Guest Author: Finding Tecun with Joely Sue Burkhart

Posted August 15, 2012 by Shari in Book Tour, Guest Post / 11 Comments

Today I am excited to turn the blog over to Joely Sue Burkhart!

Finding Tecun

I’m a very visual writer. I like to fully cast my books with real life actors before I start (in a perfect world, I’d have the Rock and Clive Owen starring in just about every single book…) or at least find stock photos that are close. It’s not that it helps the character become more real in my mind — they usually show up pretty well fleshed out with their own sometimes annoying personalities — but it makes art sheets, covers, and other promo materials like trading cards easier.

When I cross into the SFF/paranormal realm, it’s hard to find the right image for my hero. He’s usually otherworldly in some way. Larger than life. Sometimes he has supernatural powers. How do you capture that in a stock image? It’s pretty hard.

I’d already written The Bloodgate Warrior and had some interesting images of Tecun lined up. There’s a statue of him that I often looked at. But it was hard to get something I could really put my hands on. He was a legend, yes, but I was making him a god, too. How do you capture that in a simple image?

Out of the blue, I got an incredible package from a blogger and reviewer at The Itzel Library in Mexico. She’d contacted me at least a year before about some of my free reads she’d enjoyed, and I gladly sent her Conn and Victor. To thank me, she sent some lovely handmade items from the Chiapas region of Mexico, very close to where the Bloodgate books have been set (mostly Guatemala, but I’m dying to make my way to Palenque).

The gift came at a crucial time. I was neck-deep in extensive developmental edits on The Bloodgate Warrior and kind of at the end of my rope. Adding to a finished work is hard. It’s that whole “butterfly effect”: a butterfly flaps its wings in chapter one and the entire book changes. My editor, Alissa, asked me to add more journal entries and to beef up some other items, and I was trying to juggle five hundred balls and pull them through in a logical way that didn’t wreck the book entirely.

Then I got this statue from Yel. And I knew.

It was Tecun. He’d come to help me.

He sits on my desk now, his wise, proud face telling me to keep pushing. Dig deeper. The magic I need is there.

Thank you, Yel, for sending Tecun to my rescue!

The moral of the story is twofold:

Readers, don’t be afraid to reach out to authors when you’ve enjoyed their books. We love to hear from you and will often happily send presents!

Authors, don’t limit your audience to only the United States. In a digital world, the only boundaries are the ones we ourselves enforce. (Can I add here that I hate geo restrictions?!?!) I’ve sent packages to Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Canada, and Australia. Yes, it does get expensive at times. But how can you put a price on making such unique and wonderful connections all across the globe?

~ * ~

Joely always has her nose buried in a book, especially one with mythology, fairy tales, and romance. Find her on her websiteTwitter, and Facebook.. Be sure to check out her freereads!


Celebrating ebooks, I’m running a “Save An Ent – Read an Ebook” Giveaway where you can win your choice of an eReader. Details are on my blog.

In addition to the giveaway on Joely’s site, Joely is giving away an ebook of The Bloodgate Warrior. Comment below to enter. Giveaway ends August 18, 2012 at 11: 59 PM EDT.


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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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  • Kat

    I have truly enjoyed The Connagher series and look forward to reading this new book. Thanks for sharing how your fans are able to inspire. I know for me, following several of my favorite authors on Twitter has enriched my reading experience.

    • Thank you so much, Kat! It never gets old hearing that someone enjoyed your book!

  • That’s so cool! I used to never match photos with my characters, but now I do it all the time!

    • Katie, sometimes it’s still really hard. I keep looking for stockphotos of the Rock and I just can’t find them. *winks*

  • Chelsea B.

    How lovely of Yel! People are so full of suprises and kindness. Thank you for sharing this great post!

    • Thanks, Chelsea – I’m so glad to have connected with Yel!

  • Yel

    Oh Joely, I’m so touched! I never imagined this when I bought the handcraft. I had been looking and looking for something to send but nothing was really wonderful, even when the stores had thousands of beautiful handicrafts 😀

    I knew I wanted something Maya for you, but did not know what exactly. I am delighted to have helped Tecun to reach you.


  • SheriV

    I will say that with the advent of ebooks and Facebook, I’ve felt more courage to reach out to authors then I ever did with physical paperbacks I bought at my favorite bookstore. Most of the authors I’ve met, have been sweet, generous and some of the kindest people ever.

  • Tina B

    Wonderful post. That was awesome that received gifts from people from different places in the world. 🙂
    I love The Rock! I will now be picturing him while reading your books. 😉
    trb0917 at

  • Maureen

    What a wonderful present and with the internet it is so great to meet people all over the world.

  • bn100

    Nice post.