Hello, dear readers!
I'm just sharing an interview I did for my amazing editor Leah from Invisible Ink Editing here:
In the interview, we discuss my new nonfiction book on writing, how I came up with the idea for the Lansin Island series, what my writing process looks like, advice for budding authors, finding the motivation to write, and much more! (You can even find out which Lansin Island resident I'd most like to ask to tea, and why!)
I hope you enjoy reading the interview. Please be sure to leave a comment on the website and share the interview with your friends and family. And if you're a writer too, I highly recommend hiring Invisible Ink Editing for your next project. =]
iTunes / Apple Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1079891942
B & N / NOOK: Barnes & Noble don't allow me to set up pre-orders, but the book will still be published on 26th February, so please keep an eye out.
Paperback: The paperback version isn't currently available for pre-order either, but it will be soon! :)
An ancient enemy returns. Worlds collide …
When Nick discovers an ancient godlike being wants him dead, his life becomes a lot more complicated. On top of that, other creatures he thought existed only in folklore are hunting his mother’s spirit and haunting his dreams. To protect his loved ones, he can no longer rely on his visions alone. He must learn to fight.
Juliet wants to help Nick, but her life is hectic enough as it is. After a brief and messed-up romance with a killer, she’s relieved to finally be on the sidelines. But her strong connection to the Spiritworld means she might be the only one who can help Nick’s mother. She has little choice but to enter the fray again.
Though fighting the creatures in the Spiritworld is risky, it’s their best chance to help Nick’s mother. They just have that other little problem: A demon wants Nick’s head on a plate …
Book Three in the Lansin Island Series
In subtle ways,
In hidden forms,
Disguised as rays.
Not at night,
But sneaks in shadows
Of broad daylight.
Slow it goes,
All your woes.
When weakness sets,
Posed as your friend,
But you're its pet.
And darkness stays
In eyes half open,
A world turned ... the other way.
Hello, Lansin Island Fans!
I don't write poetry often, but enjoy it when I do! I'll share some more on here from time to time, and I welcome any comments on my attempts. So, please, leave some feedback.
What are your thoughts about this poem? What do you think it's about? Does it strike a chord with you? Is it naff and childish? Does it make any sense at all?!
Towards the end of last year, I released an excerpt for A Spirit Displaced (Lansin Island 3), revealing the first two chapters of the story. Now I have the third chapter for you!
Of course, a SPOILER WARNING is needed: If you haven't read the first two books (or the first two chapters of A Spirit Displaced), then don't read this excerpt!
Please be sure to come back to this post and leave comments letting me know what you think to this chapter. After a difficult 2014, I'm making good progress with A Spirit Displaced now and the end is in sight!
LINK TO CHAPTER THREE OF A SPIRIT DISPLACED:
And in case you haven't read the first two chapters yet, here's a link to them too:
Thank you, Lansin Island Fans!
I hope you enjoy the excerpt and are excited for A Spirit Displaced.
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DARKER THINGS by Rob Cornell
Fifteen years have passed since Craig Lockman worked for a shadowy agency fighting monsters most think exist only in nightmares. A mysterious teen girl arrives at his door with his fiercest enemy on her tail. Now he must protect the daughter he never knew from the dark world he thought he left behind.
MOTH by Sean Poindexter
Social worker Max Hollingsworth is no stranger to monsters. Supernatural or human, he's faced all kinds. But when he's called upon to investigate a missing child, he may have met his match.
THE SHEPHERD by Travis Luedke
After saving a mysterious girl from a hit and run, 16 yr. old Mike Evans soon finds his life spiraling out of control. Facing clairvoyant visions of grisly death, Mike struggles to avert disaster and make his way through the chaos.
COUNCIL OF PEACOCKS by M. Joseph Murphy
A band of misfit, half-demon teenagers join the ruthless, immortal Wisdom, to stop The Council of Peacocks. The Council, a secret society of sorcerers, has plotted for centuries, and now the time has come for Activation – a hostile takeover of Earth.
A DEATH DISPLACED by Andrew Butcher
When Nicolas Crystan unexpectedly sees the future, he acts fast to save Juliet Maystone from a fatal accident, unintentionally "displacing" her–giving her the power to see ghosts. Together, they must use their newfound abilities to unravel a mystery more connected to Nicolas than he ever imagined ...
BOUND BY BLOOD by Shane KP O’Neill
Vlad Dracula: ruler, tyrant, warlord, and champion of the Catholic faith, is seized by Lucifer in his moment of death and becomes a monster, born of Darkness. Vlad is charged with destroying the institution of the Catholic Church, to help turn man against God so that Lucifer may finally return to Heaven and end all of mankind.
