INTERVIEW | Katrina L. Burchett

Katrina, describe yourself for our visitors.

I’m a quiet person and I pretty much keep to myself. I’m a wife and I have two sons; the oldest in grad school, the youngest a freshman in college. I like to write, but I love to listen to music( mostly songs with an inspiring, uplifting message which are usually sung by Christian artists, but not always) and I love to watch movies on dvd. And, mostly because of mistakes I made back in the day, I have a desire to minister to young people through my writing.

How do you find time to connect with God?

I praise God and thank Him when I open my eyes in the morning, and I speak to Him throughout the day – I really need to learn how to listen better, though. I also make myself turn off the television most days and I read devotions from Our Daily Bread or Charles Stanley’s In Touch magazine. I confess that I don’t read my Bible every day as I should, but when I do it’s usually before bedtime.

Who Are Your Favorite Authors? Favorite Books?

I read mostly Christian fiction now, but not always; it depends on the content. I used to say I had a favorite author, but that was before my taste in books changed. It’s been a good while since I read her work so I think I’m going to have to read her books again to see if I still feel the same. I can say, though, that Home Price by Robert McCloskey has been a favorite book since grade school; entertaining stories for young and old and magnificent illustrations. I’ve enjoyed most of the Christian fiction I’ve read, but as for "favorites" I’d have to say Joy by Victoria Christopher Murray, and I just finished Up Pops The Devil by Angela Benson – loved that one!

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I wrote the first draft of Choices many years ago. I’d send out queries, receive kind rejection letters (good story, however….) , get discouraged and put the manuscript away. Then months later I’d get it out, rewrite and go through the querying process all over again and again. It didn’t take many rejection letters before I grew tired of submitting my manuscript. I’m sure God wasn’t pleased with my first few drafts (when I tried to write like other authors instead of from my heart) but as I grew as a Christian my story changed to one I knew God was pleased with. By that time I just didn’t want to query publishing houses again, so I published Choices myself. There was fear at first, since I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, and, honestly, the proofreading process got on my last nerve, but I got it done. And I thank God for the people who wrote books to guide the self-publisher step by step. The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poytner, The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom & Marilyn Ross and Start Your Own Self-Publishing Business by Rob & Terry Adams – all of these books were very helpful.

Tell us about your current book.

Choices is the story of five teenage girls who live in my hometown of York , Pennsylvania. (Never read a novel that took place in my hometown, so I thought I’d put one out there) Each girl is dealing with circumstances that have everything to do with the choices she makes about boyfriends and premarital sex.

Shauntice lives in a world of domestic abuse. Her dad beats her mom, so she doesn’t trust guys. Angel has always felt neglected by her mother and she has no idea who her father is, so she started having sex for the attention. LaKeeta, who is pregnant when the story begins, got that way on purpose so she could have someone to love. Bridgette feels very strongly about abstinence. So strongly, in fact, that she broke up with a guy she really cared about. Hope – oh my goodness, I feel so bad for this girl – Hope’s mom has very strict rules that keeps her from living any kind of life at all. She’s so socially inept that, although she wants to have friends, she doesn’t really even know how to communicate with her peers. Sadly, rebellion puts her in a dangerous situation.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

Teen sex is always going to be an issue. Teenagers are having sex and that’s nothing new, but, personally, I don’t believe raging hormones has everything to do with it. I don’t talk a whole lot, but I am always observing, listening. And I’ve also made my mistakes in the past, so I know that there are quite a few reasons for the choices young people are making. There are also teenagers who are choosing to abstain and, even if it gets difficult at times, they stick to their decision. And there are teenagers who choose to abstain but they end up having sex or coming really close to it. I wanted to explore this whole teen sex thing, so I created Shauntice, Angel, LaKeeta, Bridgette and Hope and told their story.

What is next for you?

The next story will focus on teen parenting and the third, teens and drinking. I can’t say right now when these books will be released.

Where can visitors find you online?

My website is www.kapribooks.com; there’s a link there for anyone who’d like to read my blog. I also have a profile page on Shoutlife, and anyone who’s interested in the books I’ve read or what I’m currently reading can check out my bookshelves on Shelfari and Goodreads.