Earlier this morning, Tori reviewed Shannon Butcher’s latest book, Running Scared. Now, Tori and Shannon have a little chat about her book and writing, and some of her favorite things.
Hello Shannon, so good of you to be here with me today.
Hi! Thanks so much for having me here.
In reading your website, I see you started writing to actually help you husband, Jim Butcher, write his ever popular series-The Dresden Files. How did you bridge the gap from being an Industrial Engineer to becoming a full time writer?
I quit my engineering job back in 2003 and it took about six weeks before I was bored out of my mind. I’m not the kind of person who can sit around, so I decided I’d see if I could write a book, just for fun. I did. It was awful, but I did it, and that changed the course of my life. I’m so glad
I gave it a shot!
Is it hard having 2 best selling authors in the household?
There are times when it’s hard, sure. We both have deadlines and do a lot of travelling. There’s always something that needs to be done, and finding quiet time for the two of us is hard. But that’s true for most couples, regardless of their jobs. We’re blessed in that we have the freedom to stop working in the middle of the day and share a meal or something. We’re also able to travel together for business, which not everyone is able to do. But the coolest benefit is that we both get each other’s job. There are no issues of jealousy over time spent working. We’ve each walked a mile in the other’s shoes, so to speak. J
How far do you see The Sentinel Wars series going? Describe briefly what The Sentinel Wars are.
The Sentinel Wars series is based around a dark, gritty world where monsters and magic are real. The evil Synestryn are trying to take over Earth because some special humans have powerful blood running through their veins. The Synestryn feed on that blood, taking the power from it to fuel their magic. Earth is the only gateway to another world where magical power is plentiful. The Sentinels—three races of supernatural men—guard that gate and keep the Synestryn at bay. But years of being left on Earth alone with no support has weakened them. They’re losing the war, and if they fail in their mission, it will be the humans they’re sworn to protect that suffer.
I designed the overarching story for this series, giving it a definite beginning and end. I left the middle so that I can expand or contract it depending on how many books I want to write. So far, I feel like I’m just getting started exploring this world and I’m having a ton of fun doing it.
What is coming up next for you?
I have another book in the Sentinel series coming out in November. It’s called LIVING NIGHTMARE, and features Nika and Madoc—characters introduced in book 2 of the series. After that, I have the first book in a new romantic suspense series coming out next spring. The series is centered around a mercenary company in Texas that’s run by a woman. There’s a lot of mystery, action and intrigue in that series, which is always fun to write. J
What was your hardest book to write? What was your easiest?
My hardest book was LOVE YOU TO DEATH. That book was about a serial killer who abducted, tortured and killed women. I did a bunch of research for it and came to realize that the villain I was writing wasn’t some dark monster. He was based on real people and the things they’d done. At first I thought he was crazy for doing the things he did, but my research showed me that he wasn’t crazy, he simply enjoyed hurting people. Because of that book, I bought a gun and learned how to use it.
On the flip side, LIVING NIGHTMARE was probably the easiest book for me to write. I absolutely love the characters, so spending every day with them was a real treat. I just love Madoc and his foul mouth, who tries to look so cold, but is really a good man deep down, despite his fears to the contrary. The way he squirmed around crazy, fragile Nika, trying to resist the inevitable, was way too much fun to write.
What do you love about writing? What do you hate about writing?
I love the rough draft, when anything is possible. I’m not a fan of revision. As an engineer, it was really important that I got things right the first time or people could get hurt. Now, I have to cope with the fact that not only will I never get it right the first time, there’s always something I could have done that would have made the book better had I spent more time on it. Of course, if I gave into that urge for perfection, I’d never finish anything.
Do you fall in love with your characters? If so, who is your favorite?
I do fall in love with my characters. Madoc is my favorite so far. It’s going to take a heck of a man to replace him in my heart. J
What is your favorite movie(s)?
I don’t have a favorite movie because I love seeing them for the first time. I’m not much for re-watching stuff when there’s so much out there to see. I love action and sci-fi/fantasy movies. Even the bad ones. If I have to, I’ll provide my own dialogue to entertain myself. In fact, sometimes that’s even more fun, as long as I’m not in public. J
Who are your favorite authors(s)?
Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Lora Leigh, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard, Lori Foster, Tara Janzen, and Shannon McKenna, just to name a few.
Any advice for those out there that are trying to break into the business?
Once you’ve gotten your work to a point where you think it’s publishable, you need to get out and meet people in the industry at conventions and workshops. I truly believe that if you become a real person, instead of a name on a query letter, it will improve your chances of getting industry professionals to look at your work.
-Poptarts or a full sit down breakfast? Full breakfast
-Mages or vamps? Vamps
-Do you agree that coffee is the necter of the Gods and Starbucks should be destroyed for defiling it? I do!
-Beef or pork? Beef
-Top or bottom? Yes
-Dean or Sam from Supernatural? This should not be an either/or question. I’ll happily be the meat in a Sam/Dean sandwich. Shh. Don’t tell Jim. J
Thank you so much for the interview!
You’re welcome! Thanks for having me!
We have a copy of Running Scared up for grabs. To enter, just leave a comment. Contest open only to US/Canada through Monday, May 10th. I will announce the winner on Tuesday.