LUNA SANGUIS by Simon Okill
A mysterious woman awakes in an asylum in France, 1925, with amnesia. As her memory is restored she reveals her true vampiric nature and unleashes a bloody nightmare that might destroy all humanity.
TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD by Steven Ramirez
When a contagion decimates the town of Tres Marias, recovering alcoholic Dave Pulaski, his wife, Holly, and a group of armed soldiers and civilians must find a way to survive.
THE LONG WAY DOWN by Craig Schaefer
The death of a porn star leads sorcerer Daniel Faust down a rabbit hole of conspiracy and madness. For the first time, black magic and bullets might not be enough to save him from the brink of damnation.
BLACKJACK by Kristopher Norris
When Vincent Black, a gun for hire, is told vampires are all too real, he thinks it’s a joke. But soon he learns that he is not the most dangerous brand of hunter out there...
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A Review of Anne Rice's Prince Lestat: Lestat is back with a brand new ENORMOUS ARRAY OF CHARACTERS!
You thought I was gonna say 'track', didn't you, DIDN'T YOU?! Well, no, I believe Lestat is done with the whole rock star phase of his life--you know, after all the havoc it caused--so you won't be finding any new tracks in this book.
But you will find a massive host of characters! I said 'new' above in the title, but most of the 'new' characters are not new, but were very minor side characters in previous books in The Vampire Chronicles and have been fleshed out and cleverly weaved into the tapestry of vampire history Anne Rice has created. You'll even see the return of characters you had believed were dead! But to avoid spoilers, that's all I'm saying on that point.
The way Anne Rice weaves together character story lines across millennia is pure genius. In scope, it reminds me of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, but the style of writing and storytelling is quite different. A fair amount of Prince Lestat is written in a kind of narrative summary style, which isn't to everyone's taste, but I actually loved it. It means that when Anne Rice comes out of this style, which she does in action scenes and for most of the dialogue, it gives a fast-paced feel to the reading experience; you kind of know she has purposely upped the ante.
And the story also takes you all across the globe, which is totally fun! And if I haven't mentioned it already, I love this book!
I'm trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but I think it's fair to vaguely mention aspects that are hinted at in the synopsis. The main mystery that drives this novel forward is The Voice--a rambling and rather capricious voice that can enter vampires' minds and is compelling ancient blood drinkers to immolate the younger vampires. Who or what is this Voice? What does it want? Why is it doing what it's doing? I loved the way Anne Rice keeps you guessing; just when you think you know who or what the Voice is for sure, she throws in something else that makes you doubt your theory. I did correctly guess at it quite early on, but I was never really, really certain until close to the reveal. And it always feels nice when you've been given enough clues by the author to figure it out just before the characters do.
Even if you do guess at who or what the Voice is, there are so many other plot twists and revelations in this book that you'll be gasping and muttering to yourself at regular intervals. You'll be discovering more about the Talamasca, a secret order of scholars of the supernatural, who have always intrigued me! The revelations to do with the Talamasca were some of the most exciting points in this book, actually. And, as to be expected, there's also blood and violence and some jaw-dropping deaths!
Anne Rice has very cleverly given the book a modern feel by introducing science into the equation. You'll meet a vampire scientist: a scientist who studies vampires and is indeed a blood drinker himself. And you'll also see modern gadgets and inventions such as iPhones and emails mentioned throughout. One of the young vampires even has his own vampire-only radio show!
You are in for an exciting read that will have you imagining long ago times, far away places, beautiful immortals, yet also have you contemplating deep social, political, and emotional issues as you live inside the head of some truly tragic beings who somehow still find the strength to see the wonder of life all around them.
In fact, that appeared to be one of strongest themes running throughout Prince Lestat: the need to affirm life's intrinsic value, to embrace life, and not only to make the best out of the present moment, but to let go of old conceptions of an evil, damned race of beings and embrace an optimistic future and a new vision of what vampires can be. It's a powerful and modern statement that Anne Rice makes.
Keeping it as vague and spoiler-free as possible, there's a fantastic point in the book where Lestat himself shows an amazing level of empathy when none of the other characters seem able to. He also shows his ability to be brutal and ruthless when he feels he needs to be, but I thought it was a great and modern message to show just how valuable empathy and forgiveness can be. Maybe Lestat's willingness to show forgiveness will backfire in later books, but it still made me think: What is the point of our prison system if we don't really believe people can be reformed and given another chance? People make mistakes. And yes, I believe there should be punishment, but there should also be empathy, a willingness to see the good in others and to educate them into a better way of living. Is there any point of prison at all if the criminal is not allowed to move past their crimes after serving his/her sentence? We might as well return to the death sentence if most believe there is no point. Anyway, I've massively digressed.
