Happy New Year and Sod Off 2016

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2017 🙂

2016 was an odd year. The Grim Reaper was busy taking the great and the geniuses and politics went insane.

Some of the notable losses from the genius-pool were:

Carrie Fisher (actress/writer), Prince (mega musician), David Bowie, George Michael  (musician), Richard Adams (author), Vera Rubin (astronomer), Debbie Reynolds (actress), Zsa Zsa Gabor (actress), Berhard Fox (actor), Peter Vaugh (actor), Ronnie Corbett (comedian), Victoria Wood (comedienne), Terry Wogan (veteran broadcaster).There are lots more…. Wiki 2016 deaths:(

Of course many ordinary folks passed on too, some known to me (such as our neighbour, my friend, and Rich M – an author friend and good guy.  I’m not sure why but the losses this year seemed to weigh more heavily than ever before.

I’m not sure about you but I felt there was an air of uncertainty and fear. In Britain, there was a referendum to leave the EU, and many people were surprised and disappointed by the result. I know I was. Whatever one’s thoughts on that ‘Brexit’ (and I REALLY hate that term) is on the cards and the racists and bigots have once again crept out from under the rocks they inhabit. Of course, not everyone who voted to leave has right wing views, and many people voted in accordance with what they thought would be the best for themselves and the country. That said, the potential backlash and the potential instability was not well approached by the elected, or indeed the electorate.

And the US – well that is a whole different level of weird. Seriously? Him? Why? Whether or not you’re a supporter of that person, and I’m definitely NOT in that camp, the election result has sparked a great deal of unrest, and uncertainty both with the USA and internationally. Along with the ever-increasing terrorist threat humanity (at least in the West) appears to be edgy, suspicious of neighbours and former ally and former enemy, and not thinking through actions and decisions.  Either that or the moron apocalypse has started.  You know something – just because some other folks have a different god (or same god with a different name), or have a different skin colour, or sleep with someone you don’t approve of – it DOESN’T MATTER. The world will not end because of gay marriage, religious discrepancies, skin colour, or someone interfered in someone else’s election/government etc. It MIGHT very well end due to people being ASSHATS to one another. People are people. When it comes down to it we are all much the same.

Some days I wonder if it’s all some complex and twisted novel or game to amuse and entertain some alien or higher power with a warped sense of humour. But if it WAS a story would anyone believe it? Basically -SOD OFF 2016 – we’re done with you.

OK, so that’s enough of the politics for now.

What has 2016 delivered for me in the way of writing, and research?

Books:

Shining Citadel – second edition – which brought a few changes, another edit and a tightening up here and there.

The Kitchen Imps – The first in the Fire-Side Tales Collection of short, humorous fantasy tales for all the family. Available in e-book, print, and audio.

Shattered Mirror – A Poetry Collection. I’d been toying with the idea of releasing the poems for some time. Many are introspective, others inspired by current or recent world event, and a few are miscellaneous. Poetry is hard to sell and it is a bit of a niche market. That’s not why I write it (which is just as well). Poetry helps me order my thoughts and emotions. For me – it’s a way of looking at the world, and the foolishness therein.

Echoes of a Song  – This is the first in the Legacy of the Mask series. A short public domain work based on Phantom of the Opera. Phantom was and is the love of my life. I first saw the show and read the book many many tears ago and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. Echoes was actually written some while ago but I only decided to publish this year. It’s dark, tragic and emotional. Don’t expect a happy ending…

The Watcher – Rewritten piece based on Jack the Ripper for the charity anthology Boo! Fore! Again this is pretty dark (as you’d expect) and rather disturbing but it IS a horror anthology.

Course in Ancient Egypt- Coursera

Diploma in Social Media Marketing – Shaw Academy

Short Story Writing Course

Also started using Hootsuite (which is GREAT).

I read 60 books (and some re-reads). Good Reads reading challenge Don’t ask how many I bought.

Actually, that’s not a bad haul for 12 months – considering ill-health (thank you Fibromyalgia), building work, day job and the general stresses of life.  I’d hoped to get a bit more of Book IV done but I go where the stories take me.

It’s been a pretty active year on the blog – lots of interviews, reviews, advice pieces, spotlights and more.

Soooo what’s the plan for 2017? I say plan but I don’t really do plans it’s more a general meandering in the right direction.

At least one Tales of Erana novella from the two I have in progress;

Working on Book IV;

Release of Shining Citadel in audio (imminent)

Adult fantasyesque sexy fun book as from my alter ego (more about that soon)

Hopefully another Heroika anthology piece (assuming it’s accepted).

Website

Newsletter

I plan to be more consistent with promotion (and less distracted by facebook)

Formatting course, and (hopefully) some freelance work. I’m not going to say too much about this now but there MIGHT be some expanding of the skill set in 2017…

I have several over Udemy and Coursera courses lined up too. – Including learning Latin, various writing and history courses, and some more marketing.

I’m planning to write every day. Even if it’s 5 words…

2017 – I’m coming to get ya

Back Catalogue 7 – Interview

Originally posted here – http://www.bookwormiespot.com/2016/04/interview-alexandra-archer.html

Although I did notice the blogger seemed to think my name was Alexandra Archer – no idea where that came from!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’m A.L Butcher (Alexandra), a British fantasy author.  I have a background in sociology, history, mythology and politics.

Thus far I have three novels in the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series: think sex and sorcery – it’s adult (definitely) fantasy/fantasy romance, several short stories set in the same world in the Tales of Erana series, and a number of other anthology pieces, including one in Heroika: Dragon Eaters – an exciting new anthology of heroic fiction from Perseid Press.

 

I’m working on a novella for Tales of Erana, a second edition of The Shining Citadel (Book II of the Chronicles) and Book IV of the series. Hopefully there might be a short horror collection this year – but as I have been saying that for the last 4 years don’t hold your breath!

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Series Banner

Which writers inspire you?

Lots – Alexandre Dumas, Gaston Leroux, Mary Shelley, Terry Pratchett, JRR Tolkien, Homer, Ellis Peters, Colin Wilson, Victor Hugo, Bram Stoker…..

