Ms. Lindsay Buroker doesn’t know it, but she’s one of my personal heroes.
Last year or so, another writer, Wilson Geiger to be exact, told me I had to visit Ms. Buroker’s blog. Since I admire Wilson, I took his advice and discovered a ton of advice for the indie writer. While absorbing all her wisdom, I noticed she also had some fiction for sale. I grabbed a perma-free copy of the first in one of her series and I was hooked.
In a couple of weeks, I sped-read her 8-book Emperor’s Edge series. It left me exhausted and, I thought, satiated. At the time, I didn’t think I would continue with any of her other series. They looked like they had too much romance for me. But her Emperor’s Edge series, while it had a long running romantic streak in it, was just plain fun. Each book is filled with the heroine going through some crazy antics, while magical practitioners and deadly assassins threaten the emperor and the empire itself. Fun, entertaining, and addictive are the best adjectives for this series.
But I had felt I had enough…until I started reading her latest series: Fallen Empire. Again, it has a bit too much romance for me, but Ms. Buroker took all the things she did great in her fantasy series and put it out in space. Pure, space opera fun. If you like Firefly or Star Wars, you’ll like the Fallen Empire series.
Okay, so enough fan-girl gushing on Lindsay Buroker! What does this have to do with me? (Note the title of this post.)
My infatuation in all things L.B. has extended to SFFWorld.com’s annual anthology. I’m so honored to announce that Ms. Buroker is writing an original story set in her Fallen Empire series world for my little anthology, You Are Here. (<– Go ahead, click it! It’s a brand new blogsite for this year’s short story collection.)
I was ecstatic when Ms. Buroker agreed to write a story for us. To be honest, I was humbled. When I reached out, I figured she would say no like most folks. Really, why would a professional writer take time to write for our anthology? But she’s just as excited about integrating maps into her stories! It felt like a perfect match.
And that got me thinking…
Actually, I was thinking this before she agreed.
Here’s the thought (or thoughts):
Ms. Buroker produces a lot of books. Some might call them formulaic. And maybe they are. But there’s no end to her stories’ inventiveness and sense of adventure. Each novel is packed with high-stakes antics that will have you turning the pages despite the characters seeming a little too familiar. After reading close to 15 of her books, I came away with the idea that maybe injecting some of Ms. Buroker’s action-packed crazy adventures into my own writing would probably be a good idea.
No, I won’t be copying (or attempting to copy) Ms. Buroker’s stories. While I thoroughly enjoy reading her books, I don’t think I can write so glibly. I’m much too depressing and serious for that. But this reminds me of one piece of advice an experienced editor once gave me. She said, “Go all out.” Don’t hold back on the magic in a story, whether that’s the comedy, adventure, bleakness, violence, romance or whatever. Whatever it is you get into, jump in with both feet.
I thought I was doing that, but after reading so much of Ms. Buroker’s work, one thing became crystal clear: She’s a writer that doesn’t hold back. Ms. Buroker puts her characters in situations where everything is on the line. And that’s what keeps me coming back for more.
My goal for the foreseeable future is to write like that, with both feet firmly in my story world, holding nothing back.
How about you? Do you shy away from certain aspects of your writing? If so, why? If not, how’s that working out for you?