• Stephen Burckhardt

What to Write, What to Write . . .


I was reading advice about blogging for authors yesterday. It stated that an author should use their blog to talk about their books. I know, duh, right? But they suggested that is all you should talk about in your author blog, not your process, not your life, just your books. But does this make sense?

My life and process is so wrapped up with my books that, for me at least, it is all part of the same thing. My books are extension of me and my imagination. These characters are alive and running around my head all the time. It is very difficult to separate it all.

I think that is part of the reason I love using my friends' and family member's names for my characters. It just blends it all together for me that much more. I visualize my characters better, not actually as the people I named them for, but it does help be imagine them as more real.

I came up with the idea of the Into the West Saga Serial story a long time ago when I met a woman who's mother had come to Kansas on the orphan train. The family who took her in treated her more as a hired hand for their farm and not as a member of their family. When the parents died, they left everything to their son and nothing to her. The son thought of her as his sister and did give her a little money but not much.

It was such a sad story I wanted to go to The Orphan Train museum in Kansas to learn about these children. I did make it there about seven years ago. I learned many stories like this there and while researching the orphan train. The idea for this serial just never went away. When I got married and changed jobs, I thought the time was right to try my hand at being an author and had to start with this story.

Some of the bits from the orphanage scenes in Into the West: The Orphan Train comes from stories my dad and his sisters told me while I was growing up about the years they spent living in children's homes in Oklahoma. Specifically, the scene where Elizabeth gets caned comes from a story my dad told me about the children's' home.

Every novella is peppered with stories from my own family history and from things I learned while studying communications and forensic criminology. There will be more such stories to come rest in the rest of the series as well. So, keep reading and see if you can spot actual events that are taken from real life experiences.

Thanks for following my work,

Stephen


Subscribe to Our Newsletter