 

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Novels no, short fiction yes. I’ve written historical style fantasy with author Diana L. Wicker. Outside the Walls is a tale of love in the aftermath of war, and courage to do what is right.

 

When did you decide to become a writer?

I always get asked this – I don’t think one ‘becomes’ a writer. It’s like any other form of art either you are an artist or you’re not. Painters paint, musicians play and writers write – even if it’s just for themselves. How many songs have been written that have never been played, or stories written that are never read? Thousands, maybe more. Just because the story wasn’t published doesn’t mean someone isn’t a writer.

 

I’ve always been creative, writing poems and short stories all my life. Poetry helps me cope – it can be a very evocative form of expression.  I think I was what’s called ‘an imaginative child’ – which translates as doesn’t concentrate because she’s off in some other world. I spent a while writing fanfic and adventures for games. The novels sort of morphed from a project I’d written for something and never used.

 

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I have a full-time day job so I tend to write in the evening and at weekends.

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Tales of Erana

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? 

I tend to see where the adventure goes. I’ve tried outlining but I usually end up doing something else entirely so I let the story take me where it needs to go. Sometimes it doesn’t work, mostly it does.

 

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? 

Not really. Readers will review – or not. Can’t make ‘em do it. As a I reader I don’t review every book I read, maybe 1 in 5. I try if it’s an indie author or I particularly liked a book, but not always.

 

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Reviews are a particular reader’s point of view. It might vary wildly from the opinion of the next reader. Not everyone has the same tastes, looks for the same thing from a book or interprets a book in a certain way. Negative reviews happen, get over it. If an author wants a review then they must take the good and bad. A review should be honest, if a reader doesn’t like a book then they don’t like it.

 

As an author it’s nice to be told someone likes your work but reviews are for readers. If an author isn’t confident in their work how can they expect a reader to be?

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

My blog or my author profiles on Good Reads and Amazon.

Blog: https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

Any comments for the blog readers?

Fantasy and folklore are at the core of our cultures – every culture had and still has folklore and myth, storytelling and song. Of course now there are movies, miniseries, books, e-books, audio, plays, radio etc. and so the scope for it is vast. Think about it – within, say even just British culture we have King Arthur, St George, dragons, fairies, ghosts, Shuck, giants, monsters, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy…. They may be stories we tell our kids, or were told as kids but they are still there ingrained in our culture. Look at the success of Harry Potter, Thor, Batman, Superman, Ironman, Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit… to a greater or lesser extent fantasy pervades and is very popular.

 

There are several places which claim to be Camelot, the Welsh flag has a dragon and dragonlore is big in Wales. We have the Giant’s Causeway, a few places called the Giant’s Seat, Giant’s Hill or whatnot. Of course some of the myths harken back to pre-Christian religions and beliefs, adapted Christian beliefs or simply a way for people to understand the universe. That’s part of the key though – it’s a way to understand the world – perhaps not our real world but pseudo worlds or alternate worlds. We follow heroes and antiheroes who are larger than life – gods, demigods, wizards, reluctant heroes, or even just the guy who is brave enough to step forward when the midden hits the windmill (thank you Frodo). We see part of ourselves in these heroes. It’s rarely as simple as good vs evil. Fantasy is an escape as much as anything else. For a while we find these people/creatures who slay the monster, bring the gifts, deal with the evil overlord – perhaps so we don’t have to.

 

Any feedback for me or the blog?

Erm….no I don’t think so.

Back Catalogue 6 – Audiobooks

 

Hi folks, another ‘back catalogue’ interview. Originally published as http://thaddeusthesixth.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/how-to-make-audiobook-interview-with.html. Do check out this blog and the fantasy books of Thaddeus White – well worth the read.

 

How to Make an Audiobook – interview with Alexandra Butcher

 

Publishing has undergone something of a revolution in recent years, with the advent of e-books and e-readers making it easier than ever to self-publish. There’s also been a resurgence in the popularity of audiobooks. But how does one go about making an audiobook? To answer that (and other) questions, I’ve been joined by Alexandra Butcher, who has recently created the audiobook of The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

 

 

What’s the premise of The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles?

 

The book is set in the world of Erana where magic is outlawed and elves enslaved to the humans. The land is run by the Order of Witch-Hunters – a corrupt organisation who rule by fear and division. Magic still persists. It’s a case of either someone is magical or they aren’t, it’s something a person is born with. How well that person hides their skills can mean life or death. The slavers, too, have a lot of power. Slavery is not illegal – in fact the Witch-Hunters encourage it – the trade of flesh pays well and so the Order gets a cut. It also helps to instil fear in the population.

The book begins with Dii, an elven sorceress who had fled from her Keeper, or slave owner’s, home after years of terrible treatment. She knows next to nothing about the world outside – except it’s a very dangerous place and soon enough she encounters the Order.

We then meet Archos, another sorcerer, who is also a wealthy noble and more besides who, unbeknown to the Order, is working to help the elves and other mages escape from servitude or execution. When the slavers ravage a nearby elven village Archos and Dii set out to try and rescue the missing elves and avenge the village, whilst trying to avoid capture by the Order and other jealous enemies.

It’s been labelled ‘sex and sorcery’ as it’s definitely an adult book as there are elements of romance and erotica. It’s pretty steamy in places 😉 Foremost it’s fantasy/sword and sorcery.

 

It’s recently, as mentioned, been converted into an audiobook. How long did it take, from start to finish, to create and publish the audiobook version?

 

Oh gosh – in the end it was about a year – but part of that was because I was revising the book for a third edition and I had to wait for the editor to do her stuff. The narrator – Rob Goll – was the chap who narrated Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse so I had the advantage I’d worked with him before. Rob had several other commitments – including a Shakespeare festival and narration for Heroika: Dragon Eaters which, as I’d recommended him for I couldn’t really complain. Once Rob had made a start it was actually fairly quick – probably about a month.

As I’d worked with Rob before and I liked his work and style I suggested he audition for Light Beyond so I’d pretty much made my choice of narrator already. With another title of mine Outside the Walls we had a couple of people audition and, as the book was a co-write, it had to be someone both myself and Diana liked. It’s possible to have several narrators audition or none. So it can take time to find the correct person.