And if you want to know more about my books, then the first in my paranormal suspense Lansin Island Series is FREE, and is definitely for you! Grab it here from one of these retailers:
Amazon Kindle Edition:
US | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP | CA | BR
Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iTunes
And if you're wondering what star rating I would give Prince Lestat, it would be a 5! I'm not really that into star ratings; I'm more of an 'I LOVED IT!' or 'It wasn't really for me,' type of guy. And if a book wasn't really for me, I don't usually rate it.
Thank you for reading this review of Anne Rice's Prince Lestat!
Now, it may be worth pointing out that I'm probably rather biased towards Anne Rice's work, because she had such a massive influence on my life. As I mention on Goodreads here, I probably never would have fell in love with writing if I hadn't fallen in love with and devoured The Vampire Chronicles at around the age of sixteen. Before that age, I wasn't particularly interested in books at all. But after reading Anne Rice's work, I have gone on to fall in love with Charlaine Harris's The Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Books) and many other novels. Reading is now my favourite hobby and, of course, I'm also writing my own books now. (Above, I've attached a photo of my own books--A Death Displaced and A Body Displaced--next to Chraline Harris's and Anne Rice's. I like to daydream.)
Having admitted how much of a fanboy I am, I'm not without my complaints about Prince Lestat. And, from frequently visiting Anne Rice's Facebook page, I know that she is very open to receiving readers' opinions on her work--whether positive, negative, neutral, or whatevz, Trevz--and is also extremely respectful of her readers' opinions.
And so here is the main thing that bugged me about this book and has bugged me about many of Anne's books (although, in perspective, it is actually a rather minor issue):
I would really like to see more obviously intelligent characters who aren't romantics, or so poetic, or massive fans of long-dead musicians, painters, poets, architects (and so on) whose names I can't even bring to mind right now because most people my age aren't really all that interested in them.
This is more of a personal annoyance for me. I understand that many immortals, especially the older ones, would have genuine interests in these type of things. But at times it almost seems that Anne Rice uses it as a mark of intelligence. It wasn't until around 30% into the book that characters started appearing who were portrayed as intelligent yet weren't prone to passionate ponderings (I'm not sure if 'pondering' can be used as a noun like that, but oh well--I like it!) of art and music from other centuries and all of rather sophisticated taste.
Anne Rice's books show diversity in so many other areas--sexuality, ethnicity, religious beliefs, and so on--and so I'd just like to see more diversity in this respect. Especially among the young vampires. Maybe this says more of my social group than of anything else, but I don't know many people my age who really care about or could properly identify many, if any, of the musicians, poets, philosophers (and so on) that are mentioned in Prince Lestat from multiple characters' perspectives.
The only other complaint is very minor too, at least for me. A lot of plot information was repeated within the book itself. I didn't mind, and actually quite appreciated, the recaps of events from the previous Vampire Chronicles. But then I began to notice that a fair amount of it was re-repeated (am I making up words again?!). Anyway. A minor issue for me, as on some level I believe repetition can actually reinforce the plot and your connection to it. If overdone, though, it can irritate and push you away.
A WARNING AND A NOTE ABOUT AMAZON REVIEWS FOR PRINCE LESTAT:
In case you're considering heading over to Amazon.com to look at Prince Lestat, be warned that some reviewers are posting massive spoilers in their reviews and even in the titles of their reviews. Also, try not to be too disconcerted by the way some reviews have been voted unhelpful and some have been voted helpful. The system is gamed. People know that the 'most helpful' reviews float to the top of the reviews, so people who hate the book or the author for whatever reason go out of their way to down-vote positive reviews and up-vote negative reviews, regardless of the quality of the review. So, honest and well-written positive reviews are being pushed down, and negative, inaccurate, and mean-spirited reviews are moving up. Of course, there are fair and well-written reviews on both sides of the fence, but if you look at the votes, you'll soon see for yourself that some hateful people will vote ANYTHING as 'helpful' in an attempt to get at the author.
Right, let's wrap this up with the positives:
If you've always been intrigued by the Talamasca and want to know more about them, Prince Lestat is for you!
If you like sexy vampires and witches and spirits, Prince Lestat is for you!
