A native Minnesotan, I set my first novel in my home state, which is actually another character in the book. Inspired by a true story, the universal themes of familial bonds and love, the existence of evil in ordinary lives, and its effects and consequences are some of the core elements of Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace.
Before writing a novel, I had a rather eclectic career. After graduating from Iowa State University with a BS in Journalism, I spent several years in radio broadcasting. Known as Bobbi Burton, my voice was probably too whiskey and smoke-cure to be reading the hog reports of small town radio. When I realized I wasn't going to find fame and fortune as a radio personality, I returned to my writing roots, moving into the realm of corporate communications, where I spent 15 years.
Major influences include Jane Smiley and her works Moo and A Thousand Acres. Entirely different in style, Moo remains a favorite, as Ms. Smiley did teach creative writing at my alma mater for several years. Known affectionately as "Moo U" Iowa State is clearly the inspiration for an engaging and very funny novel on university life. Other inspirations include writers of non-fiction works. Two of my favorites are Seabiscuit by Laura Hillbrand and Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson.
With the marketing campaign up and running for Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace, the reviews have been incredible which is truly gratifying. It's exciting to see people reacting positively to your work as an author. I think this a great deal to do with the universal themes of the story - we all have families and the bond of shared blood that connects us, even when we don't always get along. And that's the crux of the story - even the most morally grounded of individuals can be pushed to do things they would never consider, especially when it comes to protecting loved ones from harm.