Monday, January 2, 2012

Author Spotlight: Interview with Lindsay Buroker

1.  Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Just one book? Okay, let’s do Deadly Games (fantasy) since that’s the most recent. 30 words? I don’t know… With all the Twitter tweets I’ve been doing, I’m not sure I can write something that lengthy.

The A-team in a steam-era fantasy world, and this time Hannibal is a girl. ;)

Yup, less than 15. There ya go.

2.  How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

One of my beta readers gave me the title for Deadly Games. I suck at titles. To this day, I wish I’d come up with a better one for The Emperor’s Edge (Book 1 in the series).

I’ll do better for my next series. Really.

3.  Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Hm, Maldynado, my disowned noble turned gigolo, is probably the most fun to write because he’ll do and say anything. Of course, I (oddly) like writing my assassin, Sicarius, too, because he won’t do or say anything. What can I say? I dig characters with attitude. Good, bad, it’s all fun to write.

4.  How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

Akstyr, my teenaged aspiring wizard, is surly and unlovable. He’s pretty easy to write, but he’s… like I said, a surly unlovable teenager.

He’s going to get to be one of the POV characters in the next book, though, so I’ll have to see if I can make him a little more likeable by the end. Or kill him off. Muhahah.

5.  If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

I like the way Deadly Games came out. If I were changing novels, I’d probably go back and do the first in the series a little differently. It was a long time in the making and definitely has that first-novel feel, but, hey, I guess everyone has to have a first novel. ;)

6.  Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

Something that hasn’t come out in the series yet but that probably will eventually… Sicarius had something (okay, everything) to do with Sespian becoming the heir to the empire at such a young age. Alas, things didn’t quite work out the way our aloof assassin had planned.

7.  Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Nope, I’m boring. I play tennis and travel when I can.

I do have a dog that can open screen doors and a baby gate (put in place to keep him out) with his nose. That’s a talent there.

8.  How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Please come to my official fantasy author site or stop by my Facebook fan page or say hi to me on Twitter.

If you like free stuff (hey, who doesn’t?), you can also download one of my free fantasy short stories on Smashwords or subscribe to The Emperor’s Edge podiobook on iTunes or at

9.  What can we expect from you in the future?

Three more books in The Emperor’s Edge series, more Flash Gold novellas, and (eventually) a sequel to Encrypted.

I’m also traveling right now (on the way to Australia for the winter), and I’m toying with the idea of doing a contemporary urban fantasy series that takes place in some of the different cities I visit.

10.  Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Because I self-published, I don’t know the ins and outs of The System all that well. I read up on querying agents, and was preparing to do it, when I got my first Kindle and realized people were able to get their ebooks into the Amazon store without jumping through many hoops. I started reading various blogs and learned that independent authors were actually making decent money (far more decent than traditionally published authors, because they keep a much higher percentage of the sales earnings). Within weeks, I scrapped the idea of querying agents, and within a couple of months I had my first novel for sale in the Kindle store.

I’m not one of those indie authors selling bazillions of copies and making tons of money, but I’m well on my way to being able to do this for a living.

If any of your readers are interested in that route, they can check out my self-publishing blog for tips.

11.  Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Uhm, read my books?

Also, my favorite color is blue.  And my favorite fruit is the strawberry with apples as a close second.  There, now you know the important stuff!  

12.  And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

Here’s part of an early scene. I’m not sure it’ll tantalize, but it ought to give readers a notion of my sense of humor (I wouldn’t want to inflict it, in large doses, on unsuspecting innocents). Then they can decide if they want to check out my work. (I have lots of sample chapters up in the fantasy novels section of my site).

* * *
Morning sun burned into the rusted hulls of decommissioned rail cars that filled the vast boneyard. Heat radiated from them, some as yet unscathed by the years and others so rusted each wall was a see-through latticework. The occasional shiny bits glinted, throwing rays into Amaranthe’s eyes as she passed. Weeds rose from cracks between faded and broken bricks that lined the ground, suggesting the area had once had a nobler purpose.

