After over 4 years, Olena comes rocketing back into Claire’s life, changing everything for the worse. Picking up the shattered pieces, Claire is not sure who to believe. Is Olena who she says she is, or is she a killer to stay away from? Leaning on her new boyfriend Steven for support, Claire is faced with the choice on who to trust: a friend she barley knows, or a history lesson she barely remembers. Together, the three will begin a journey that will take Claire from the safety of her home to the last place she thought she would ever be: The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. With the wreckage of rector four looming behind her, Claire will have to see Olena’s plan through until the end if she wants any chance of making it out alive.
About Dana Burkey:
I graduated college from Youngstown State University in 2009 with a degree in theater and a minor in creative writing. I am currently living in Washington State in a little cabin in the woods with my cat Cato. I work full time at a kids camp, and spend my free time doing community theater and adventuring in nature! I am an avid geocacher, and love watching reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, and Big Brother! I am currently working on my next project that includes a few YA romances and a YA dystopian series!
An Interview with Author Dana Burke
1. Where or how did you come up with the idea for this book? Locket Full of Secrets actually started as a writing prompt. The prompt simple encourage me to write about encountering a friend again after not seeing them in years. I immediately thought of a friend I had in 8th grade that had moved to Ohio from Romania. Thinking about seeing her again, my head started imagining what things would be like, and also started imagining a more mysterious reason for her disappearing from me life after the year of school was over. From there I ended up sitting down and writing a four page outline for the story that three years later became Locket Full of Secrets. 2. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? I actually really love the final chapter. It gives a look ahead at where the characters are well after the action of the book is over. As a reader, I always want to know what is next, so I tried to put that into my book. The version in the book is actually the third attempt to get things right. My sister helped me work on the ideas I came up with to keep things believable but still wrapped up in a way that would allow readers to see the full story and enjoy it all. 3. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? I based the character Olena after two good friends I had when I was younger. One was Simona, from Romania, and the other was a friend named Olena that was from Ukraine. I kind of imagined them combined into one person for the character of Olena, and then adding some intensity to make the character really shine. My book also is about the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown. Since a kid I was fascinated with the event, and so when it worked for me to add it into the story I jumped at the chance. 4. What is your favorite quote from a book of fiction? That is a hard one! There are so many books that have moments that I love, and also a lot of books that I have read more than one. A lot of scenes stand out, and a lot of characters stand out. There are only a few actual quotes or lines that stand out. One of which is of course "Real," from Mockingjay. I think that single word had so much emotion for the readers and the characters at that moment in the story that I absolutely love it! 5. Do you have a favorite fictional character? I have a lot of character that I loved to get to know and read about, but one of my favorites was for sure Lucy from
The Chronicles of Narnia Her innocence and joy and the way she had faith in Aslan and Narnia even when no one else did was just amazing to read. I also liked that for her, believing what others did not believe did not make her change or doubt what she believed, and she never once looked down on other for not believing. She is a great example for all ages! 6. What five words describe you? Outgoing, fun, spontaneous, creative, and GLITTER! :) 7. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? I got a 1-star review on Amazon for my first novella. Basically the person said that even though my book was free when they got it, it was not worth reading. It hurt a lot to hear, and I took it really hard at first. Then, I realized that I also had a lot of people giving that same book 4 and 5 star reviews. So, I tired to keep it in perspective that not every book is loved by every person. It is still hard to get bad reviews, but now I try to take it with a grain of salt. 8.What has been the best compliment? I have had a few readers that just gushed about my work, or even the chance to read my work. It feels good to know that people love what I am writing, and want to read more of it! 9.Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? As a self-published author I get to publish anything I want. But, it would be awesome if a big publishing house wanted to publish my work as well. I have made a few submissions here and there, but for now if it nice just to get used to the self publishing world. 10. What do you think makes a good story? I think when the characters are people I can relate to, stories can be truly amazing. Sure, I may not ever be in the same situation as them, but if the things they think and feel are what I might in the situation I can really feel close to them and to all they are going through. 11.What’s more important to you Characters or plot? Character for sure! If the characters are good enough, even reading about them doing boring and mundane activities can be amazing! 12.What are the most important elements of good writing? For me good writing is all about the voice. Weather first person or third person, when I feel like the person telling the story to me is someone I wast to listen to, then it makes the book even more amazing. Even an epic story can be kind of lame if it told in a voice that does not make me want to keep reading. 13.According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers? I think the biggest tool a writer needs is think skin! Even if you are the best writer out there, someone is going to not like what you are doing. So, being able to handle the criticism without breaking under the pressure is really important.14.How did you get into writing? Is this what you always wanted to do?
I first got into writing when I was in 6th grade. My English teacher at school had us do a lot of writing prompts in class. It was kind of strange at first, but I soon realized that I had a lot of ideas that I could put down on the paper each time. I don't know if anyone other than my teacher read what I wrote back then, but it made me want to get more into writing. I start writing poems, short stories, and even making up storied for my friends based on "what if's" like meeting our favorite bands. I never thought much of it or took it too seriously until I got to college and had to start thinking about my minor. It was clear to me then that writing was a passion of mine, and I needed to peruse it more
15.Any last thoughts for our readers?If you are thinking about writing...do it! Putting myself out there and being willing to fail had been the best choice I have made in a long time. And, if you are not thinking about writing, but instead about reading something great...then pick up Locket Full of Secrets on Kindle or paperback now!
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