morgan is shattered by her father's dark secret. Complicating matters is Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf who believes Morgan is the woman for him. Morgan's heart, however, belongs to Adam Varga. Which man is the right one for her? Can Morgan accept her father's dark secrets?

Q: How long did it take you to write?

STEPH: Approximately 10 weeks. I basically did NaNoWriMo in April this year. ☺ - and July.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the story?

STEPH: If you can believe this: a lot of research! When I contracted the novel, the intent was to always have Morgan face the challenges of becoming a werewolf. The series would have to move into the 1920's, (since her parents story is told in The Hungarian in 1901.) placing her story at the end of World War I. I did a ton of research about Hungary in 1920. It was troubling times. The Communists had infested the nation and the Treaty of Trinanon practically crippled the recovery. While the Hungarians wanted a constitutional monarchy, they didn't want Otto Hapsburg, the rightful Hapsburg ruler, to return and instead accepted a regent. Taking the totality of the situation and the recovery of the Hungarian nation, I wove a recovery theme into the story. Candlelight provides only a little illumination and the atmosphere of the nation made me think of Candlelight. From there, I added fire and shadows. So the inspiration didn't come over night, but grew over the course of several days as I researched.

Q: How important was the setting?

STEPH: Setting creates mood and ambience and this is a story about werewolves, after all. I'd like to think Budapest is a place where you just might believe a werewolf would exist. Even today the city captures an early 20th Century charm with its exotic buildings and bridges.

Abir Timani inspiration for
"Morgan Duma"

Q: In "The Hungarian" and "The Count's Lair" your protagonists are men. In this story, it's a woman – Morgan. Why?

STEPH: It was time to explore the werewolf myths through a woman's eyes. Katherine and Matthias raised Morgan in a loving home, but they kept the truth from her that Matthias was a werewolf. When Morgan has to look at her parents lie, she's rocked to the core of her being. She's shocked these two people – her parents – lied to her, yet they're not bad people. She questions not only her world, but her beliefs as well.

Q: What do you want readers to take away after reading the novel?

STEPH: I'd like them to feel a sense of hope. No matter what the challenges you face, you don’t have to face them alone.

Q: Are you planning a 4th book for the series?

STEPH: Yes. It will be called "The Secret Door."

Q: What's your writing space like?

STEPH: It's the buffet table in my dining room. Depending on my state of organization, its either covered in paper or neat.

Q: Do you have an ebook reader?

STEPH: I have a Kindle. Can't wait for the Kindle Fire.

Q: Who's your favorite football team?

STEPH: College: USC. Pro: NE Patriots.

Joseph Fiennes inspiration for:
"Zoltan Kristos"

5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

Book Trailer on You Tube:

Set in Budapest 1922, The Hungarians are recovering from the war. Adam Varga is Hungarian to the bone and becomes an architect to help rebuild his nation. Morgan Duma returns from England also intent on helping to rebuild her country.

After a tragedy happens to her mother, Morgan discovers her father is a werewolf. She begins to question who she is, becoming more reckless, more daring, and her choices more bold. When Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf, requests Morgan accompany him to the summer ball, Morgan has to decide which man will best fit her life.







  1. I'm sorry I'm so late popping in--lots of family drama today.
    I love the early 20th century for stories. It's a time period so overlooked but so rich in exciting changes in both culture and industry. That you threw in a paranormal element--well, that really amped up anity.
    I wish you every success, Steph.

  2. Sarah, it's great to see you, Sweetie. I hope the drama works itself out. I agree - the time period is seriously overlooked and it's close enough to where the research doesn't have to be extensive.


  3. Hi Steph,

    It sounds like you have another winner here. I love the combination of genres, especially historical and paranormal.

    I wish you the best with your new tale in the series. This is another book to add to my To Read Pile. lol

    Take Care,

  4. Great interview, Steph. I could picture at the buffet table, your little guys playing at your feet while Mom is somewhere like Budapest.


  5. Karen, I love blending genres like this - it's fun. I hope you enjoy the story.

    hehe - you've got the visual down pat!