Kitchen Imps – Portuguese Edition

I’m delighted to share this! The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales has been translated into Portuguese.

There will be more translations in various languages to follow – plus some of the other books too!

Yay!!!!

Os diabinhos da cozinha e outros contos sombrios

KitchenImps cover - Portuguese Edition

Diabretes impertinentes, meias faltando, ladrões astutos e deuses perplexos aparecem nesta coleção de ficção de fantasia curta.
Os diabinhos da cozinha e outros contos sombrios

Seis contos de ficção de fantasia para toda a família.

https://books2read.com/ContosdeErana

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/contos-de-erana

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/contos-de-erana/id1516863544

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/contos-de-erana-a-l-butcher/1137132605?

https://www.scribd.com/book/464370879/Contos-de-Erana

Author Interview – Simon Williams #Fantasy

Author name: Simon Williams

 *Please tell us about your publications.

I’ve written the five-book Aona series, as well as two novels for all ages (Summer’s Dark Waters and The Light From Far Below) and Embers Drift, a standalone metaphysical fantasy work.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

Definitely a pantser- I start with a collection of concepts / ideas and situations, a few characters, and then I work on it and see where it goes. The plot is determined by how it all turns out, not the other way round.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

Don’t bother trying to get noticed by the big publishers and well-known names. Unless you’re incredibly, unbelievably lucky, they won’t notice you and they won’t care about you. If you believe in your work and your creations, stick at it and carve your own destiny.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work?

Whilst I don’t think authors should (or need to) offer all their works for free, there’s nothing wrong with offering a few of your books (e.g the first in a series) for free if it helps readers to discover you.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews?

One word: don’t! Everyone is entitled to their opinion and not everyone is going to like your creation.

How do you deal with bad reviews?

Generally, it isn’t for authors to “deal” with reviews at all, good or bad. If a review is misleading, offensive or makes categorically untrue statements then you can contact the people who run the medium, whether it be Amazon, Goodreads or whatever else, and ask that it be removed. But if a review is simply by someone who doesn’t like your work- leave it alone. I refer you to my answer above.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

To keep going until you’ve found your “voice” i.e your particular style and method- and if you’re comfortable with it, then stick with it.

Which authors have influenced you the most?

Alan Garner, Clive Barker, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, C J Cherryh, Tad Williams,

Tell us about your latest piece?

Embers Drift is a standalone novel of metaphysical fantasy / mystery with elements of sci-fi and psychological horror, in an industrial / slightly dystopian setting. But although it bridges many genres, it’s conceptually consistent and is really about the lives of four main characters- specifically, the parts of their lives that they’ve forgotten.

 I’m happier about the result than I’ve been with any of my previous works. I reworked it a number of times until I realised that- at last- I was telling the exact story I wanted to tell. So I’m relieved to have finished it but also very satisfied.

 The process of creating was different to the Aona books, largely because they were more complex on a practical / logistical level. But at the same time the process required more effort in other ways- because there’s an overarching concept to Embers Drift which requires some explaining, and my goal was to do this through the lives of these four main characters. It wasn’t easy but in the end it was very rewarding.

What’s your next writing adventure?

So many! Well, several.

 I’m part of the way through writing the first in a new dark fantasy series which will probably seen as more “traditional” fantasy but which will have a number of unique features to it. It explores the nature of magic and of conflict and there isn’t going to be a clear-cut “good vs evil” thing going on- I’m not a fan of such absolutes, I want to explore characters’ motivations, whether or not most people think of them as acceptable. What made them this way? Are they able to change- either for the better, or worse? It’s that aspect that interests me.

 I also have another standalone book in progress- this is more a sort of cosmic horror about three demonic beings who have existed in a vast city for hundreds of years, weaving mischief and woe wherever they go, and a young man from an ancient family of magicians and thieves, who is the only one to suspect their existence.

 Lastly, I’m also working on a somewhat leftfield YA magical realism novella- I’m not entirely certain how this one will turn out but I’m pleased with some of the concepts involved so this may see the light of day shortly.

 What was the last book you’ve read?

The last book I finished was Scar Night by Alan Campbell, which I greatly enjoyed. Industrial, violent fantasy with angels. I’m currently reading The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams and it’s as good as all his other books.

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

I think shops of most kinds are in decline, but in my experience, the number of paperbacks sold has stood up pretty well. I think about a quarter of my sales are paperback, which I don’t think is too bad.

