5 more questions with John Blenkinsop

Blenkinsop- John Bond

1. We last touched based in July of 2016. What has changed since then?

My daughter Yifan is now 17, and everything at home is geared up to her – tuition, homework, going to University open days. She hasn’t got much of a social life, so neither have we.

2. There has been four books you have written for your step daughter in the Worlds of Yifan series. Is there a fifth coming and will the strife in Hong Kong influence it in any way?

I finished the fourth and last book of the Worlds of Yifan series, Teal’s World, whose hero is Shen Teal, Yifan’s male counterpart in another World. There won’t be any more in the series, because it was getting more and more adult in tone and content. Considering that part of Teal’s World deals with the bureaucracy of running a space station, I think I’ve reached the limit of what younger readers would be able to stomach! So, the situation in Hong Kong isn’t relevant to the series. It is, however, of interest to me. I used to believe that President Xi was a progressive, that he was rolling out democracy in the PRC, building on the legacy of Deng Xiao Ping; but I’m sadly disappointed. I would have to do a whole shed-load of research if I was to adequately cover the HK situation, even in Other-Worlds fiction, and I don’t think it would be an entertaining read.

3. You touched on the rich traditions of Chinese culture in our last interview. What aspect of Chinese culture before the cultural revolution do you find most intriguing or inspirational?

blenkinsop Me

China’s ordinary people have always lived beneath a yoke. China was an Imperial society for over 1,000 years, and a totalitarian Communist state since the end of Japanese rule after the second World War. And yet the people made themselves comforts and traditions, as people will do, in their philosophy, their religious observances, their art and their food. The advantage to their rulers is that the Chinese people are truly patriotic, very willing to be led, very hard-working. The disadvantage of that for the Chinese people is that they cannot rise beyond a certain point without being rich or talented, or (when in any position of authority) willing to be bribed. I blame Confucian philosophy for this. It (as the Mediaeval Church did in Europe) convinced the mass of the people that rulers deserved to rule by divine right, and peasants were ordained to their roles as servants of the nobility. The Communist Revolution almost managed to upset this, until Mao took control and dropped China back into the Middle Ages again. As such, I’m interested in how Chinese people fare in the wider world, outside mainland China, and in the period towards the end of the Qing dynasty, where China was ruled (in effect) by a woman.

 

 

 

4. If you were to write about another culture, what do you reckon it would be?

I’m still interestedin Asian cultures, but know very little about those other than China. I have some African characters, but I have to do a lot of work to understand them, and run them past friends from those cultures. It’s quite nerve-wracking to do that. In my WIP (The House Party) I have Romany characters – I am an ‘honorary’ Romany – who (as they will do) pretty much took over the book as soon as they appeared. I think they may return.

5. Tell us about The Technical War series and how it is different and similar to Worlds of Yifan?

The Technical War is set on an alternate Earth. Shen Aoyun is the Yifan character, and in the first book (Lucifer’s Children) she is vampirised at the age of seventeen in Shanghai. The story began as a homage to the traditional vampire novel, set in a Victorian-style society, but technological behind the scenes. Here, vampires, ghouls and werewolves are not quite what they seem. As my books go, it is quite ‘straight’, the characters didn’t go so far off-plot as usual!

The similarity to Worlds of Yifan is of course in the characters. Little Yifan (from The Tower) appears in the second book (WIP, The House Party, still stuck around 90,000 words), as does Fat from Teal’s World. But this series is adult, and darker, with some violent scenes that were really fun to write. There is, of course, still a lot of humour.

The House Party started as my take on the English classic ‘Country house mystery’. But the characters have minds of their own, and have rather run away with the plot. I’ve found it quite difficult to keep up with them; but I have to say, they are doing quite well. If they could use the keyboard, I could just sit back and relax, but alas….

Bonus question: I’ve been on a diet lately. Do you have any suggestions for healthy eating? Or favorite recipes?

The biggest problem nowadays is obesity, which has its roots in the demonisation of fat in the 1970s and the subsequent rise of ‘low fat’ products containing high levels of carbohydrates, particularly sugar. Fat provides flavour, and more importantly there is a ‘fat switch’ in our bodies that turns on when we’ve eaten enough. There’s no such switch for carbs, so we can eat starches and sugars till they come out of our ears. So, don’t avoid fat. It doesn’t ‘make you fat’, it is delicious and it keeps you away from carbs.

