Interview: Shannon K Butcher

NRR: Can you tell us how you got  started into writing?    
SKB: I never considered being a writer when I was young, like so many authors.  I always knew I would become an engineer, and I did. My husband’s writing career took off, and I decided that I was tired of corporate America, so I quit doing the engineering thing.  After about four glorious weeks of no alarm clock, no work responsibilities and no schedule, I was bored out of my mind.  I had to do something, so I decided I’d see if I could write a book.  Jim had been teaching me writing craft for a while in order to help him spot problems in his own work, so I used those skills to write the kind of books I loved: romances.  It took me eight horrible books that will never see the light of day, but I finally got good enough to show my work to some professionals.  I got an agent, and she sold NO REGRETS a few weeks later.

NRR: How were you inspired to write the SENTINEL WARS series?

SKB:I’m a big ol’ nerd.  I love doing tabletop role playing games and watching bad sci-fi movies.  That gave me the mental fuel to create all kinds of monsters.  My LARPing (live action role playing) days gave me a bit of insight into what it’s like to stand in combat, surrounded by chaos, noise and motion.  I decided to reverse-engineer the books I loved and figure out the components that made them awesome.  I did a sort of survey of those books and realized that it wasn’t the stories or even the characters that stole my heart, but the emotional 
landscape those books created.  

They made me feel things deeply, which was why I loved them.  So I decided to try to re-create that same kind of compelling emotional landscape in my world through intense situations and intricate characters who all had their own agendas and secrets.  
NRR: Out of all the characters you have created,who would you pick as easiest to relate to?

SKB: None of them are completely like me, though they all have little bits of me in them, since I’m the filter through which everything goes.  I suppose I relate easiest to the men, in general, but I’d be hard pressed to name a specific one.  Probably whichever one I’m writing at the time. J

NRR: Can you explain a day in the life of Shannon Butcher?

SKB: I get up, check email, drink coffee—the lifeblood of authors.  Then, because I’m weak, I also tend to chat with folks on Facebook, Twitter and my fan forum.  Then I start working.  If I’m in rough draft mode, I’ll put in as many hours as it takes to meet a designated quota of words.  Sometimes that’s three hours, sometimes it’s eighteen—it depends on whether I’m deleting as much as I write, and if the phone is ringing.  If I’m not writing a draft, then I’m usually revising or doing other types of edits, or planning the next book.  I also travel a lot for fan conventions.  We did 13 this year, because we love to get out and meet readers.  The thing that surprised me most about this job was the sheer amount of work there is to do that has nothing to do with actually writing a book.  While I now work tons more hours than I ever did as an engineer, and typically only take two days a month off, it’s the best job in the world, and I’m thankful every day that I get to do it.

NRR: Can you share with us a little about LIVING NIGHTMARE, the fourth book in THE SENTINEL WARS series?

SKB: I have been looking forward to this book since the moment this couple stepped onto the stage in book 2.  Harsh, foulmouthed Madoc knows his days are numbered.  His soul is nearly dead, and his choices are to go to his death, or become like the things he’s spent his long life destroying.  Fragile, tormented Nika is sure that her long-dead sister is still alive, but no one believes her.  She knows that Madoc is the one man who can help her save both her sister and her own sanity, but with or without his help, she’d going to go on a dangerous rescue mission that will most likely cost her her life.  Throwing these two together was probably the most fun I’ve ever had writing, and I really hope readers enjoy it, too. 

NRR: When you have a book released, is their anything you do to celebrate?

SKB: I love to spend release days with the readers.  I typically take the day off and spend it online, chatting with folks.  It’s great fun, because my release day is usually shared with a ton of other great authors, so it’s like one big online party!

NRR: What can readers expect to see next from you?

SKB: I have four releases next year: ON THE HUNT—an anthology with Gena Showalter, Jessica Anderson and Deidre Knight—comes out in February, and features a Sentinels novella that’s Neal’s story.  LIVING ON THE EDGE comes out in March, and is the first book of my new romantic suspense series—the Edge series.  It’s similar to my early suspenses, but with a deeper overarching plot that ties the stories together more tightly.  BLOODHUNT is the fifth book of The Sentinel Wars series.  It’s Logan’s story, and comes out in August.  RAZOR’S EDGE is book two of the Edge series, and is released in November.   

Thank you Ms. Butcher for taking the time to join Nocturne Romance Reads today!
Thanks for inviting me to join you!

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