Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Interview with David Burnsworth, author of 'Southern Heat'

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Southern Heat is his first mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife along with their dog call South Carolina home.

His latest book is the southern noir/mystery, Southern Heat.

Visit his website at

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

First, thank you for the interview.  I work as in manufacturing.  My job is to manage Continuous Improvement and I enjoy working with all levels of the organization to grow their engagement in making things better.  Aside from my day job, I enjoy spending time with my wife.

When did you start writing?

I started writing with the goal of publishing around 2006, right after I got married.  I joke that I made the mistake of telling my wife that I wanted to write a book, so she took every opportunity to remind me that there was no time like the present so get typing.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Realizing that my manuscript needed some extra help.  Hank Phillippi Ryan, an author I cannot praise enough for her help and support, helped me get in touch with a professional editor named Chris Roerden.  Chris took my rough fourth draft and showed me what I needed to do to polish off the sharp edges and smooth it out.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

My series is set in Charleston.  I live in South Carolina but no longer in Charleston.  I plan on heading back there to make sure I don’t mess up any details.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I’d spend two writing, and two with my wife.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Atlanta, Georgia.  I’ve got it in the works so be on the look out in the next few years.

Back to your present book, Southern Heat, how did you publish it?

I’ve already mentioned getting the extra editing assistance.  I’m also an active member of the South Carolina Writers Workshop, which is a great organization for helping authors.  Once I had a fairly well vetted manuscript, I took it to Killer Nashville.  Fortunately, organizers Clay Stafford and Beth Terrell are such wonderful people.  They really care about helping authors get published, and thanks to them and the 2012 Conference I was able to find a publisher and an agent.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Because I had already moved away, I returned to Charleston.

Why was writing Southern Heat so important to you?

It encompasses my love of the Deep South and noir.  I also splashed in a little of my other passion, automobiles, in a few car chase scenes.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

As the saying goes, writers are also readers.  I like seeing what those at the top of their game are doing.  Since I would like to continue the Brack Pelton series, I now focus on going deeper into who the characters are and creating the right scenes to get out of them what I want.  And there have already been a few surprises I hadn’t planned on.  Funny how they’ll do that to you.

Any final words?

Sure.  I love to hear from readers and can be reached at:

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