It’s a lot more time consuming for the narrator – I understand it’s about two hours work per finished hour – and them they have to ensure there are no background noises, the pronunciation is alright, the gaps between the chapters are the right length etc. ACX has strict criteria about how long the silence is at the beginning or end of each chapter and if it’s too long or too short they won’t approve it. Honestly I can’t tell unless it’s really obvious so I have to trust my narrator on that.

I was lucky with Rob – he’s very professional and there was only one edit and that was my fault… That’s a risk, too, as the audio has to match the manuscript perfectly or the whispersync doesn’t work. If there is a difference, or a mistake then that has to be rectified. Also sometimes when listening the author discovers a particular scene or line doesn’t really work – so that needs to be changed in the MS. It’s a great way of finding those pesky typos that might have sneaked in under the radar. Whether Rob had to do multiple records I don’t know – he didn’t say.

Officially once the narrator has uploaded the files the author can request up to two rounds of editing – so the author needs to listen to the files carefully to decide on any changes. Some narrators will do more but as it’s so time consuming the author can’t send them notes on every little thing unless it really is an error/revision.

The cover art – that has to be square (think a CD case) so that has to be adapted. Then there’s a suitable sample…

 

Audiobooks seem to be enjoying a resurgence as MP3 players are so commonplace and they can be listened to on the commute to work, whilst walking or doing household chores. Excepting your own, do you have a favourite audiobook?

I have a few I haven’t listened to yet (no headphones for my phone and my old phone went into meltdown if I tried to install audible) but I have a version of Phantom of the Opera I love, and Les Miserable – although off hand I can’t remember who narrated. I’ve listened to Chris Morris narrate some work, and other books Rob has done.

I’ve just bought Count of Monte Christo, Dracula and Soul Music, so I need to get listening!

With the classics there are usually a few versions – so the samples are a good way to find a narrator you like.

 

Self-publishing has taken off in a major way for written books. Apart from (obviously) needing the written text, what else do you need to go down the audiobook route?

 

Patience! Each chapter which is uploaded has to be listened to, usually a couple of times, and cross referenced with the manuscript for revisions, background noise, dips in volume, odd sounds pronunciation issues – often the narrator will pick up any sound related issues – but some can slip through.

A book I have just bought on audible is over 50 listening hours so you can imagine the work that went into that!

As I said the cover art has to be reproduced – it’s a bit fiddly – especially if the author has purchased a cover and needs to go back to the cover artist and ask them to do it.

 

How does a writer go about hiring a narrator, and how does the pricing work (is it a fixed fee or does the narrator get a royalty per copy sold)?

There are two payment options available for author/narrators price per finished hour or royalty share. From what I’ve seen quite a few narrators will only offer price per hour – after all the book may not sell many copies so they may not ever a great deal of money for all the work. I can see their point. I’ve not worked with anyone who has only asked for pay per finished hour but I understand the fees vary – so it is up to the narrator and author to negotiate. If the author opts for pay per hour the royalties from the sales belong solely to the author – after all the narrator has already been paid. I think it works out at about 40% royalty rate.

Royalty share is what it says on the tin. The narrator isn’t paid up front – they get a share of any royalties for the audio book sales. It works out at 20% for the author and 20% for the narrator.

This is for the exclusive production on ACX – there are other sites which produce audio so if the book is sold elsewhere then I think the royalty rate is dropped. I can’t recall exactly but I think it’s a seven-year contract.

Once the book is submitted to ACX the author fills in the required info – genre, preferred narrating style, royalty options etc. An author can request a specific type of narrator – British, male, middle aged, West Country for example – of course that limits the potential narrators but it is possible. I’d say it was better to be a bit more flexible. Narrators can then audition by reading the uploaded audition script – usually a five minute chunk of the MS. Sometime the narrators can approach the author with questions. ACX will contact the author/rightsholder and say there is an audition waiting for approval. In theory the author could wait until there are a few or take the first one that comes in if he or she likes it.

If the author likes the audition then he/she can make an offer to the narrator – so royalty share, time scale etc. If the narrator has a lot of other work on, and many of them are actors so may be working on shows, then obviously time scales are important. A 30 hour book would take 60 or more hours to produce and so that is unlikely to be done in a week.

Once both parties are happy the narrator accepts the offer and off you go. There is a lot of legal contract stuff to be considered – it is a contract between the narrator and author and ACX – If the narrator doesn’t turn up with the goods, or the quality is awful then the offer can be rescinded. If the author doesn’t pay up – or there are issues there, then the contract can be rescinded. It’s hard to do – and I think ACX have to mediate but it can be done. There is a 15-minute sample produced by the narrator – and this can be refused by the author, but that’s the only early get out. It’s worth the author reading these rules carefully as it IS a contract with all that entails. So make sure you find the right person for your project.

There are bounty payments too – basically if someone joins the audible members club with the subscription and your book is the first book they buy then the author (or author and narrator for royalty share) get a $50 bonus ($25) for royalty share. I think it’s an incentive to try and persuade people to get fans to sign up.

 

How long does the process take, and what level of direction to the narrator is needed? Did you provide a style guide for unusual fantasy terms?

The initial set up is pretty quick – sign up with the ACX account and claim the relevant book, produce the ‘audition script’ and upload it and wait for narrators to audition.

 

How do you like to listen to audiobooks?

I tend to listen on my laptop, but recently we were listening to Good Omens, Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and Dune played on a tablet via a speaker before bed. My partner tends to listen to them more than I do at the moment. That’s the beauty – audio books are pretty versatile and one can dip in and out, just picking up where one left off.

 

Are there any pitfalls newcomers to making audiobooks should know about?

http://www.acx.com/help/how-it-works/200484210

Make sure you read the FAQ and the contract carefully. ACX actually has a good set of FAQ but their contact customer service is a bit lousy. I’ve had to deal with them a few times – mostly regarding payment of the bounty payments – and once when we discovered an issue that had got past both author, narrator and the quality control. They told me it would be fixed in a week – more like six and with questions regarding the bounty payments the person I spoke to seemed clueless and I ended up having to take screen shots of the issue – namely bounty payments were listed which I hadn’t received and apparently they couldn’t see them on the invoice… no because I hadn’t received them. That took a couple of months going back and forth before it was sorted. It pays to be polite but persistent.