How important is writing to you?

Very. It’s the only thing I’m any good at really, so if I didn’t do it I would truly be a non-entity.

embers-drift-cover-small2 (1)

Meet my Character Week – Talfor Var #Fantasy

Who are you? I am Lord Talfor Var. I am son to Shaman Kherak Var and Hirik Lord of the Var forces. I command the Hirik – the shape-changers you would say – and the non-Hirik warriors of the Trollkind in the community of Varris.

I speak your Common Tongue but not frequently and so my words seem strange to you.

Tell us a little about your world. Trollkind live in Erana, and my tribe live on Helmerri Plateau among Jagged Peak Mountains. My kind tend to avoid the human cities – they think us barbarians because our ways are different. All trolls have some magic – some be Shaman, or Priestess, or Hirik Lord, and some be craftswoman, or warrior, or Past-seer, or storyteller. Magic is forbidden in Erana – the Order of Witch-Hunters forbid it and will kill user of magic if they catch him.

Trollkind keep to the mountains and the rugged places and our ways. We trade with other tribes and humans for what we cannot produce ourselves. Witch-Hunter – he tends not to bother Trollkind in their towns – he does not like fighting large bears, and strong women. He prefers the weak and the cowed. Yet the Witch-Hunters will come sooner or later – this we know.

How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure? My mother is Shaman of our tribe – to you that would be Sorcerer-Queen. She is seer, guide, mother, warrior, healer, and adviser. The human lord Archos of Tremellic came to us for aid. He is father to my sister, Mirandra – our Shamania– and once mate of my mother. He came seeking advice and guidance to retrieve a magic necklace from abandoned temple in our domain. Is dangerous place – full of ghosts and monsters. Temple of the Sky has not been used for many years. The route is treacherous, and humans and elves would not find it alone.

Mother has seen War Which Will Come, and darkness over the land – she knows Archos has a part to play in how it ends. Who will be the victor? That we do not know. Mother said ‘All paths lead to war’ and the Trollkind will not shirk from duty or combat.

Who are your companions? Mir’Rillith – Lord Archos – the Sorcerer Lord from the human valley in the hills; his elven mate – the Lady Dii’Athella, Olek and Ozena of the Elfkind, the human Marden – a warrior, and his elven scholar who has many secrets.

How many crimes have you committed? Troll Lord would not commit crime, it is dishonourable. We have no need to steal. I have killed in combat but not through rage or passion.

The Witch-Hunters who run the human and elven lands would say I am user of magic, son of magic, protector of magic and declare me outlaw.

In my community I am respected and honourable; in Witch-Hunter law I am criminal.

What trait do you prize most highly in others? Why? Honour and courage, selflessness. Without honour a person falls to weakness. Honour may be to Shaman, or his lord, or her kin, or his land, for example. If one cannot offer others kindness and help then one cannot expect same in return.

What trait do you abhor most in yourself or others? Cowardice. Preying on the weak and harming children.

Would you die for those you love? Would you kill for them? – Yes. I am sworn to protect my Shaman, my Shamania and those I serve.

Do you believe in a god/s? Ethnii’a the Goddess of the Sky blesses us. There are gods and magical creatures all around us – if we honour them as is due they may help us.

Do you believe in magic? What a foolish question. Of course.

Why should we read about your adventures? We go to find a stolen item, we go to seek a long lost city. We go to free the land from a curse.

 

Mandatory info (author):

 

Author’s name: A. L. Butcher

Link to book or books where this character appears.

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden, and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy.

(18 rated)

 

Now in audio narrated by Shakespearean actor Rob Goll.

Universal Link https://www.books2read.com/ShiningCitadel

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2c5LghC

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iqOXkr

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hHRv9K

I-books http://apple.co/2j0B4u8

IndieBound https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781489591227

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2EeaCaJ

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2BVsHVK

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2i3tf5t

 

The Stolen Tower – the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III

What stalks the land cannot be  but is.

Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails, there will be no tribe to lead.

Universal Link https://www.books2read.com/StolenTower

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2ivJjeL

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2hKF4Ns

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hKOZTv

I-books http://apple.co/2iBiA2E

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-stolen-tower-the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles-book-iii

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/649087

IndieBound https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781519600707

Angus and Robertson  https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebooks/the-stolen-tower-the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles—book-iii-a-l-butcher/p/9781311973153

Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter page

Meet My Character Week – Justin the Wizard #Fantasy #Meetmycharacter

Author’s name:  J. K. Lutes

Link to book or books where this character appears.

