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Monday, April 22

Rescuing Mara's Father by Diane Burton / Character Interview for Lukus

Today I am hosting Diane Burton for her Rescuing Mara's Father blog tour, and she is sharing a character interview for her character Lukus.

Welcome, Lukus (and Diane)!

Hi, Lukus! What is Rescuing Mara’s Father about?

          There’s this girl in my class that I kind of like. Her father is our teacher. He is really smart and encourages me to think, analyze, learn. I love it, but Mara doesn’t. She’s always angry with Teacher (as we call him in class). One night I was working in the café when Basco—this mechanic from spaceport—rushes in to get me. Mara’s father has been captured by an evil queen’s (Bormella) henchmen and taken off our planet. We find Mara in the caves where my brother, Jako, and I live. Basco says her father’s instructions are for him to take her farther out on the Frontier and give her a new identity. I think that’s a great idea to protect her. Not Mara. She’s determined to mount a rescue. My brother won’t let her go alone. Neither will Basco. I figured I’d better go, too. So, the four of us set off on a quest to rescue Mara’s Father.

1. Who would play you in a movie?

Jeremy Irvine. He was “young Sam” in Mama Mia Here We Go Again.

Jeremy Irvine (Author Provided Photo)

2. What is your job?

I have three. In the mornings, I clean rooms at the boarding house; afternoons, I work in the zircan stables; nights, I work in the café.

3. What do you do for fun?

Fun? What’s that? Even though it’s part of my job, I get to exercise the zircan. I love racing across the plains around our outpost. Going to class at Teacher’s study is what I do in my spare time. I have to earn enough credits to get away from Raythos Outpost #3, actually off Raythos. In two weeks, I turn sixteen. That’s when I (and all orphan males) are conscripted to work in the brilium mines. I have enough for passage for myself. I just need a little more for Jako. I won’t leave him behind.

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who take learning for granted, who don’t care—like Doctor’s daughter and Mara. They don’t realize what a privilege it is.

5. How did you meet Mara?

She and my brother are best friends. Usually, she’s a good influence on him. She’s always trying to give us food and stuff like that. She means well, but I take care of my brother. I don’t need her help. When I found out her father was teaching her, I made sure Jako went to school, too. I go whenever I can.

6. What was your first impression of her?

She’s a spoiled brat. Here she has this great opportunity to learn about the world beyond our outpost, and she doesn’t care.

7. What kind of trouble do the two of you get into?

It’s more like she and my brother get into trouble. Like the time those two took on the three Dunpus Brothers. Those guys are mean and nasty, and they don’t fight fair. I don’t want either Mara or Jako to know it, but I’m proud of the way they cleaned those guys’ clocks.

8. What kind of trouble does Queen Bormella cause for you?

It’s more like Bormella causes trouble for Mara. The Queen captured her father, but the person she really wants is Mara. None of us can figure out why she’d want a little nobody kid from the Outer Rim. We think Basco knows, but will he tell us? No.

9. When did you know you were in love with Mara?

I’m not sure I am. I mean, I have my own plans. As soon as I get off our planet, I’m heading for Quad Six, join an exploration team, and make my fortune. Besides, she’s only fifteen, a year younger than me. Still, she is cute, and I like her. A lot.

10. What moment of Rescuing Mara’s Father was your favorite?

When I realized I could get off Raythos if I helped Mara. Not real gallant of me, is it?

11. What moment of Rescuing Mara’s Father caused you the most fear?

When Basco left us. I know Mara was scared. In fact, we all were. Here we were, three kids, on our own. He’d told us often enough he had to leave. We didn’t think he would do it. He’s supposed to protect Mara, not leave her. On top of that, I was just knifed in a fight. Not exactly my finest hour.

12. Is there anything you did in Rescuing Mara’s Father that you would change if you could?

*big smile* I would kiss her sooner.

Lukus' Favorites:

Food: Mongberry pie. Chef makes it once a week at the café. Delicious.

Drink: Sheelonga tea. Refreshing, keeps me awake so I can study.

Book: The History of the Coalition of Planets. Teacher gave me a copy for my birthday last year.

Animal: Zircan. You might think they look like horses, with bigger heads. They’re faster than almost anything, except a speeder, of course.

