By A.C. James
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist R. E. Butler. If you like what you read, please investigate her books on Amazon.
A.C. James: Hello, R. E. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
R.E. Bulter: I’m a stay-at-home-mom in New Jersey. My family includes a husband that grudgingly supports my ebook addiction, two children who love to interrupt me when I’m on a writing roll, and two dogs that are always underfoot. I started writing several years ago when I read my first paranormal romance. I was immediately intrigued and thought that I could write a book like that, so I did! I published my first paranormal romance, A Curve of Claw, in November of 2011.
A.C. James: I’m a stay-at-home-mom too and being a stay-at-home-mom is really important to me. My husband tolerates my ebook addiction with about the same amount of grudging support. What genre do you generally write and what have you had published to-date? What do you think of eBooks?
A.C. James: My genre is paranormal romance. To-date I have published sixteen books. I love ebooks! I still read paperbacks, but there are so many authors (myself included) that only publish digitally.
A.C. James: A lot of indie authors are digital only these days but I can understand that. It allows you to reach your readers efficiently while cutting down on cost. Besides it’s ‘green’ and I’m all about environmentalism! What lead to you to become an indie author?
R.E. Butler: I knew I didn’t want to go the traditional publishing route by submitting my books to publishing houses and then waiting to hear back. At first I toyed with the idea of doing an online book (in blog form) like many authors have done in the past, but after discovering Smashwords, I knew that self-publishing was the way to go for me. I absolutely love it. Not only do I have complete control over my books and characters, but also publication timing, cover design, and marketing.
A.C. James: I’m still trying to figure out what direction I want to go in but the more I hear from other authors and those in my writing group; the more I contemplate self-publishing myself. Do you have a favorite of your stories or characters?
R.E. Butler: My latest book, The Wolf’s Mate Book Six, has an adorable little pixie named Darlie who stole my heart. The book had a fairly serious tone to it, and I wanted some comic relief, so I thought a great character to add would be a smart-mouthed little firebrand pixie, and Darlie was born. I had a ball researching pixies, and her one-liners and general dislike of werewolves as “brutes” cracks me up every time.
A.C. James: Darlie sounds adorable. I have a hard time inserting comedy into my writing. It usually comes out really cheesy. So I tend to focus on the horror aspect of paranormal writing. I blame my cheesiness entirely on David Greenwalt and watching too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer while growing-up. But it hasn’t been much better now that I watch Grimm. Which authors did you read when you were younger and did they shape you as a writer?
R.E. Butler: One of my favorite series as a young child was the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. He built a fantastical world of talking mice and animals, and I devoured every word. But it wasn’t until I read SE Hinton’s The Outsiders and learned that she had written the book as a young teenager, that I began to think of writing a book for myself and some day being published. Jacques’s books gave me my first taste of science-fiction writing, and Hinton inspired me to write.
A.C. James: I understand that Jacques wrote that series for the children of Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. So R.E., do you manage to write every day, and do you plot your stories or just get an idea and run with it?
R.E. Butler: I write every day. My goal is always at least one thousand words daily, but as long as I get even a few words written, then I’m happy. When I tried outlining, I ended up just writing the story so it’s easier for me to just write and not plot.
A.C. James: I’m a lot like that too when I write. I start with an idea and usually run with it, editing as I go along. Do you do a lot of editing or research?
R.E. Butler: Yes to both! I research when necessary, like checking on animal characteristics for my shifter stories, and researching areas where characters live if I haven’t been there. When I first started out, it was just me and a friend that beta-read for me. Now, I have several professional editors that I use, as well as two amazing beta-readers.
A.C. James: It’s important to have good beta readers. What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
R.E. Butler: Third person is my favorite POV. I do have some books written in first person, but third is a lot of fun to write, especially when writing from the male’s perspective. I’ve never tried second person.
A.C. James: Me either. Although, I used to love reading the Choose Your Own Adventure Series which were written in second person. What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
R.E. Butler: My favorite part of writing is when I first begin, and the world and characters start to come to life. My least favorite part is the week before a book comes out, when I’m doing a final proofing and feeling the pressure to make sure it’s out in the timeframe I committed to. What’s most surprised me is that I have fans! When I got my first fan email, I didn’t stop smiling for a week.
A.C. James: I imagine you didn’t! I’d probably be wearing a goofy ass grin for a month. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
R.E. Butler: No, my hands are plenty full with my book writing to do much of anything else except my personal sites.
A.C. James: Hmmm… I’ll have to think of a good bribe when it comes time to ask for blurbs and reviews. Do you like Margaritas? I live in PA, you’re only in Jersey, and I own a blender 😀 So are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
R.E. Butler: I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, and use Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Connecting with fans and friends is extremely easy and fun on Twitter and Facebook. I have found RWA and Goodreads to be invaluable. RWA is full of incredible authors, groups, and classes. And I’ve made amazing connections on Goodreads, from editors to cover designers to people who have become friends.
A.C. James: I think that connecting with all the amazing people that I’ve met online, at workshops, writing groups, and conferences has been a lot of fun. And I’m sure you know as a stay-at-home-mom how important it is to have adult interaction to keep Sesame Street from melting your brain. What are you working on at the moment / next?
R.E. Butler: I’m editing the second Hyena Heat book, Every Dawn Forever, which will be out this summer, and finishing the first draft of the second Ashland Pride book, which should be out this fall.
A.C. James: I look forward to having you back either over the summer or in the fall when Ashland Pride comes out. Tell us more about The Wolf’s Mate Book Six and why it’s been such a big hit with your readers.
R.E. Butler: My latest book is the story of one of the wolves from a pack that lives in the fictional town of Allen, Kentucky. He finds a nearly-dead woman and realizes that she’s his mate. Hero Logan’s character was introduced in the fourth book, and he had a part in the fifth book. I was asked many times if Logan would get his own book, and it’s been extremely well received.
A.C. James: And this week we’re giving away a copy of The Wolf’s Mate Book Six to celebrate Memorial Day. Where can we find out about you and your writing?
A.C. James: Thank you for interviewing today on my Paranormal Passion blog! Good luck with Every Dawn Forever (Hyena Heat Two) and I look forward to having you back when it’s released. Join me tomorrow as I talk to Kathy Kulig, fellow GLVWG member and current president of the local RWA chapter. She’s an award-winning romance author who writes for Ellora’s Cave.