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Interview with Leonora Pruner



Close to his Heart, by Leonora Pruner

Tell us a little about Close to His Heart. 

 My working title was Love is… and I sought to explore the many kinds of emotions we call “love.”  The two main characters experience several kinds of love from infatuation to mature, self-giving love.  Moving through this range of emotions involves struggling with the implications of their faith and having to deal with severe disappointment and misunderstandings and the need for forgiveness and openness to God’s leading.

This novel is set in 18th century England.  How much research did you have to do on that time period in order to write the book?
Actually, very little.  Most of it was from my memory.  I did about 5 years of research before my first book.  This one was first written while I was living in Maldives in the middle of the Indian Ocean, based on what I recalled from those years.  Additional research was needed after I returned to this country to fill in some holes here and there.

What is it about this time period that interests you enough to write about it?
 Back in the 1970s, I read in some book that the 18th century was very similar to the 20th in basic attitudes and general dynamics.  Applied science, technology, and the enlightenment were all impacting life as they have major influences today.    Also, this was the time that John Wesley provoked a movement in England what was reputed to save England from the orgies of the French Revolution.   As a Methodist, I was interested in how this might have touched the lives of people at that time.

 Who is the biggest influence on your writing career?
The teachers in the Adult Education writing courses in Santa Barbara, all professional writers, were influential in developing my daily discipline and writing craft.  Reading the works of C. S. Lewis (he did not know how to write poorly), and Georgette Heyer’s period novels for dialog, atmosphere, and social setting were very helpful.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
 Write.  Set a time and place that works for you personally and write daily – or at least 5 days a week.  If inspiration is on vacation, describe where you are, what you see and feel, anything to put words together.  They will lead you into your material.

Select a book in “Your” genre by a top rate author.  For 10 minutes each day, copy it by hand from beginning to end including all punctuation and not using any abbreviations.  At the end of the 10 minutes, throw away the paper and go about what you are doing.  At the end of a month, your writing will firm up and improve.  It will still be in your style, but much better.

Read a lot.  Read about writing by those who have done it well and read their works.

Have you written other novels you would like readers to know about?

 Yes.  Two were published in the 1980s – Love’s Secret Storm and Love’s Silent Gift.  These also were set in mid 18th century, in southern England and London.  Wesley actually makes a non-historical appearance in the first.  They are now out of print, but available through

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself and your work?  Take as much space as you need!!!
 Writing the first draft is a relief as pent up ideas become concrete, and a joy, exploring new territory, and learning about these new characters.  Polishing that draft through many more revisions can require work, thinking of how to fill in the holes left the first time, adding new things, removing others, shaping, pacing, more research, and surprising discoveries in the process.  I would not recommend getting involved in this activity if you do not have to – that is if you are not driven by an inner compulsion.  It requires that drive to carry you through to a good, finished manuscript, which the publisher may still see as needing more revisions.  Oh yes, patient persistence is essential.  And a lot of prayer.

Thank you, Leonora, for taking the time to answer these questions.  I really enjoyed reading Close to His Heart and I look forward to reading more.
I’m glad that you enjoyed it.   The next one, In the Aerie of the Wolf, hopefully will be out before Christmas.  Thank you for this opportunity to visit with you about writing, one of my favorite topics.


For more information or to order this book, please visit

Romantic Escape to the Past


The House in Grosvenor Square, by Linore Rose Burkard

I love a book that I can get lost in, the kind that transports me to another place or another time. A book where the characters are as real as the man sitting across the table from me and where I feel like I am not just watching the story unfold but I am actually a part of the story.

That is exactly what I found when I opened Linore Rose Burkard’s The House on Grosvenor Square.The story is set in London in the early 1800′s—the Regency Period. It centers on Miss Ariana Forsyth in the days leading up to her marriage to the dashing Mr. Phillip Mornay. Mr. Mornay is one of London’s most popular, most eligible bachelors, and there are plenty of people who are not pleased about his betrothal. When items begin disappearing from his home in Grosvenor Square, it appears that someone is out to get Ariana. The danger to the young woman becomes very real when she is kidnapped from a large social event.

Ms. Burkard’s vivid, detailed descriptions made 19th Century come alive. There were moments while reading that I felt like I was right there—sitting beside Ariana in a carriage or running through the streets with Phillip. Often I found myself speaking more formally and even curtseying to my husband. The descriptions of both characters and setting are so vivid.  It was hard to remember that I was not really a part of 19th Century London society.

And almost depressing to put the book down and see 21st Century Jackson outside my front window.

Ms. Burkard has written a wonderful tale, proving she is a master of this time period. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from her.

Regency Romance

Reading is my favorite way to escape reality.  Not that reality is really a bad thing.  God has blessed me beyond measure and far beyond what I deserve.  I really can’t complain about the life He has given me.  Still, every now and then I need to get away, to slip into a world where my children are not fighting and where money matters don’t matter.  Since I live in a world where finances are a concern, I can’t afford to take an exotic vacation every time I need a getaway.  But I can afford to escape into a book. 

The best authors are the ones who can create a fictional world that is so real the reader feels like a part of the story.  Linore Rose Burkard is one of those writers.  She has made her way into my top three favorite authors.

In her novel Before the Season Ends, Burkard writes about life in London in the early 19th century.  Often, we think about this as a simpler time, and I suppose in a many ways it was a simpler time.  Television, radio, and the internet had not yet been invented, meaning life offered fewer distractions.  Even without these modern conveniences, however, there were still plenty of chances for a young lady to find trouble.

Or in the case of Ariana Forsythe, for trouble to find a young lady.

And it seems no matter how hard she tries to avoid it, trouble does find Ariana.  Whether it is bumping into (literally!) members of the London’s upper class, falling out of a small boat, or being stuck in a tree, Ariana seems to always fall into some sort of trouble.  The worst of her troubles, though, comes when she finds herself drawn to two men.  One is a man of great faith but little means, intent on becoming a clergyman.  The other is a man of great means but little faith, content with the single life he is living.  Ariana is torn between the two men—and the love of God that fills her heart.  Her head tells her one thing while her heart tells her another.

Before the Season Ends is a beautifully written love story—a love story that centers around God.  Burkard’s characters and settings draw the reader into a new world.  Or is it an old world?  In either case, it is a world that is hard to leave.  Luckily, there is no reason to be in a rush to leave—Linore Rose Burkard has written two additional books about Ariana and her family.  I highly recommend that you read all three of these wonderful books.  If you only have time to read one, read—well, read whichever one you can get your hands on!  I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


PS Be on the lookout for my reviews of Linore Rose Burkard’s other books in the coming weeks!!!