 

 

Posted in Author Interviews, General

Raven’s Bane (Dark Compass Book 2) posted for preorder

willbly-72dpi-1500x2000(1)It’s happening! Raven’s Bane will be released December 2, 2019. The manuscript was finished years ago, but we wanted to get it right. The third Dark Compass book is also in progress and coming along well. Raven’s Bane brings you back into the world of Irulen and his merry band to find them fractured from the events that took place during Ravens in the Sky. They have largely lost their faith and trust in each other. Quinn is missing, Kay has left, and it is up to Farah to pull the pieces back together. Along the way, they will meet a multitude of both new and familiar faces.

Meanwhile, we learn much, much more about Ithial, the man terrorizing them from the shadows. Ithial’s story is brought to light as his and Irulen’s paths rush headlong toward each other. The Crystal Caves await as does their destiny.

Posted in Books, Novellas, and Stories, General

The ravens are calling…

Raven’s Bane, the sequel to RITS, is coming closer to being published. While the manuscript was finished a couple years ago, it remains in post-processing – my apologies. The good news is that the third and final book to the trilogy is coming along while RB is being polished. This means that there should be a much shorter wait between books 2 and 3. Irulen, Farah, Quinn, Kay, and Merek have not been abandoned. Their stories will be told and I thank you for your patience.

Posted in General

Been busy… but progress is being made!

Hi all,

Ravens Bane IS being processed. Had an issue with funding and other consequences of life. We’ll be putting out a release date sooner than later, probably for this upcoming summer. If all goes as planned, you’ll have a fresh story about the trials and tribulations of Irulen, Kay, and the rest of our merry bunch in your hands when you hit the beach. Of course, no beach visit would be complete without bringing the dark, dreary, bitingly sarcastic and somehow hopeful world of ‘Ravens’ with you. We are also looking at expanding and re-branding ‘Creatures’ as fables or fairy tales. Describing the contents of this collection as “short stories” just doesn’t feel right. Plus we’re adding a fairy tale about a Tree — Hans Christian Anderson eat your heart out. We will also be removing my work from Amazon kindle select and onto other platforms such as Smashwords. My work will still be available on Amazon, just not exclusively so. Hope all is well. Thanks for your patience as we get this right.

WB

Posted in General

A Tale of Two Women

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I know two women. They are great and strong in their own ways, but they both need my help. I help them up the stairs. I help them into and out of cars. I help them to the bathroom. I help them eat. I help keep them motivated.

They have a lot of pain: Aching joints, bloated stomachs, back problems, nausea, bouts of depression. What they have, they wish they could be done with it.

They get emotional. They cry and they say mean things. They apologize and can’t shake feelings of guilt. Sometimes they sit despondent. Sometimes they feel happy — peaks of happiness taller than the lowliest of their many valleys.

They crack jokes at their own expense. They laugh off silly comments that actually hurt their feelings. They know we don’t mean it. They bury the small things.

They are scared of what comes next, but they’re also curious. The pain will end, and when it ends the next step is what they make of it. They wonder what the future holds.

They grow angry. They get angry at me, at everyone, at the world. They often feel alone, and they doubt anyone can understand their feelings. Sometimes they curse the stars.

They explore their faith. In God, in nature, in their doctors, in their family, in themselves. They question their worth, and because of this they feel guilty.

They feel like a burden, that they could be more and do more. They feel bad. They want to do more for the ones they love. To them love is action, love is truth, and love is unconditional. Love is helping out, love is pitching in. They can’t love in this way, but they find new ways to love.

They love by putting on a brave face. They protect us from feeling sad. They assure us everything is okay and change the topic if it grows too grim. They smile through discomfort.

I know two women. One, my mother, fought and passed from cancer. The other, my wife, gave birth to our beautiful baby boy. These are the best and strongest women I know.

Posted in General Tagged with: , , ,

Ravens in the Sky Signed Print Giveaway on Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ravens in the Sky by Will Bly

Ravens in the Sky

by Will Bly

Giveaway ends September 09, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I’ve signed a print copy of Ravens in the Sky to be delivered by raven to a lucky reader on Goodreads. RITS represents my first foray into writing fiction, and I am happy to say it has been well-received. While I’ve gone on to write other projects, RITS remains my standard-bearer. The manuscript of Raven’s Bane, RITS’s sequel, is finished and now walks the path to publish-town. Stay tuned.

