Find a Christian store

Interview with Burke Speed

Welcome, Burke, and congratulations on your debut novel, Evocatus. What was the inspiration for your story, and what made you decide to seek publication?
Coincidentally enough, I was inspired to write Evocatus because a series of dreams I had and by a lingering sense of incompleteness I felt as I prepared to leave the military. I hope that it will encourage Christians who are looking for renewed purpose in their lives and also appeal to those readers who might not normally embrace a Christian lifestyle, especially veterans.

What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
There’s greater purpose, and joy, available in this life (and the next) than most of us know or live.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
My faith permeates everything I believe and write. Moreover, I think that what makes Evocatus a bit different from other works is the authentic representation of Jamie’s (the main character’s) struggles. My hope is that I’ve told a story that can reach some who might not normally embrace “preachy” works while still remaining faithful to God’s truth.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I’m typically a bit of a seat-of-the-pants writer, so it can be fun to see where a story goes once I’ve begun the writing process. If I can make myself cheer (or cry), then I’m encouraged that it might be meaningful in someone else’s life.

What is one thing about publishing you knew before you started your journey as an author?
I’m not sure I knew much of anything, other than I’d heard that it’s difficult to become a traditionally published author. In my experience, this is true, which is why I’m eternally grateful to Ambassador International for taking a chance with me.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
I think the hardest part, other than the sheer amount of time you have to dedicate to it, is not letting a “writing streak” overrule everything else in your life. I can go a long time without much inspiration, so when it suddenly hits, I don’t want to stop.

If you could have coffee with an author, dead or alive, whose work you admire, who would that be? What would you ask him or her?
I would love to sit and chat with C.S. Lewis. I’d be way out of my league, but I’m amazed by his ability to write across a spectrum of meaningful topics without losing his ability to reach people who might not otherwise ever pick up a Bible.

I would ask him what he would do differently if he could go back in his earthly life. I think a lot about our time here on earth and what’s coming next, and wonder how seeing life from the other side will change our perspective, especially from someone as sincere as he.

What books are on your nightstand right now?
Like my music, I often take up books a bit after they’ve been published! I have three different ones on the nightstand right now:

1) Pirate by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell. This may be a terrible thing for an author to say, but there’s something about almost-nonexistent-character-arc action and adventure that I just love.

2) Decision Points by President George W. Bush. I was in the middle of my military career when he was president, so it’s fascinating to see world events from his perspective, especially after living through the military end of things.

3) Heaven by Randy Alcorn. This is one of the best and most exhaustive works on heaven that I’ve seen. It’s been a real encouragement to me, especially after we’ve lost so many loved ones from this life.

What are you working on now?
I’ve actually got a framework and the first few chapters to the sequel to Evocatus written. If/when it will be released will be entirely dependent on the success of Evocatus, so please let me know what you think!


Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland she was born a stone's throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

For more great interviews, visit our Author Interview Archives.

ACFW Members, click here to apply for an author interview!

Developed by Camna, LLC

This is a service provided by ACFW, but does not in any way endorse any publisher, author, or work herein.