For everyone who has been following my work, thank you! Things are finally starting to go in the right direction for me and I'm hoping to keep up the momentum. I have been interviewed three times since November. The latest was a podcast with Wichita Life, ICT. (click here to listen)
I debated about doing this. I have been avoiding any live interviews for the simple fact that the minute anyone heard my voice my secret would be out, but if I want to move forward I had to take the chance.
My secret is, I'm a woman writing as a man. Stephen Burckhardt is a pen name for me. So is Dianne Burckhardt. My actual name is Shari Dianne Burckhardt. My maiden name was Stephens. I dropped the last "s" and became Stephen Burckhardt, western author.
For those who have noticed, this is why I always avoided using pronouns when talking about my better half, P.R. He still wants to remain mostly anonymous but I did speak about him in the podcast. I would not be able to do any of the things I have done with my writing if it wasn't for him.
To be honest there are loads of people who have helped get me here. My Mom is on the top of that list. She has supported my writing from day one, in more ways than I can count. My Dad is the face of Stephen Burckhardt. The photos I share of Stephen are all of my father at various stages of life. The main photos I use on this site are ones I took of him for a photo project when I was in college. He was about the age I am now. He also goes by Steve so it worked out pretty well for us both. He's been having a ball being Stephen for me. I had sworn him to secrecy until now and he did a great job keeping my secret.
I have friends who have lent me their names for my characters, reposted my Facebook posts, bought my books, and just generally been encouraging from the beginning. The short list is: Gayla Kelly, Froshanda Grant-Bell, Carrie Westerman, Sonya and Clare Busby, Faye Finley Eidson, The Ruth family (Tim, Stacy, and Timothy), Deb and Pete Wellenstein, Patrick Gordon, and so many more!
From this point on, I will go back to posting as Stephen and keeping up the image of my pen name but for those of you who are part of my posse now, you get to know all the behind the scenes info of who I really am, what I have been dealing with to get where I am now, and what I face as I move forward from here.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this journey with me!