Dragons have been eating humans for centuries. Now heroes throughout history stalk their legendary foe. Learn how to hunt, kill, and eat the wild dragon. Never before has revenge tasted so good. A literary feast for the bloody-minded.
In Janet Morris’ anthology on the art of dragon killing, seventeen writers bring you so close to dragons you can smell their fetid breath. Tales for the bold among you.
HEROIKA 1 — DRAGON EATERS, an anthology of heroic fiction edited by Janet Morris, features original stories by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, S. E. Lindberg, Jack William Finley, Travis Ludvigson, Tom Barczak, J. P. Wilder, Joe Bonadonna, Milton Davis, Alexandra Butcher, William Hiles, M Harold Page, Walter Rhein, Cas Peace, Beth Waggoner Patterson, Bruce Durham, Mark Finn.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, Alexandra Butcher’s interview! Stay tuned for more authors!
Where do you live and write from?
I live in Bristol, in the South West of the UK. It’s a historic city, John Cabot sailed from Bristol to America, Isambard Kingdom Brunel built bridges and railways here, and there has been a settlement in these parts since the Stone Age. Truth be told I am not a city person, but my part of the city is quite rural, we have a nature reserve and a holy well close by and there are lots of good walks in the woods and by the river, when I’m up to it.
When did you start writing?
At school, same as everyone else…. Seriously though I assume you mean storytelling? I was always an imaginative child, I was the one writing the poem/short story for the school display or off somewhere in my own head. I’d make believe, as many kids do and I wrote plays or poetry, or short stories a lot at school. Some were, well, rubbish but a fair few were worthy at note, even then. I was often asked to write something for the school display. I loved the writing but I have terrible handwriting, and these were the days before word processors so that aspect I struggled with.
This progressed to writing fan-fic for Phantom of the Opera and adventures for games. Then onto novels and short stories. I think either you are a story teller or you aren’t. Learning the technical ins and outs – now that is another matter. An author can always learn something new.
Fantasy, fantasy romance and erotica. I’ve mentioned the poetry and I occasionally dip into horror – in fact last year I published two short horror stories and a poem about Jack the Ripper with the Indie Collaboration. The Jack the Ripper story is very visceral, very dark. Mostly though it’s fantasy based work.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Everywhere. Books I’ve read, films I’ve seen, nature, people, other stories I’ve written. I think every writer puts him or herself into his or her own books, certainly fiction writers do. If you mean do I cast myself? Not on purpose.
Do you have a specific writing routine?
No. I have lots of folders of notes and half-ideas. I am far too chaotic for routine;) I also have a few health issues and a full time job so I sometimes don’t find the time I’d like for writing.
See number 5. I have vague outlines but they are just that – vague. I’ve tried to plan but they end up changing so now I just have notes and ideas, which work, or don’t. I do have someone I discuss ideas with and she tells me if they are stupid. I work full time so I only get to write in the evenings and weekends, assuming I am not too tired. If I am good and motivated I can usually write a short story in an afternoon but a novel – that is a totally different matter. It usually takes me about a year or more to write a novel. Is that fast or slow?
Tell us about your latest book
Heroika: The Dragon Eaters contains my latest story – Of Blood and Scales. It forms part of a Heroic Fantasy anthology in a shared world/theme anthology from Perseid Press and edited by Janet Morris. The collection is dark, deadly and filled with heroes, dragons and myths from this world and others. It was quite a challenge to write the tale as I was also working on a couple of other projects, and for a while I wasn’t sure of the ending. The collection as a whole is supreme – heroic fiction filled with myth, mayhem and of course dragons.
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie. I like the freedom it brings. The deadlines and control of the book are mine. My books are generally a little outside mainstream as the novels contain a degree of erotica. Indie publishing allows for the more varied and outside mainstream books to be published. Of course there are downsides.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Book IV of the Chronicles, plus several short stories for the Tales of Erana series.
Finishing my series, and hopefully publishing a few more novels. I’d like be able to live from the writing, but for indies that is rare. What am I doing? I’d like to produce a role-play game system for the world as well. That won’t be until most of the series is done, and I need to find an artist for that. I try and promote regularly, but that too has its pitfalls. The line between promotion and over-promotion is a thin one indeed. Networking has provided some great contacts and opportunities so one never knows where that might lead.
A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres. She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.