Interview with Scott Butcher   Leave a comment

Displaying IMG_0361.JPGToday, I am interviewing Scott Butcher, author of An Eagle’s Heart and the Stillwart Chronicles. Scott and I know each other from Authonomy and we are beta readers for each other. Lela #iamwriting
Tell us something about yourself.
I grew up in both Australia and Canada. My Dad worked for oil exploration companies, so we moved around a lot. I briefly worked in oil too, so I guess I was a third generation oil explorer as my Grandfather had worked for Anglo-American oil before us. With my children we’ve been four generations of wanderers. I don’t work in oil any more, I took an Applied Physics Degree (and actually worked for the good part of the force for a while – at a solar cell company) and then a PhD. I’ve been a scientist/engineer for many years now, and run my own company from Canada. I’ve written close to a hundred scientific papers, but I find I need the release of writing from my imagination to balance myself (for sanities sake).
The Stillwart Chronicles are actually a reflection of the early parts of my life split between Canada and Australia. I was born an Australian, but my parents are Canadian, and having spent many years there, I was sort of caught between the two places, not really Australian, and not really Canadian, it’s sort of the same as the snipey little pixie, Stillwart, in the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles: she lives among fairies, but she’s not a fairy. It’s the type of story I would have made up for my daughters when they were younger.
What was the first thing you ever wrote and why?
Ohh, I’m too old to remember that. I loved reading as a kid, that I do remember. I had a powerful imagination (I guess I still do). I remember I was writing in my late teens, and wanted to grow up and be an author. Hey, I guess I did it! Hi-five. I look at what I wrote back then, and some of it wasn’t bad, but it took me many years to find the discipline and to learn the skills I needed to write a complete book. Oh. Fantasy, there has always been aspects of fantasy in my writing. After all, I write to escape, so why not escape to something imaginary.
Displaying An Eagle's Heart ad 2.jpgWhat is the most important thing(s) in your life?
Wife and kids of course. Family, friends. However, for my own well being, I find that I have to keep myself busy. I can’t sit quietly, I need to do something, so writing comes from that.
I’ve read An Eagle’s Heart and was fascinated by how you drew me into the mind of a raptor. I live in Alaska where bald eagles can be seen relatively easily and I now view them differently because of the influence of your book. It was a fascinating idea. How did it come to you? How do you put yourself into the mind of a bird?
Displaying anEaglesHeart_coverv2.jpgI live around the Thunder Bay region right now, that’s just a little north of Duluth on the shore of Lake Superior, where ‘An Eagle’s Heart’ is set. When I first came here we lived in the town, and I was disappointed by the lack of birdlife compared to what we’d had in Australia. All we seemed to see were crows and seagulls. Then we moved out to the edge of town, where there were deer, lynx, bobcat, bear, moose…and lots and lots of different birds. Bald eagles flew past our front window every couple of days. Beautiful creatures. When I’d left North America in 1980, they were endangered, there had only been a couple hundred mating pairs of bald eagle left in the US outside of Alaska. They’ve come back extremely well since then. It’s good to see.
Anyway, living outside of town, I realised that the lack of cover in the city had meant that the smaller birds were falling prey to the seagulls and the crows in the town. Out on the edge of the city, where it was greener, with more trees and brush, there was plenty of cover and a huge variety of birdlife was thriving. Being a scientist, I study the things I enjoy, and birds are no exception, plus, having an imagination, I put myself into the minds of my characters. So there you have it, research and imagination, that’s what brings the characters to life in ‘An Eagle’s Heart’.
Displaying FSC_Bk3_BookCoverSM.jpgTell me about the Stillwart Chronicles.
They’re the story of a lone pixie, Stillwart, for many years the only pixie in the Great Southland. She was raised by the old retired Queen of the Great Southland fairy, Fiona. Stillwart  is ugly, practical and fearless, not glittery and golden, like the fairies around her. She grows up to find her place amongst the fairies, but she remains who she is – Stillwart. That’s the story of the first chronicle, but in the later chronicles Stillwart is called upon to make a perilous journey to help rescue her own people in the northern pixie realm of Ireland. She’s waylayed in Canada, and has many adventures there. The first three Stillwart Chronicles are available now, but another two Stillwart Chronicles and ‘The Hidden Chronicle’ have been completed to finish the series. They’re with the publisher, Morning Rain Publishing, so will hopefully be available in the not too distant future.
Tell me a little something about your publication experience. You are published through Morning Rain Publications, in Canada. How did you find them?
They found me. I didn’t know too much about publishing, I only knew that I’d finished a book (An Eagle’s Heart) and didn’t know what to do with it. So I put it up on an author’s website to get some feedback. That helped me polish and improve it. Some of the people on the website began the small publishing company Morning Rain to publish books by Canadians, or at least books with some Canadian content. Well, I can only claim to be partly Canadian but An Eagle’s Heart, is the sort of frontier book that appeals in North America, so they asked if they could publish it. I had already decided that I should start trying to get it published by a Canadian publisher (being set in Canada and all) so the timing was right and I thought, yep that’s good enough for me. I think it was the right choice.
Displaying FSC_concept1sm.jpgWhat does the future hold? Do you plan to publish more books in the Chronicles or do you have other projects in the works.
Well, three more Chronicles (including the Hidden Chronicle) are already written and these complete the Stillwart series. In the Hidden Chronicle a pair of magical sisters are introduced and eventually I’ll write the ‘Magic Sisters’ series based on them. I’ve also started writing a sequel to ‘An Eagle’s Heart’ though I’ve currently distracted myself by returning to an older project ‘The Dreams of Áine’s Blood’, which is a much darker book, an urban fantasy meant for an older audience. It’s the story of the last Queen of Faerie, and her battle against a foe  who can be killed, but is reborn with the memories of his previous lives. He seeks the destruction of all Áine’s people for the ills committed against him in past lives. His passions are eternal and Áine must stand against him to protect her descendants, who are the last line of faery blood left to the world.
The Dreams of Áine’s Blood is based on Celtic legends, I’ve spent quite a few years researching aspects of this, so again, research and imagnination at work.
Where can readers find your books?  (Author pic, links, book covers, etc., are all useful).
Best to go to the Morning Rain Publishing website at http://morningrainpublishing.com/on-sale-now-from-morning-rain-publishing/ but the books are also available on Kobo and Amazon. e-copies are easily obtained, but the first printing has only just occurred, and the distribution of those is still being determined (though I’m sure if you emailed the ladies at Morning Rain they would help you). I’ve also temporarily posted the 4th Stillwart Chronicle on Wattpad for free viewing, seehttp://www.wattpad.com/story/23340914-the-fairly-stillwart-chronicles-no-4-tory-blithe so anyone who is interested can sample a free taste of one of the Chronicles and see what they’re like (just did that in the last couple of days). Of course I’m on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ScottButcherAuthor?ref=hl and have a website at http://www.scottiesbooks.com/

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