An Interview With Roger B. Burt
Today on Author Spotlight, I’m interviewing Roger B. Burt, the author of “Gaia’s Majesty: Mission Called-Women in Power”. Thank you so much, Roger, for taking the time to be interviewed.
Leigh: Tell us a little about yourself.
Perhaps the ultimate core which drives everything is my intuitive personality. I require novelty and exploration of what might be. That was a major part of the reason for me getting a doctorate in clinical psychology. The scientific/research part didn’t interest me. Delving into people’s minds was of considerable interest. One of the things I learned was that what we call reality is widely divergent across people and ephemeral. We can see it in fiction.
An odd thing is that I never liked school a whole lot. I was just tenacious. From time to time I found inspiration. A lot of the time it just had to be endured. When I had my doctorate I fled to work in the novelty of a community mental health program. That meant work in inner city poverty and lots of conflict. It was the time of the sixties revolution which included assertive women stressing women’s liberation. I was utterly engaged.
Leigh: What inspired you to write this novel?
Given who I am and my devotion to feminism the story of Gaia’s Majesty was almost inevitable. There had to be a future unfolding and a fantasy element suited me just fine because it was liberating. And myth was included because I’ve always been intrigued with the meaning of myths and revelations about who we are. So Mermaids had to be in the story.
Leigh: What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on keeping my characters and the story under control. I’m revising the second book and have a draft of the third. But there appears to be a fourth book at the door and I also have to manage the insistent Andromeda women. They aren’t just warriors, they are women with depth and commitment. Even when their position is established in the book I feel more and more of their personal story unfolding. They may each get their own book eventually.
Leigh: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters from your most recent book?
I have a take on who these people are but I can’t say I have a fix on who I would like to see playing them.
Leigh: When did you decide to become a fiction writer?
At each turning point in my life books have presented themselves. Some of them were nonfiction and some fictional stories were usually coming to life. Not all came to final form.
Leigh: Where do your ideas come from? Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
The ideas begin as abstractions and they gradually take shape with images of characters and general form. Then I get out Dara Mark’s “Transformational Arc”. Fundamentally it is a system which is common in films. It gives the story not just a framework but also dramatic points where crises take shape and there are high and low points. For example, about three quarters of the way through comes “as bad as it gets”. We all can recognize that in films at about the same place. It is a devise which works well.
Leigh: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? What book/s are you reading at present?
My reading is a mess. I have no plan and take up what intrigues me. I have a rather large number of ’50 page books”. If I’m not engaged, I don’t slog on through. And what engages me is simply what engages me. And I don’t believe in rating books which are simply not your cup of tea. It might be a great book but not for me. So I may move from fiction to nonfiction with no particular plan. Recently I ran across “Postcapitalism” by Paul Mason. I could see our future opening before us. Before that I learned about Amazons from Adrienne Mayor. I thought they were myths. Not so. Both of these books were nonfiction but spoke to fictional themes stretching into the future. The bottom line, the book has to capture my imagination as I search the “what if”.
Leigh: What is your favorite quote?
I live in a world of concepts and images so I retain quotes poorly. I don’t look back but toward future discovery. The Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy reflects my fascination with what may be unfolding. We seem to be entering a new wave for humanity and a very important part of it is the empowerment of women. We can’t be clear about what’s coming but the potential is fascinating me and I tend to think it will not be catastrophic but fascinatingly wonderful.
Leigh: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2vdN66s
Amazon Book Links (American)
Creating Characters and Plots –
Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership
Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health
This link contains a list of my nonfiction books as well. It includes how to use Carl Jung’s personality typology to construct characters and plot, a guide to crisis management in stepfamily transitions, and the rise and fall of the community mental health movement.
Roger to Leigh:
I have a question for you. From the position of your blog and what you hear from authors, what do you perceive as the most common sources of inspiration?
The best reading experience, in my opinion, entertains as it evokes emotion within me. Each reader’s experiences will shape whether the reader will connect emotionally with a writer’s work. Each writer has an audience. That audience is comprised of the people who will connect emotionally with the writer’s work. Books will get various ratings from readers because some of the readers may connect with the work, others won’t.
Each writer has a tackle box with two larger compartments. Each of the two large compartments break down into further compartments. One compartment is everyone they’ve ever known, met, or encountered (real or fictional)- their impressions of them, the influence the people had in their lives and vice versa, the things they’ve learned from them, and the feelings they’ve experienced for or with them. The second compartment is every event they’ve ever observed, experienced, caused, or completed along with their feelings and attitudes regarding these events. That’s why many writers, when seeking a new idea, will find it by going out and adding to their tackle box of personalities and experiences.
Every author whose work has evoked emotion in me tells me they draw inspiration and ideas primarily from their own experiences or the experiences/character of people who touched their lives meaningfully. Yes, the work is fiction, but we can’t imagine anything that we don’t already have the building blocks for. It all starts with “what if?”, and “what if’s” are inspired from the tackle box. Concept evolves from there.
Thanks for the great question, Roger! Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
CLICK here for the book review.