Debut Fantasy-Mystery, Ravens in the Sky

Debut Fantasy-Mystery, Ravens in the Sky

 

 

Posted in General

5 Questions with Fantasy Author Heather Love Fitzgerald

I had a chance to have a chat with Heather Fitzgerald, author of The Tethered World and the upcoming The Flaming Sword. I have always been impressed with her writing and the amount of effort she puts into the outreach to her readers. We talk about Facebook promotion, what it means to be phantasmagorical, and magical mushrooms…

Heather Fitzgerald

Heather Fitzgerald

You threw one heck of a Facebook party for The Tethered World. How’d you pull it off?

Whew! It was a ton of fun but it felt like I was launching the first manned flight to Mars from my dining room. I had an awesome team on Facebook that helped to spread the word and invite the masses before the big day. During the previous year, I snatched up cool book related swag (I mean, who doesn’t want Bigfoot or Gnome gear? No, really.).

Then I made some pretty awesome Memes (if I do say so myself), that would act as questions for each segment of the party. Every 15 minutes I posted a new one, along with a picture of what was up for grabs. Everyone that commented got their name in a cyber hat. My husband and another couple were responsible for keeping up with the flood of comments and writing down names which (in theory) left me free to chat. We used a random number generator to pick the winners.
In the end we had over 200 people at the party and excellent sales (for a nobody, debut author like myself). It was a stressful bundle of fun which left all five us exhausted but happy with how the evening went. More importantly, the partygoers LOVED it and we actually had ongoing conversations for days from the party site on FB. The Tethered World went to #2 and #11 in different categories on Amazon. My publisher was quite pleased and proclaimed the party a success!!!!

An example of a meme that Heather used for her Facebook party.

An example of a meme that Heather used for her Facebook party.

You’ve made the word “Phantasmagorical” your own. What is it about this word that resonates with you?

Ah! You’ve done a little homework I see :) Well, something about the word itself captures my imagination. It’s not a true onomatopoeia, but if you squint your eyes and tilt your head to listen, it kinda works that way. Speaking the word is like taking an adventure with your mouth. It’s lengthy enough that you could fall into a rabbit hole, or walk through a wardrobe, before you finish pronouncing it.

When we talked earlier, I complimented your book and you told me that you had a lot of creative input into how it came out. I must ask, what makes mushrooms so… fantastical?

I believe you’re referring to the *ahem* phantasmagorical book cover? Yes, it was definitely a process. One which included a creative crisis that made me look like an unstable, right-brained idiot, I might add.

My publisher hires a graphic artist to design a cover via stock photos. She’s kind enough to include me in the process. But it’s quite, QUITE difficult to find pictures that reflect a world that only exists in one’s head. Finding graphics that represented my quirky, fantasy world was overwhelming to say the least.

How about one of the cities in the book? Maybe one of the legendary creatures? The main character (teenage, female…waaay overdone)? So we tried this and that and all manner of things in between. It most often looked dark and brooding. I didn’t want readers to have the wrong impression of the story. In frustration, I attempted to scrap it all and sent photos of other fantasy covers on the market that I liked which had a completely different feel (the aforementioned creative crisis). My publisher did not take the bait, thankfully.

Since the obvious searches were coming up void of anything I cared for, I decided to search for more obscure things that still said ‘fantasy’. There is a scene in The Tethered World in which the main character, Sadie, comes across giant, glowing mushrooms. It’s also where she meets her first not-so-mythical creature, a leprechaun. So, you see, this makes mushrooms fantastical, at least to me!

Who would’ve thought I’d actually score a hit searching for ‘magical mushrooms’ but there were quite a few pictures to choose from. Most I didn’t care for. But it only takes ONE. And the one we used turned out perfect. Spot on.

Add to the mushrooms the cool dragon image that my publisher chose and—complicated as that—we had our cover. Book two, The Flaming Sword, took a similar amount of angst with fewer meltdowns on my part.

The Tethered World -- out now!

The Tethered World — out now!

Autism is a subject that is making its way into our literary canon more and more. Tell me about the role of autism in The Tethered World.

The roll of autism in my story begins with the roll of autism in my life. My son is autistic. As a parent, I grapple with how his challenges fit in with this already broken world. Dealing with his uniqueness is part of what constitutes ‘normal’ life for our family for the last twenty-three years. And with with autism numbers swelling like the mercury here in Texas, it touches EVERYONE in some way these days.

I wanted to include autism (as well as homeschooling…something else that is normal to my family) as a regular part of a typical teenage girl’s life. Dealing with her brother’s meltdowns and quirks are part of what makes Sadie, Sadie. Like the fact that she hates roller coasters. That’s just how it is and she deals with it. There was no agenda or soapbox in mind by including either of these elements in the story (autism and homeschooling), they were used as a backdrop that helps to inform the main character’s personality.