AL: Audible Listener – purchases made by members with membership credits.

ALOP: Audible Listener Over Plan – purchases made by members with cash (not with membership credits).

ALC: A la carte – purchases made by customers not in an Audible Listener membership.

There are royalties for books bought outright by people not in the membership plan, books bought by members using their membership credits, books bought by members NOT using their credits and so the author has to work out what that relates to in actual payments – I get 68c for a ALC sale and a 55c for an AL sale on the same short story. But honestly it’s not always that clear. But they do pay monthly and the royalties usually do turn up on time…. Well except the bounty payments…

The reporting of sales is a bit flaky – it’s supposed to update daily but often doesn’t.

What’s nice is the author gets promotional codes to give out – usually for home store (Audible.co.uk OR Audible.com but can ask for the ones from the other store. It’s a useful way of getting reviews or being able to offer the books as prizes in events.

The email system they have is a bit rubbish – it doesn’t always work – and I’ve been told that by several narrators as well BUT it is useful to have and means you don’t have to give out a personal email if you don’t want to, and any issues you can email direct to ACX support. Oh and they have phone support. KDP doesn’t and that drives a lot of authors mad.

There are a lot of good marketing tips on the blog and ACX have a twitter account. The author needs to do their own marketing – same as KDP – so don’t expect ACX to market your book for you.

Make sure you have the time to put in to it. It’s not easy listening carefully to each chapter. You’re the author – it’s your book being produced and you need to know that it’s correct and done according to what you want. Keep in mind though that a narrator doesn’t know what’s going on in your head – he or she doesn’t know that you want Bob the Postman to speak with a Geordie accent unless it’s made clear in the MS or you tell them. You may not get the book exactly as you’ve imagined it.

Make sure you keep a good relationship with your narrator – especially if you want them to do subsequent books.

 

What are your plans for the future?

The Shining Citadel has been revised for a second edition and will appear in audio – hopefully by the end of 2016. (UPDATED ALB)

The Stolen Tower will eventually get produced as well but that will wait until the second edition as well, depending on how well Light Beyond sells.

I have just produced a short fantasy story set entitled The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales and that’s also just been produced in audio by J Scott Bennett, an American narrator.

Book IV of the series is being written and I’m also working on a Tales of Erana novella so that may well appear in audio in the next year or so.

Links and info

Author Bio:

  1. 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.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

 

 

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series – an adult fantasy/fantasy romance series, with a touch of erotica.

Audio Book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Beyond-Storm-Chronicles-Book/dp/B01DAQRYV8/

http://www.amazon.com/Light-Beyond-Storm-Chronicles-Book/dp/B01DASVPLQ/

http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-Light-Beyond-the-Storm-Chronicles-Book-1-Audiobook/B01DAQSCIC/

http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-Light-Beyond-the-Storm-Chronicles-Book-1-Audiobook/B01DASV3PE/

Back Catalogue 5 – Tales of Erana Interview

Originally published here: http://www.jeffreycollyer.com/#!Author-Interview-AL-Butcher-Tales-of-Erana-Myths-and-Legends/dr2ze/55b8f04a0cf27acb2d8bddd2

Today I talk to A.L. Butcher, author of the collection of short stories, Tales of Erana:Myths and Legends.

 A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, the Tales of Erana 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.

 A.L. what made you decide to publish a novel?

 The short stories came from lore and legends created for the world of my novels. They are mythic in style – similar to fairy tales or old-style legends. The original idea for the characters and world came from a mix of an idea I’d had for a while for a fantasy/mythic world and a character I had for a roleplaying game. Put simply I had a head filled with stories which wanted to be born.

Where do you get your inspiration to write?

 Everywhere. Nature, history, myths, and things I read and see. I tend to get bursts of inspiration at the most inconvenient times, like in the bath or at work.

 If you could pick just one phrase from your writings to preserve for future generations, what would it be?

 Magic has its price and that price was war. Other tribes coveted the Relic, gift of the Lady of the Sky, and so fought the tribes of the Jagged Peaks, staining the rock with blood and even poisoning the streams. In the infancy of the world the mortal races were young and foolish. Some remained so.

 Why have you chosen this collection for your spotlight?

 I think the Tales of Erana series is a great way to highlight the world of Erana. I love myths and lore; these focus on the magic, the legends and other more minor characters in the world. I’d love to get more people to read and listen to the Tales of Erana, they are short tales and can easily be read over a lunch break or on the train so are a good introduction both to the fantasy genre and the setting. The lyrical prose reflects a time of fireside storytelling and great heroes.

The novels are more…adult and unsuitable for younger readers.

 

Where did the ideas for these stories come from?

From the lore surrounding the world creation.

Different authors have differing approaches to writing.  Some prepare very detailed plot outlines before they begin on their first draft, while others have a much looser outline and like to see where the story leads them.  What was your approach with Tales of Erana?

 I’m definitely a pantser! I have an overarching plot for the series but the individual books and stories lead me along. For the short stories I usually have a vague idea of what I want but it is vague. Either the story ends up working – or it doesn’t.

Was there any part of the stories that surprised you as it appeared on the screen in front of you? If so, can you tell us about it?

 The ending to Moon on the Water. It’s not an especially happy ending. Essentially it’s a story of war, love and revenge but it started out as a totally different story.

 Some readers of fantasy like end-to-end action, while others prefer a greater emphasis on the personal journey of the main character(s).  Where would the stories in the Tales of Erana sit between these?

 Individual stories range from more action less ‘journey’ to the other way around. Moon on the Water is tale of forbidden magic, love and the war they bring; The Tale of Treyna the Beloved is the story of how the sun and moon became separated in the sky and the arrival of night and day in Erana – basically you could call it a creation myth of sorts. There’s not much action in that one – it’s the ‘journey’ of the elder gods; Storm Born is a lonely mage’s journey to create a companion – and the aftermath; The Legend of Oeliana is a tale of love, vengeance, magic and broken promises – it’s one of the tales which gives hints for later ones; the Blue Phial is a coming of age tale of a young apothecary. Overall I’d say these lean towards more ‘journey’ than action. That said one of the other tales in the series – Tale of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse is pretty much all action.