 

CHARACTER’S NAME:  Justin

Who are you? (Give a brief description of yourself)

I am a White Wizard, so I have mastered the four elements and I can command plants, animals, magical creatures, and dragons.  A dragon sired one of my ancestors, so I also possess Dragon Magic, so I can use the breath weapon of a dragon.  I have already mastered breathing fire, ice, and lightning.  I can also smell gold, become invisible, and transform myself into an elemental cloud.

How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure?

My father told me stories every night before I fell asleep, and my favorite story of them all was about the fall of our ancestor’s ancient city.  The fall of the city was awful, but it was my ancestor who led the survivors to safety and founded their new home.  I heard the story one last time on the day I faced the trials to see what sort of magic I would learn.  When I finished my training, I traveled back to the ancient city to recover magical weapons that were lost during the attack.  Not only will I have to face the creatures that now inhabit the city, but the journey to get there is filled with perils of its own.

Who are your companions?

My friend, Grace, accompanied me on my journey, so that she could summon animals to scout the city for us.  Alyssa, the wizard who taught me plant magic, has come along to recover an ancient crown lost by the faeries during the fall of the city.  Lauren, the wizard who taught me gold magic, has come along to recover a dragon lance lost by her most famous ancestor.  And finally, Niall, another White Wizard, has come along to recover Cumhacht, the sword of power.

What is the government structure of your world? Are you happy with this or do you strive to change the status quo?

My city is ruled by a council of wizards, one wizard from each of the wizard sects of my city.  While they seem to have the best interest of the city at heart, they seek personal fame and recognition.  They are also stuck in the past and refuse to allow my people to grow beyond their current constraints for fear that they will lose their power and influence.

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about them.

My mentor is Riordan, and he is a White Wizard.  He is a distant cousin of mine and both of our families descend from Lucinor, one of the most famous White Wizards in the history of my people.

What trait do you abhor most in yourself or others?

            During the planning stage of our quest, a wizard who should have accompanied us sought riches rather than help.  And while on my adventure, I noticed that one of my companions was willing to put his own needs above the needs of everyone else.  His selfishness could have led to our capture, or worse, our demise.  Selfishness is the trait that I most abhor.

Tell us about your family.

My father, Jerome, is a Red Wizard.  He can control fire, but unlike most other Reds, he can also control air.  He is the Master of the Great Forge and the weapons that he produces are prized above all others.   My mother was a Gold Wizard, so she could control dragons, but she disappeared when I was twelve.

How does your society deal with those on the edges? Do you approve of this?

My city recognizes nine types of Wizards.  Red Wizards control fire, Blues control water, Greys control air, Blacks control the earth, Greens control plants, Browns control animals, Silvers control most magical animals, and Golds control dragons.  White Wizards possess the ability to use all eight of the basic types of magic.  Within the last hundred years some wizards have found that they possess the ability to use more than one of the basic forms of magic, but not all eight.  Those wizards have been labeled anomalies and have been encouraged not to use more than one type of magic.  I do not approve of this practice; I believe that a wizard should explore all of his or her powers and expand their knowledge as much as possible.

Do you have a best friend/worst enemy?

My best friend is Grace, she is a Brown Wizard, which means she can control the animals of this world.  She is following in the footsteps of her mother, who passed along her love of animals.  She has two animal companions:  a golden eagle named Spiorad (Spirit), and a mongoose named Diabhal (Devil).

 

Do you believe in magic?

Of course I believe in magic, I have used it most of my life.  From an early age I was able to cast spells that most other students could not.  An older student gave me a spell to polymorph inanimate objects, and I got in trouble when I scared my mother by transforming a stick into a snake.

 

Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter page

Facebook Page

https://brigidstrove.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18528487.J_K_Lutes

Elfhame – Anthea Sharp – Review #Fantasy #Fairytales

Elfhame – Anthea Sharp

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Mara is a girl with adventure in her soul, and she wants more than her mundane village and boring suitor can offer. Her life is one of few future prospects save a dull marriage, hard work and popping out children. She has no special skills of which she is aware, save more intelligence than usual, courage and a curious nature.

Prince Bran is the heir to not only the Hawthorne Throne, an-end-of-the-world prophecy, but he’s a fearsome Dark Elf. His life is filled with duty, war and magic. He is taciturn, a powerful sorcerer and fearsome warrior.

