When Dianne decided to finally go after her dream of becoming an author, she worried that her neurological issues would be a significant issue to overcome. She worried that even though she was a trained journalist and had written several articles before all of her brain surgeries, her current short-term memory issues would be a huge challenge to overcome while chasing her dream. While doing market research for her award-winning first book, Into the West: The Orphan Train, Dianne found statistics stating that historical fiction books sold better and had better reviews if they were thought to have been written by men. This gave Dianne the idea of adopting a male pen name for her first venture into writing.
Using a pen name served two purposes. One, her books might be more appealing to her target market. Two, If it turned out that her neurological issues were just too much of a hindrance for her to write quality fiction, Dianne could always walk away from the project and no one would ever know the book was her work. She had no way to know at the time that her books would actually be very well received and her first book, Into the West: The Orphan Train, would actually win awards in the very first writing competition Dianne ever entered.
In the future, Dianne wants to explore other genres and plans to use different pen names to keep the markets completely separate. This page for Dianne Burckhardt will be the one name that ties them all together.
Stephen Burckhardt is the first pen name Dianne decided to write under. She came up with this name by dropping the last "s" on her maiden last name, Stephens, and added her married last name, Burckhardt.
She wanted to have a photo to make Stephen more relatable. When Dianne was in college she took a photography class. One of the projects she had to do was a photo biography of a person. She chose her father, Steve, who at that time happened to be about the age Dianne is now. Seeing as how she had been told her entire life that she was a female version of her dad in appearance, it seemed only natural to use him as her avatar for Stephen. He graciously agreed to the proposal and has enjoyed being the face of Stephen Burckhardt ever since.
As Stephen, Dianne has currently (as of this posting, October 15, 2020), written four books in her Into the West Saga Serial collection, plus one special edition. She was a contributing author in four books compiled by author Scott Harris. For those books, Dianne was given a prompt along with 50 other western authors. They all wrote micro-short stories for the publication. Dianne is currently writing book five in her serial, title and cover art to be revealed soon.
Please visit www.StephenBurckhardt.com for more information on Stephen Burckhardt's books. You can also find links to purchase books and merchandise for the serial as well as contests and free downloads.