Monday, October 18, 2010

Please welcome XOXO Publishing author Lenore Butcher!

Describe yourself as a hero or a heroine and why would you describe yourself
this way?

I see myself as more of an antihero, like Han Solo in the Star Wars movies. Quick with a witty comeback and hiding emotions behind bravado, yet always comes through for his friends in the end. I'm outwardly very glib and cynical by nature, but underneath I treasure my friends and family and pride myself on my honesty and integrity.

When did you start writing?

I was six when I wrote my first short story, "A Dark and Stormy Night with Scott", who was my Grade One crush. It was two pages long and was about myself and my First Grade crush in an abandoned mansion during a thunderstorm. I was very proud when my teacher read it out loud to the class. I think Scott was likely less than thrilled. Anyhow, I never looked back and I've written like a fiend every possible waking moment ever since.

What made you write your book and why?

NaNoWriMo made me do it. NaNoWriMo is an international writing competition that takes place every November. Participants are challenged to write an entire novel in 30 days. The year I wrote my first draft for Dead Girls, Dogs and Ponies, I couldn't take place in NaNoWriMo in November, so one of my friends challenged a group of us to do it in January. I set to it and the first draft was written in just under 31 days (29 days to be exact, if such things matter). I then set about polishing and editing it over the next several months until I was satisfied enough with it. Oddly enough the girl who challenged me to write this book is the graphic artist who did my cover art for the novel. Funny how things work out. So it was my own competitive nature that really inspired me to write this book. And yes, I do NaNo every single year. I'm already gearing up for this year's effort. Two weeks and counting!!!

Who is your inspiration?

Professionally, I'm inspired by other paranormal writers such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris and Kelley Armstrong, along with a host of others. Personally my husband and my children are my strength and my solace and I've also been blessed with close ties to my parents and my younger brother. I have the kind of life where strange things happen on an almost daily basis and many of them help encourage my creative exploits.

How did you feel when you found that XoXo Publishing contracted you?

I think my FaceBook status from the day says it best: "Ohmigod. Ohmigod. Ohmigod."

Are you writing anything new and if so what are you writing now?

I'm always writing, usually more than one project. Right now I'm hard at work on the sequel to Dead Girls, Dogs and Ponies. It's called "Food Chain Boogie". I'm also working on two short stories for upcoming XoXo anthologies and I have two completed novels that need a bit of polish before they go in. I'm also writing a play about a creepy gothic family in a creepy gothic mansion -- it's a comedy of errors called "In Poor Taste".

Do you listen to music when you're writing and if so which kind?

If music is playing, it either has to be instrumental or something I don't know. If it's music I'm familiar with, my writing session is in danger of becoming an air band session. I do quite often have the tv on just as background noise but I'm usually not listening to it.

What advice would you give a new writer breaking out into the writing field?

Keep writing and keep reading. Invest in a good dictionary and a good thesaurus. Have beta readers, yes that's right, more than one is best in my experience. I actually have three beta readers and everything goes to them before I send it to the publisher. One is wicked smart in grammar and spelling and she's there to catch any of those mistakes. One is uber critical with a very good memory and is very good at finding any continuity errors I may have made in rewrites. And the last one is my desired target demographic... he lets me know if I've nailed it, if it's something he would read even if I wasn't making him read it and bribing him with promises of lasagne. I also don't usually send my work to the beta readers until I'm on at least the third draft. Until then, I guard my work in progress very closely.

What promotional advice would you give a new author and why?

Keep in mind that although yes, your publisher will help you promote your book, they are also promoting every other author in their company. It's up to you to help your promotional efforts. Scope out opportunities, like sending press releases to your local media (or at least making sure your p.r. department at the publishing company gets the right contact info!) Most importantly, keep every single commitment you make at all possible costs. You do NOT want to get a reputation for being unreliable this early in the game!

Give us a glimpse in mind what are you thinking right now?

Two weeks from tonight is Hallowe'en! I love Hallowe'en. Next to Christmas it's my favourite holiday. My living room is strewn with decorations ready to be put up in the next few days. My daughter wants to be a goblin and I have no idea how to make that costume!!! I told her the most I can do is cut two holes in a sheet and throw it over her head and she can be a ghost. She didn't like that idea.

The Bio:

Lenore Butcher Bio

Lenore successfully fended off her first zombie apocalypse when the living dead attacked the kibbutz she was raised on in Isreal… Okay, so that’s maybe not the whole truth. Lenore was born in a small town in Ontario where she still lives to this day, right around the corner from the house she grew up in.

Lenore was almost two weeks late being born. The family joke is that she was finishing the book she was reading. Everyone who knows Lenore knows that’s not true. It’s never taken her two whole weeks to read a book. From the age of two and a half when she began reading, she has been a voracious reader and from the age of six when she penned her first story, a little ditty called “Dark and Stormy Night with Scott” (her Grade One crush), she’s also been a prolific and dedicated writer.

Her first full length novel “Dead Girls, Dogs and Ponies” was published by XOXO Publishing as an e book in November of 2009 and is also available as a paperback. She prefers to write stories with a dark edge and rife with black humour.

Lenore lives with her husband, two children and two hamsters in the aforementioned small town where her hobbies include reading, writing, walking, roleplaying games, video games, crafts and being the town weirdo.

The Blurb:
Dead Girls Blurb

Dead Girls, Dogs and Ponies introduces a new twist on an old genre. It is a hard- boiled detective novel set in the dark underbelly of a city populated by supernatural citizens living secret lives among the mortals. Justin is an information broker who just happens to be a zombie. He is an advocate for justice for the oppressed servants of the city's vampires and yearns for the day when he will once again be reunited with his lost love, Honey. Justin is hired to solve the mystery of who was foolish enough to begin a war with the city's most powerful vampiric Dynasty. He quickly realizes that there is much more at stake than just petty vampire politics. When the vampires themselves prove to be the ones with the most to lose, Justin finds out he’s in for more trouble than he’d originally anticipated.

The book can be purchased at:
(ebook) and (paperback)

Thanks for stopping by Lenore and good luck on your book sales!

~ Sandy

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