Are there any underlying messages hidden within the stories (e.g. life lessons, commentary on society, religion, etc) that you’d like to share?

 The world of Erana is a world of myth, magic and monsters. It’s a world where half the population are enslaved, magic is forbidden and the land is run by martial law. There isn’t an intended message, except perhaps hope. There is always someone to fight for those who cannot defend themselves. And the world will be what it will be – despite the people on it.

 Authors can grow quite attached to some of their characters, and sometimes that attachment can be with minor characters who maybe don’t have a big part to play in the novel.  Are there any characters from Tales of Erana who you’d like to explore in more depth?

 In the paperback collection (Tales of Erana: Volume One) we find Coel – an unwilling hero thrust into a situation beyond his control. He is not a bad person, but he does have to do potentially bad and dangerous things – although in the end for a good cause. Coel will appear in a later book/novella. At least I hope so – he’s fun. (He also appears in Nine Heroes.)

And finally, how influential do you think fantasy is in today’s society? 

 I belief it is at the core of our cultures. Western Civilisation has a basis in Ancient Greek and Roman culture, not to mention Nordic, Judeo-Christian and many others. Whether or not one is religious it is easy to see the heroic/mythic/fantasy elements. Example – I’m British, we have St George, several other saints with mythic backgrounds, dragons, fairies and, of course, King Arthur. We have a great tradition of storytelling, and fantasy authors too. From an early I was told fairy tales, fantasy stories about sentient kitchen equipment, and I read CS Lewis, Lewis Carole, and many others.

 Thanks very much for your time A.L. I wish you all the best with your various stories from the world of Erana.

 You can purchase Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends in various formats from the following links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/

http://www.amazon.com/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

http://store.kobobooks.com/

And on Audio Book

http://www.audible.com/

http://www.amazon.com/

http://www.audible.co.uk/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/

Back Catalogue 4 Another Interview

First published on  in 2013 http://www.kyrahalland.com/blog/author-spotlight-alexandra-butcher

Please visit Kyra’s Blog for more great interviews and reviewd

 

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a British author with a variety of other interests, including nature, history, the theatre, gaming and, of course, reading.  I live in the south-west of Britain with an assortment of pets, plants and books.

 

2. When did you start writing, and why?
I suppose at school, I always enjoyed reading and English Literature and certainly at primary school/middle school age I would get asked to write poetry or short prose for summer events. Always an imaginative person I would often imagine stories or what is now called ‘fan-fic’ from the books I read. More seriously I suppose the fan-fic progressed into more than just a few pages and the poetry continued, albeit darker. Running and playing RPG games, including Warhammer, Vampire and Star Wars  meant I often had to write interesting adventures, and even as a player I often used to come up with complex backgrounds. Yes I am a geek, and proud of it.

Why? That is more of a difficult question. If I am honest probably as escapism as I was often quite unhappy at school and would both read and write to lose myself in new and exciting worlds. All my family like books, my sister is a teacher of English and Drama and my late grandmother was a researcher of local history and had a couple of books published.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write poetry, as I mentioned, but not often now and most of it will never see the light of day. I do have a couple published in an anthology and I recently wrote a summer based poem which will feature in a summer charity anthology, along with a short fantasy story. My main genres, however, are dark fantasy/fantasy romance and erotica.

I love to create the worlds and the adventures, it is very exciting to be able to see the story flow.

4. What is your latest book? Any forthcoming books?
Can I mention both? The first is the ‘Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I’, which was published just over a year ago and I have just released ‘The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II’ which was released just a few weeks ago. I also, as I mentioned, have a short fantasy story and some poetry in ‘A Splendid Salmagundi’. I am just about to start writing Book III of the Chronicles and there will also be some short stories.

5. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book.
The books are set in the world of Erana, a dark medieval-style fantasy world. There are humans, half-elves and elves in Book I and Book II introduces trolls and fae. Erana is not a nice place to live, especially for those of the elven race. Elves are un-free, with no rights, no recourse to justice and often kept as slaves or servants, they are unable to move around freely and many are forced to live in utter poverty. Those who live in their ancestral home – the Shimmering Forest – do so in hiding ever afraid the slavers will come. The land is run by the Order of Witch-Hunters, a brutal and largely corrupt organisation who maintain their power through ignorance, fear and violence. Magic is also illegal. Mages are feared, and anyone who has magic in one form or another must hide it or risk a visit by the Order of Witch-Hunters.  The humans tend to be unkind to the elves. The nobility too are often corrupt and indifferent. Life is hard for the poor and most people are too busy surviving to dare to question the status quo, or in some cases it suits them.

In Book II we are introduced to the trolls – which are not creatures who live under bridges and menace travellers. These trolls are a noble race; strong, and clever but rather insular. They too have magic but it is limited, they are shape-shifters and seers. We also meet the fae, believed to have been banished and nasty – think emotional-vampire mages who use the fear and turmoil of others to enhance their spells. Book II reveals quite a lot more lore of the world, the history of the darkness and of Dii and Archos. More will be revealed later on.

6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Book I features Dii, an elven sorceress and former slave, who runs away from her master’s house in fear of her life. Fleeing into this dark threatening world she must survive and find a way to be free. She is also passionate and loving and to a great extent she needs to be looked after, she is the more submissive of the two mages. She does learn to be a little more dominate but she likes to please, this is a result of her slavery. She is also extremely clever and she finds wonder and joy in many things, such as snowfall, being allowed to read what she wishes and the sheer beauty of the natural world. She is wary of people.

Then there is Archos, a mysterious nobleman and powerful mage who befriends her. Those two have quite the passionate relationship!  Archos is powerful, rich, handsome and dangerous but he can be moved to acts of great kindness and bravery, including at the risk of his own life and his reputation. Archos is a lot of fun, he is a real anti-hero. He fights for the good team but he doesn’t always use pleasant means to achieve his ends. He is also quite mysterious and dark. He is certainly not how he appears. He does have a kind side, his relationship with Dii is very touching and to his friends he is loyal and generous, but to his enemies he is ruthless.

