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Advice from IR Approved Author Daniel Burke: “Pay for a good editor and listen to her.”

Vibrations in the Field received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Daniel Burke.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Title: Vibrations in the Field; Publish date: 04/27/2023

What’s the book’s first line?

Thump, thump, thump. The windshield wipers swung back and forth.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

A chance meeting between Joe Carroll, a traumatized combat vet turned Catholic priest-in-training, and Jane Carter, a mathematical genius and quantum physicist who suffers from schizophrenia, will change them forever.

Damaged and locked away by her nihilistic psychiatrist, Dr. Barry Liberman, Jane has spent eight years struggling to gain control over the hallucinations that confuse and cloud her brilliant mind. Finally free of the institution and the apparitions in her head, Jane is on a quest to return home and find justice for herself and her mother. That quest leads her to Joe, who sees the beauty and goodness hidden behind Jane’s illness. He is compelled to help her, but the malevolent Dr. Liberman has other plans for Sweet Jane Carter.

Their journey will lead to torture, murder, and maybe the justice Jane seeks. Along the way, Joe’s faith will be tested, God’s indifference to suffering will be questioned, and the organizing principles of the universe will be explained.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

My sister, Kellie, suffered from schizophrenia. Sometime during her freshmen year in college, Kellie went from a happy, bold, young woman with big dreams and a plan to achieve them, to an almost unrecognizable, depressed, and frightened shell of herself. The dreams were still there, but the voices in her head whispered they were unattainable.

Thankfully, there was no Barry Liberman in Kellie’s life, but there was a Tom Reynolds (the psychiatrist character that helps Jane get well), and he found the medication that allowed Kellie to do all kinds of things severe schizophrenics normally couldn’t. She traveled, held jobs, stayed fit, quit smoking, earned a college degree, and had personal relationships. For a time, she became, as Jane would say, high functioning. In the end, however, the same medication that gave Kellie and Jane relief from their symptoms, caused her death. It was a tragic trade: a decade of living for half the life.

Kellie’s illness, her experiences with the psychiatric care system, and her death inspired the story.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Vibrations in the Field is a character-driven thriller that immerses the reader in matters of faith, science, and evil. But don’t read it for the deep undertones, read it to fall in love with Jane like Joe does. Just be prepared for a broken heart.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

Most of the story is told from Joe Carroll’s point of view, but Jane Carter is the main character and the subject. In fact, the book was originally titled, Sweet Jane. Both Jane and Joe have intriguing back stories. Joe is a troubled war hero turned Catholic deacon, and Jane is a math phenom and quantum physicist who suffers from severe schizophrenia. Jane’s battle with her illness, especially the personality disorder created by the antagonist, Dr. Liberman, causes abrupt and at times extreme, shifts in her demeanor and behavior.

I wrote the character Jane based on my sister. This is not to say Kellie was a math genius or a quantum physicist. She wasn’t. She was like Jane in many other ways, though. She was kind, beautiful, at times stormy, and driven. If Kellie wanted to do something, she did it. Even when the doctors said she was unable to.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I knew I wanted to write in the sixth grade when I read Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. It was the first time I experienced the wonder of an author creating a world in my head.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

No. I wrote Cherokee Gold. I self-published the first edition in 2013 and recently released a second edition.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I was a software developer before retiring in 2022. Now, I am a full-time grandfather.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I write between two and four hours every weekday morning, and I try to edit an hour or two every night. I am always researching, observing, and making notes.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

You have complete control of the product. That is the best and hardest part.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Pay for a good editor and listen to her.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

Yes. For the editorial and marketing support.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

Knowing that I built something in a reader’s head and maybe left something in their heart.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

It’s a tie between Frank Herbert, JRR Tolkien, and George R. R. Martin, for the world building and incredible characters. The author I love to read the most, though, is Robert Crais. His Elvis Cole and Joe Pike characters are the best.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Winds of Winter. Someone has to.


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