About Me

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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Writer interview - Suzanna Burke

Our latest guest is writer Suzanna Burke (pen name Stacey Danson), the author of Empty Chairs and Faint Echoes of Laughter as well as a fascinating blog Sooz Says Stuff.


What is your favorite virtue? The ability to feel compassion. Empathy.

Your favorite qualities in a man. A man must have the ability to laugh at himself, to laugh with me, at life. Most importantly is a man being strong enough to be gentle, unashamedly. Strong enough to be honest with himself-and-by extension, me.

Your favorite qualities in a woman. I believe that all of us, irrespective of gender, need to learn and acquire the ability to accept that they can be happy and fulfilled, without a traditional significant other.

Your chief characteristic. Adaptability. That particular characteristic has saved my skinny-ass, more times than I care to remember.

What do you appreciate the most about your friends? The fact that my friends not only tolerate, but, accept me with all my faults. They don't need to agree with me on everything, that is not true friendship, however I prefer that we can agree to disagree on things, on life, I expect them to ask questions...for friendship is a constant learning curve, I don't believe that ever stops.

Your main fault. Engaging my big mouth, before engaging my brain.

Your favorite occupation. Writing. I love experimenting with different genres. Sometimes I'll take one scene, and I'll try writing it as a comedy...a thriller, paranormal, romance...about the only thing I haven't tried on for fit is Science Fiction...I have insufficient knowledge to make that work. The researching of my books takes a long time...the devil is in the details, and I hate books when I see something that is glaringly wrong...like the seasons in different parts of the world being ignored ... and no obvious knowledge of the terrain etc. I read one recently where the author had the character dressed in fur coats and feeling very cold in the midst of the Australian Summer in the tropical north of our country. Seriously! It made me angry.

Your idea of happiness. That changes almost daily .Ultimately, I think knowing that my Daughter and Grandson are safe and doing well, will always cause me to smile. Just kicking back and chilling out with a book I'm enjoying; or, the end of a day where I have managed to be satisfied that I have achieved all I set out to do within that time frame. Yeah, these things make me happy. On the bigger stage...I guess what most caring people want, a world where pain, poverty, war and hatred no longer exist. Given that humankind has never managed to achieve that I think it's a rather sad and forlorn idea of happiness, nonetheless the very idea of it being possible, makes me happy.

Your idea of misery. A world without laughter.

If not yourself, who would you be? In fiction? Character ... hmm...Let's see, I think I'm more than a little pig headed, and at times I go way over the top; and I've never managed to fall in love with the right guy at the right time ... so...Scarlett O'Hara. As for Non-fictional...I have no idea.

Your favorite heroes in fiction. Male heroes include but are not restricted to...Atticus Finch...To Kill a Mockingbird. Rocky Balboa in all the Rocky films. Rhett Butler...Gone with the Wind Jack Ryan ... (All of Tom Clancy's fictional novels ) Yuri Zhivago... Doctor Zhivago - they are all flawed, imperfect, heroes. That makes them memorable.

Your favorite heroes in real life. I don't have heroes. I just have fallible humans I admire greatly because they will never stay down for the count.

Your favorite food and drink. Seafood in all forms, Lobster, prawns, crab, Barramundi, Squid ... If it's an unprotected species, in the oceans and streams, and is edible, I'll try it. I'm a recovering Alcoholic, my favorite liquid used to be a great Chardonnay...these days it's a pot of good black tea and endless amounts of Coffee.

What is your present state of mind? I battle depression on a daily basis...but, today is a good day. I'm in a positive state of mind.

Your personal motto. If you always do, what you have always done...then you will always get what you always got.


Suzannah Burke said...

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share some of my beliefs, Maria. I appreciate it more than I can say. xo

Thomas J. Winton said...

Thank you so much for this! It was great to learn even more about my longtime friend Soooz.

tgeering said...

Soooz brilliant as ever. You bare your soul bravely and I love ya honey. Fabulous interview x

Suzannah Burke said...

Thanks so much, Tom and Tee. I am delighted to have you as my friends.