The other main characters are Olek, a half-elven thief and the young elven huntress and scout Ozena, whose sister is taken by slavers. Ozena is the young rather naïve and virginal girl in book I. Raised in a small elven village she knows next to nothing about the world of humans but she is brave in her own way and she is stubborn, if sometimes impulsive. She does not wish to ask the humans for help but she knows she must. She does have a bossy streak though.

Book II has these four, plus Marden who is a human warrior and has other secrets, Th’alia an elven scholar and Talfor a shape-shifting trollish warrior.

What do I like about them? Dii is kind and gentle, despite her terrible history, and as the stories progress she becomes more confident and more sure of her magic and starts to become a formidable mage in her own right in Book II. Olek is amusing. He loves to eat and he has a good sense of humour but again he knows what is needed to be done and he does not shirk from it. He is very worldly, which is surprising for an elf or half elf. He is also very confident, another unusual trait for an elf. Marden is interesting and he develops a lot as a character and a man in book II. Archos is deliciously nasty when he needs to be but he is also quite amusing. He has an air that he knows more than others, but this is often the case. He does. He can be arrogant but in some ways he has the right to it.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
I am frightened of clowns.


Picture

8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
‘The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I’ and The Shining Citadel are available as an e-book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and  I-books.Book links –The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Light-Beyond-Storm-Chronicles–ebook/dp/B0088DQO9C
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481255622 (paperback)
Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
I-tunes | I-tunes UK

Book 2 http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Citadel-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00D4CF6W8

Blog/Websites
www.LibraryofErana.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

Back Catalogue 3 Marden and Th’alia

This interview first appears here – in 2014 Guest Couples – Kyra Halland

  1. How did you meet?

Marden: *Looks awkward.* Th’alia was my captive. I was an escort on a mission for the Order of Witch-Hunters. Those days seem long ago now, foolish, blind days.

  1. What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?

Th’alia: I tried not to like him. I did not confess I liked him but I suppose he was different to the elven men I knew. He was actually quite handsome for a human.

Marden: Th’alia is clever, and there was something I found fascinating, her defiance probably.

3. Did you know when you met that you would end up together?

Marden: No, you must understand I was a Witch-Hunter, she was just an elf. The chance of us both surviving what we had to do was small. So much changed.

Th’alia: Of course not. I knew what he was. What I did I did to save my sister and my town.

4. What do you like best about the other person?

Marden: She is clever. She does not pretend to be someone she is not. She is proud of her heritage.

Th’alia: Marden is brave. He gave up a great deal to be with me. I suppose I do not appreciate that often enough, to have to change one’s beliefs and one’s life cannot be easy.

5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)

Marden: We do not actually have much in common, save a shared history and our son. I suppose we like to assist the people in Tremellic, our new home.

Th’alia: Reading. I like to read and keep the records of my people. Marden is still learning.

6. How has the other person changed you?

Marden: In my old life I was cruel, foolish and unquestioning. I know that now. Th’alia and the other elves and mages have shown me the law is wrong, the beliefs of the Witch-Hunters are wrong. I never thought I could care for an elf, but elves are also people – they love, they hate, they cherish in the same way humans do.

Th’alia: I have a son now, and perhaps my views on humans is more flattering now.

  1. What are the biggest differences between you? How important are these differences?

Marden: There are many differences, I think the biggest is what now should be done to free the elves, Th’alia is unrealistic and she wants to simply tell all the elves what we have found, about the Citadel and Dii but I know this would be very dangerous.

Th’alia: He doesn’t listen to me, he thinks he is right when he isn’t.

8. What do the two of you have in common?

Marden: Our son, our shared secrets.

  1. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner’s family?

Marden: My family would disown me for settling with an elf. My father is very prejudiced and would not see Th’alia for the intelligent woman she is.  He would simply see an elf, a slave. He would undoubtedly ask me to choose.

Th’alia: My twin sister does not exactly approve but if I am happy she is happy. The rest of my family are dead.

10. What role does magic play in your relationship?

Marden: I am not magical, and until recently I believed magic is the cause of all which is ill in society but I now know that is a lie. I am learning about magic – Th’alia I believe is what is known as a scholar adept. She can remember what she has read far better than most, and she has an uncanny knack at languages.

Th’alia. Marden is learning, I am more familiar with magic as my sister is a mage.

11. What are your plans for the future?

Marden: To raise our son with the best of human and elven characteristics. To protect Tremellic. To protect what we have learned.

Th’alia: To let the elves gain their freedom. To be avenged for Ilthendra.

12. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” How is this true for the two of you?

Marden: Well together we are stronger, that is obvious. I do not know much about elves, or elven lore, Th’alia does.

Th’alia: Marden is a good warrior, he will fight when we need him too.

Marden and Th’alia appear in The Shining Citadel

Back Catalogue 2 – Dii and Archos

Originally posted on https://kyrahalland.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/love-magic-guest-couple-archos-and-dii/ for Valentine’s Day 2014.

  1. How did you meet?

Archos: Dii’s magic called to me across the Realms of Magic. She had touched and helped a magic Mirror, one of the old elven artefacts even though Mirror magic is rare. That old Mirror called to mine, I had to see who had activated it. As for actually meeting… I only wish it had been in better circumstances, Dii was imprisoned in an Order fort and was very badly hurt. She almost died.
Dii: He saved my life. I cannot remember first meeting as I was unconscious but I recall our first meeting after I awoke. Archos is a powerful man, and I was very daunted. I had been a slave and I assumed I would be his Kept – his bound concubine. He was very kind, he did not treat me like the others had.

  1. What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?

Archos: By the gods she was beautiful and her magic was like nothing I had seen before. So wild yet so much Power.

Dii: Archos was very kind to me. He is very handsome too.

3. Did you know when you met that you would end up together?

Archos: I wanted her from the moment her magic called to mine. I risked my life and my freedom to find her. We are bound in blood and magic, there is no stranger bond.

Dii: As I explained I had lived as a slave before. If Archos had taken me as a Kept I would have stayed until he tired of me. Elves have no rights, and sorceresses are forbidden. I am so lucky Archos loves me for myself. He does not treat me like a slave. At least here in Tremellic we are equals. It took me a while to realise it.

