Raised in Upstate New York, ANNA BURKE graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a B. A. in English Literature and Studio Art. She holds a certificate from the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa; and was the inaugural recipient of the Sandra Moran Scholarship for the Golden Crown Literary Society’s Writing Academy.
Since graduation, she has lived all along the Eastern seaboard, but wrote her debut novel, the high seas adventure Compass Rose (2018), while living on a small island in the West Indies. She suspects this explains her sudden interest in dystopian lesbian pirates.
When she is not writing fiction, Anna is an overly ambitious gardener and freelance writer. She and her wife live with their two dogs and the occasional four-legged guest.
Unlike her protagonist, Anna has no sense of direction.
Now that we’re unofficial, let’s get real. I grew up running around the woods like my childhood heroines, tracking deer and chasing imaginary dragons with my Golden Retriever at my side. (Pretty intimidating, right?) I devoured books by Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley, and I was convinced, despite my lack of coordination, that I had what it took to kick some serious ass.
Then I turned 13, and reality came crashing down in all its brutal reckoning.
Fast forward a few years. I left my hometown in Upstate New York and went to Smith College, where I pretended to be moderately normal and was inordinately pleased to discover that plaid flannel shirts were actually in style. I mean, who knew, right?
Ensconced in within those ivy covered walls, I majored in English Lit and Studio Art, which meant that I spent half my time in the library and the other half covered in paint. (Don’t ever let anyone tell you being an art major is useless. It has loads of uses, first and foremost being that it excuses you from having to worry about the state of your clothes and hair.)
I fell in love with all kinds of things in college, some familiar, some new. Art; literature; classical music; farming (because majoring in the arts was not lucrative enough); and eventually, my wife, a UMASS Amherst graduate and the only woman to ever woo me with a barn full of lambs. Needless to say, it worked.
Together, we left the Pioneer Valley and started a small sheep farm, which quickly expanded to include a host of other creatures, including a flock of curious turkeys, a maniacal goat named Malory, a barn cat named after a toilet, and two draft horses.
We put the farm on hold when my wife was accepted into Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and I joined her in the Caribbean, where I wrote my debut novel and included pirates for obvious reasons.
When I am not living in the tropics, fighting off giant centipedes and wondering how on earth people manage to write on the beach, I am usually in Maine, writing on a smaller, much colder island (without centipedes). I am a full-time freelance writer, which means I can and do work from pretty much anywhere. To keep me on track, I have two highly trained writing assistants who pretend to be our dogs, Artemis and Faith.
During the rare hours in the day when I am not writing, my hobbies include hiking, reading, gardening, cursing the amount of time I have to spend on my computer, and getting sidetracked by random art projects.