Sicarius had disappeared as soon as they neared the boneyard, and Amaranthe weaved through the aisles toward their hideout alone. Unfamiliar coughs and voices echoed from different parts of the field, a reminder that more groups than hers called this place a home, however temporarily. Cigar stubs, some filled with tobacco and some with more potent leaves, littered the bricks. Bloodstains were nearly as frequent. The boneyard had the benefit of not being visited often by enforcers, but that also made it a place Amaranthe would not have chosen to visit alone at night.

She turned down a dead end and stumbled. Maldynado lounged in a chair he had scavenged from one of the passenger cars. His face was tilted toward the sun, his eyes were closed, his hands were clasped behind his head, and he was…naked.

“Maldynado,” Amaranthe groaned.

“Oh, hullo, boss.” He neither rose nor adjusted his position to hide anything; he simply sprawled there, like a cat in a sunbeam.

“What are you doing?”


Amaranthe pulled a towel out of her satchel and draped it across his waist as she walked past.

“I see you’ve set yourself an ambitious itinerary.”

“You said to relax. I’m relaxing.” He scratched an armpit. “I’ve been thinking.”

“Profound and philosophical thoughts?”

“Naturally,” Maldynado said. “For instance, I figure we should have a team uniform.”

“A uniform?”

“Clothes that make us look like a stylish and cohesive unit of elite combat professionals.”

“Something like what Sicarius wears?” Amaranthe asked.

“He’s far too monochromatic and plain to be considered stylish.”

“I see. Well, let me know what you come up with.” She peered into the cars she and her team had claimed, a set of three that were less rusted than most. They framed a dead end and created a private camp spot. “Anyone else about?”

“Akstyr’s off somewhere being secretive and magicky, and Books left at dawn, excited about spending a day at the library—that is pathetic, by the way.”

“Basilard’s not around?”

“Haven’t seen him since last night.”

“I hope he shows up today. I want to take everybody in and investigate Barlovoc Stadium. Something’s going on, maybe something important.”

“Important enough to interrupt our vacation?”

“Absolutely,” Amaranthe said. “This has the potential to attract attention high up. This could be the one.”

“Uh huh, when you’re done rubbing your hands together and plotting gleefully, think about what you’re going to wear for your date tonight.”

“My what?”

Sicarius chose that moment to finish scouting and walk into camp.

“You know what I’m talking about,” Maldynado said. “Lord Mancrest. I’ve been trying to get you to meet him for weeks, but you keep saying, ‘wait until we have some time off.’ Well, you gave us time off.”

“All right, but not tonight. This is more important than—”

“I already set it up,” Maldynado said.

Sicarius’s expression was cool as he drew near, but she did not know if it was due to the conversation topic or Maldynado’s lack of attire.

“I told him you were free and that you’d meet him tonight,” Maldynado said. “He said he’ll take you out to a nice dinner. His family has money, so you should mine that vein for all it’s worth. When was the last time you had something fancy? Get the priciest cut of meat.”


“He’s a gentlemen. Probably won’t even expect you to warm his sheets afterward. Unless you want to, of course. I don’t think you’ve blanket wrestled with anybody for as long as I’ve known you, so you must have some urges that are aching to be sated.”

“Maldynado!” Amaranthe should not have blushed, but she was all too conscious of Sicarius standing a few paces away.

“Wear something nice,” Maldynado said. “He’s expecting you at The Gazette building at six.”

“I’m not... Did you say The Gazette?” Amaranthe wanted to object, since she’d already been planning a night of snooping, but the chance to go into the city’s largest newspaper office and chat up the boss was appealing. At the least, she could find out if the journalists had heard about anything fishy going on at Barlovoc Stadium. Developing a relationship with Mancrest could prove useful long-term as well. If she could convince him her team was working for the good of the empire, perhaps he would publish something nice—like the truth. “All right. I can send you fellows ahead and come to the grounds afterward. No self-respecting snoop sneaks in before midnight anyway.”


Sicarius said nothing, but his gaze was less friendly than his daggers.
* * *
Thank you Lindsay for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview!  I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at