Weldon Burge

Publisher/Full-Time Editor/Freelance Writer

Bullets and Butterflies

Moving From Anthologies to Novels: Interview with Weldon Burge by Suspense Magazine

June 22, 2011

Tags: fiction writing, anthologies, novels, interview, Suspense Magazine

The following was published in the June 2011 issue of Suspense Magazine. I enjoyed the interview. Thanks to Shannon Raab for the great questions!

Being best known for his gardening articles hasn't stopped Weldon Burge from trying all sorts of things, literary-wise. He does freelance writing for many nonfiction and fiction publications. His nonfiction has appeared in Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Gardening How-To, Birds & Blooms, Flower & Garden, National Gardening, Delaware Today, Country Discoveries, Grit, Back Home, The Almanac for Farmers & City Folk, and other national magazines.

His fiction has been showcased in Suspense Magazine, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Grim Graffitti, The Edge: Tales of Suspense, Alienskin, Glassfire Magazine, and Out & About (a Delaware magazine). His stories have also been adapted for podcast presentation by Drabblecast, and have been accepted for the anthologies Don't Tread on Me: Tales of Revenge and Retribution, Pellucid Lunacy: An Anthology of Psychological Horror, Ghosts and Demons, and Something at the Door: A Haunted Anthology. Weldon had several projects brewing, including a police procedural novel and an illustrated chidlren's book. He is also one of Suspense Magazine's book reviewers.

Currently, Weldon is a full-time editor for Independent School Management, which provides a wide range of products and services for private schools. He's been the editor of Ideas & Perspectives, the company's flagship publication, since 1993. He created, posted, and maintained ISM's initial Web site starting in 1995, and is still involved in its development and content. He is also highly involved in the production of the company's other publications.

This month, we showcase our own Weldon Burge. He is always ready to do whatever we ask, and we are so honored to bring him to the forefront in Suspense Magazine's Contributor's Corner for the month of June. Enjoy!


Suspense Magazine (S. Mag.): Fiction, nonfiction, blogging, full-time job, and a family. How do you juggle it all?

Weldon Burge (WB): I do most of my writing around 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

Just kidding—but not entirely. I write wherever and whenever I can find the time: during my lunch break at work, in the evenings after dinner, or even at 2 a.m. on Saturdays. I live a life of deadlines (I’m a full-time editor), and I learned long ago how to prioritize my time. Family comes first. Everything else shakes out from there. So, I set deadlines for myself, but often find that I certainly can’t find time for everything—and that’s when prioritizing comes into play. The projects I deem the most important are the ones that get done. I have an extensive, ever-growing to-do list.

S.MAG.: You’re active in your local writing group, what is the biggest personal benefit of that association?

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Writing Suspense in Delaware: An Interview with J. Gregory Smith

April 14, 2011

Tags: suspense, writing, fiction, interview, J. Gregory Smith

J. Gregory Smith’s first novel, Final Price, won First Place in the Fiction Category in the 2010 Delaware Press Association's Communication contest, and was selected as a Quarterfinalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. First released as a self-published work, it is now under contract with AmazonEncore, a new publishing imprint from Amazon.com. Final Price was re-released in November 2010 and is now available at Amazon.com, bookstores nationwide, and in e-book formats.




Before becoming a full-time writer, Greg worked in public relations in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Wilmington, Delaware, where he now lives with his wife and son. In addition to ongoing marketing efforts for Final Price, Smith's young adult novel, Prince Dale and the Crystal Mountain, made the Quarter Finals in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

I asked Greg to talk with us about his experiences during the creation, editing, and publication of Final Price, among other things. He kindly agreed to the following interview.

Weldon Burge (WB): What inspired you to write Final Price?

J. Gregory Smith (JGS): Following layoffs in the PR industry, I worked for nearly a year selling cars. The dealership and coworkers were nice enough but the nature of the industry puts salesmen and customers in an adversarial position. Anyone in sales can relate to the frustration of dealing with unreasonable customers.

I got the idea for this story during a 12-hour shift on a snowy day with no customers. What if, instead of venting about a lost sale in the break room, a salesman completely flipped out? What if he tracked down his most infuriating prospects? Shamus Ryan was born. The rest of the story built around him and his actions. For setting, I found right where I worked to be perfect. Wilmington, Delaware, is a city that feels more like a small town. Everyone seems to know everyone else, but people from every walk of life come through doors of a car showroom. For the killer, annoying victims come in all shapes, sizes, colors and religions. Because of that, it took longer to establish a recognizable pattern for the cops to follow.

WB: What was your biggest challenge when writing the novel?

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SELECTED WORKS

SMART RHINO PUBS
A Smart Rhino Publications anthology of suspense stories.
A collection of five horror/suspense stories by Weldon Burge.
GARDEN WRITING
This Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin provides practical advice about growing peppers.