Fred Burton grew up in Queens, New York. He wrote fiction in his early 20s and returned to it again after his children reached their teen years. His first novel, The Old Songs, takes place in Queens during the 1950s and early 1960s. Although he grew up after the years covered in this book, he did experience the turbulent effects of this era and heard the stories brought forth from it. One reviewer said the book read like a “gritty Anne Tyler novel.”
His latest novel, Bountiful Calling, is set in central Pennsylvania and was drawn from a variety of influences. While living in Harrisburg, PA, he was involved in the anti-fracking movement. This was an excellent vantage point from which to see the powerful business and government forces coalescing around the economic potential of fracking but also its effects on individual people and communities.
Burton avoids easy answers, whether in the emotional interactions in The Old Songs or the ideas swirling about in Bountiful Calling. He carefully constructs situations and characters and at a certain point lets them go on their way. He would rather place the reader within a richly textured, complex situation and let him or her decide what is important, what rings with the sound of truth.
Burton spent his career working in the computer information world, both for government and in the private sector. He’s now semi-retired and living in Baltimore, MD.