Sunday, March 20, 2011


BIOGRAPHY: After spending too many years as an Industrial Engineer, Author Shannon K. Butcher learned to write from her husband, best-selling author Jim Butcher. Other titles include: No Control, No Regrets, and No Escape, (for which she won an award) {{and Burning Alive (came out in May from NAL)}}. She resides in Missouri with her husband and son.

Thanks for being here, Shannon. It’s a pleasure.
Thanks for asking me!

#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I’m a crafter. I used to quilt, but I gave that up for beading and now I’ve moved into glass fusing so I can make focal pieces for the bead embroidery I love to do. I’ve never met a bead I didn’t like. There’s generally some piece of jewelry I’ve made offered up as a giveaway in the contest I run via my website. This month I’m giving away three bracelets along with three copies of my romantic suspense trilogy.

#2- You feel that you honed your writing craft and learned to write because of your husband. Can you elaborate on that for us?
Sure. I never had any desire to write a book. I loved to read, but that was it. I was all about the engineering thing. Jim was working to break into the industry and he would hit a spot in a WIP that frustrated him. He’d say, “I just don’t know what’s wrong.” So, I’d read it (being the troubleshooting person I am), see nothing wrong and hand it back to him, looking at him like he was crazy. He’d tell me that I simply couldn’t see the problem because I didn’t know what to look for. I told him to teach me. Over the course of the next few years, he did. Eventually, I got to where I wondered if I could write a book or not. So I did. It was awesome (the experience, not the book, which was truly suckful) and I was hooked. It took eight books to get out the worst of the suck before I wrote NO REGRETS.

#3- As you know, I reviewed your title LOVE YOU TO DEATH, for Bookpleasures and loved it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
Every published author has to develop somewhat of a thick skin. That just goes with the business. Luckily, the agents and editors are professionals and know how to give constructive criticism.
That being said, after watching Jim suffer through bad reviews, I choose to go for the ostrich method. I tend not to read them, good or bad. I certainly never seek them out, though some do cross my path occasionally. I figure I’ve done the best job I can on that book, spent hundreds of hours on it, and if people don’t like it, that’s okay. They’re entitled to their opinion. I’m just not going to go out and look for that kind of feedback. I have way too many books to write to get derailed by something that is too late to fix. I respect people’s right to post their opinion, but don’t expect me to read it--good or bad. I do, however, read every bit of mail sent directly to me from readers and try to answer as much of it as I can.

#4- What advice would you give for other aspiring writers?
Write. Write a lot. Even if you can only write a few minutes a day, that’s better than going for weeks to get that two hour chunk of time. I say that because there’s something about daily sessions that actually changes the way you see the world. In writing mode, inspiration is everywhere. Your brain continues to write once you’re away from the keyboard, doing the dishes or whatever. Those daily sessions keep your mind in writing mode and allow you to improve your craft even though you aren’t actively working. Writers out there will know what I mean when I say that you write scenes in your head or have conversations between characters. If you go away from writing for too many days, that fades.

Then, once you’ve got your craft down and have a publishable quality work, get out and meet industry professionals. Talk to agents and editors. Become a real person to them, rather than simply a name on a query letter. That won’t change anything if the work isn’t sellable yet, but if it is, meeting people can open doors.

#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
I read mostly sci-fi/fantasy books when I was young. I loved David Eddings, and Elizabeth Moon, among others. Now I read romance almost exclusively since there is so much less time to read. I tend to stick to suspense or paranormal so I can keep up with what’s going on in the sub-genres I write.

#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
Yes! The second book in The Sentinel Wars series comes out on November 3rd, 2009. I’ve had so much fun with this new paranormal series, it’s always exciting to see the books hit the shelf. I just finished writing book 4, which features my two favorite characters (that I wrote) of all time.
You can see a complete list of books, enter my contest, sign up for my newsletter and see other fun stuff at

#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I just joined Twitter, so if you’re a tweeter, then you might check out @shannonkbutcher (make sure you put the K in or you’ll get the jazz singer). I post about the books I’m working on, insights into the daily life of a writer, news and other random bits of weirdness that come from a family with two authors and a teenage boy who has been warped by them.


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