These two are linked – by a prophecy one has lived by and the other is blissfully unaware of. Aside from that, they have little in common.

Fate has her way and our two fine heroes meet; there are deceptions, battles with unpleasant monsters, surprises, unlikely friendships and a rollercoaster ending.

Told like a fairytale, the story is engaging (I read it through in a couple of hours as I couldn’t put it down), and the characters are great. Mara quickly captures the readers – feisty and brave, a bit naive but knows her own mind and is not afraid to say so. She is not a wallflower.

Bran is a sympathetic character – doing his duty and fulfilling a prophecy that will save his people, despite his own reservations, safety and happiness. The elves are seen by the humans as alien and ‘hideous’, with strange and mythical ways; the humans are viewed as primitive and weak. And both factions are proven wrong.

Well-crafted and filled with adventure this fantasy tale is definitely one for readers of mythic tales and fairy tales. Younger readers may find the monsters and the battles unsettling but this is a good read for any age.

5 stars.

New Release – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Erana Box Set

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Erana Box Set

Books I-III of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, plus two novellas set in the world of Erana.

Featuring:
The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book I
The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II
The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III
Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake – novella
Tales of Erana: The Legend of Oeliana – short novella – updated and expanded for this edition

That’s a saving of 3.49 plus a free story!

Adult rated*

https://books2read.com/LBTSboxset

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088DNVR69/?tag=kydala-20

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088DNVR69/?tag=kydala-20

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/noresults/2940162777922

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles-erana-boxed-set

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1512618270

https://bundlerabbit.com/b/light-beyond-storm-chronicles-bundle-erana-boxset

LBTS ERANA BOX SET V2 FINAL

Curse of the Blacknoc Witch – Blog Tour #Fantasy

Curse of the Blacknoc Witch
by Tori V. Rainn
Genre: Fantasy
Samuel dreamed of being a lot of things, but a monster trapped in a forest realm never entered his mind. The Blacknoc Curse wasn’t supposed to be true, only a children’s story meant to persuade them away from evil. Yet, here he was tasked with hunting cursed kids. There’s nothing left for Samuel except the horror surrounding him.
Layla, a young girl tormented by the same curse, is dropped into the terrifying forest every night, running from the monsters intent on taking her life. She meets Samuel and vows to save all the children, especially Samuel, from their torment.
Working together can they defeat the Blacknoc Curse?
Tori V. Rainn is a Texas-based fantasy novelist who is on a lifelong mission to inspire her readers through the power of imaginative storytelling. During her creative journey, an array of her short stories have been showcased in various online zines. It all started when she took a writing course at Writer’s Village University, which earned her a Creative Writing Certificate. The moment she penned her first story, she knew writing was her ultimate calling and greatest passion.
When she isn’t crafting thrilling plots, you can find this avid video gamer watching her favorite shows, collecting unique knives, or going on meditative walks in the heart of nature. She is also a chocoholic and tea aficionada with an unquenchable sweet tooth. Above all else, Tori enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.
$15 Amazon gift card, Swag Packs with Bookmarks Keychains.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

#Heroika Skirmishers – Tom Barczak

Heroika 2: Skirmishers – Souls of a Lion

My name is Thomas Barczak. Souls of a Lion tells the story of the twinned souls of Lavi, young men made assassins, both behind enemy lines, both alone, one against the Romans beneath the shadow that was Masada, and the other in the Warsaw Ghetto fighting back against the German occupation, both of them, ultimately and tragically, betrayed by their own people as well. Ultimately, only a girl in red is left for them to save, if there is to be any chance at all of saving themselves from both the hell and death of war. Death of the body. Death of the soul.

I have always listened to the idea of two people joined across time. Unable to speak to one another, they are sometimes given a glimpse. Sometimes, the actions of one may help, or even hurt, the other. The parallels of the Hebrew people’s struggle against both the Romans and the Nazis has always spoken to me as well. I am not Jewish by either faith or blood. I am only an author who has studied some portions of history. I have learned that when you study history, that truth is nearly always stranger than fiction. This is what compels me.

As I went deeper into these two different, yet similar, points in time, the twinned trials of this one group of people spoke to me of something deeper as well. All dogma and religion aside, it spoke to me of how a few, and sometimes even a one, who were willing to rise above circumstance, and sometimes, even the ones they were fighting to protect, to defend against their loss. They had to have to known their likelihood of failure. Perhaps it didn’t matter. Perhaps they weren’t just doing it for themselves, but for generations yet to come, or perhaps, generations that have already been.

