And it’s another guest – a fellow author from Wyrd Worlds…. Have you downloaded it yet? No? What are you waiting for, it’s FREE! And this is the author of the opening story – but also of the short and hilarious Monday Imps, and I know exactly what she’s talking about since I have imps and pixies in my own house! 😉 – who is kindly answering my writerly questions (and actually sent me her own questions, so I’m babbling over at her blog as well). Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome A.L. Butcher! 🙂
1. Where do you live and write from?
I live in the South West UK. I usually write on my laptop as I can lie on the sofa with it, or sit in the really comfy chair. I have a back injury so sitting up at the PC isn’t an option if my back is hurting.
2. When did you start writing?
Oh gosh, I was always an imaginative child, at school I was often the one writing the poetry or short story for the class project. As I have such terrible handwriting this was sometimes a challenge! Most of the writers I speak to tell me they have always been a writer of one sort or another so I think perhaps it is there from the beginning. More recently I used to write adventures for role play games and that led, in a roundabout way, to the novels and other projects.
3. What genre(s) do you write?
Adult dark fantasy/fantasy romance with erotica for the novels and fantasy/ fantasy romance for the anthologies plus poetry now and then.
4. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
I often get inspiration from small things – for example a conversation with my friend who was cleaning out old food from her larder led to a short fantasy tale about the jars and pots conspiring against each other. Another was thinking about where the socks go when you wash them….
Nature and history provide a lot of ideas plus I read a great deal so sometimes that will spark an idea.
No, I don’t put myself in my stories.
5. Do you have a specific writing routine?
Not really, I try but somehow it never quite goes according to plan. I try and write something every day, even if it is just a blog post or notes.
6. Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
I have an overall idea in my head for the series but generally the stories are improvised. There are plans but they are more vague ideas than outlines. Every time I outline I end up changing the plan significantly anyway. I cannot force a story and ideas often occur as I am writing. I am quite slow, usually as I am distracted by other things but if I can focus I can get on with it well enough.
7. Tell us about your latest book
Book 2 of my adult dark fantasy series, The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II was published at the end of May.
The setting of the world of Erana is dark, magic is illegal and elves are enslaved. The land is run by the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters and slavers who rule by fear and division. Yet magic persists, albeit in hiding, and not all shun the elves, risking life and limb to help an oppressed people.
This adventure follows the characters from Book I when a desperate elf arrives in the peaceful valley of Tremellic asking for help to find a lost family heirloom. Of course not all is as it seems and they leave on a dangerous adventure to find the Shining Citadel, the mythical elven city lost in time and magic. The heroes are watched by a man with a lot of power, a man who could destroy them as he too craves the supposed wealth of the Citadel and his own ambition in destroying the Magelord Archos and his friends.
Information hinted at in Book I plus a good deal of other juicy info is revealed, a lot of it unwelcome and the heroes must deal with this and what it might mean for the future. There is a lot more threat in this book and revelations will impact on later books. Magic and mayhem abound.
Aside from this novel I have just had some short fantasy (non-erotica) stories published in a couple of anthologies. The first is a fairytale type story – The Tale of Treyna the Beloved – which explains why the sun and moon are rarely seen together in the sky. It is a sad tale.
The anthology is called No Sleeves and Short Dresses, it is a collection from various writers on the Good Reads website and all royalties go to http://www.bliss.org.uk which is a charity supporting premature babies and their families. All the stories are summer-themed and cover a variety of genres.
The second anthology is Wyrd Worlds, by a collection of fantasy and sci-fi indie writers, also from Good Reads who publish on Smashwords. I have two short stories – The Blue Phial- which is a short story set in the world of my novels – a Tale of Erana. There is also a story about why things always go wrong on a Monday. This one is free!
Links for the Shining Citadel
Link for No Sleeves and Short Dresses – a Summer Anthology
All the links for my books, including the Barnes and Noble and Kobo ones can be found on my blog – there are also discount codes for the Smashwords editions of my novels found there.
8. Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie published – why? It seemed the right route. Self-publishing gives a lot of freedom, I can work to my own pace for a start. I can publish the book I want to publish, not what I am told to publish. The royalties are pretty good as well. Of course this means I have to do all my own marketing and promotion, that is the really hard bit!
Traditional publishing still has a place of course, and it works for a lot of writers but I think, with the erotica side of my work I might struggle to find a suitable publisher. Indie-publishing has opened up the market for a lot of great writers who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to be published.
9. Any other projects in the pipeline?
I am currently working on Book III of the series, which is being a little tricky. Hopefully I will also be working on a collection of erotica stories with a fellow author in the near future.
10. What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
I never imagined people would want to buy my books, or I would have the courage to actually publish so in that respect I have achieved my goal. I would like to see the series through to the exciting finale and then, possibly a later series. Bringing my world to life and sharing the stories and the joy I have in writing them is important to me.
What am I doing to achieve it – continuing to write.