ALEXANDRA BUTCHER: SUCCESS IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Alexandra Butcher a.k.a. A.L. Butcher released earlier in 2014 the second part of The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – The Shining Citadel. The British author writes fantasy, loves astronomy, history, animals, films and gaming. We’ve got a chance to speak with Lady Butcher for the products of her creativity and her great blog.
– Alexandra, what is your last novel The Shining Citadel about?
– The Shining Citadel is the second in the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series. It follows the main characters, an elven sorceress Dii and Lord Archos as they seek out at first a missing elven artefact and later discover the lost Citadel. The world of Erana is a dangerous place; magic is illegal, punishable by death and elves are little better than slaves so an elven sorceress seeking out a lost elven city is a very dangerous proposition. There’s a lot of intrigue in the story, for the adventurers are not the only ones interested in the Citadel and what it might bring and not all their companions are what they seem. Truth are lies are turned on their heads, right and wrong are not clearly defined and at least one character has an epiphany. This is an exciting tale of heroes, monsters, forbidden magic, love, and betrayal.
– Why did you decide to write the story?
– Book I ended with a few unanswered questions – such as Dii’s personal history, and future events for our adventurers. It’s a further exploration of the world, the lore and the characters.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– I changed the ending, so making sure everything tied in.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– Dii is an elven sorceress, who used to be a slave. She is courageous, kind and resourceful, but of course she is nervous, unsure of her abilities and out of her depth. The Shining Citadel is more than a story about a journey to seek a lost city, it’s also a journey for the characters to learn who they are, and what they can achieve. Dii is very passionate, she’s had a horrible past but she has a lot of love to give.
No she isn’t based on a real person.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– As I said because I rewrote the ending it took me longer than originally planned. I think it was just over a year.
– What the readers will find inside your short story Tales of Erana?
– The Tales of Erana are mythic style tales set in the world of Erana. The first book – Myths and Legends features an assortment of stories from various perspectives – a lonely sorcerer, an elven herbalist, a forest nymph, a jealous god and a misguided goddess. I’ve just released a new short story – Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse. It’s been described as a tale within a tale and tells of monsters, the terrible wages of avarice and forbidden magic.
– Who are you?
– I’m a British author of fantasy and fantasy romance, poetry and occasional horror. I’m a fan of fantasy, science fiction, history, mystery and natural history. I like to read, game, watch movies and study.
– What are your writing habits?
I tend to have TV or music on in the background. I write in the evenings as I work full time.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– Yes. Success is what one makes of it. Oh I’d like more, who wouldn’t? But for now I am happy.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– Author interviews, blogging, Facebook, Goodreads. Truth is I don’t like promoting much.
– When we will see your next novel?
– The Stolen Tower is scheduled for spring 2015 – I hope.
– Which is tougher to write – good novel or exciting short story?
– They have different challenges. Short stories need to get to the action swiftly, and there is less room for world building/character building but some still needs to be done of course. I think short stories work well for tales of lore or legend within a specific world setting. In a novel there is more leeway for world building, and establishing characters. I think it is easier to fall in love with a character in a novel.
– Why did you select the dark fantasy as your favorite genre?
– I like to read it. I suppose it selected me. That is where the story went.
– Your blog (http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/) contains great interviews with authors, readers, reviewers…What did you learn from them and how are the words of your guests affecting your creativity?
– There is a lot of good advice from both authors and reviewers. I’m still fairly new to the game and happy to learn. What have I learned? Marketing tips, characterization, and world building advice. What reviewers look for and what turns them off. What do readers want? And of course, everyone is different. What pleases one person another won’t like. Also success is what you make it. There’s a great network among authors, and the contacts are very useful. I’ve been invited to write for anthologies through online contacts and that all helps. The blog is a great way to find new books to read. Sometimes the characters intrigue me enough to buy a book.
I’d say the encouragement to carry on writing, to adapt styles and ideas have been very useful. I think most writers go through a crisis of confidence and it helps to have supportive followers.