A Skirmisher, by definition, is one who goes forward, ahead of the lines, who seeks engagement alone with the enemy, that stands apart, ahead, to protect those that are behind them. They do this with steel on the battlefield, they do it with spirit on the battlefield of their soul.

Lavi is the name shared by the hero(s) of this story, a soul that has already been shaped, and worn, and betrayed as the story opens beneath the new moon over Masada. He is a calculating and shrewd killer who struggles with lament. In the dark night of the Warsaw ghetto the soul, and the name, belong to someone very different, a boy on the leeward cusp of everything he knew, but there is no going back when everything to go back to is already gone. One Lavi still seeks redemption, while the other still looks for something to save.

To both, a little girl in red offers them their only salvation, if not for themselves, then perhaps for the other, or one past, or another yet still to come.

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#Heroika Skirmishers – Charles Gramlich and His Character

Author section

Name: Charles Gramlich

Why did you choose that time period/group of people to write about? I’ve long been fascinated with the Haudenosaunee, the Native American people often referred to as the Iroquois. They were highly advanced both culturally and militarily. They often accepted non-Haudenosaunee people into their tribes. They had a rich history, full of stories and legends. I believe there are many stories to be told of the Haudenosaunee.

What is your usual genre? I consider my genre to be adventure fiction, which is a cross-genre genre. It can take form in tales of fantasy, science fiction, horror, western or historical, and I like to write all of those. Most of my work has been in fantasy and westerns.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m something in between, although probably more of a pantser. I tend to start stories based on a character and situation, without knowing where they’re going. For most stories and books, though, I quickly develop a plan for the ending and then write my way toward it. I don’t do a detailed synopsis, however.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Originally, I wanted to be an astronaut and pro football player. When I started thinking about life a little more realistically, I decided I wanted to be a writer and a teacher. I’ve managed both of those, although I make a lot more money as a teacher than a writer.

Name three things you really love about writing and three things you don’t like. Writing is the closest humans can come to godhood. It is an act of sheer creation, of people and whole worlds. That’s my favorite thing. I also love beautiful language, which, from my point of view, is an important part of the work of writing. I like the task of shaping a rough story idea into its final, polished form. I don’t particularly enjoy the business aspects of writing, of trying to sell one’s work, or the hassle of promotion. I know these things are necessary but they are not joyous to me.

If you could invite anyone from history or literature to dinner who would you choose and why? Literary characters would generally have lived a much more adventure-filled life than any real historical character. Imagine the tales Burroughs’ John Carter could tell, for example, or Howard’s Conan. I think I’d have to pick Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane, though. A scary fellow to have over for dinner, but it would be memorable.

 

Character Section

Name:  Sheaugu

How do you come to be on this adventure? I was away hunting when my people were attacked by beings that I can only describe as monsters. They killed my wife and many of my friends and relatives, and I wanted revenge. But much more than revenge, I wanted to save my young daughter, Genessee. It was love rather than hate that made me take up my weapons and follow those monsters.

Are you brave? I don’t think I’m brave. I was frightened and hid when I first saw the monsters flying on pillars of fire. I was more terrified when I realized they’d killed so many of my people, including my wife. If it had not been that I believed my daughter to be alive and a captive of the monsters, I don’t know if I would have dared pursue them. But I knew her terror had to be even greater than mine.

What do you REALLY think of your author? I think he has empathy for others. He knows what it’s like to lose. He’s clearly a father. He knows the kind of terror parents can feel for their children when they’re in danger. I’m pretty sure he hopes to never have an adventure quite like mine.

Do you have a moral code? I think people have to do things that allow them to live with themselves. For me, that means providing food and shelter for my family, showing them that I love them, and, if necessary, sacrificing my comfort and even my life for them.

What is your favourite thing? To sit in the longhouse by the fire on a cold night, with the day’s work done and meat in my belly, and to watch my daughter growing into a fine young woman.

