Today we have the pleasure of an interview with our very own Ralene Burke! So snatch a cup of tea and enjoy!

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How many books did you write before getting published? 

I wrote 5 books before I self-published Bellanok. It’s funny, because the first 3 were all about finding who I was as a writer. The first novel was a YA, the second was a contemporary adult suspense, and the third was a supernatural suspense. The third is how I discovered my love for writing speculative fiction (I already loved reading it). My fourth and fifth books were both fantasy.

What is your goal in and for your writing?
Except for that first YA book, all of my stories seem to have one big thing in common: God using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. From siblings fighting to overthrow an anti-Christian terrorist group that no one believes exists to an amnesiac with a superpower working with the FBI to banish a demon, to an exiled healer who’s charged with saving her kingdom from an ancient evil, to a down-on-his-luck pastor expected to save the myths and legends of old–the stories are riddled with people who just chose to follow God’s calling on their lives.
You have a free weekend, what do you do with it?
Write all day Saturday–and by write, I mean, on my own current WIP! You’d be surprised how often that doesn’t happen. And then on Sunday, after church, I’d do something fun with the family.
Would you rather live in Middle-Earth, Tatooine, or aboard the Starship Enterprise?
I think it’s pretty much a tie between Middle Earth and the Starship Enterprise. I am much more in love with the idea of Middle Earth, but there are just so many more places to see by living on the Starship Enterprise. If I had to choose, though, Middle Earth would probably win.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor? 
Mint Chocolate Chip
Name one piece of writing advice someone has given you that really shone out and helped you. 
In 2009, I went to my first ACFW conference and had a paid critique with Jeff Gerke. He told me, not in these exact words, but basically, “Show, don’t tell.” I’ve always been one of the odd writers that always has to go back in and ADD words to their story. I write matter-of-fact, to the point prose–probably because it was the long-winded writers that annoy me when I read. However, over the years, I’ve learned how to get creative and use strong words to still write tight, but to load up on flavor using word choice and other tools. So, writers, show, don’t tell.

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She spins fantastical tales to encourage people to SHINE BEYOND. She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 5-part serial starting in October 2015!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

You can also find her on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter!