Last week I shared my review of the amazing YA fantasy, Heartmender. This week I have the honor of sharing an interview with the author of Heartmender, V. Romas Burton! And don’t just take my word that Heartmender is a must read – look at all the accolades Burton has won so far:
- First Place in Young Adult for the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
- Second Place in Juvenile/ Young Adult for the 2021 Illumination Book Awards
- Tied for Third Place for Young Adult Fiction- Fantasy/ Sci- Fi in the 2020 Moonbeam Children’s Awards
- Finalist in the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards
Besides being a wonderful award-winning author, Burton is a stay-at-home mom to a toddler and another little on the way. She and her family have lived multiple places where her husband is in the Air Force, but they consider Virginia their home. In her free time, Burton enjoys reading, writing, and watching cake making and decorating on YouTube. A fun fact about Burton is that her original career choice was to be a lawyer. Her bachelor’s degree was in Government with specialization in Politics and Policy. But instead of attending law school, she attended seminary and earned a master’s degree in Theological Studies. To learn more about Burton and her writing, read our full interview below!
Q) How long have you been writing?
A) I have been writing for pleasure for about seven years. But I had to do A LOT of writing while in college!
Q) Why do you write?
A) I originally started writing as a way to navigate through a difficult time in my life. It was a relaxing outlet that helped me find myself and what I wanted to do with my life.
Q) What are your top three favorite books and why?
A) 1) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I’ve read Little Women as a child, teenager, and an adult and have learned something new each time. It’s a timeless classic that’s inspirational for any stage of life. 2) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites because I never get tired of the story. I will always love Elizabeth’s courage to speak her mind and Mr. Darcy’s harsh, yet usually, correct assumption of others. 3) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – This is technically a series, but TLC is the series that reignited my love for reading after I was burned out on college textbooks. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
Q) Who is someone that inspires you?
A) My mom! She was the first person to instill a love of reading in me at a young age and has constantly encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
Q) What inspired Heartmender?
A) I fell in love with YA Fantasy, but I didn’t enjoy the sex and language added to them. I wanted to write a story that was an epic adventure, but also promoted strong morals.
One week, I heard a sermon where the pastor asked his congregation if they believed that God gave humans ideas, but we brushed them away, thinking we couldn’t achieve them. That thought stuck with me and a few days later, a scene from Heartmender came to me. I quickly wrote it down and thought I’d come back to it (I was working on a different book at the time). But the story of Heartmender kept calling to me, so I eventually stopped with the first book and dove into Heartmender.
Q) I love that Addie is pure of heart and determined, but she also has human moments and makes mistakes on her journey. How did you create the character of Addie?
A) I wrote Addie when I was struggling in my own life. Her fears and weaknesses were all things I thought and struggled with at one time in my own life.
Q) What led you to create doors that led entrants to face a Choice (or one of the Seven Deadly sins)?
A) I always pictured different choices as doors. This is partly due to Matthew 7:7-8, which states, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
As we grow in life, the answers aren’t always so black and white. In some Choices, Addie immediately knows what to do, in others, she doesn’t. I wanted to create a realistic main character who didn’t always get it right the first time but kept knocking on doors to find the right path.
Q) Can you give readers a preview of what to expect in the next book?
A) In Heartbreaker, we see a lot more action, a lot more of Decim, and a lot more of Silas. <3
Q) What goals do you have for your writing?
A) I would like to continue to produce exciting, adventurous stories that promote Biblical values and don’t compromise on morals to entice readers.
Q) Are you willing to tell us about your personal faith journey?
A) Of course! My parents are the first Christians on both sides of our family, so we learned a lot together as my sisters and I grew up. I accepted Christ at a young age, but my faith wasn’t really tested until my teen years. At 14, I felt the Holy Spirit calling me to ministry. From there, I did my best to live a Godly life through high school, though I wasn’t always perfect. I went to a Christian university and learned many life lessons while there. Though many of them more painful than others, I’m now thankful for how they brought me closer to God.
Q) Can you explain how your religion influences your writing?
A) My faith is a part of who I am, I can’t separate from it. When I started writing, I vowed to glorify God in everything I wrote. If I couldn’t teach others about Christ and His Word through my writing, then what was the point? I’ve really enjoyed hearing from my readers about how much they enjoyed the different Biblical themes woven throughout my stories.
Q) What is your favorite Bible verse?
A) Proverbs 31: 8-9, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Q) What advice would you offer aspiring authors?
A) Write about what’s important to you. Your natural passion and love for the subject will shine through your words and make your story come alive.
Q) Is there anything else you would like to add?
A) Thank you so much for having me on your blog! The epic conclusion to the Heartmender trilogy releases this September, so be sure to read Heartmender and Heartbreaker before then to find out what happens!