SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH MARY BURTON
Mary Burton is the New York Times bestselling author of spellbinding thrillers with a ‘touch’ of romance. One the reasons why her books are so popular are that they make the reader feel like they are part of the mystery. But where does she get her spine tingling ideas and how does she make her writing so eerily real?
I was couldn’t wait to ask her about her secrets and her upcoming books!
Here is what she said.
1) How did you get started in writing? What writers inspired you -more mystery or romance?
Mary Burton: I started writing when my kids were babies. I'd just left a full time marketing job and figured now was the time to try my hand at writing. So in the early days I'd put the kids down for a nap, knowing I had 2 to 3 hours a day to work. Honestly, I look back and wonder how I got it all done.
I got my start writing historical romances because I love history so much and with small children historical research was more accessible. I've always enjoyed reading historical journals and studying how people lived back in the day.
2) Is there a big difference between writing a Silhouette romance versus your thrillers? Did writing for Harlequin help you ‘develop’ your writing style? What do you like best about writing your mysteries?
Mary Burton: The basic character emotions are the same but the level of suspense versus romance is different. There is definitely more romance in the Silhouettes and more grittier suspense in the thrillers. I wrote 14 novels and 2 novellas for Harlequin and I know writing those books not only helped me hone my writing style but really helped define my writer's voice.
As much as I enjoyed the romances I realized that I loved having a mystery element in the story and the more I wrote the more I wanted to add mystery. I enjoy creating puzzles and I love hearing from readers that I kept them turning the pages until the end. I also enjoy, and I think readers do as well, a sense of justice in the end when the bad guy is captured.
3) Where do you get your ideas for your books? Are they based on real life stories or people? Can you tell us about your latest book, No Escape and how you got the idea for it?
Mary Burton: The ideas are always just here. It can be a news report, a person I meet or a passing comment someone makes. I've attended the Writer's Police Academy for several years now and a couple of years ago they had a shallow grave seminar. I know, sounds grisly. As I walked in the woods with the WPA class and teacher my mind really started spinning with ideas. I knew I had the makings of what would become NO ESCAPE.
4) What makes these characters so special?
Mary Burton: I really enjoyed writing Jo and Brody. They were married years ago and the marriage did not work out. Now it's 14 years later and circumstance has brought them together. No one is angry and no one is blaming anyone. They are just trying to do the best they can with complicated emotions. I love the idea of writing about second chances and these are two characters that sure deserve one.
5) Some murders are pretty gruesome. Can it be difficult to research or write some of your novels? How much do you decide to write? Do you ever think there is a line that you will not cross?
Mary Burton: Reading some of the research can be tough. Fiction doesn't seem to hold a candle to the bad things that happen in this world. As a writer my job is to keep the reader on the edge of their seat and sometimes I write some pretty scary scenes to do that.
6) Do you ever think you could write a novel without some sort of romance?
Mary Burton: That's a tough question. I really like having a Happily Ever After at the end of my books. I know I focused on the HEA more in the romances and less so in the thrillers but its important to me that there is at least the hope of a HEA at the end.
7) Do you ever think you might write a gothic book?!
Mary Burton: I love gothic books and I never say never.
8) If you could be a star in one of your books would you prefer to be the sheriff, the lawyer, the federal agent, the forensics, the cool, mysterious stranger or just an ordinary citizen? And why?
Mary Burton: I'm thinking forensics. It's a fascinating field and has made so many advances in the last few years.
9) Of all your character ‘types’ which is the most difficult for you to write and why? Your writing is so detailed; if you could ‘go back’ would you train to be one of them instead of writing?!
Mary Burton: In THE SEVENTH VICTIM Lara is a wet plate photographer. The images these large bellows cameras create are wonderfully detailed. It's a wonderful blend of art and science. If I wasn't writing I'd defiantly be a photographer.
10) Can you tell us about any upcoming novels you have planned?
Mary Burton: NO ESCAPE is out in October 2013 and in April 2014 it's YOU'RE NOT SAFE.
Wow! This has been a pleasure. Thanks for sharing so much about your books and giving us insight into writing.
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
For Additional Information about Mary Burton check her out at:
Recent and Upcoming Romances by Mary Burton
No Escape by Mary Burton (Oct 29, 2013)
He Was Taught How To Kill Even behind bars, serial killer Harvey Day Smith exudes menace. Psychologist Jolene Granger has agreed to hear his dying confession, vowing not to let the monster inside her head. And Harvey has secrets to share—about bodies that were never found, and about the apprentice who is continuing his grisly work. . .
And Now He’ll Teach Them He buries his victims alive the way his mentor Harvey did, relishing their final screams as the earth rains down. And as one last gift to the only father he knew, he’ll make the most perfect kill of all.
How To Die Everything about this investigation is unnerving Jo, from Harvey’s fascination with her to the fact that she’s working alongside Texas Ranger Brody Winchester, her ex-husband. Harvey’s protégé is growing bolder and more vicious every day. And soon the trail of shallow graves will lead them to the last place Jo expected, and to the most terrifying truth of all. . .
The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton (Jan 29, 2013)
It's been seven years since the Seattle Strangler terrorized the city. His victims were all young, pretty, their lifeless bodies found wrapped in a home-sewn white dress. But there was one who miraculously escaped death, just before the Strangler disappeared.
Lara Church has only hazy memories of her long-ago attack. What she does have is a home in Austin, a job, and a chance at a normal life at last. Then Texas Ranger James Beck arrives on her doorstep with shattering news: The Strangler is back. And this time, he's in Austin.
He's always craved her, even as he killed the others. For so long he's been waiting to unleash the beast within. And this time, he'll prove he holds her life in his hands-right before he ends it forever...
Before She Dies by Mary Burton (Jan 31, 2012)
He Is Their Judge. . . In death, they are purified. Holding his victims under water, he washes away their sins as they struggle for their last breath. Then he stakes their bodies to the ground, exposing them for what they really are. Witches, sent to tempt and to corrupt. . ..
Jury. . . No one knows about defense attorney Charlotte Wellington's murdered sister, or about her childhood spent with the carnival that's just arrived in town. For Charlotte, what's past is past. But others don't agree. And as a madman's body count rises, she and Detective Daniel Rokov are drawn into a mission that's become terrifyingly personal. . .
And Executioner At last, she is within his reach. All his victims deserve their fate, but her guilt is greatest. And with every scream, he will make her see what it means to suffer and repent—before she dies. . .