Let’s face it, they’re both part of our society in some way. Whether by firsthand experience…or simply because you live in America. These things are on the radar (not the peripheral) and should be included in a matter-of-fact way.

Through the eyes of Heather Fitzgerald, everyone rocks!

Through the eyes of Heather Fitzgerald, everyone rocks!

Your main character, Sadie, slips into another world. What’s her initial reaction like? What was your reaction as a writer exploring this world for the first time?

I’ve heard it said that our main characters are an extension of ourselves as writers. Especially in the first few novels. Guilty as charged here. My reaction and Sadie’s would be pretty similar.

She/we would rather read about such places than be dragged into them in real life. I know it may sound boring and unadventurous, but would you really and truly want to meet a colony of Yetis? Ogres? Okay, maybe Gnomes and Meadow Faeries but only because they’re much smaller than humans (although Gnomes do have stealth and deadly skills).

But, because I love to read such stories, I had to write them as well (logical conclusion right?). As trite as it sounds, I’m in love with Narnia and I owe my desire to write to CS Lewis. I wanted more of his sort of adventure. Tales that seem like they could, quite possibly, be true.
And so…I wrote a tale that—I hope—will transport readers in a similar way. Will make them think, “hey, this it could really happen”. I’m no Clive Staples Lewis, but I desire to write stories that he would enjoy reading, if he were alive today.

I love a good “what if”. What if you could find a magical piece of furniture? Or a ring? What if something extraordinary could happen to us ordinary folks? Though the reality of it would be terrifying, my imagination doesn’t mind it a bit. I certainly didn’t want to leave the pages of Narnia, or the Wood between the Worlds—but I certainly don’t want to travel there in the flesh, either. (Okay, maybe a tiny part of me would like the opportunity to at least present itself).

I like to say Sadie is a reluctant heroine. She’s not tough. Not ready to kick someone’s butt. She’s angry about the secrets her parents have kept from her. She’s sarcastic. She’s scared. But she’s also fiercely loyal and desires to do what’s right, no matter how hard it is. I’d like to believe that’s the grit I would find within myself in a similar situation.

Grit and God. That’s the way to get through a zombie apocalypse (not included in my book) or a tunnel full of dark dwarves (definitely included).

Connect: www.heatherllfitzgerald.com, WriteFitz (twitter), tetheredworld (instagram).
The Tethered World is available on Amazon in paperback and digital formats. Free to read on Kindle Unlimited! Audiobook available on audible.com.
Book two, The Flaming Sword, is available November 1st.

The Flaming Sword due out Nov. 1st, 2016

The Flaming Sword due out Nov. 1st, 2016

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Posted in Author Interviews, General

5 Questions with Fantasy Reader and Hobbyist Writer John Blenkinsop

I think the real fun thing about this interview is that John writes for children he knows in the same way that Tolkien did. Stories written for specific children tend to resonate with others, and the same can be said about the Worlds of Yifan books.

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Prince Yifan and Princess Yifan are YA books set in Asia. Why does Asia provide the perfect setting for what you wanted to accomplish?

The books started with Princess Yifan, because my step-daughter, Yifan, was at that time very much into princess stories. I’ve written short stories for friends over the years and now I felt I had the stamina to write a children’s length novel. So I did.

And because Yifan was born in China, and has an investment in Chinese culture, parts of the first book – and then half of the second – had to be in an Asian setting. China is fascinating. But like many non-Western cultures they are looking to the West for their ‘new’ culture. This is, I believe, a mistake. But so much of Chinese culture was destroyed and reviled during the so-called Cultural Revolution that there is a void to fill. Thankfully, it is becoming more popular in China to look back to their rich history. I draw from this history – the very early Qin dynasty and the last Qing dynasty – to provide the background for both books. There’s a Korean dimension in book two, because Yifan’s father is half-Korean, and she likes Korean culture.

Taiwan came into it because I needed a long sea voyage!

You are a fan of Philip K. Dick. Why do you think his fiction translates so well to the big screen (Bladerunner, Minority Report, Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly)?

It’s strange that Dick’s fiction should translate so well to the screen, since it is often fragmented and confusing. But there are people out there who can see through the jarring, flicker-book prose to the deeper realities of his work, and they are the ones who can see his visions up there on the screen.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to see a proper film (not an animation) of A Scanner Darkly. I have it in my head, along with the score – mostly the Rolling Stones and Elton John, with the final scene in the drug-field being Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

Dick was a visionary and visual writer – although he didn’t describe flitters or surroundings or faces or clothing, his works bring images constantly to mind. That can make it difficult for fans to appreciate the films, because we all have our own images. But I have to say, most of the films so far have to my mind been at the acceptable end of the spectrum.

