The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

July 5, 2014

Elkmont graduate pens first self-published book

— Writing always interested Scott Burkett.

However, the self-published author didn’t start writing for publication until a couple of years ago.

The 1985 Elkmont graduate realized he wasn’t getting any younger and knew writing was something he always wanted to do, so he went for it.

Burkett published “Solace in the Dark — A Revision of Thoughts Along Life’s Passageways,” a collection of poems and short stories.

“I guess I just decided to publish some of my work to see actually if anyone would buy it,” Burkett said. “I had allowed several friends and family members to read some of it and the general consensus was I should give it a try.”

The Jacksonville State University graduate of the Lurleen Wallace School of Nursing said he always made good grades in college.

“I once wrote a more than 500 word paper on making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” Burkett joked.

A friend helped Burkett on the journey to become an author. “A friend of mine, also from Elkmont, is a ghost writer and encouraged me to give it a try,” he said, adding he was provided with the links to get started on Amazon for Kindle.

“It sold a few copies among friends and family but was limited only to people that had Kindles,” Burkett said.  “So after a few months, I pulled it from Kindle, revised it and published the version now available.”

His advice to those interested in publishing a book — “If it’s what you want to do, do it.”

Burkett believes even if it’s not a commercial success, the unique feeling you get from having a published piece out there for others to enjoy is worth it.

“I remember the first royalty check I received from Amazon,” he said. “Although it was only $89, the feeling of pride and personal satisfaction from that small amount was unmatched by any check I’ve received from working a job.

“I would love to see if the check from winning the lottery would compare, but I may be waiting quite a while for that,” he joked.

Burkett tells those interested in self-publishing to visit the site createspace.com, a division of Amazon.

“The promotion possibilities are limited, but it does give someone a chance to actually get their work published and make it available,” he said. “You can’t start a journey without starting somewhere.”

By day (or night), Burkett is a registered nurse in a Las Vegas emergency room, but Alabama is where he calls home.

“I loved growing up in Alabama,” he said. “We lived in numerous areas of North Alabama with my dad being a Methodist pastor … I have three brothers so we spent countless hours roaming fields and woods, hunting and fishing.”

When it comes to the state, Burkett can’t wait to move back. “I live in Las Vegas now, but only wound up here for work,” he said.

When Burkett isn’t working, he is busy working on several other projects.

“I have a western novel that I’m almost finished with,” he said. “The story centers around a young man that loses his family during the Civil War and travels west to Nevada and California to seek his fortune in the gold and silver mines.” The plan is to develop the story into a series of novels.

The other project is what he calls a “fictional autobiography.” It’s centered on Burkett’s reflection on his father’s death and his father’s influence on him and his brothers as they were growing up.

“The main time frame during the story was when he was in ICU before he died,” Burkett said. “It’s told from my perspective,  as his son, as well as the nursing view.

“We weren’t very close to my dad, he was very harsh and cold to me and my brothers. Of all the writing I’ve done to date, this has to be the hardest to write about.”

Burkett is the father of three, Heather, Brittany and Brian. He has one grandson, Braxton. In his spare time he enjoys visiting national parks and hiking.

To find out more, visit Burkett’s author page on Facebook by searching “Scott Burkett, RN, BSN, Author” or his Amazon author page at Amazon.com/author/scottburkett.

“Solace in The Dark” can be purchased from Amazon. The cost is $5.

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