I don’t think writing was ever something I decided to do. It was something I’ve always done. But I didn’t get serious about writing, or as Don Winslow says, I didn’t decide to “marry” writing instead of “fooling around” with it until I was in my first creative writing class in college. I was twenty-five, had been married for a year and had my first daughter.
That writing class was the place where my characters came alive and I knew, after some conversations and sort of serendipitous meetings with some seasoned writers I respected that I wanted to put a ring on writing, so to speak.
Who is your favorite character overall that you've written?
A character no one, outside of my close friends, will ever read. He’s a vampire, a complete bastard and has zero qualms about wanting a mortal and wanting to make her his. He was fabulous. Sadly, the vampire genre got played out and Mr. Calen will stay on my hardrive and live in my friends’ email folders.
As far as characters you guys have read, it would be a toss-up between Kona Hale, Declan Fraser and a character from Thick Love, Aly King. She is remarkable, isn’t afraid of showing you her claws when she needs to, but they aren’t that sharp.
I did really, really love Luka in Thin Love and my copy editor and I spent a solid two hour lunch one day trying like hell to NOT make what happen to him, happen. We failed miserably.
Do you think you would pursue one or more of your series becoming a television program whether it be a cable network or a miniseries?
I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but I’d have to really think about who wanted it. I’m a bit wary of television execs. They tend to cancel all my very favorite shows. *Sighs wistfully at Firefly*
What does your research process look like?
Years ago, when I really got serious about writing, I followed Diana Gabaldon’s blog. This was well before Starz’s Outlander show and she was very good about interacting with her fanbase. (She still does that, I believe, on her Facebook). Long story short, I asked her about her the research she’d done for Outlander. She responded saying that when she started writing Outlander she was surrounded by peers who claimed to be “researching” and their type of research tended to go on for years without a single word being written. The difference between her and those researching peers was that she researched and wrote at the same time. I followed her lead.
I don’t do lots and lots of research prior to starting a project, but I do plenty while in the process of writing. I think that is the only excuse for using a computer with internet access while you write.
If you could have a happily ever after with one of your hero's which one would it be?
Such a ridiculous, shallow answer, but I’d have to say Kona. Because he’s just so damn pretty. Well, can I say someone who looks exactly like Kona but has an Irish accent like Declan?
How do you plan, develop and write your characters?
I don’t really have plans initially. I typical see scenes in my head, like watching a movie. Some of those scenes are so vivid to me that I will write an entire book around them. (See Kona and Keira’s meeting in the French Market sixteen years later in Thin Love. I’d had that scene in my mind for years).
Sometimes I think to myself “I really want to write a second-chance story” or “I’d love to write about a group of friends at the end of their college career.” It completely depends on the inspiration I get for these characters and how to fit them into those scenes I see.
What series and/or book was the most fun to write?
Thin Love is absolutely the best time, and the most draining time I’ve had writing. I think that’s because I cared a lot about these characters. But I have to say that writing about an Irishman stuck in a small town in Tennessee is absolutely thrilling. I adore writing that accent of Declan’s.
What advice do you give aspiring authors?
Read, read, read, read. I mention this all the time because it is absolutely vital to developing your own voice and your own ideas. As Stephen King says “If you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have time or the skills to write.”
Second most important bit of advice: Finish what you start. Always. No matter how horrible, how silly, how predictable you think your story is, you must, must, must finish it. That’s the difference between someone who likes to write stories and an author. The author finished what she started.
When you write do you have special music that plays depending upon the scene and do you picture a certain actor/actress in your mind for your main characters?
No, in fact, I wear these goofy ear muffs I bought for eight bucks at Wal-Mart in the sporting goods section. Pretty sure they’re used for a gun range. I cannot have any noise at all when I write, but if I need to get in a certain mood for a scene, I’ll listen to something. Lately it’s been Sia (who owns my heart) and The Weeknd.
As far as the actors go…I don’t think it’s any secret that Mr. The Rock is definitely Kona. Henry Cavill is Ryan because, yes and Declan is a man unlike any other. I don’t go into a manuscript thinking “Oh, this is going to be my love letter to Dwayne Johnson” but sometimes you see a certain picture on line, or come across a board on Pinterest that you can’t turn away from and, well, inspiration happens.
But yeah, Mr. The Rock? Totally Kona.
What can we expect to see from you in the coming year?
Definitely the final full-length Serenity book, Catching Serenity and possibly a novella in that universe. Probably another Shadows books, this time with Sammy and, well, I’m not saying there will be another Ransom book, but…there will be another Ransom book. When that will be will depend on several factors that haven’t really happened it.
I’m also working on a side project I plan to query early next year, but that won’t be an “Eden” book.
What can you tell us about the process from development to blog tour of Thick Love?
It was exhausting and nerve-wracking. I’ll be honest, Thin Love did so well and was so well received that it made following it up very stressful. Not everyone will like it because Ransom is young, he is not either of his parents and he went through something that was utter heartache. So, in a lot of ways it’s darker than Thin Love. It’s also a story about a relationship that he had and one that he’s building, so there isn’t this great, epic love for him, not yet, like Keira and Kona had.
I put a lot of pressure on myself because I was so petrified that people wouldn’t embrace it like they did Thin Love. I had to stop myself from doing that. At the end of the day, it’s a story I needed to write and I’m proud of how it turned out.
Marketing is always very hard, especially when you have a day job where you’re pretty certain middle management is trying to slowly drive you insane. But I am so immensely blessed to have a wonderful street team and support system of bloggers and friends who help me spread the word about my books. They are awesome.
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.
She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.
Please send help.
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