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AUTHOR BIO (short)

Charles Gramlich lives amid the piney woods of southern Louisiana and is the author of the Talera fantasy series, the SF novel Under the Ember Star, and the thriller Cold in the Light. Many of his stories have been collected in the anthologies, Bitter Steel, (fantasy), Midnight in Rosary (Vampires/Werewolves), and In the Language of Scorpions (Horror). Charles also writes westerns under various names. Charles’s work is generally available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Wildside Press. He is on facebook and blogs at:  http://charlesgramlich.blogspot.com

 

#Heroika Skirmishers – A L Butcher and her Character #Historical Fantasy

Author section

Name A.L. Butcher

Give us a brief synopsis of your story A new religion sweeps the land on the point of a sword, and the old gods are none too happy. A mysterious plague fells lord and peasant alike, a woman on the margins of society knows a cure – but to seek it brings a risk of death and unleashes awful magic.

What is your usual genre? Fantasy/Fantasy erotica.

How do you define a hero? A selfless person – who will do what others won’t, someone, even at great risk to themselves.

Is being a writer ‘what you do’ or ‘what you are’? I’ll rephrase that as ‘being a storyteller’. Being a storyteller is what you are. If you don’t have that it can’t be what you do. Not everyone who tells stories writes them down. Not everyone who writes tells a story. Storytelling is as old as humanity – it helps to make sense of the world, to explain the unexplainable, to find a better life, and place for a while, to escape, to be brave, to be loved, to be noble. And to be wicked.

I think if you are a storyteller those tales, those adventures will find a way to be told – to your kids at bedtime, secret files no one will ever see on your computer, that hidden notebook, the distraction at meeting times.

Many people who do write down their stories will never publish them, or if so beyond their family and friends. There is a craft to writing – oral storytelling is probably more forgiving than the written word, but there are certain rules, of course. And that’s the ‘what you do’ bit – the learning of that.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A squirrel. When I was little I was obsessed with them (I still am to a degree). My first stories were about two squirrels called Patch and Silky, they had many adventures

Name three things you really love about writing and three things you don’t like.

3 things I love: I can create something from nothing. I am never alone. I can go anywhere.

3 things I hate: Too many characters wanting their stories told at once. Marketing books. Typos.

If you could invite anyone from history or literature to dinner who would you choose and why? Let me see…. Shakespeare, Terry Pratchett, Tolkien and Homer to provide the after-dinner stories; Mozart, Erik, the Phantom of the Opera and Freddy Mercury for the music; Tempus, King Arthur, Frodo Baggins, Boudicca for the anecdotes. We’d have a dish from each of their favourite foods. I dare say there would be a drink or two.

 

Character Section

Name: Moira

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a herbalist, I hold some of the old knowledge – my father and brother were Guardians – protectors of the old religions – but I only barely knew my father and my brother his disappeared. The women of my line are what you would call witches. My land is overcome with the fierce new religion of Arun, and so I must hide what I am.

I live alone, my mother is gone and I have none who care except Mordicai, the Smith’s son, and Old Robin – the village recluse. Mordicai is set to marry another and Robin is frail and elderly. Soon I shall have no one. But the people here need me, at least when it suits them.

How do you come to be on this adventure? There is a plague on our town – much death and sickness. The new god, Arun, has done nothing to allay it, so someone must seek an answer or everyone will be taken.

Tell us a bit about the society in which you live. The Lord-Reeve is reasonable enough – he tries to keep the peace in a time or fear and uncertainty. He is the Duke-Regent’s man – and that too is an unsettled state of affairs. The Archduchess rules in the name of her daughter – the old Archduke’s only living heir – and there has never been a woman on the throne. The Duke Regent is a dragon-rider – not a nobleman and assists her in governing the land, but they are distant from us.

This new religion is brought with sword and fire and all must convert or die. The old ways allowed for many gods, many beliefs – and the magics and rituals which went with them.

It’s less than a decade since the end of the war, and the lands are still recovering.

I am female, of the old bloodlines and the old beliefs and so I must take care. I cannot appear to be what I really am – Arun’s priests despise my kind – they are afraid they may be wrong, I suppose.

Are you brave? I do what must be done when others will not. But I fear many things – the new god’s followers, the loss of knowledge, the sword and the flame.

If you could have three wishes what would they be? I wish for the plague to be gone, I wish to be allowed to live my life in peace and safety, I wish that people would get on with one another.

Do you think you make a difference in your world? I hope so.

 

AUTHOR BIO (short)

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

She also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit – for the most part the speculative fiction Here Be Series

Awards: Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales won best fantasy for 2018 on NN Light Book Heaven.

Echoes of a Song – one of her Phantom tales – won best fantasy 2019.

Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters; and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

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