Perfect Love by A.M. Burns

My guest today is A.M. Burns. He has been writing since high school, and currently lives in the mountains of central Colorado where he enjoys hiking, horseback riding and hawking. He shares his life with numerous critters and a loving partner.

Anne - Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace, A.M. Tell us about your debut novel.

A.M. – It’s called Perfect Love, first of the E.S. Peters investigations series.

Here’s the blurb: E.S. Peters is the guy the magical community goes to when there’s trouble. After the mysterious death of Magee Reyes, leader in the Dallas pagan community, Ethan and his team are called in to see what is really going on. As he digs into the crime, more bodies pile up, including some werewolves that have no connection to the pagans. Can Ethan and crew find the answers as to who is killing in the name of perfect love before one of his loved ones is lost? Join, Ethan, his werewolf partner, Dusty and his spunky right hand Tiffany, as they dive into a shadowy world of high magic and devious magicians

The second book “Perfect Trouble” should be out soon and the third book is underway.

Anne - What do you enjoy most about writing a series?

A.M. - You can lay groundwork for subplots that cover several books and you don’t have to rush your character growth.

Anne - Of all the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart?

A.M. - In my Yellow Sky series one of the main characters, Tal O’duirwood, started out as a vampire. With all the recent troubling press of people going off the vampire deep end, I decided to change him up a bit. I made him a dragon, suddenly the character came alive in ways he never did as a vampire.

Anne - How many rejections have you received? Was one more memorable than others?

A.M. - I’ve received tons of rejections, I don’t even keep count anymore. The most memorable for me was from Realms of Fantasy magazine. It wasn’t the standard form letter, but a hand written letter from the slushpile gal telling me she liked the story and had debated on sending on to the editor for a while. That told me my writing was getting to the point I could get published.

Anne – Only writers seem to understand "good" rejections DO exist. J Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?

A.M. - Keep writing. Don’t just write one book and then hope to get it published. Write one book, get it out there and move on to the next project.

Anne – Would you share an excerpt of Perfect Love with us?

A.M. – Sure!

Perfect Love excerpt:

I felt the atmosphere of the circle begin to change as I reached the midpoint of the spell.  By the time the final word rolled off my tongue, the air in the circle was completely free of fog. I saw all the candles. The fog from the river now stood like a wall that outlined the perimeter of the circle.

The earth stirred a couple of feet from the head stone, as the wraith of Magee Reyes pushed her way out of the ground.  The trip up through six feet of dirt can wreck havoc with the flesh that still clung to the bones of a wraith. I know that most people either summon a zombie or a ghost. The spell I use for wraiths has a time limit of sunrise on it. So, I do not have to worry about anything going so wrong that I had a zombie running amok for days on end. Magee stood before us, dirt clinging to her long blonde hair, her well manicured nails split and muddied. Scrapes from the small stones marred her pock marked face. Her ice blue eyes were remarkably clear and focused as she stared at us. 

"Magee Reyes?" It’s always a good idea to begin by making any form of dead identify themselves. Next to me I could hear Tiffany's pencil moving across her notebook. Tiffany always took notes, about everything. And, she’s old school in her note taking, always used a pencil and notebook. She says it’s too easy for stray magic or psi energies to disrupt most technologies and she didn’t want to lose anything important. I could count on her to have the whole session entered into the computer and waiting before I got to work in the morning.

"Yes, who are you and why have you disturbed my rest?" Her tone was demanding and more than a little condescending.

I blinked in surprise. She knew she’s dead, that wasn’t unheard of, but very unusual, particularly in cases where the person had committed suicide by pain killers. Most people who die that way just think they are waking up from a long nap. "I’m E. S. Peters, Mrs. Reyes. So you realize you’re dead?"

"Of course I know I’m dead," She snapped. "I’ve been enjoying haunting that no good husband of mine." She turned and looked around her, as if trying to get her bearings on where we’d called her to.

"So Magee, why did you take all the pain killers?" I figured if she wasn’t going to be polite about the questions I had for her, I might as well cut right to the chase and find out what was going on with her.

"I didn't take any pain killers!" She glared at me as she wiped the dirt off her face with a chubby hand. "I took one of my nerve pills, all the people in my house were making me nervous so I needed a pill."

"People in your house? Your husband said he found you when he came home from work, the police report confirms that. There’s nothing about people in your house." This was the type of information I needed to get.

"That's because Reynaldo didn’t know they were coming over. He doesn't like them that much and hates it when I have everyone over at the house, so I’ve started not telling him when everyone’s coming over and make sure everything’s cleaned up before he gets home." Magee ran a hand through her tangled blonde locks, dislodging a shower of dust and dirt. She started to look more concerned than bitchy.

Spirits, like people, tend to calm down a bit when you force them to stop and analyze a situation. The calmer she was, the more information I’d get out of her. I was beginning to agree with her husband, that this might not be a simple suicide.

"So Magee why were people in your house the night you died?"

She’d turned away from us and wandered over to the edge of the circle, staring at the yellow candle that sat in the quarter of the East. "You cast a really nice circle considering you are using such basic tools." She said almost to herself as her fingers played with the flickering flame of the candle.

"What do you know about casting a circle?" I struggled to keep the concern out of my voice as Dusty's large freckled hand closed on my arm in an effort to offer support. He knew, as well as I did, how dangerous it was to try and call up the dead that had anything to do with magic. They were very adept at finding any flaw in your circle casting and could use that flaw as a way to escape back into the mortal world.

Magee turned back toward me. From across the circle I could see a dark mischief dancing across her pale features. "I'm a witch, or was." She giggled. "Surely Reynaldo told you that. And that’s who’s at the house that night, all my witch friends. It was an open community meditation. We’re all getting together to send out perfect love and perfect trust to the world around us. It’s part of why I was here, to send out perfect love to the world." Her face looked almost enraptured as she spoke the word perfect.

Anne – Thank you! One final question. Where can readers find you online?

A.M. – At my website, on Facebook,  and Twitter.

Reader comments are always welcome and appreciated. Become a follower to ensure you receive every author interview, announcement and/or blog post on the Muriel Reeves Mysteries. Until next time, happy reading! J

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Anonymous said...

Anne thanks for the opportunity to talk about my writing and introduce your readers to "Perfect Love."

A.M. Burns

Anne K Albert said...

My pleasure, A.M. You're welcome anytime. :)