4. What do you like best about the other person?

Archos: Despite everything which has been done to her Dii retains her kindness. She is also an unbelievable lover.
Dii: He treats me like an equal.

  1. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)

Archos: We do a lot of research together. Magic is very fickle and there is always so much to learn and tame it. Dii is very clever but she looks at it in a different way. I can be over confident and she will ask questions.

Dii: Research, sex and sometimes we will go up to the hills and simply enjoy the open air. Sometimes we will do all three at once.

Archos: Laughs.

  1. How has the other person changed you?

Archos: I have never loved anyone as deeply as I love Dii’Athella. She has brought me so much, and assuaged my loneliness.

Dii: I think I am more confident.

7. What are the biggest differences between you? How important are these differences?

Archos: Dii rarely loses her temper. She can calm me down like no one else can. I am known for my stormy temperament.  She is very much younger than I, so she has much to learn. Her life before I found her was very sheltered, but not to keep her safe. Elves are slaves and cannot move freely so her decision to leave the house of her Keeper must have been difficult, although knowing what he put her through I am not surprised she did, no one should endure it. Consequently she is like an enquiring child in many ways, with an appetite to learn you rarely find.

 

Dii: Archos is much clever than I am. He knows so much. Of course he is a human, well he looks human so he can move about far more freely. It means he can go to the city, or to our little….trading port without me. I cannot leave Tremellic alone. Although now things are more difficult, even a human can be arrested if there are suspicions he is a mage. Vague suspicious are enough and there are more than vague suspicions these days.

  1. What do the two of you have in common?

Archos: Magic of course, research, lore. Getting freedom for the elves and mages is very important to us.

Dii: I would agree, although I am not sure we are ready to fight for elven freedom just yet.  The Witch-Hunters will have other ideas. There are many plans to make.

9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner’s family?

Archos: my family are here. Everyone adores Dii.

Dii: I have no family but those around me.

10. What role does magic play in your relationship?

Archos: Magic is who we are. Our very being is magical, especially mine. Magic tends to demand much, but it also brings a lot of passion. There is nothing to match sex spiced with magic.

Dii: giggles knowingly.

11. What are your plans for the future?

Archos: That remains to be seen. There is much to do, much to learn and many risks to run.

Dii: I would like to live to see the elves free but who knows. As Archos says there are many risks.

Perhaps we will travel again.

  1. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” How is this true for the two of you?

Archos: Magic combined is stronger than magic separated. Dii is skilled in light magic and she is a wonderful healer. My skills are more combat magic, elemental magic.  Working with another who understands what can and cannot be done, and what must be done first is important. Having the woman I love beside me means there is nothing I will not face.

Dii: Archos has many skills I do not, but he sees things in a different way. He is charming but he does not see matters from a woman’s way. Sometimes a woman needs to deal with other women. Many of the women, especially the elven women, have endured terrible treatment at the hands of slavers and they would not confide in a man, especially a human man. My friend Ozena talks to them a lot, but there are some matters which can only be discussed with someone who has themselves experienced it.

Dii and Archos appear in The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and The Shining Citadel.

Back Catalogue 1 – Interview with A.L Butcher

As it’s generally easier to look at posts directly and not have to click on link after link I’ve decided to post some of my ‘back catalogue’ interviews – basically interviews I’ve done elsewhere. Where possible I have sought permission of the original blogger and posted the original link.

Here’s the first – with Michael from Solafide Publishing – a site that promotes indie authors.

http://www.examiner.com/article/interview-with-alexandra-l-butcher-author-of-the-light-beyond-the-storm

http://solafidepublishing.net/interview-with-alexandra-l-butcher-author-of-the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles/

Michael Pang: It has been a while since I’ve been able to find a fantasy book series that built a world with it’s own religions and myths rich enough to seem almost real.  I crave a new book series that creates a world like that of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.  I was lucky enough to come across Alex L. Butcher, Author of The Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles series.  I was able to learn so much about her book series during our interview and I think I’ve found the next Tolkien!

Michael Pang: Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did your background influence the genre you write in?

Alexandra Butcher: I’m a Brit, I grew up in a town not far from London and currently live in the South West. My family are, or were, all great book readers – although with broad tastes from Westerns to fantasy to historical to nonfiction. My grandmother was keen on genealogy, and local history, my sister teaches English and drama, and we are all tellers of stories in one way or another. There were always books in the house, many on history and I was often happier reading than playing with toys when I was a youngster.

I have a background in history – mostly classical and medieval- politics, sociology, mythology, English Literature and to an extent philosophy. Certainly the history, mythology and sociology have helped in my writing. Research is an important aspect of any novel – and all my courses have involved some research, critical thinking and planning. That said I was always a bit of a dreamer, forever writing stories or creating worlds and characters in my head. This is especially true when I’m bored.

Why fantasy? Fantasy is such a versatile genre –the creation of worlds, or at least their manipulation gives so much scope. I love heroic fiction – the heroes of old, magic and mayhem, myth and the otherness of it. I suppose I first began to love fantasy when I read Chronicles of Narnia and saw the play of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I was enchanted – and that set off a love of both theatre and the fantasy genre.

I used to play and run Roleplay games; mainly Warhammer, World of Darkness, Star Wars and Dragon Age so writing characters and adventures and being immersed in those worlds really helped.

 

MP: I can definitely see how your background in classical and medieval history can be an asset to your fantasy novels.  I had also fallen in love with the Chronicles of Narnia at a young age.  That’s probably where my passion for reading really started.  And then I got really hooked on those old Choose Your Own Adventure books. I think that my interest to write might have started because it made me thing of different paths that the protagonists could have taken and creating new storylines.  Where and when did your writing journey begin?

AB: At school. I’m a poet too and often ended up writing either a short story or a poem for the school display. After that it was usually fanfic for Phantom of the Opera, Dracula or later, as mentioned adventures for games.

Recently – I’d say the novels came from the RPG ideas. I’d had an idea for a fantasy world and written some adventures for a separate game and the two came together. I write what I like to read and play.

 

MP: People always make fun of role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and talk about how geeky it was.  I find such games fascinating because it really allows your imagination to run wild and forces you to create a storyline and fantasy world in a very short timeframe.  I think it really takes authors who have great imagination to create worlds that can draw us in and keep us engaged. Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?

