Interview with Author Alexandra Butcher

What made you want to become an author?

I’ve always been a writer; short stories, poems, fanfic and the like even when I was little. I usually ended being the one who wrote the class poem for the display.
Being an author – now that is another matter. I used to write adventures for fantasy role play games, such as Warhammer, Dragon Ages, Star Trek and World of Darkness and really it stemmed from there as a few people told me I should write out my ideas as more than just adventures for friends. I’d had an idea I was half-working on so that was that.

What do you find contradictory about being an author?

People expect you just to be able to come up with a story on the spur of the moment.  They also think it pays well, which mostly isn’t the case.
I tend to spot weak plots a lot more, whereas before I might have persevered with a book I wasn’t getting into now I’ll just give it up. That said I see more in a book if it is good, I’ll appreciate a great story for being a great story, well-crafted and well designed.  I think I probably see weak research now too. Suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

How important do you find social media is for the author these days?

Absolutely vital. We live in an international and digital world and this allows us to communicate with people, who even 50 years ago we would have no chance of exchanging words with. Most authors publish e-books these days and so the market is there to promote, network and sell books via social media.  Not only that many authors have blog followers, websites, author pages and the like. It is a great way to learn more about someone, to keep up with what an author might be writing, or planning and even just hanging out. I met my best friend online, through a social media site, plus several other people who have enriched my life. There is a great author community online, which is usually very supportive. It is great way to find new readers. As a reader I now find the majority of my books via Good Reads and Facebook and I read in a far wider spectrum than I ever used to.

Of course the downsides are there as well. Often someone might say something online and be misinterpreted, or rant and it is recorded forever. If someone misbehaves, everyone will know ;).  Not to mention there are a few individuals who take delight in cyber bullying, fortunately this has never happened to me, but I know a few authors and readers who’ve experienced it.

Could you tell us a bit about The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles-Book I? 

Book I follows the adventure of the elven sorceress Dii. The world of Erana is dark, magic is illegal, and elves are enslaved to the humans so she has no rights and her very existence is forbidden. Elves were blamed for a terrible plague, which almost decimated not only their own race but that of the humans and, to a lesser extent, the trolls.  She runs away from her wicked and abusive master and embarks on a journey to find not only sanctuary but herself. In the mix are a mysterious nobleman, an enigmatic half-elf and a shy, innocent elven huntress who seek a missing child. Of course there are bad guys too;)

It is a book of magic and mayhem, sex and sorcery and romance and revenge. The relationships between the characters are important, but the adventure is even more so. It is a world of light and dark, where the law is immoral and morality lawless.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles-Book 1 tells about the Order of the Witch-Hunters. Did you base this particular organization
on anything from real life?

Not especially, although there are elements of the Nazis, such as herding the elves into ghettos. Mostly they are what happens when martial law becomes tyranny and when ignorance and fear are powerful tools with which to rule.

Where can readers purchase Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles-Book I?

Amazon in e-book and print, Barnes and Noble also in e-book and print and I-books. It seems to be for sale on some of the Kobo stores as well, although sadly not in the UK or US at the moment, after Kobo’s over-reaction about indie authors last year. It is also available in large print.

Can you tell the readers a bit about The Shining Citadel - The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II?

Book II follows the same set of characters, plus a couple more, several months after the end of book I. It can be read as a standalone but is probably better if you are already familiar with the world and the characters. In this adventure an elven scholar turns up requesting aid to find a missing family heirloom, but not all is as it seems. There is intrigue, betrayal, and the nature of truth is explored by at least one of the characters. This is a truth which is unwelcome but very real and could rock the status quo.

Of course there is a great adventure, wicked bad guys, romance and a goodly helping of magic.

How does the sorceress Dii'Athella impact the story?

Well certainly book I is her story, and her history continues into book II, when she discovers who she is. Although Archos and the others are important, Dii’s transition from shy and fearful former courtesan, or ‘Kept’ to a rather bolder, braver and more confident woman is wonderful. She is the focus of the series, she is the Light of the title.

Where can readers purchase The Shining Citadel - The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II?

Same places as book I, although just to issues with printing size I haven’t yet sorted out the large print.

Could you tell us a bit about your collection of stories in Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends?

They are set in the same world as the novels, but only one features a character directly related to the novels. The Legend of Oeliana expands on a scene covered in Book II as part of a larger scene. Told as legendary, mythic or life lessons they cover everything from an adaptation of the princess and the toad, a herbalist’s last wisdom, the love of a god for a mortal and the mayhem that brings and what happens when gods become involved with war. They cover the distant past to the future and possible future. They are all different stories, and reviews have commented on the variety of styles and subjects.

What was your favorite story to write?

Honestly I prefer writing longer stories to the shorter ones, as I can really get into a character and events in a novel. They were all fun to write, I’ve had to do quite a bit of research, including herbalism, swamp terrain and flora and fauna, medieval weapons and horses.  I am not sure I have a favourite out of them all, each and every one had its pleasure and it woes.

What was the most difficult story to write?

Hmm that is hard. My work in progress, which is Book III of the series has been a bit of a fight to whip into shape. Of the published ones, book II. I changed the ending, as I released I’d blocked myself in with what I’d planned, this meant changing the ending, the beginning of book III (which I’d planned by then). Also at the time my mother was dying of cancer, and so obviously my mind was elsewhere. 

Any future works you would like to talk about?

Book III is in progress, and hopefully will be out by the end of the year. I also have some anthology pieces coming up in the Wyrd Worlds sequel, one is a darkly humorous tale about missing socks (it makes sense when you read it – honest) and the other is a story about a god and the little green-blue world he cares for.
The Indie Collaboration has just released Summer Shorts which also has a darkly humorous fairy tale. Hopefully there will also be a charity anthology later in the year.

Where can people find out more about you?


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