TCT’s Hollywood Interview #8

…with Sue Burke

The Cartesian Theatre now welcomes guests from around the worldosphere, with an invitation to tell us all about themselves – in 25 words or less. Okay, okay, it’s not as bad as all that: they get 25 words per answer. They can wax lyrical if they want, but beware: I edit with an axe…


This week, let’s give a big hand to Sue Burke, a spec-fic author and translator of Medieval blockbusters, whose diminutive stature only emphasises the implausible scale of her imagination.

Hi, Sue, tell us “all” about yourself.

Author, journalist, editor, poet, translator. Milwaukee, Austin, and finally Madrid. For fun, I cook.

What is the most inspirational thing you’ve ever read – and why?

Un Pueblecito by Azorín – because it includes his “theory of style,” which forever improved my writing in Spanish and English, even though (or because) he stole it from Quintilian.

What was your first published work?

Rocket Report, a weekly column of news from my high school, published in the local newspaper. Humble, but we all have to start somewhere.

What is the best thing you’ve never had published?

The novel that I’m trying to sell. It has talking plants. What more could you ask for?

Seeing as I’ve read it, I can tell you: nothing. What are you most proud of – in your life, not just your writing?

I try to help people whenever I can. Sometimes I succeed.

And I can testify to that, too. Tell us about your latest work – novel, short story, shopping list, whatever.

The plant talks some more – a sequel, obviously. Not everyone listens to the plant. Their mistake.

Pitch us your unwritten masterpiece – you’re in the Hollywood elevator now…

What if a medieval emperor and empress, husband and wife, went to war – against each other? True story.

If only one person was to ever read your work – who would you want it to be?

Oprah, because she’d tell everyone. And maybe she’d give me a car.

What are your plans for the future – all of it?

Write, read, translate, cook. Repeat daily. Occasionally with wine.

Okay, my thanks to Sue for not buckling under the pressure (though, if you’d met her, you’d know how unlikely that is)! You can find out more about her at her blog, and maybe she’ll come back again one day, more under relaxed circumstances – like when that plant finally gets to sing…

Click the pic to check out the
other Hollywood Interviews!HollywoodInteview


I’ve had a piece of satirical flash fiction published today in the online magazine Mythaxis – so while you’re waiting for Sue’s book to appear maybe you can read that to tide you over!


2 thoughts on “TCT’s Hollywood Interview #8

  1. Since this interview went live, Sue has written a short article about the writer and book which so influenced her, Azorín’s “Un Pueblecito: Riofrío de Ávila”. You can read her piece here, and I highly recommend it–Azorín’s advice about writerly style is excellent, and makes me all the more regretful that my Spanish is too poor to read it for myself.

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