And it’s another guest! A very sweet lady I found on Goodreads… who was kind enough to interview me on her blog! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Coreena Mc Burnie!
Where do you live and write from?
I live in British Columbia, Canada.
Why do you write?
I write because I love it. I love the connections I make when writing and the tingly feeling I get when I write a good scene. It also feels good to create stories that entertain people and take them somewhere else for awhile.
When did you start writing?
I’ve written poetry off and on throughout my life, but I took the plunge into novel writing around 7 years ago when I discovered National Novel Writing Month (challenge to write 50,000 words in November).
What genre(s) do you write?
I write a variety of things, but mostly mythological retellings. My current project is a young adult series retelling of the ancient Greek myths of Oedipus and his daughter Antigone.
What does your writing routine consist of?
I would love to be one of those people who treat writing like a job and work all day taking coffee breaks, but I’m not. I’m very sporadic. I have three kids and a recently diagnosed mental health illness. I write copious amounts during Novembers (Nanowrimo), then I take some time off and look at a different project and edit it as needed. I usually have a couple of projects on the go at any one time and go back and forth as the mood takes me. I do try and do something towards my writing every day, even if it consists of baby steps. They all add up and keep me in the flow.
What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
I feel my strengths are my ability to see baby steps as steps in the right direction. Even if I don’t spend hours a day writing, I still do something and don’t give myself a bad time for not doing more. I’m better off doing half an hour a day rather than giving up and doing nothing, right?
Also, I love writing and my stories have moments of complete synchronicity which are wonderful and exhilarating. I look for and appreciate those moments, even if I have to slog through pages of terrible things first.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
For a long time I didn’t write because I was afraid and wasn’t sure what to write. Finally I thought about what I love, which is ancient myths and culture, especially Greek, so I went there. I looked to the myths and what I like to read — I absolutely love a strong heroine — and combined them. I tell these ancient stories from the female protagonist’s point of view.
And yes, I think I do put myself in these stories. Sometimes as I am, sometimes as I would like to be. In one way or another, much of what the characters are is a reaction to my experiences.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
I am essentially an improviser — I love giving my characters freedom to explore. However, one of the advantages of using established myths is that there are certain plot points to follow. How I get there is always an adventure, though.
I tend to write rather fast, but edit very, very slow. I’m working on this.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is called Prophecy, and is Book 1 in the Antigone: The True Story series. It is based on the ancient Greek play called Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, where King Oedipus discovers that he’s killed his father and marries his mother, all without knowing it. Antigone is his daughter. She is a strong young woman, conflicted by her duties to her family, the gods, and to herself. It turns out that she can speak to snakes and that the gods have an interest in her, but her family is cursed. Antigone has to re-evaluate who she is and what her values are in order to decide which path to follow.
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
I decided to go the indie route. After doing a lot of research, it seemed like the best option for me. I like the flexibility of it and how it can connect authors and readers in a direct way. I also enjoy having control over my books and my publishing rights.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
I am working on Book 2 of the Antigone: The True Story series called Fate and also an adult novel that is the mythological retelling of Clyemnestra, who’s husband, Agamemnon, fought in the Trojan War.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
My goal is to write books that I would enjoy reading, and, hopefully while doing that, I can entertain a few others as well. To achieve this, I am learning more about writing and publishing all the time and continuing to write books that speak to me.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Just write. Turn off your inner editor when you are writing your rough copy. Bad rough copies are better than no rough copies because then you have something to edit. Also, take baby steps, if necessary. Even half an hour of writing every day adds up to something.
Also, if you are interested, here are my bio and author links.
I write mythological fiction — my passion for ancient cultures started many years ago and, after studying Classics in university and earning my Master’s degree, I am channeling this love into my writing. Prophecy, book 1 in Antigone, The True Story series, is my first published novel. I do most of my writing in Novembers during Nanowrimo and spend the rest of the year editing and reading. I live in BC, Canada with my husband, three kids, and our cat