Author Interview: Roxanne Burkey & Charles Breakfield

 

  • Where are you from? Breakfield is a Native Texan from Austin. Burkey moved to Texas from California and Breakfield bestowed the term ‘Naturalized Texas’ to her about 5 years ago, saying that she was more Texan than most Natives. It was a very moving ceremony of her touching the Texas flag and accepting citizenship in this state.
  • Why do you write? We write fictional stories because they are a lot more fun than stogie old technical documentation manuals. We simply like to convey a thoughtful and entertaining story.
  • What do you write about? With our over 25 years in the technology field we decided to focus on a combination of techno-thriller and science fiction. We take real technology and position it within relevant story lines to help spark the imagination of our readers.
  • Do you have a specific writing style? Storytelling for us is all about the personal interaction first, then the plot weaved in around the bad guys then the good guys. Taking today’s relevant technology and weaving the uses and misuses by the adversaries is our framework. From a co-authoring perspective, we rough out the direction of the story, not necessarily knowing where we actually expect it to end, and then rough out chapters. Chapters are reviewed by each of us to add elements we feel are needed or remove things deemed unnecessary upon review. It is a literary ping-pong match of sorts which in the end we assemble in to a story with one united voice. Polishing the chapters and the whole story is the writing exercise we feel is important to bring the best possible product to the literary market and our readers.
  • What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? As the phrase goes “Technology never sleeps”. Each of us have professional careers with separate companies. Breakfield is a renowned techno-geek who consistently works in the outer edges of technology for major companies. Burkey focuses on driving business value with optimizing technology and workflow practices to drive customer and workforce experience improvements. At times all that work and the demands of customers does cut into our writing time, but it provides great fodder for our stories.
  • What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work? There have been a comments and points of success we have really enjoyed. A review of our 1st book in the series, The Enigma Factor said in their review “Move over David Baldacci, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Clive Cussler. Burkey and Breakfield have created a storyline for the new millennium”; or winning the Texas Authors 2017 Best of Texas Books award for the entire series; or the ABR Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner for our second audible The Enigma Rising; or being on Good Morning Texas. We have so many more goals we want to achieve.
  • How long have you been writing? Counting today? Probably more years than we’re willing to admit. Burkey’s been writing since high school with poetry as a start, so a while at the least. Breakfield actually began in high school as editor and writer for what turned into an underground newspaper much to the high school faculty consternation. Apparently, he has always been Avant-guard when it comes to writing/publishing. Breakfield has been at it a bit less than Burkey.
  • When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer? Burkey was bit by the writing bug when she wrote technical white papers and suggested Breakfield do a few. They both wrote a couple of non-fiction technical documents which was the point where they decided that technical documentation was just not our best destiny. It was shortly after this that Burkey suggested writing for fun and Breakfield reluctantly agreed. Halfway through writing The Enigma Factor, Breakfield was totally hooked on the idea of fictional writing. The first clue was when he quoted Bette Davis “Hang on, it’s going to be bumpy night, or something like that.” Where else can you take apart people who have been negative in your life, personal or professional, and make them beg for mercy? It’s like a liberation and you simply change names to protect the innocent. After all, Technology is today’s weapon of choice!
  • What is your work schedule like when you are writing? We each write as time permits, outside of our professional work schedules. Sometimes early mornings or late evenings and the weekends. But always back and forth for that polishing effort.
  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Even our editor cannot tell who wrote what in the book. For us, it is the co-author thing and sounding like a single voice. We want to make certain we sound in the end the way the story was envisioned and then some.
  • How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non) With 9 books in the series so far, we average two books a year. Recently we have worked a bit more on the marketing side so the latest released 8 months but we also won first place in Texas Authors with our short story
  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer? Writing like many other things, such as humor from Burkey, is a practiced item. The more time you spend at the craft, the better the results. We also find get early readers to review and make comments a great way to see if the stories are resonating. We are always looking for committed beta readers.
  • What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story? It is a combination of choosing relevant technology and how we want to present it. Frankly, the biggest problem is trying to focus since there is so much relevant info to work with. Each of our stories has a theme. Though it means more research to prove our points it is totally exhilarating to make a plausible tale that makes our readers think.
  • What do you think makes a good story? A good story is a mixture of many elements. For our focus it’s a balance of character interaction, technology and situations with dashes of humor, romance, travel, and intrigue patterned after real people.
  • What does your family think of your writing? We both have very supportive families for writing. Breakfield’s wife is our editor and the time she spends is awesome. We get a lot of encouragement but frankly some of them want to know if they are in the will.
  • Do you see writing as a career? At some point down the road have writing and speaking be the full time effort and career would be a dream come true. Some of the folks who have reviewed the stories have asked about them being made into television shows or movies which would also be a blast.
  • Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers? We want reviews from our readers. Of course, the highest review possible would be awesome, but mostly a respectful reviews posted on outlets such as Amazon, Goodreads, or Audible Reviews are appreciated. Reviews help us do better writing as well as sharing with others.
  • When did you first consider yourself writers? Honestly when we started receiving checks for Technical White Papers and were asked to put together our first non-fictional technology book. The jump-in-with-both-feet happened when The Enigma Factor hit Amazon.

 You can follow the authors via the following social media links.

www.enigmaseries.com

https://twitter.com/EnigmaSeries

https://www.facebook.com/TheEnigmaSeries/

 

 

 

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