And it’s a guest! As announced, our mighty curator A.L. Butcher is here to talk about her first bundle – More Than Human – and all those neat things happening in her writerly life! You may remember her from the Wyrd Worlds Anthologies… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back A.L. Butcher!
Where do you live and write from?
I am from the UK, born and raised in the South East and now residing in rainy Bristol (in the South West).
Why do you write?
Because I enjoy it, because it’s part of who I am and because otherwise all the people, ideas and voices in my head would drive me mad.
Writing is a release – and to me it is freedom. Nothing is impossible in fiction, unlikely yes, but not impossible. That’s one reason I like to read and write fantasy. Fantasy is the ‘what if’, ‘it can be’, it is pure escapism.
When did you start writing?
I was the ‘imaginative’ child at school – the one who couldn’t concentrate on boring things and was usually off somewhere in my own head. Hmm, not much changes…I’d often write poetry or short stories for the school displays. I suppose though it was when I started writing adventures for Role Playing Games (yes, yes I’m a geek and proud). The novels and short stories developed from those.
I’m lucky, my parents always encouraged us to read from an early age and be creative. One sister is an artist, and one teaches English and drama.
What genre(s) do you write?
Poetry, fantasy, fantasy romance, short stories, and a bit of horror.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
To give up the day job I don’t like much and be able to write full-time. What am I doing about it? Writing, networking, writing more, working on various projects. Studying too although I don’t have much energy for that as well, these days.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Write what you want to read. If you want to read it, someone else will too. Don’t necessarily write what is ‘popular’ today, as it may not be popular tomorrow.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Improviser, definitely. I have an idea and things grow from that. The story usually tells me where it wants to go, sometimes after it’s got there…
I have a full-time job, and various health issues so I don’t write as much as I’d like. Often I’m too tired or brainfried to do anything creative so I tend to write in spurts. So I suppose both and neitheranswers the second question…
Tell us more about your book in the bundle
I have two – The Shining Citadel is the second in my Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series but can be read as a stand alone. It’s set in the world of Erana – a dark fantasy world where magic is illegal, but pretty much everywhere, and elves and non-humans live as slaves. Mages can be executed simply for being mages, if they are caught, and to be an Elven mage is doubly dangerous. Humans are more likely to report a non-human.
So our heroes set out to find a missing elven artefact and end up discovering a lost elven citadel and a lot of unwelcome truths. We have a human (well he isn’t but you’ll have to read the book to discover WHAT he is) sorcerer, who is also a nobleman and a crimelord; an elven sorceress who used to be a slave and knows little of her own history; a half-elven servant, who is also an assassin and works for the crimelord; a forest elf trying to regain her people’s heritage; a Witch-Hunter undercover, and a Troll prince… Plus two elves who are in an impossible situation and might be about to commit treason…
Of course. Nothing is as simple as it first appears, people have secrets which might well be fatal and then there is the ‘lost’ elven citadel hunted for by our heroes, who want to preserve it, and our bad guys who want to destroy it. And there is a bit of romance and time for naughtiness too 😊
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – is a collection of short fantasy stories featuring mischievous imps who lurk in your washing machine and raid your fridge, a baffled wizard/god in charge of a rather familiar blue/green world, cunning thieves and a secret kitchen. It’s a lot of fun.
Tell us about your latest book
The latest publication is The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story. It’s a short story from the Ripper’s point of view, covering the last murder. It’s dark. Technically it’s not new as it was previously published in an anthology but has been revised and expanded.
The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story
The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the 18 rated for scenes of violence.
Shortly before that I published Tears and Crimson Velvet – which is part of the Legacy of the Mask Tales. These feature characters based around Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera. They are ‘what ifs’and ‘might have beens.
Madam Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.
When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.
A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.
A Legacy of the Mask Tale.
Not to mention the More Than Human Bundle
To save. To guard. To heal.
Beloved people, precious things, and sacred spaces move our hearts and inspire us to defend them.
In these tales of redemption and rescue, more-than-human heroes stand forth as champions to protect all that is worthy of protection.
Walk with these elves, imps, wizards, dryads, gods, and guardians as they subdue demons, free the enslaved, preserve the world, comfort the exiled, and cross swords with the dark. Read and revel in their triumphs and tribulations.
The Shining Citadel – A. L. Butcher
Technological Angel – Barbara G. Tarn
Needle-Green – Debbie Mumford
The Cartographer’s Daughter – Karen L. Abrahamson
Serpent’s Foe – J.M. Ney-Grimm
The Crystal Courtesan – Karen L. Abrahamson
The First Book of Old Mermaids Tales – Kim Antieau
The Guardians – Book 1 – Don Viecelli
Love Apidae (A Recumon Story) – Michael R. E. Adams
The Flat Above the Wynd – Alexandra Brandt
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – A. L. Butcher
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Lots. I am working on Book IV of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, which picks up after events of books II and III. Also, I am working on a novella for my Tales of Erana series, various short stories and a couple of ‘secret’ projects.
I have various bundles planned – including Mythic Tales in November, Immortals, Frisky February, Seasonal Bundles, Here Be Dragons, and lastly a Warrior’s Bundle to raise money for a couple of charities which support wounded and elderly ex-service persons.
A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genre. 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’