A.L. Butcher

Author Interview Form
Tell us your name and where you’re from.:
Hi I am A.L. Butcher and I live in the South West United
What led to your decision to become an author?:
It wasn’t really a decision as such, I have been writing
something or other for many years. Self-Published on the other hand
would have been 2 years ago this June. I had a story based on
something I had written for something else and I was encouraged to
expand and publish it.
Tell us about what you’re currently working on, and
what you’ve written in the past.:
Currently I am working on the third part of my dark adult
fantasy series. The stories are set in the fictional world of Erana,
which is dark world where magic is illegal and many people live as
slaves. This particular book follows some of the characters introduced
in BOOK II as they embark on an adventure to prove one of their number
fit to lead her people, and solve a mystery.
What are some of your strongest points as a writer,
and what if anything are you constantly working to improve upon?:
Oh hmm, I am creative and daring. My books are cross genre,
including having sexual relationships between the characters. I try
and turn tropes on their head and use them in a new way. What can I
improve on? I think many writers mature in the craft as they write and
there is always something to learn. My typing has improved. My grammar
has (hopefully) improved and I am more confident.
Are you self published, traditionally published or
both? Why did you choose to go that route?:
Self-Published. I like the freedom it gives, as I am in
control of how much I charge, time scales and where I want the book to
go. I think many self-published authors risk more than they would with
a traditional publisher who might prefer a safer, more guaranteed
What format are your books available in? Which of
these formats do you prefer and why?:
The two novels are both e-books, and in print and one (the
first) is also available in large print. I am also planning to release
them as audio books. The short story collection is just an e-book but
will also be an audio book soon.
How do you go about marketing your books?:
Marketing is one of the hardest parts for me. I hate pushy
salespeople and that is a great way to stop me buying a product.
However if I want to sell books I need to let people know the book is
out there and what it is about. I use Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter,
interviews and a blog, mostly. Each has its merits and drawbacks. I
do think networking is important and engaging with potential readers.
Talk about more than the book, help other authors, and treat people
how you want to be treated. If all you harp on about is BUY MY BOOK
then people will stop listening pretty fast. Blogging is useful, it
is a way for others to get to know you and to practice writing and of
course you can cover a wide variety of topics.
Have you ever had to deal with harsh criticism in a
review, and how do you handle it?:
I think most authors get an unfavourable review at some
point. I was upset at the first one, but then I thought not everyone
will enjoy a book, see what the author intends or like what some
others like. It would be a very dull world if we all shared exactly
the same interests and opinions. That is the key word here – opinion.
Check any book on Amazon and I’d bet there will be someone who thought
the book was wonderful and someone else who hated it. Reviews are
opinions, and people review for all sorts of reasons and in all sorts
of ways. If the reviews focus on technical issues like typos then
these can be fixed. If someone simply thought there was too much
sex/violence/religion/background or not enough then there is probably
not that much to be done. Don’t respond to reviews ESPECIALLY negative
ones, even if you really want to. It just isn’t worth it and a lot of
readers get upset by things like that. Would you like an author
telling you were wrong or perhaps being a bit rude because you didn’t
like their book? Just move on.
What are your favorite genres to both read and
I read a lot mostly classics, fantasy, history or historical
fiction, but I dip into sci-fi, paranormal and science. I much prefer
writing fantasy but I do sometimes write poetry and short
What authors have influenced or inspired you?:
Oh gosh, very many. Gaston Leroux, Alexandre Dumas, Jules
Verne, HG Wells, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Terry Pratchett, David
Attenborough, Richard Adams, Douglas Adams, Frank Herbert, Homer,
Suetonius, Tactitus, Janet Morris, J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie,
William Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters,
Willard Price, Rev. W Awdry…
What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you’re
not writing?:
I like animals, science, history, astronomy and photography
(which I’m not very good at).
What software do you use for your writing? Did you
try others before you settled on the one you’re currently using?:
Word. Not really although I have contemplated Scrivener. I am
too lazy to have to transfer all my notes.
What is it that you like about the software you’re
currently using that makes it the best solution for you?:
I am lazy, I know how to use MSword. It serves my
What’s the best advice you could possibly give to
your fellow authors?:
Be patient, be realistic, read the FAQ and TOS and keep
Where can people find out more about you and your
Blog: http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com
Twitter: @libraryoferana
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm
Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6