I’d like to welcome Aliyah Burke to my Storytellers series! Her newest book is What the Earl Desires from Passion in Print Publishing.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Probably to stop and never attempt to write again. We see how well that worked out for me. J
What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?
The actual writing. I love it when a story is flowing and I can just sit down and knock out huge parts at a time. The days when I don’t want to stop because of how well I’m getting what the characters want portrayed. The hardest? Trying to explain it to someone in technical terms. I have people ask me about GMC (Goal, Motivation, and Conflict), my internal and external problems as well story arcs. I don’t write that way, so I struggle to explain it to them. I write the story as the characters tell me. I learn what their motivations are as we go along but I don’t hit a point and say, oh…that’s turning point two, or anything like that. So that’s what’s the hardest for me. Well, that and trying to keep up with the voices in my head. J
Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Just because someone said they didn’t like it doesn’t mean you should quit. Develop a thick skin because this is a harsh business and you have to learn how to deal with criticism and rejection. We can’t please everyone and you’ll only be disappointed if you are expecting to. Understand that what works for someone else (their writing process) may not be how it works for you. Listen to advice but don’t think you have to do it all, find out what works for you and go with that. Don’t be discouraged just because you may not be putting out the word count a day as someone else. We all write at our own speed.
Name some of your favorite movies.
Black stallion movies
Man from Snowy River/Return to Snowy River
Gone with the Wind
Star Wars collection
The Princess and the Frog
Name some of your favorite books.
Chronicles of the Cheysuli by Jennifer Roberson
Prey series by John Sanford
Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey
Two Souls Indivisible by James Hirsch
Dark series by Christine Feehan
Dark Horse series by Mary Herbert
Psy/Changelings series by Nalini Singh
The Golden Thirteen by Paul Stillwell
SEALS series by H. Jay Riker
Many more but those are some.
Do you have a writing regimen?
Normally yes. With the holidays it’s kinda of all messed up. But my day starts about 0500, I get up and take care of the dogs then sit down to write for a few hours. Take a break, run/jog, walk the dogs, eat, clean etc, then get back to work. How much I do depends on what the schedule is like for that day. I check it first thing every morning so I have an idea of what the day will be like.
What are the perks of being an author?
Besides being able to go to work in pj’s? J I think I would have to say that inspiration is always all around us. All we have to do is take the time to look. I’m very blessed to be able to do this and thank God every day for the opportunity.
You are having a dinner party. You are able to invite one literary character, one president, one musician, one sports figure and one movie villain.
Oh…only one per…sigh…let me see.
Literary Character: the Time Traveller (from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine)
President: Theodore Roosevelt
Musician: Kenny Chesney (this isn’t a fair question…there are sooo many)
Sports Figure: Valdiron de Oliveira (I love bull fighting and seriously impressed by this Brasilian)
Movie Villain: Darth Vader (need I say anymore? J)
Fuzzy socks or slippers? I prefer to be barefoot but fuzzy socks, w/ soled slippers by the door to slip on in case I have to run outside.
What’s your favorite shape? No clue
Crayons, markers or paint? Crayons, especially purple ones.
Spanish or French? Spanish
Cheese: extra sharp cheddar
Bestseller: Nora Roberts
Now you get to ask me a question: 😉
Do you like dogs, and if so what’s your favourite breed?
I love dogs! My favorite breed are usually the bigger ones, Rottweilers and Shephards, but I have a medium sized American Bulldog mix that is just too cute!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions!
Thank you for having me here. I had a blast.
Connect with Aliyah:
From England’s cold mausoleum homes to Africa’s vastness, Colin fights for the love and respect of a warrior’s heart to keep his family together.
Preferring solitude, Colin Faulkner resides at his country estate. Yet, fate being fickle, introduces a mysterious woman into his life. Societal dictates say he has no business wanting her…he does.
Najja’s in England for one thing, however, meeting Colin changes everything. After he unexpectedly becomes Earl of Clifton, Najja withdraws. Her excuse? His title. Her vow.
Colin doesn’t care, but wanting and having Najja are two different things. For Najja can never truly be his so long as another controls her.
Obstacles are meaningless when a love that spans the continents is…
What the Earl Desires
“This is a tooth.”
“Yes, it is.”
“What is it from?”
He cocked his head to the side. “Who gave it to you?”
“I earned it. When I was younger.”
A furrow appeared between his eyes. “What did you have to do in order to earn this?”
She touched the large canine tooth. “Survive.”
He dropped the tooth and gave her all his attention. “I do not like the sound of that.”
Unrepentant she shrugged. Her life was as it was and she offered no excuses.
“Are you telling me you fought a leopard?”
She nodded as her mind flashed back to that day. The magnificent male had breathed his last with her. Even in death the creature’s lethal beauty could be felt and demanded respect. So did the wounds the cat had inflicted upon her young body. Injures she ignored until she’d given the creature a proper burial. Taking his life had not been anything she’d wished and had made sure to ask for his forgiveness. Since that day she’d never killed another leopard. With a slight sigh she touched her side before Colin cleared his throat grabbing her attention.
“Where were you?” He didn’t speak of anything other than her trip through memories.
“Home,” she admitted.
“I thought you said your father’s camp was not home.”
“It is not. But Africa is.”
His gaze shuttered. “You will still leave Jo.” It wasn’t a question.
“Yes,” she said with regret.
“What about you, Najja?”
She frowned slightly. “I do not understand. What about me?”
He positioned his back against the tree and drew her to settle between his legs. She fought the urge to totally sink against him.
“When do you get to find happiness?”
Najja blinked at the question. No one, not even Jo, had ever asked her such a thing. She could not call forth any response.
You were put here for my whims. Never forget child, you live and breathe because I deign to allow it, not because you have the right. The things you have, I gave and I can take them away. Anytime. Father’s words flared in her memory.
Colin held her tight to him. She could feel his arousal pressing along her back. Desire rocked into her with the force of a squall tossing about a tiny raft.
“I am but a slave, Mr. Faulkner,” she said climbing away from his intoxicating touch and forcing all personal feelings away.
He rose with a dangerously smooth motion and stalked her. She backed against another tree mesmerized by the raw power he exuded. Awareness erupted within her and she longed to purr and rub against him. Najja couldn’t tear her eyes from him as he approached. The wind circled around them moving his dark hair and cloak. Colin only stopped when his large, hard body pressed into her. One thick thigh wedged between her legs. His hands cupped her face and he lowered his mouth until their lips barely touched.
“You may be a woman who follows orders, Najja, but you are no slave. Not to anyone.”
Nancy O'Berry says
Great interview. Reading several of Aliyah’s books, I know when I pick one up that it will be well worth the money. I am amazed at her dedication to writing. I hope you go far.
I agree, great interview. I’ve read just about everyone of Aliyah’s books and have yet to be disappointed. What the Earl Desires is such a good book. Looking forward to many more books from Ms. Burke.
Aliyah Burke says
Thanks so much, y’all. I’m so glad y’all are enjoying my writing. Thanks for the support.
love this interview and the writer great job
Aliyah Burke says
Thanks, Ernestine, for both the kind words and the support.
Serenity King says
Great interview! I love all of your books. I am up at 5 a.am too but I am doing everything but writing. I Am looking forward to reading What the Earl Desires. Best of luck and many sales to you.
Aliyah Burke says
Thanks so much, Serenity. I hope you enjoy Colin/Najja when you get to it. Write first, they’ll be there when you take a break. Love your work as well. Keep ’em coming, I’m always on the look out for more wonderful stories!