Color: Deep brown, almost black—the color of Mara’s hair.

A Middle Grade Science Fiction Adventure
By D.M. Burton
Approx. 75,000 words
ISBN:  978-0-9990452-4-4 (ebook)
ISBN-13: 978-0-9990452-5-1 (print)

Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.

Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.

Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately.

Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.

Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.

Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.

About the Author:

The first time D.M. Burton saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope, she was hooked on science fiction and space travel. The Star Trek movies made her want to travel to other planets. Alas, she is still Earth-bound. D.M. and her husband live in Michigan, close to their two children and five grandchildren.

Join D.M. Burton's readers’ group on Facebook.
For more info and excerpts, visit D.M.’s website:

She writes adult fiction as Diane Burton, where she combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

Connect with Diane Burton online.

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert:



Many chances to win.

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Thank you Lukus and Diane for spending some time here on Write with Fey!

Please leave a comment for Lukus and Diane.

Wednesday, April 3

Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 7 (Don't Force Yourself) / IWSG + GIVEAWAY

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.
Sign up here: Insecure Writer’s Support Group


ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm on Pinterest! Better late than never, eh? I tried to find many of you already. Follow me, I'll follow back. :)



Our book selection for April/May is: 

Method Acting for Writers: Learn Deep Point Of View Using Emotional Layers by Lisa-Hall Wilson

Interested in learning how to write in deep point of view? Join us in reading our April/May selection!

Discussion Day will be on May 22. 

Join Us.

What is writer’s burnout?

Burnout is very different from writer’s block. It’s worse. Writer’s burnout is something you feel deep down…bone-deep. It’s just like when athletes burnout from working themselves too hard and too much for too long. They can lose their love of the sport, physically and mentally. You can get writer's burnout from doing anything related to being an author.

To read my story and the tips I previously shared check out:
Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 5 (Free Your Mind with Walking) Tips 14 - 15
Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 6 (One Day at a Time) Tips 16 - 17

More Tips to Help You START Reversing Writer’s Burnout:

The worst thing you can do while suffering from writer’s burnout, in my experience, is to force yourself to write. Doing this will only make it that much harder to write. You will form a resistance to it.

What usually happens when someone forces you to do something you don’t want to do or you’re unable to do or are struggling to do?

You refuse.

You cross your arms and shake your head.

You snap. You bite. You tell them to back off and leave you alone.

Get the picture?

In this situation, you’re playing both roles.

The part of yourself that desperately wants to write and knows you “should” be writing (there’s that nasty ‘should’), is telling you to write. Come on, write something! It’s not that hard. You can work on another story, instead.

And the part of yourself dealing with the full brunt of your burnout is refusing. I’m exhausted. I’m not motivated. I tried working on another story, but it didn’t work. I tried, okay, I tried, but I can’t!

I had several people telling me to take a vacation from writing for a couple of weeks and then pick the story back up again, and then, like magic, I’d be able to work on it renewed. This is usually a tip I offer to people with writer’s block (the little brother to writer’s burnout), and it was something I tried before I publicly talked about my burnout, but it did not work.

Another piece of advice was to sit down (butt in seat) and force myself to write, which, again, I had done, and it worked for a day or two, but then my burnout would flare hotter and sink me lower than before.

BACTINE 18: Don’t Apply Force

Forcing yourself to write is not always the answer. It can certainly help with normal day-to-day writing when you have to stop procrastinating and being lazy. It can even help with writer’s block and those times when you have little to no motivation, but with burnout, it can have the opposite of the desired effect.

BACTINE 19: Be Gentle

Sometimes, the best course of action in this situation is to be gentle. You always expect too much of yourself, don’t you? You tend to work yourself to the bone, right? Don’t do that now. You’re in this place because you did that. Now you need to reverse course, change your usual habits. Let your mind, body, and soul rest…for however long it needs.

During that time, keep doing the things I’ve laid out so far.

And believe.

QUESTIONS: Do work yourself too hard, too much? What happens when you do?


Eligibility: This giveaway is open to members of the Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

Number of Winners: One

Prize Given to Winner: Hardcover Copy of The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman

Giveaway Ends: April 8, 2019 12:00am Eastern Standard Time

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