Locket Full of Secrets Interview with Author Dana Burkey!

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For an interview with the AMAZING author Dana Burkey, 

Hi Dana! How are you?: I am doing great today! The weather here in Washington stage has been sunny and warm, so life is great!

Before I start with questions about your books, I’d like to ask you some questions about why you became a writer.

What inspired you to start writing?: I actually had a teacher in middle school that really got me interested in writing! He would give us writing prompts to work on in class, and I started to really get into them and apply myself unlike any class before that. I think it helped me to turn on my creativity and really explore the world of creative writing.

Was there a specific experience?: Really the whole year that I had my teacher, Mr. Cordon, I was able to grow and learn as a writing. I did not know that it was something I would keep doing for years, but it caught my attention and got the ball rolling!

What was the first thing you wrote?: When I was in middle school I started writing poems. They were about the guys I liked, my friends, or anything random really. From there I wrote short stories for my friends and skits for my youth group. It kind of grew from there!

What is your favorite genre to write?: I love writing YA! In fact, when I was in college writing classes I was often criticized for writing things that were “juvenile” or “too young.” This was back before the term “YA” was really used, so I worried that I was doing something wrong. But, a few years later I started to see that I had always been writing for YA, I just didn’t know how to express that in words. Realizing that really helped me to get back into writing and use the creative gift I have been blessed with.

Do you have a favorite book you have written?: My new book Locket Full of Secrets is my favorite for sure! It is the first full length novel of mine, and just came out on July 4th!

Why is that your favorite?: Locket Full of Secrets is my favorite since I have been working on it for so long, and it is about a subject I have loved for years. Want to know more? You will have to check out the book to learn more. I can say that this book takes place in 1999, was inspired by European History, and was all inspired by a writing prompt and my friend Simona from 8th grade!

Are you writing anything at the moment?: Right now I a few chapters into my next book All For Fame. But, I set it aside a few weeks ago and started a new project I am calling “His Senior Year.” I know I need to go back and work on All For Fame one of these days, but for now I am really enjoying this new project!

If so, could you share something about it?: His Senior Year is about a sophomore in high school, Fiona, is who trying to win the affection of her crush Jordan. The only problem, is that Jordan is best friends with her older brother Ross. The book follows Fiona’s diary as she tried to win Jordan over, all while navigation her way through high school!

What is your favorite book that you have not written?: I have a lot of books I really like, but I think I have to say my “favorite” is the Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. I first read this book when a camper of mine told me to read it. It was the first time I read a book that was labeled “YA” since it was not really a common term yet. The book helped me get more into YA and from there I realized that it was the genre I had always been writing for. In college I was told my writing was “juvenile” and “childish,” but once I read Percy Jackson and then others like it, I started to see that I was just having the wrong audience read what I had been writing. So, that book really means a lot for me since it lead to a lot of realization on my part!

And lastly, any advice for those struggling to write a story?: I think the best advice I heard about writing that I can pass on to others came from one of my college theater professors. In my intro to short film making class he taught us that “everyone has a story in them waiting to be told.” I think that idea really made me want to get back into writing more after college. Thinking back on his words I seemed to find confidence in my stories, and the idea that people out there would want to read it because it was a story that I made.

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