AB: Alexander Dumas, I LOVE Count of Monte Christo – which is perhaps one of the great books of revenge. Edmund Dantes is a real anti-hero; Tolkien with his master world building; Homer and the classical authors for their heroes and mythic tales, Janet Morris for her complex characters and her lyrical prose and her attention to detail; Ellis Peters for her weaving mysteries; Gaston Leroux and Bram Stoker for their suspense and terror; and Mary Shelley for going where, perhaps, no female writer had dared go before.

 

MP: Definitely a great list of authors! As a writer myself, I find it harder and harder to allot time for writing due to working full time and having young children. What does a typical day in your life look like?  And how does your writing routine fit into your day?

AB: I work full time, so writing has to be done in the evenings and weekends. For some reason my boss gets cross if I sit at my desk writing stories. I’d like to say I write every day but that isn’t true. I try but if I am tired or stressed often I find I can’t, especially as I have a few health issues which exacerbate this. I do try and do something though – be it editing, reading, planning, promotion or actual writing.

 

MP: It is definitely a struggle to juggle and of theses things. How did you come up with the idea for your book series, “The Light Beyond The Storm?”

AB: Book I came from the idea I’d had for a game, and a world. It just grew really. The seed was there, and the characters evolved from other characters, and from other ideas. Much of the story created itself as I wrote. The later books came from the world and plot of the first – Book II follows the same characters, plus a couple of new ones, tying up loose ends from Book I. Book III follows a slightly different group, although Talfor, who is featured in book II is there, and it comes from the aftermath of book II, although the characters aren’t aware of that at the time. As the books progress the overarching series plot begins to be revealed, and the world begins to change.

The world of Erana is a world where the use and possession of magic is illegal, but magic is everywhere. It’s a world of martial law but resistance is there, and a world where half the population is enslaved, but hope is there. It’s a world which is changing – whether its inhabitants like it or not. I suppose you could say the character can try and control the storms to come or be destroyed by them.
MP: Fascinating!  What do you think sets your book series apart from all the others fantasy series current on the shelves?

AB: One of my reviewers described the series as ‘sex and sorcery’. Both feature strongly. The characters, particularly the mages, are passionate and there are…shall we say some very adult scenes. Hopefully these help to build the characters – Dii was a slave – she was treated very harshly and yet she finds a man who adores her, is kind to her and she blossoms into the person she should have been. Ozena is a shy, rather innocent elf raised in a small village in the forest – she knows nothing about the world. When she meets the worldly Olek she discovers more than just another way of life. Their relationship grows slowly, as opposed to Dii and Archos who are far more full -on and adventurous. The characters are important, as they should be and the world is reflected in them – Archos and Dii are magical – dangerous, passionate and misunderstood, Olek and Ozena – well one is the result of poverty and needing to do unsavoury things to survive and the other is from a town destroyed – they are all from a broken world but a world fighting back.

The elves in my world are the slaves – their civilisation is gone and their culture fragmented. The humans are the masters of the land – at least they like to think so. Elves are longer lived and many are magical but this doesn’t much help as magic is illegal. Dii is an elf and a sorceress, which is a dangerous combination. She’s a Forbidden.

The books are dark, heroic and sensual. A heady combination.

 

MP: That is very intriguing.  Definitely sounds different from a lot of other fantasy series out there. I know that this will be a hard question, but I have to ask. Which character in your book series is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?

AB: I’m not sure I have a favourite. Archos is complex, dangerous, and a bit of an anti-hero; Olek is stealthy, deadly yet amusing; Ozena is shy, curious and emotional, Dii is misunderstood, clever and kind. There are aspects of me in all of them, although I am not saying which aspects.;)

 

MP: You are such a tease! All right, I’ll settle for a different question. Which scenes in your book series did you have the most fun writing?

AB: Oh gosh, most of them were fun to write. The sex scenes are always amusing – it’s the trick of keeping them fresh but not crude and not overloading the book. The revenge scenes are fun – there is something deeply satisfying about the bad guy getting his just desserts. In Book II the scenes with Dii coming into her own are gratifying.

 

MP: Nicely played Alex! Just enough to get our interest peaked, but no spoilers! What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book series?

AB: I’d hope the books are enjoyable, and make the readers want more. Also I’d like the readers to think – perhaps about notions of freedom, prejudice and hatred – although of course many don’t. Most of all I’d hope readers to have fun on the adventure.

 

MP: Based upon what you’ve revealed so far, I’m sure it will be fun and adventurous! I’m very excited about it! What are your hopes for this book series?

AB: I hope people enjoy them and tell their friends;). I’m planning several more novels, plus short stories in my companion series – Tales of Erana. There will, hopefully, a game-world for the series at some later date, and the audio book for The Light Beyond the Storm will be out by the Spring. I’m planning audio editions for all the novels and short stories.

 

MP: Excellent!  Please let me know what the game and the audiobooks are out!  I will be there! What do you have in store next for your readers?

AB: Book IV is in planning, I’m writing a short story for the Tales of Erana series and there will be several more.  Book IV will follow some characters from book II and ramp up the threat – after all who can they really trust in a world of lies?

As the series progresses the truth will be out. It won’t always be pleasant.

Besides my own series, I’m hoping to write some historical fantasy for anthologies, and am currently working on a children’s fantasy collection.

I’ve also just had a short fantasy story published in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, published by Perseid Press. The anthology is awesome – monsters, myth and mayhem in seventeen stories of heroes stalking their legendary foe. Winners eat the losers, although who is whom you’ll have to read to find out.

I’ve also just released Outside the Walls, which was written with my friend Diana Wicker – author of the Tales of Feyron fantasy series. That is currently being produced in audio by Melanie Fraser and The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles will be produced by Shakespearean actor Rob Goll in the next few months.

MP: Great! I am really looking forward to this book series!  Thank you so much for sharing with us your story.

If you are as intrigued by the book series as I am, please click on the link below to check it out on amazon!

Review of Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

http://www.examiner.com/review/review-of-tales-of-erana-myths-and-legends-by-alexandra-l-butcher