If you like blood and gore and fascinating descriptions of vampire cosmology and ponderings on how science and magic meet each other, Prince Lestat is for you!
If you like stories with shed loads of characters, Prince Lestat is for you!
If you like beautifully poetic descriptions of EVERYTHING, Prince Lestat is definitely for you!!!
Vote on the cover for THE SHADOW BOX, a box set of 10 Dark Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Suspense Books, including A Death Displaced!
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Featuring Travis Luedke, M. Joseph Murphy, Steven Ramirez, Simon Okill, Shane KP O'Neill, Rob Cornell, Andrew Butcher, Craig Schaefer, Kristopher Norris, and Sean T. Poindexter
Preorder available December 1st 2014 Release Date, January 6th 2015
Hello, my dear readers! I haven't had the chance to tell you some REALLY EXCITING news yet ...
A Death Displaced is going to be included in a box set with 9 other books all in similar genres, and I need you to help choose the cover for this box set.
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AND USE THE FORM BELOW TO VOTE ON YOUR FAVOURITE COVERS!
I'll attach some larger, higher-quality versions of the covers to the bottom of this post, so you can see them better.
Thank you so much for voting!
And if you haven't heard my other extremely exciting news, that a two-chapter excerpt of A Spirit Displaced is available, then check out this blog post here: http://www.andrew-butcher.com/butchers-blog/a-spirit-displaced-excerpt-read-the-first-two-chapters-now
Box Set Description:
Hello, dear readers! Exciting news: I have a two-chapter excerpt of A Spirit Displaced for you! I want you all to know that I am still writing and I have loads of plans for the series and also other projects. I thank you all for your patience and really hope you enjoy the excerpt for Book Three.
SPOILERS WARNING: If you haven't finished reading the first two books in the Lansin Island Series (A Death Displaced & A Body Displaced), then I wouldn't recommend reading any of this excerpt for Book Three of the Lansin Island Series. Even the first sentence would be a major spoiler for you, and then much of the previous events in the series are recapped too, so it's basically a friggin' spoiler minefield if you click the link below! Here's your chance to step away and save yourself.
Note to Beta Readers: If I've previously discussed with you the possibility of beta reading A Spirit Displaced, then don't worry--I'll still be offering you an advanced copy of the whole book once I'm done writing it.
LINK TO EXCERPT OF A SPIRIT DISPLACED:
CLICK HERE FOR A SPIRIT DISPLACED EXCERPT
Please be sure to come back to this post and leave comments once you're done reading the excerpt--I'd love to know your thoughts.
And also remember to add A Spirit Displaced to your shelves on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17932677-a-spirit-displaced
Thank you all again. I'm really blessed to have such wonderful readers!
Hi! This is just a quick one ... A Spirit Displaced is taking longer to write than I expected. There are a lot of reasons for this, but it's a bit too long and personal to put in a blog post.
If you're signed up to my newsletter, which you can sign up to here, then you will have receieved an email a moment ago with all of the details on why I'm behind on Book Three.
All I can say is: I'm writing as fast as I can! =] Thank you for your patience; I'll try my best to make Book Three worth the wait!
I hope you're all well,
The Lansin Island Series has a new look! I know many of you liked the previous covers, which I designed myself, but I was never completely happy with them. So, I saved up my pennies and went straight to www.damonza.com to get these books looking PRO-FESH-UH-NAL!
Not only did I have the eBook and Paperback covers professionally done, but I also had the interior formatted and decorated by www.awesomebooklayout.com/
I'm really pleased with the new covers and formatting, and I hope you all like them, too!
A Death Displaced - New Cover:
If you've read A Death Displaced, then you'll know the knife has significance to the storyline. The mist/smoke hints at the paranormal/fantasy elements, and the background image and symbols hint at the pagan themes throughout the book.
A Death Displaced - New Interior Formatting and Décor:
I think the new décor inside the book adds to the pagan/witchy feeling I was aiming for with this series. For all of Nick's chapter headings, there's a triquetra symbol, which has many meanings, one being: past, present, and future. It hints at Nick's psychic ability.
For Juliet's chapter headings, there's a triple moon/triple goddess symbol. If you've read the book, then you'll know that (minor spoiler) in one of Juliet's chapters, she is visited by the ghost of Rowena Howard, the woman who fell and died in the spot where Juliet was fated to die. Rowena was a Pagan in life, and her ghost is wearing a necklace with a triple moon pendant on it. I thought this image was appropriate for Juliet's chapter headings, because the scene I just mentioned was moving for Juliet, and important for her character development.
