DAILY DOSE | Interview with Shannon K. Butcher - LOVE YOU TO DEATH
October 3, 2009
Please join me in welcoming author Shannon K. Butcher to the
Daily Dose to celebrate her newest release: Love You to Death. The
novel takes Butcher fans to a new place as she explores romantic suspense. So
kick back, grab your coffee and enjoy our little question and answer
Tell us a little about Love You To Death? Is this a
paranormal romance or a nitty, gritty crime drama/romance?
is a romantic suspense, and possibly the creepiest stuff Iíve ever written. Itís
about a woman whose sister has gone missing. No one believes Ashleyís
disappearance is anything sinister, but Elise knows differently. With the help
of hunky, ex-cop neighbor Trent, Elise will stop at nothing to discover what
happened to her sister, despite the number of mutilated bodies that are piling
What is about the romance genre that appeals to
Itís the relationships between people that intrigues me
most. Thereís nothing more exciting to me than watching two people fall in
loveówhether they dive in head first or fight it every step of the way, itís
always fun to witness. Throwing in the complications of monsters, terrorists or
serial killers just makes it that much more interesting.
you describe your writing process? Do you have a writing schedule that you
I have two modes: rough draft mode and everything
else. When Iím in rough draft mode, I spend several hours a day writingóusually
2500-5000 words per day. The house gets messy, the laundry piles up and my guys
are on their own for meals (which I think they secretly like). I do that for 4-6
weeks, then the book is done. After that comes everything else: revision, edits,
interviews, conventions, promo, etc. When Iím doing those things, I tend to work
shorter hours and catch up on all the things that went awry during rough draft
mode. As my career goes forward, it seems like the line between those two modes
is becoming blurry, as things like copy edits and page proofs are due and canít
wait until Iím done with a rough draft. Iím adjusting as I go
What was the toughest part of the publishing routine?
Revision is the worst. As an engineer
it was important that I did things right the first time, as mistakes could
potentially end up hurting someone. So, the fact that the rough draft isnít
perfect feels like a failure to me every time. I KNOW thatís not the way the
writing process works, but itís still hard for me to make that mental
adjustment. Plus, I just donít like revision. Iíd rather be moving on to the
Each book is a learning experience, what will you
take from this book forward?
This book really changed the way I
see the world. I did quite a bit of research into the criminal mind and what hit
me the hardest was that people who do the kinds of horrible things my villain
did in this book arenít necessarily crazy. They simply like hurting people. And
they appear completely normal to people around them. So now I look at people
with a lot more suspicion and mistrust. In fact, it was this book that compelled
me to buy a gun and learn how to use it.
What type of books do
you yourself like to read?
I mostly read paranormal romance and
romantic suspense, though I do branch out to other flavors of romance and an
occasional non-romance book.
You're married to Jim Butcher who is
wildly popular via his Harry Dresden and Codex Alera books as well as other
projects. Do you ever feel like you are competing with him?
at all. Weíve been married longer than we were single, so at this point we share
everything. His victories are mine and vice-versa. We share ideas, help each
other and try to make things as easy on the other as possible. And Iím not a
competitive person at allóIím far too stubborn for that. Iím going to do what
Iím going to do, and what other people do isnít likely to influence my decisions
Now, that being said, itís clear that other people pit us
against each other. Iíve had plenty of reviews that compared my work to Jimís,
which never fails to make me giggle. We write such different things in such
different ways, I think itís funny that people try to compare us simply because
Writing can be such a complex and intensely
personal pursuit, is it a struggle to balance family and married life against
competing deadlines in a two novelist family?
I donít think itís
any harder to do what Jim and I do than it is for any other working couple to
balance their lives. In fact, because we set our own schedules, itís easier to
work in school stuff and other family obligations now than it was when I was
doing the day job. Sure, things get a bit tense from time to time, but for the
most part, itís not a problem to get everything done. Of course, our son is
nearly grown now, so it helps a lot that heís
What is the next big goal you have set for
I just got two more 3-book deals in June, so I set a
goal to finish all 6 books and a novella I need to write in about 16 months. So
far Iíve finished one book and am on schedule.
Want to know more about
Shannon? Head over to her website where she hosts some great contests and keeps you in
the loop. I for one am looking forward to reading Love You to Death and her
future book deals. For Sentinals fans, next novel, the Finding the Lost, in that
trilogy will be released in November.