Interview with Heather Burch; interesting tidbits on the titles and the characters

Heather Burch/Zondervan
Heather Burch/Zondervan(Book 3 in the Halflings series)

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of posting up my recent interview with Heather Burch, the author of “Halflings”- in this interview we discussed everything from time management in writing, to Nikki’s choice in young men and finally, will there be more in the series? If you are at all curious, you may wish to read the rest. Here’s a clip:

NCFE: In the ‘Halflings’ series Mace is the leader type and he is sensitive to Nikki’s abilities and her feelings-sometimes. Raven, the “bad boy” unleashes the wild side of her prompting her to new heights, helping her let go. In your opinion, which boy would be right for Nikki and why?

Heather Burch: In many ways they are both right … and wrong for her. I loved introducing this dynamic because we get to feel every emotion right along with Nikki. I’ve had many reviewers say they ALWAYS know which boy is the right one. But not with the Halflings Series. Either one could be right. Or wrong. I love involving readers. I love it when they have to sit back and say, “Hm. What do I think of this guy? Is he right for Nikki?”

NCFE: I simply love the titles in the series. Tell me, how did you come up with them? (Besides the obvious first book in the series, LOL!)

HB: In the very beginning, the first three books were titled, Pure, Dark and Risen. Of course, it was still the Halflings Series. It never occurred to me to title book 1 Halflings. That came from my fabulous publisher. (They’re so much smarter than me.)

NCFE: Have your books been compared to other teen series(Christian or not) and if so how do you feel about it?

HB: Halflings gets compared to Twilight often. I think the love triangle factors in on that. Also, book one has a little less action than two and three. I love it when people compare. It means they’re thinking about it, considering it against other YA books.

NCFE: At first the Halfling girls did not accept Nikki and I felt bad for Nikki, however one Halfling girl has her eye on Raven. Will we see more of his story unfold in future books?

HB: Oh boy. And not the way you think. Raven is such a complex character and he’s always been the wild card. So, of course, I decided to give him a journey with a wild girl so he’d have to be the voice of reason. It’s so fun to play with his character. I think I could write several Raven books!

NCFE: What is a typical writing day like for you?

HB: Latte. First thing. And my latte machine is acting weird, so I may be buying a new one. I usually write for about three-four hours, take a break, and hit it again for a couple more hours. Around six-seven hours a day. I do spend maybe an hour or two doing various social media things and interviews and such.

NCFE: I see that you are active in youth ministry. Tell me, what are some ways to get teens interested in reading books? Do you think many teen books being adapted into films is one cause that sparked an interest in reading?

HB: Absolutely! Books to movies – a great way to introduce books to a whole new group of young people in this multi-media generation. Book clubs are great to draw teens in. Youth leaders can start one and all the kids can read together and discuss. So many books have discussion topics in the back pages now. Halflings just released in paperback and it has book club questions at the end to make discussing the book easy for the discussion leader.

NCFE: Nikki Youngblood has transitioned from capable girl, to faith building, to completely losing herself to what the Lord/The Throne wants. Part of the reason Nikki is so strong comes from her fighting ability as well. Did you have to study karate before writing the series or do you know it already?

HB: I took karate several years ago and loved it! Great fun, great exercise. My knowledge made it so much easier to write fight scenes that really work.

NCFE: How much does Nikki’s romantic triangle with Mace and Raven play a role in her faith?

HB:Quite a bit. She has been introduced to an entire world she never knew existed and these two guys are her biggest link to that world. As she grows in faith, she learns how to hear for herself and finally, they have to allow her to fight for herself.

NCFE: At the end of ‘Avenger’ I got the feeling there will be another book. Am I right? Are there plans for more books either in this series or another?

HB: Oh, I think I sort of answered this above talking about Raven. I have more books planned. We don’t have any concrete time frame yet on them, but rest assured, the Halflings’ story isn’t finished.

NCFE: What advice would you give to those who are interested in writing Teen/Young Adult books?

HB: Don’t give up. You learn to be a great writer by writing and writing and writing. Remember your audience. Today’s teens are super savvy and know so much about the world. They have high expectations. You can do it. Just keep writing.

NCFE: Off topic but fun: I will throw out a word, phrase, or number and tell me the first thing that comes to mind: Swiss

HB: Swiss. Mmmmm. Since I’m going to have dinner at the Melting Pot soon, I’m thinking Swiss cheese. But right on the heels of that is the Swiss Alps because Nikki and Raven go there during Avenger. That’s actually one of my favorite scenes.

To catch more of the Halflings and learn more about Burch and her books, head over to the Halflings Network.


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