For when Nick falls into or snaps out of a vision, there's another pagan symbol, a triskele/triple spiral symbol, which is kind of similar to the triquetra. One of it's meanings is the same as the triquetra's--past, present, and future--so it's quite suited for Nick's visions.
For any 'twist chapters' in the series, which jump inside the head of someone other than Nick or Juliet, there are entirely different images.
The font for the chapter headings come out differently on Kindle tablets to what you can see in the sample above. It comes out as the same gothic-style font used for the titles on the new covers. The font is called the Mason font, which you can find out more about here: http://www.identifont.com/find?similar=Mason
Below you can see the image for Juliet's chapter heading, and also the Mason font I just mentioned. This is a picture I took on my mobile of the inside of the paperback version, so it's a little dark and the text is cut off at the side, but you can see how nice the heading and formatting looks! In the paperback version, the first letter of every chapter has a big, bold first letter, which was not possible in the eBook versions, because apparently it can cause display problems on some devices ... but it looks awesome inside the paperback!
A Body Displaced - New Cover:
If you've read A Body Displaced, then you'll know the cherry blossoms have significance in the plot. I really love this cover! The colours are awesome, and it contrasts really nicely with the background colour of the first book. The mist/smoke hints at paranormal/fantasy elements again, and the blood spatter hints at gore; this book is a bit darker than the first one, and I wanted the cover to reflect that.
A Body Displaced - New Interior Formatting and Décor:
The formatting and images for A Body Displaced are mostly the same as for A Death Displaced, except for
a different image for the final chapter heading; if you've read the book, then you'll know the final chapter is a 'twist chapter,' like the final chapter of the first book.
A Note Below (A Lansin Island Short Story) Cover & Formatting
At the moment, A Note Below doesn't have a new cover, because it's a lot of money to spend on a short story cover, considering sales for short stories are generally less. I definitely plan on getting a professional cover done for it, because I want everything in the series to match in style, but I'll have to wait until I have the spare money.
I had the formatting done for A Note Below, but unlike ADD and ABD, it has no chapter heading images. It does have the Mason font, which I love, and is professionally formatted, so there should hopefully be no problems in how it's displayed on all devices.
A Spirit Displaced (Lansin Island 3) Cover & Formatting
The last blog post I did was a cover reveal of A Spirit Displaced. Now I'm here to tell you the cover is changing! I'll be getting the cover for A Spirit Displaced designed by Damonza.com, so it matches the new style of the series.
I'm still planning on the cover having a light blue background, to hint at the Spiritworld, which Book Three's storyline heavily focuses on, but I haven't decided what image will go in the middle of the cover yet. The formatting will be in the same style as the rest of the series.
I know a lot of you really liked the cover I made for A Spirit Displaced, and I feel bad for kind of taking that away from you, but I hope you like the new look of the series more. When I designed the old covers, I didn't have the money for, or the right mindset about, getting professional covers done, but now I know I want to give you all the best possible product and experience I can. Whatever elements of publishing I don't feel competent handling, I will now be paying professionals to do ... which I should have done from the beginning--it would have saved me a lot of suffering, and you all deserve the best books I can put out there!
How to update your copies:
For Kindle: If you've purchased the old editions of A Death Displaced or A Body Displaced on Amazon, you just need to go to the Manage Your Kindle page on your Amazon account, find the books in Your Content, and update/download the new versions to your device. Amazon have told me that they've made the new editions available to all customers who have purchased the books before, so hopefully there are no problems. Alternatively you could email Amazon support and ask them to send the latest edition straight to your Kindle for you. I did ask Amazon to send out a mass email to alert you all about these new editions, but they were unwilling to do this.
Other Retailers: I'm not sure how to get the updated versions on other reading platforms, because I read everything on Kindle and only purchase books from Amazon. I'm hoping that if you send an email to the retailer you purchased the books from, they'll be willing to make the new versions available to you.
A Spirit Displaced Update
I was planning on having released A Spirit Displaced by this time. I really wanted an early summer release. But I should have remembered that things always take twice as long as I expect, then I could have given a more realistic release date and saved myself some disappointment.
I'm going to write another post tomorrow about the progress of A Spirit Displaced and why I'm behind on it. Some of the reasons are quite personal, so I might only include those details in the email to my subscribers, which I'll also send out tomorrow, if all goes to plan (does it ever?!).
Thanks, and happy reading!
Thanks for reading. I hope you're all well and enjoying whatever you're reading!