ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Douglas A. Burton’s work depicts heroic figures and their deeper connection to the human experience. Douglas’ blog readers enjoy his commentary about heroes, heroines, and villains in pop culture with an unexpected and refreshing perspective. He grew up in what he describes as “the heroic boyhood culture of late Generation X” that has gone mainstream around the world. He also shares strategies with fellow writers for writing compelling heroic characters in fiction.

Douglas recently began outlining a breakthrough storytelling model that reveals a fascinating “heroine-centric” model for story structure he calls “The Heroine’s Labyrinth.” He believes the heroine is a powerful archetype that has widespread cultural significance and deserves more attention. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two boys. 

ABOUT THE BOOK

“…elegantly written historical tale in which [Burton] effortlessly weaves sweeping emotion and fine detail…”— Kirkus Reviews (Recommended)

Inspired by true events (historical fiction), Far Away Bird delves into the complex mind of Byzantine Empress Theodora. This intimate account deftly follows her rise from actress-prostitute in Constantinople’s red-light district to the throne of the Byzantine Empire. 


Her salacious past has left historians blushing and uncomfortable.
Tales of her shamelessness have survived for centuries, and yet her accomplishments as an empress are unparalleled. Theodora goes on to influence sweeping reforms that result in some of the first-ever Western laws granting women freedom and protection. More than a millennium before the women’s rights movement, Theodora, alone, took on a world superpower and succeeded. Far Away Bird goes where history classrooms fear to tread in hopes that Theodora can finally take her seat among the greatest women in history.


Theodora seems impossible–yet her transcendence teaches us that society can’t tell us who we are deep down. Before there was a legendary empress, there was a conflicted young woman from the lower classes.

AWARDS

Grand Prize for Historical Fiction – Writers’ League of Texas – 2019 Manuscript Contest

Gold Medal – Coffee Pot Book Club- Book of the Year – Historical Fiction

Bronze Medal – Coffee Pot Book Club- Best Debut Novel 2019

TALKING POINTS

  • Which Hero or Heroine are You? Take the “Heroic Personality Quiz” and the “Which Woman of History Are You? Quiz” (who doesn’t love a good quiz?)
  • Why Empress Theodora? Why did Doug choose to write about her? 
  • How did writing the book change Doug’s perspectives about women and/or women’s rights?
  • In what ways did Theodora directly influence women’s rights in the modern day?
  • How are women changing the way we tell stories? 
  • What does a heroine-centric story structure look like?
  • Why it’s important for women to hear the story of Theodora. 
  • And why should men hear the story of Theodora?

TIMELY TIE-INS

  • Creative Romance Month – February
  • National Library Lovers Month – February 
  • National Read in the Bathtub Day – February 9
  • World Day of Social Justice – February 20
  • Women’s History Month – March – The 2020 Women’s History Month theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote.” 
  • National March into Literacy Month- March
  • Rising Star Month – March
  • International Women’s Day – March 8
  • World Storytelling Day – March 20
  • D.E.A.R. Month (drop everything and read)- April
  • Tell a Story Day – April 27
  • Independent Bookstore Day- April 27
  • Anniversary of Empress Theodora’s Death – June 28