But I would like a film that encompasses the total strangeness of Dick’s mind. Something like Valis, or Ubik. Then we would truly see him on the big screen.

As an adult you still read children’s or YA books from time to time. Admittedly, so do I. What is it about these books that remains appealing? Name a book that you read in childhood that has shaped your life.

There are so many. I started by reading Enid Blyton, and went on to Nesbitt and R M Ballantyne, R L Stephenson, Captain W E Johns – sometimes I wonder if I preferred reading writers with two initials!

I was probably too young to appreciate Valley of the Dolls at 11. But I enjoyed The Carpetbaggers, by Harold Robbins, and horror stories (M R James, another double initial author).

Anyway – Martin Rattler, by R M Ballantyne, has stayed with me for many years. And the narrative form is my preferred form for writing. There’s a vogue for eschewing adverbs, which I ignore; and another for demoting semi-colons; and another for ‘show, don’t tell’. Ballantyne was lucky enough to live at a time when none of those rules applied. I thank him, although my readers might not!

In your Smashwords interview, you list some authors you’ve recently read and recommended:

Authors recently read and recommended – Charlaine Harris (Lily Bard series), Charles Stross, Lee Child, the late Ian M Banks / Ian Banks, Sir Terry Pratchett, Herman Melville (Moby Dick), Neil Gaiman and E Nesbit.

Merge two works by any two of these authors and make a quick synopsis. Pitch it to us.

Five Children and IT, by E Nesbitt and Charles Stross

Bob Howard, erstwhile System Security Officer at The Laundry, could not have been more surprised when a simple summoning (requested on the correct forms, in triplicate) brought up not a third-level Presence, but a collection of children in various states of snottiness. Including a baby.

Getting them out of a secure office they should not have been in in the first place was less of a problem than finding them somewhere to stay, but Bob’s partner took it all in her stride. And while Bob started a surreptitious hunt for Psammeads in the Laundry’s eccentric databases, the children began turning Dulwich into a hotspot for Edwardian high jinks…

What’s coming next? What are you working on?

I am not a professional writer. I’m going to have to work well into my seventies to support my rather younger family, and I can see that I can’t rely on royalties! But I have started the Yifan stories, and I don’t want to stop.

First is book three, in which the Dutch Captain is revealed and the physics of inter-Universe travel is discovered. There are dark themes here, and it’s not recommended for those under 13 (although that would never have stopped me, at 10 or 11).

Then a novel-length version of my adult short story Glassman.

Next would be a novel in the Worlds of Yifan series which follows Shen Teal, the Prince in Prince Yifan, in an adventure in his World – you know he’s engaged to an eleven-year-old murderess, no small thanks to Yifan. I like that World, and there is certainly more there for a fourteen-year-old boy to encounter.

I have some shorts from years ago that I might collect and put on Smashwords – The Knights of the Golden Drain. Please don’t hold your breaths! There’s a wizard – Anadin, the Pandemic of Zubes. But usually I don’t ‘do’ magic. Partly because I don’t believe in it, and partly because I have no ideas for a convincing magical system. if I find one, I might include it in later books. So watch this space…

Posted in Author Interviews, General

Creatures: A Collection of Short Stories has a surprise addition…

Consider the Pot Sweetened!
Last week I announced the pre-order for Creatures, a collection of 5 short stories that serve as an tribute to a word I’m fascinated with.

Creatures, by Will Bly

Creatures, by Will Bly


This week I want to let you know that we’ve added the first chapter  of Raven’s Bane to Creatures.

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Not only will you enjoy my twisted creations, but you’ll be treated to the first view into the sequel to Ravens in the Sky (of which you can get a free e-book version through July). Darker, deeper, more disturbing… but maybe more hopeful?

So please, grab RITS for free, pre-order Creatures for a buck, and let me know what you think about the first chapter of Raven’s Bane!

Thank you for your contributions to the “diaper fund”!

Will B

Baby Bly coming October, 2016

Baby Bly coming October, 2016!

Posted in General

5 Questions with fantasy author J.M. Butler (Jessica B. Fry)

I was recently able to toss a few questions J.M. Butler‘s way. We talk about the influence of her grandfather on her writing, the blessing that is Wattpad, and the headaches she experiences when she doesn’t write.

