The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles-
Janet: I want to welcome Alexandra Butcher here today and thank you all for coming. Alexandra has written the novel The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles - Book 1 and the second book will be released in the near future. So, Alexandra, tell us a little bit about your book.
Alexandra: Book 1 is an adult dark fantasy/fantasy romance with erotica elements. It follows the adventures of a young elven mage in a world where magic is illegal and elves live as slaves. It is, in part, a story about the dangers of prejudice and ignorance, the fight for freedom and to be allowed to be oneself. It is a story of light trying to find its place in a world which is grey, a world which is dark but mostly it is a fantasy tale of magic, revenge, love and sex.
Janet: How did you come up with the idea for the story? Was it a long time in the making, or did it just smack you atop the head and say, “Hey! I want to write.”?
Alexandra: The book originated from stories written for an RPG game some time ago and stories shared with a couple of good friends. I think Book 1 took about a year or so, book 2 has been longer but has gone through a couple of changes in that time. Book 3 will be shorter but there are also some short stories planned.
Janet: Out of all the characters you created, which one is your favorite? Why?
Alexandra: That is a difficult one, I love all my characters for a variety of reasons. If I had to pick on probably Dii , the female main character, as she goes through so much but still maintains her kindness and courage. She will continue to grow as the series does.
Janet: Dark Fantasy is a popular genre these days, especially after the Twilight craze. What made you choose it and choose to also make it erotica?
Alexandra: I didn’t choose it as such, it chose me. I can’t write happy, fun stories. Pretty much everything I have ever written which was any good is dark. Why include erotica? A part of the characters is their sensuality, they are passionate and it seemed to fit the story. The sexual scenes build the relationships between them. It is fun to write, and fun to read. I hope it brings some light and some love in the otherwise dark story.
Janet: What can readers expect in the next book in the series?
Alexandra: Book 2 – The Shining Citadel – follows on from the events and revelations from Book 1 and is an adventure to find what has been lost, to reveal secrets and to find answers to questions which they didn’t even know had been asked.
Janet: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hobbies? Family? Favorite books to read? What do you do when you’re not working on your novel?
Alexandra: My main job is in an office, it is not exciting but it pays the bills. In this day and age jobs are hard to come by and I appreciate being in employment. Other than writing I enjoy reading. I have loved reading since I was tiny and my tastes include fantasy, historical romance, erotica, sci-fi, historical fiction, mystery and true crime. I also enjoy history and nature, my pets and watching movies. I also like the theatre, especially musicals.
Janet: Will dark fantasy be your only area of writing, or do you plan to branch out into other genres at some point?
Alexandra: I am really not sure. At the moment I am working on the dark fantasy series but I do have a couple of other projects on the back burner, such as a collection of dark fairy tales. I have also written a couple of short fantasy stories for anthologies. One of which will be in a charity anthology later this year. I do also write poetry, whether I will decide to do anything with it remains to be seen. I may also try and develop the world of the novels into an RPG, or develop the RPG world which is sitting on a CD somewhere. I also have a vampire story I may one day develop.
Janet: What inspired you to write your first book?
Alexandra: I think I already answered that. After the RPG I decided to turn the short adventures into a novel, in a world I had created. My best friend and my partner encouraged me to do something with all the note pads, files and whatnot which were around and turn the stories into something more than notes.
Janet: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Alexandra: As I said before, in part the dangers of ignorance, prejudice and indifference.
Janet: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Alexandra: Only one? That is hard, I cannot choose one only. I guess it would be for fantasy Terry Pratchett and JRR Tolkein. Non fantasy, Alexandre Dumas and Gaston Leroux.
Janet: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Alexandra: All my family like reading and making up stories. I used to like writing at school and would often get asked to provide a poem or short story for school events.
Janet: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Alexandra: Finding the courage to actually publish it. I was terrified people would not like it.
Can I just say in reverse to that one of the best moments was seeing the pride on my mother’s face when she held my paperback. She died last year but I am so glad she managed to live to see the book in print. Despite being virtually bed-bound at that point, with cancer she was so happy and so proud and even managed to find the energy to tell everyone she knew about it. That made all the hard work worthwhile.
Janet: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Alexandra: I hope you enjoy the book, if you do please tell your friends and please leave a review.
Janet: Well, that is all the time we have for today. I want to thank you, Alexandra, for joining me on my blog and readers. I wish you the best of luck.
Smash Words: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/290716
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles-alexandra-butcher/1114796078