Lone Star Book Blog Tour: Riverside by Brett Burlison

Brett Burlison

Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Action Romance
Publisher: Barton Creek Press
Date of Publication: January 4, 2016
Number of Pages: 348

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It’s summer 1993 in Austin. Two young lovers decide to move in together and open a cafe only to be hindered by their own pasts, drugs, and bad guys from New Orleans. Set in Austin, Texas in the early nineties.

Bobby Patrick, abandoned by his mother as a child and by his alcoholic father during high school, wants a better life for himself and his true love, Katie. The couple decides to open a café and chase their dreams under the radiant Austin sunsets. There, the long, hot days of summer in inspire their passion–but complications arise when Katie’s former love interest returns, bringing with him a whirlwind of trouble.

As Katie’s dark past reveals itself, Bobby fears it could threaten all they have been striving for. Along with Katie’s best friend, Sara, with whom Bobby has his own secret history, the couple becomes tangled up in a drug deal and falls under close watch by Austin police and New Orleans mobsters.

Bobby must find a way to protect Katie, help Sara, and help himself to thousands of dollars from the ill-fated deal. If he can’t, his future with Katie could be shattered forever.

Part romance and part suspense story, Riverside is a tell-your-friends-about-it, good old-fashioned crime novel about a young couple struggling for the American dream, and the lengths to which they will go to protect it.

“A steamy tale and beguiling thriller, with plenty of local color and some provocative twists.” – Kirkus Reviews


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What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

Earnest Hemingway wrote that writing is easy: “. . . All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Generally, he was spot on. Specifically, Riverside was my first novel and went through many evolutions before becoming what it is. The hardest part for me was deciding when it was done.

Who are some of your favorite authors you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

James Salter, Tobias Wolff, Mary Gaitskill, Hemingway, Salinger, Larry McMurtry, Dorothy Parker, Thomas Pynchon, Karen E. Bender, and Ann Packer, these are the authors I read and the authors I feel have influenced me. What these authors have in common is their commitment to brevity, not in a minimalist sense, but in only including what is essential, what is central, and what moves the story or reveals necessary aspects of a character. This is what I strive for, and it is because of these authors that I do.

What literary character is most like you?

The Tramp, from Lady and the Tramp – he’s a romantic, a hopeless romantic.

What are some day jobs that you have held? 

I’m currently a full time attorney and have been for fifteen years. But before that I waited tables, tended bar, ran a moving business, worked at a couple of golf courses, bagged groceries, drove kids around for a children’s home, worked for a landscaper, cut peoples’ yards, and was a substitute teacher.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I tend to read authors that I like over and over, and then again. Currently, James Salter is a favorite, as is Karen E. Bender and Ann Packer. I’m drawn to short stories, but I also enjoy history. I’ve followed the work of Richard Reeves and Robert Caro closely.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m currently working on a legal thriller set in San Francisco. The story centers on a young couple that moves from Austin to San Francisco and is set in the present day.

How do you choose the names for characters in your books?

Names come to me quickly when thinking about a character. This takes place long before the first words are down. The actual name is obtained simply from a feeling I have about a character.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

In general, I don’t like writing violence, though sometimes it is necessary for a story. I don’t believe I could write about violence toward a child, or rape, even if it was necessary for a storyline. I just don’t think I could do it.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To be able to fly. Short of that, invisibility.

What’s your funniest flaw?

I’m a writer who can’t spell (at least I find it funny).

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Good writer. Great husband.


Brett Burlison is a writer, lawyer, and Texan living in Northern California. He grew up in the piney woods of East Texas and went to school in Austin.

He practices law in San Francisco, and writes romantic suspense stories about young couples up against difficult odds.





September 13 – September 22, 2016 


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