About Young Adult Fantasy Writing – An Interview with E. Paige Burks

My name is Paige, I write under the name E. Paige Burks.

I’ve been writing since I was very young, but I began writing my novel Return to Royalty when I was 17 years old. I’ve always loved fantasy and love stories. My grandmother, who I called Mimi, always encouraged me to write. When she died my junior year of high school, I began writing Return to Royalty as a way to deal with my grief.

Over the years, I fell in love my characters, and they have evolved as I have grown and experienced more of life. Eventually, they were ready for the world, and that is when I decided to enter RTR into the Draft to Dream contest, which led to it being published. I wrote a book which I self-published before RTR called The Heart of the Guardian. THotG was mostly a test to see how the self-publishing process would go, and I was very happy with the result, having gone through Outskirts Press, but I wanted to do RTR differently, and that was possible through AuthorU’s contest.

You can connect with me on my website www.epaigeburks.com, Twitter and Facebook.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I believe so. The earliest thing I wrote was when I was 10, and it was a story about a puppy named Brownie. I originally went to Texas A&M University thinking that I would become a veterinarian, but I soon found that I just wasn’t cut out for that, even though I really love animals.

Tell us about your book, and the story behind writing it

I began writing my novel Return to Royalty when I was 17 years old. I’ve always loved fantasy and love stories. My grandmother, who I called Mimi, always encouraged me to write. When she died my junior year of high school, I began writing Return to Royalty as a way to deal with my grief. Over the years, I fell in love my characters, and they have evolved as I have grown and experienced more of life. Eventually, they were ready for the world, and that is when I decided to enter RTR into the Draft to Dream contest, which led to it being published.

What’s the biggest challenge about being a writer?

I decided to quit my job to be a full-time writer, and time management has been my biggest enemy. I get distracted so easily, and some days I don’t feel like writing at all. Staying focused and motivated are my two biggest challenges. I’ve also started my own editing business, so I have to plan writing time around work time. But I love it!

Do you have a specific writing space?

Of course! I have my own room and my own desk, with two monitors. So much more room for activities!!

What’s your number one piece of writing advice?

Never stop. Never give up. If you have a dream, you can make it happen.

What books do you currently have on your bedside table?

I just picked up The Exorcist and Legion by William Peter Blatty. I want to read them, but I’m kind of a chicken, so…we’ll see. Haha.

Who have been your biggest writing influences and why?

The Sight by David Clement-Davies was the first epic fantasy that I picked up willingly (meaning not for school assignments). I loved it. His world was so immersive, and it was the first book that really tapped into my soul. I cried at the end, but it was beautiful. I also read Firebringer by him, and it was just as good. I would say he is my biggest influence. And I also loved the Unicorns of Balinor series by Mary Stanton.

How do you market your writing?

I use a lot of social media. I suck at talking to people, so I have enlisted my husband, who has a background in sales, to help me get my book into local stores.

Lastly, something fun. What’s something our readers might not know about you?

I have tons of animals. I have four dogs, three cats, two birds, and a horse! I love animals and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. The only thing I wish I had is a dragon…Haha!


Return to Royalty

By E. Paige Burks

Winner of Draft to Dream competition 2016 in the YA category, sponsored by Judith Briles’ Author U.

Nyx Estrella is a princess from Gexalatia, a world on the other side of a portal. Unfortunately, she has no idea. Sent to Lucky, Texas, when she was a baby to protect her from the evil King Paraximus, her biggest concerns are grades and seeing her friends. She has no idea that she possesses magical abilities and that her reality is about to become really strange. Jet Lamia is a war prisoner, sent from Gexalatia by the queen, Liana Estrella, to bring Nyx back home to the kingdom of Ymber.

The portal only opens on the winter solstice, so Jet finds himself trapped on Earth, trying to blend in. Fortunately, he has help in the form of the queen’s chosen assistant, Seth Alvar. But playing well with others has never been one of Jet’s talents. It is a race against the clock to tell Nyx her true identity and try to train her, while also keeping her alive. Nyx and Jet struggle to defeat the assassins sent to kill them both, while trying not to kill each other. Can this duo put their differences aside and return to Gexalatia?

About the Author

Scott Mullins is a freelance writer and digital content manager. When he’s not finding ways to distract himself from writing his novel he writes killer copy for companies all over the world. Connect with Scott on Twitter @ScottMullins86 or LinkedIn. He’s always looking to connect with other writers.