Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I write what I enjoy reading. I love fantasy and mythic tales, and I’ve written adventures for several role-playing games (fantasy, sci-fi, and horror), and so it was not a big step to adapt this to the novels. Fantasy is such a versatile genre, and a writer can get away with more than in any other genre. The world-building can be amazing, and the creatures incredible. Fantasy is at the heart of our cultural storytelling. Every society has its myths and legends and even in our modern society many people still love the magical tales of heroes, monsters, and adventures. I’m a Brit (we have a rich tapestry of legend): dragons, King Arthur, Robin Hood, giants, ghosts, elves, fairies, heroes, anti-heroes. The list goes on and on.
My companion series to my novels are told as mythic tales of lore and legend, told as fireside tales, mini adventures or fairy tales.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?
I work full-time, so I tend to write in the evenings (unless I’m too tired) and weekends. I’d love to write full-time, but it’s very hard to make a living as a writer, so until that happens I’m bound as a wage-slave.
What are some day jobs you have held?
Admin (lots of that), costume dresser in a theater (that was cool), catering assistant (that sucked), book shop manager (also cool).
Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
I have a general idea, and the story writes itself (or not). I tend to change things as I go so sticking to an outline simply doesn’t work for me. Ideas morph into better ones or go down a new route as I write. Of course, it doesn’t always work, but more often than not I end up with something I’m happy with. I tend to keep everything, and even if it didn’t work, usually those end up as something totally differentJ
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
My latest was The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales. It’s a collection of short fantasy fairytale-esque stories for all the family. The stories are totally unrelated to my other books. The stories feature naughty imps, an enchanted kitchen, a rather confused god and a retelling of an ancient Egyptian tale. There is an element of dark humor in the tales, and there will be more to come.
What role does research play in your writing?
I do a fair amount of research, more for the novels than the novellas and short stories. Let’s see…I’ve researched, flora and fauna of various habitats, herb-lore, weapons and armor, recipes, whether salamander meat is edible, mythic creatures, whether various mythic beasties could actually fly, ancient history, ancient religion, medieval clothing, horses, geology, politics and more. Although fantasy does allow for a good deal of suspension of disbelief, it still helps to know what is possible, what works and what doesn’t and have a decent level of realism. A sword is still a sword.
What do you like to read in your free time?
I read a lot. True crime, fantasy, science fiction, history and historical fiction, mythology, classics, gothic horror.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
Get rid of ignorance.
About the Author:
A. 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.
How can you connect with A.L.?