Dianne Burckhardt - Author
Welcome to the virtual home of Dianne Burckhardt - Kansas born award winning author and designer, narrator of books, creator of worlds, blessed wife to an amazing husband, "mom" to the world's most adorable rescued Russian furbaby, proud owner of a malformed brain, maker of tasty burritos, watcher of Sci-fi, reader of JR Ward and Patricia Briggs, listener of Pink and Green Day, fan of Silent Bob, follower of Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, Comic Con goer, and a Marvel girl all the way (though I make an exception for Batman) Stan Lee Lives! Excelsior! And now I can add, 2020 Inspire Award Finalist for the HER-Abilities Award.
I have faced many challenges in my life and in trying to create a profitable writing career for myself just may be the biggest challenge yet. It's a good thing I'm not afraid to fight for what I want. I have had enough practice. It is not easy to rebuild your life and career after enduring seven surgeries in six months especially when six of those were brain surgeries and you actually die at one point. Luckily for me, it didn't take.
I have worked long and hard for many years to rebuild my life and I am thankful for every step forward I have made. I have had a lot of help and would not be where I am without it. There is no way I will ever be able to thank everyone, but I have to name my mother, Sharon Stephens, my father, Steve Stephens, and the most amazing husband I could ever hope to have in my life, Pedro Burckhardt. I would not be here to be writing this if it weren't for these three people. Not to mention the world's most adorable furbaby, Shaggy Burckhardt, who helps keep me (mostly) sane.
I have always been a writer, but after the brain surgeries, I was literally at a loss for words. My memory failed me. Simple words and normally familiar names were just suddenly gone from my memory. Writing became therapy for me. I needed to retrain my brain after so much trauma. I still have many issues that will likely be with me for the rest of my life, but they are challenges I am learning to use to feed my creativity.
I have an incredible tribe of friends who help me circumvent some of these issues. The main problem I still have is remembering names. I found I have an incredibly difficult time remembering the names of people I have met since the surgeries and even the names of characters I have created. My short-term memory is a constant issue, but my long-term memory is much better.
To be able to remember my own characters' names, friends I have known for years, who are in my long term memory, allow me to use their names in my books. These characters are in no way based on the people they are named after beyond being their namesake. Being able to associate them with old friends, connects these new characters to my long-term memory and I am them able to recall them when I need to do so. My greatest hope, is to one day actually make a profit from my books so I will be able to throw a very nice party for all of these incredible people and finally thank them for their help and generosity.
As you can see, I am quite unique in the world of authors. I look forward to what the future brings and I hope you will join me on this journey.
Thank you for your support,
Dianne Burckhardt was born in and raised in and around Wichita, Kansas. After spending a few years as a child living on a ranch near Benton, Kansas, Dianne developed a deep love for all things western. Being a proud member of the Cherokee nation only deepened her interest in history, animals, and native traditions.
Dianne earned a degree in journalism from Wichita State University (WSU) in 2000 and spent the next few years writing for various publications. After a short stint working as voice talent at a news service, Dianne returned to WSU to earn a second degree in forensic criminology. Unfortunately, Dianne would never get a chance to use this degree.
In 2002, just one month before Dianne was due to graduate with her second degree, she had an accident at work. She had been working in a bookstore while going to college. One night as she was moving a bookshelf, it collapsed and fell over hitting her in the legs and slammed her down in a seated position on a hardwood floor over concrete. It was estimated that she was hit with about 250 pounds of pressure.
Over the next year, Dianne developed numerous neurological issues until it was finally discovered that she had a Chiari malformation type 2 with syringomyelia. In April of 2004, Dianne underwent a decompression surgery to alleviate her symptoms and to restore normal cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) flow to her brain. Unfortunately, after this surgery Dianne developed hydrocephalus. Her doctor hoped that pressure bandages would be able to contain the pressure and allow things to normalize naturally but that was not to happen.
Over the next six months, Dianne would endure having a VP Shunt placement, five revisions to her decompression surgery, and a surgery on her side to reposition the tube from her shunt. After the fifth brain surgery, Dianne developed an antibiotic resistant MRSA infection in the incision site on her head. She was admitted to the ICU and stayed there for weeks with a spinal tap and being seen daily be infectious disease specialists. At one point, Dianne died for a few minutes. Doctors never expected her to survive the infection and are still amazed she recovered. Dianne has far surpassed what her doctors said was even possible for her to achieve health-wise and continues to push her limits to see just what she is capable of achieving.
In 2013, Dianne met and married the man of her dreams, Pedro "P.R." Burckhardt. The couple moved to Denmark for P.R.'s job. Not knowing Danish, Dianne decided to look online for freelance work. She eventually worked as a ghostwriter. One of her early assignments was writing a western novella for Luis Antwoord titled, Western: In the Company of Thieves. It was after this project, Dianne developed an insatiable desire to continue writing westerns under her own pen name.
To reach a wider market, Dianne decided to write her books as serial novellas instead of full novels. Each saga is divided into 5-6 novellas, depending how long it takes her to reach the desired ending for her saga. Her first book, Into the West: The Orphan Train is a 2019 TopShelf Indie Book Award finalist and a 2020 TopShelf Indie Book Award Nominee. Be sure to check out all her current titles published under her pen name Stephen Burckhardt by clicking HERE.