Friday, 15 March 2013

Author Interview: A. K. Butler

A. K. Butler has written The Burning Of Cherry Hill.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Amber Butler. I live in Dallas, Texas.

2. Do you have a pen name?
Not a "pen name" but I write as A K Butler.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
The Burning of Cherry Hill. Two kids were raised in hiding from the supposed utopia they now have to navigate to find their kidnapped parents.

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Three! I'm writing a prequel to The Burning of Cherry Hill as well as a fantasy adventure and a pre-apocalyptic dystopian.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I've been writing since I was about six, so who knows what that means. When I was ten I read The Giver by Lois Lowry, and then, directly after, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Those two books had quite a profound impact on my life, and have been a source of continual inspiration.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes, both .mobi and .ePub format.

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
Tulips are a recurring theme in this book, as is fire and painting. I designed the cover from several stock images I purchased.

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
This one, it's the only book I've written. ;)

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
I'm sure if an actual artist or graphic designer messed around with it they could make something that blows my mind, but I'm not one so I don't even know what to point to that could be improved. I just don't know enough about art.

10. Do you have a playlist in mind for any of your books? 
I usually hear Mumford and Sons and sometimes Florence and the Machine while I'm writing or plotting or reading or editing. 

11. Did you listen to any particular songs whilst writing your books?
I can't listen to anyone singing while I write, unless it's in a language I don't know. I usually end up listening to the soundtrack from The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.

12. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
No, only because I do this pretty much entirely on my own and don't really have those kinds of resources.

13. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The title actually came to me before the story. I think I dreamt it.

14. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
I'm sure there will always be things I would change. It's never done, it's never perfect. I eventually HAD to stop editing it and just let it go.

15. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I don't, but I'm making one. I love the idea of book trailers, though many of them don't really do anything for me. It's expensive and hard to get "right".

16. Do you have a “Dreamcast” in mind for any of your books?

I watch far too much BBC! In my mind, David Tennant is Tavish, Martin Freeman is Praisler, and Andrew Scott is Kru. No one else has any one face tied to them, though sometimes Eli Fraeman looks like Steve Carell. ;)

17. What is your opinion of ARCs?
I think they're fantastic. I feel like if I ever got to the point where I was actually able to send ARCs to people, I will have "arrived". ;)

18. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
All of them! I love e-books because I can grab this tiny little Kindle and choose from a thousand books. I love hardbacks for gifts or book signings. I love paperbacks because they're small and never run out of batteries. And I love audiobooks for driving or cleaning the house.

19. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes, self published.

20. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Yes! Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, The Giver, 1984, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, A Wrinkle in Time...I honestly couldn't list all the books I have, and still would, re-read. I have to limit myself on Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes rereads - once every two years, otherwise I'd probably never read anything else!

21. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
I've TRIED to, but it's been unavailable for purchase in my country.

22. What is your opinion of novellas?
They are fun, a well written novella has a lot of power because most of the story has to take place outside the book. They have the power to leave you with lingering questions that stay with you, I quite enjoy that.

23. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
I've picked up a book to read the synopsis based solely on its cover, but I don't think I've ever actually read one for that reason only.

24. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes, absolutely.

25. What is your favourite film based on a book?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the new one, with Martin Freeman and Zooey Deschanel) which is a movie I'm unashamed to admit I have, without exaggeration, watched at least two hundred times. Probably more.

26. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
Dystopian, and has been since I was ten.

27. What books have made it onto your wishlist recently? And why?
The Gone series, because it was recommended to me by someone who read my book and thought I might like it. I'm also INCREDIBLY SUPER JUMP-UP-AND-DOWN excited for The Whatnot, the sequel to The Peculiar, which is one of the most refreshingly fantastic books I've ever read. I've got about 50 books on my TBR shelf right now. ;)

28. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I usually read multiple books at a time. Right now I'm reading Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, Looking for Alaska by John Green, The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

29. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
David Tennant, Neil Gaiman, John Green, and Nathan Fillion, because that dinner party would be the most epic gathering of genius geeks in the history of awesome.

30. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
DELETE. Don't ever be afraid to kill your words, because only when the weak ones die do the strong ones thrive. DELETE. MURDER. RUTHLESSLY. DELETE.
In a similar vein, don't be afraid to hurt your characters. Only when you've utterly destroyed them do you find out what they're made of.
Also, if you're self published, get an editor. Not just a copyeditor. A developmental editor. A good one is worth his weight in winning lottery tickets. I used Stephen Parolini of, and it was the most fantastic writing decision I ever made.

31. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I love rock climbing and playing guitar. I am not good at either of these things.

32. Where can your readers follow you?

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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