J.M. Butler hanging out.

J.M. Butler hanging out.

The strongest aspect of your popularity seems to be your presence on Wattpad. How’d you establish yourself there?

In a very long, roundabout and rather unintentional way. When I first signed onto Wattpad, it was more to see if I could find a larger community of writers to engage with (and I did!). I started off posting chapters to a Little Mermaid retelling (Mermaid Bride) as well as a Norse, Egyptian, and Greek mythology mashup (Ragnarok Unravels). I participated in the various forums and eventually began hosting writing competitions. I’ve always loved writing prompt challenges, and so I started hosting those and providing detailed feedback for the competitors whenever I could. I also began uploading other stories and interacting with my readers while also reading and commenting on other people’s books.

It’s rather interesting to look back on my time with Wattpad because initially I thought it was just going to be a fun escape, and I took it one step at a time. I’ve been on the platform for a little over two years now, and I’ve helped establish a few profiles, including the Fantasy_Community. I’ve won a “Watty” for Mermaid Bride, and I became an ambassador. In total, I’ve actually released over 18 full novels and over 20 novellas and short stories on Wattpad. Some have been taken down to allow for full revisions and their eventual publication, but others will remain up.

Your pen name is a tribute to your Grandfather, Jim Butler, who inspired you to keep writing. If he checked in on you today, what do you reckon he would say about your writerly endeavors?

I think he’d probably pick up the latest draft of Identity Revealed and ask, “So when are you gonna actually finish this, sweetheart?”

I was actually working on Identity Revealed (then just The Portal) on the last night I saw him. He read the chapter where my protagonist slips through time, and that was when he smiled and told me he believed in me. I was really quite young then, so it’s not surprising that I had to rewrite so much of it. I cut my teeth on it, and it has been rewritten over 25 times so it bears little similarity to that initial draft. Though the time slip does still happen.

But Grandpa would probably tell me to finish it up and let it go. Then he’d want to know what had changed and what was new and whether I wanted to go pick up a pizza with him. (And I would definitely say yes.)

J.M. Butler having a Leia moment

J.M. Butler having a Leia moment

You are a prolific writer and you keep your readers satiated with new material. How do you keep up the breakneck pace?

If I don’t write, I feel antsy. The longer I go without writing, the worse it gets. Sometimes failure to write even triggers a headache. Each day I set aside time to write, even if it’s just in a notebook or dashed off on a legal pad while waiting for a client to show up. It’s a rather useful addiction to have as an author.

However, Wattpad has exacerbated the addiction. I have a solid group of readers who regularly interact with the stories, asking questions, offering thoughts, and otherwise anticipating the upcoming chapters. Each morning when I wake up, I find new questions and conversations with people who want to know more about these worlds and characters.

I’m not yet at a point where I can write full time. So I have to juggle this between keeping house, running a law firm, and volunteering. The need to write helps me carve out time in between tasks while my readers and the community motivates me to push even harder and encourages me even when I feel like I’m drowning.

In fairness though, my level of productivity varies, and I’ve learned to be flexible. This last week for instance included my sister’s wedding, two jury trials, a cracked windshield, and an allergic reaction to ground bee stings among other things. So I’ve only managed to eke out a couple chapters total. It used to bother me when I couldn’t meet my quota, but now I’ve accepted that that is just how it is sometimes, and that’s all right.

On Wattpad, you curate your own list of good fantasy novels. If you had to suggest one that is similar in some way to your own work which would it be?

Ah, yes, I need to update that list with some more of the treasures I’ve uncovered.

Some of the best that I’ve found are Brittanie Charmintine’s Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them (hilarious tongue in cheek spin on teen drama, environmentalism, and coming of age), Amber K. Bryant’s Fold series (hauntingly sweet paranormal about a girl and a boy and other dimensions), Sarah Benson’s Born of Shadow (gripping Egyptian action adventure for teens and adults), and Emily Keys The Dragon’s Throne (high fantasy adventure with a fun spin on dragons and magic).

You stated on your website recently that there is an exciting announcement soon. Any hints?

Yes! I can share some of it now. My story, Why Yes, Bluebeard, I’d Love To, is one of the top 25 finalists in the Target and Simon & Schuster anthology competition, Once Upon Now. The other news I have to sit on a little longer, but hopefully I’ll be able to talk about it soon.

Thank you so much for this opportunity and for being willing to work with my schedule. It was a privilege to be here. I hope you have a wonderful day!

To read more on J.M. Butler please visit her Wattpad Page

Posted in Author Interviews, General

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