Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. She’s a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning. Liz has published a number of short stories in anthologies and has released her own collection, After Dark, in 2018. Her novel, Fates’ Fury is set for release, September, 2019.
Marina Raydun: I have to ask—is Liz Butcher your real name or your penname? Seems like a perfect last name for the genre!
Liz Butcher: It’s my real name – my married name! My husband jokes that I only married him for the surname, haha!
MR: I love that you write short stories. What do you find more challenging—writing full length novels or short stories?
LB: I think both can have their challenges. For me, the challenge in moving from short stories to novels was ensuring I developed every aspect.
MR: What is your process like? Are your outlines tedious or are you more of an intuitive author who feels her way through the plot?
LB: I’m an extremely tedious and manual plotter. I start with writing down the general storyline, then I write scenes I envision on cards or post-it’s and move them around, adding to them until I have my story. Next I write them out on pieces of paper divided into squares. It sounds crazy, but it works for me. It’s how I get the plot completely embedded in my mind.
MR: What is your research process like?
LB: Not as concise as I would like. I have a terrible habit of going off on a random search tangent every time I come across some interesting tidbit. I end up finding myself researching things completely unrelated to my work. So, I need to work on that!
MR: How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
LB: I don’t think it’s changed, at least not so far. I think it’s just given me confidence that my processes work for me.
MR: What’s the best and worst book review you’ve ever received?
LB: The best review I’ve received is by Grady Harp, from the San Francisco Review of Books. He said “…This is one impressive debut from an obviously gifted artist who knows how to blend human drama with metaphysical fantasy and mythology to create a splendidly unique novel with visceral force…” That blew me away! I’ve been fortunate so far, in that I haven’t received a bad review—but I’m sure it will happen eventually!
MR: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
LB: Kathrin Hutson is both friend and mentor. I started working with her a few years ago as my editor, and we just hit it off. She’s a crazy talented writer of dark fantasy and lgbt fiction. As an editor, she’s helped my writing improve in leaps and bounds and she’s absolutely helped me become a better a writer. The writing community is fantastic, especially across Twitter. I’ve become friends with so many talented writers and everyone’s very supportive of each other. Luke West, Jaidis Shaw, Ace Antonio Hall, Gina A. Watson, Lisette Brody & Stacey Jaine McIntosh have all been wonderfully encouraging since the start.
MR: What book do you wish you had written?
LB: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I’ve loved that book since I was a little girl.
MR: If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaption of your book, who would play your characters?
LB: This is always such a fun question! Fates’ Fury has too many characters to list them all, but for some of the main characters, this is who I’d cast:
Jonah Sands – Max Irons
Ava Carter – Natalie Portman
Tristan Carter – James Franco
Zeus – Eric Bana
Isis – Zoe Saldana
Enki – Naveen Andrews
Hades – Jared Leto
Charon – Paul Bettany
Alex – Tom Hanks
Mallory – Gillian Anderson
I can dream, right?
MR: Is there a book that people might be surprised to learn you love?
LB: All the Harry Potter books. I’m a huge Potterhead!
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