Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you an author I’ve just met. Her name is Meredith Leigh Burton. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions. Get ready, because Meredith has some great answers!
Please meet my guest, Meredith Leigh Burton:
I’m 37, I’m married to Cowboy, and I’m a writer and the stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of our three lively little ones. And, if you can’t tell, I’m a bit fond of a certain Shakespearean play. I’m passionate about books and movies, and I have a multitude of hobbies. But if anybody asks you who I am, tell them I’m a child of God.
*Read her About Page: The Edge of the Precipice.blogspot.com
Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this interview. It’s nice to meet you.
Same here, Meredith. I have to ask… what does literary success look like to you?
The beauty of the word success is that it is so subjective. Many people view success as the amount of money you accumulate or how many possessions you procure. While I may be accused of being idealistic, literary success means something entirely different to me.
I am a blind individual and have always been drawn to books. I love reading Braille; caressing the pages and hearing the whisper of the words as they enter my mind. The conversations reading generates thrill me beyond measure. I desire to create immersive stories with vibrant characters.
Usually, my stories feature disabled protagonists. My definition of literary success is knowing that one story touches a particular person. If a reader discovers that they are not alone, and if they learn from my characters that they can stand up for what is right, I will know that I have achieved success.
Meredith, you are amazing and quite the inspiration! If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
If I could have written any book, it would have been John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. A massive literary epic, the novel explores two very different families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons. The story is about the corrosive power of evil and how we all can succumb to its allure if we are not careful.
However, the story is also one of hope, of how we continue to try and resist our baser natures. The story also has one of the most terrifying psychopaths in literature.
Steinbeck’s East of Eden is an epic of biblical proportions, one that is not always easy to read but well worth the journey. I often wish I had his capacity to invoke such beautiful and terrifying word pictures. It’s truly an amazing novel.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Rising from the ashes. This is the beautiful picture of a phoenix, a bird who dies but is always reborn. If I had a spirit animal, I would love to choose a phoenix.
I was born three months premature on July 4, 1983. I weighed a pound and twelve ounces and spent nearly four months in a hospital. As a result of the exposure to the oxygen, I developed retinopathy of prematurity, a condition in which the retinas are detached. I had two eye operations, but they were unsuccessful. However, God has enabled me to fight and strive each day to grow and learn.
After high school, I attended college and auditioned for their school of music. I was not accepted. Then I changed my major to English and received my BA in English and Theater. I also received my teaching certification for grades 7-12 but was never given a teaching position. So, I began writing. Through my writing, I have been given the opportunity to speak at schools, churches, and clubs. I have read to children, educating them about Braille and blindness.
A Phoenix suffers greatly in life, but when he seems to be defeated, he rises again. A phoenix is a noble bird, and I love the idea of a phoenix soaring ahead of me, guiding me through life’s trials. A Phoenix knows the outcome, that the trials will not defeat him. I hope to have that outlook as well.
(CLICK HERE to learn more about the symbolism of the Phoenix as a spirit animal).
Well, Meredith, I do feel the fire of the Phoenix within you. With that kind of spirit animal, what makes the particular genre you write in so special?
I write in the fantasy genre, usually fairy tale retellings. This genre is very important because you can explore so many relevant themes in unique ways. For instance, in my “Snow White” retelling entitled Hart Spring, I was able to explore the themes of slavery, immigration and the importance of family. I also explored the theme of abuse in that story using a fantastical gift that my protagonist possesses. She is exploited in order to obtain that gift and must find a way to escape her abuser.
In Blind Beauty, my “Beauty and the Beast” retelling, I examined the relevant theme of bullying. The beast is inadvertently cursed because of an act of cruelty perpetrated upon the misunderstood enchantress character. This action results in havoc being wreaked upon many other characters.
Fantasy allows readers to escape from their everyday lives. However, if you allow fantasy stories to speak to your heart, you will discover that they are relevant stories that seek to illustrate how the world should be.
It was a pleasure meeting you, Meredith. Thanks for sharing with us. <3
How to contact Meredith Leigh Burton
Facebook: Meredith Burton
Thanks for stopping by to meet Meredith. Make sure and check out her blog to learn more about her. <3