Interview with Elizabeth Butts

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the town of Middleboro, Massachusetts. I live in West Wareham, Massachusetts now. I absolutely love the south coast area of Massachusetts. The seasons are gorgeous, the people are great (despite what you may have heard), we have beaches, cranberry bogs and oh-so-much history! :)
When did you first start writing?
January 2015. Not kidding! In 2014, I had read "Broken" by A.E. Murphy (read it, please, if you haven't already!). When I got to the end, I read her "about the author" and was shocked to see that she was only 23 years old! YIKES! I was 36 and hadn't successfully written more than 2 pages! I emailed her, we became Friends over Facebook (she lives in England), and she asked me to be a beta reader. She kept telling me I should write a book. I kept patiently explaining that I didn't have a book in me. Finally, I decided to prove her wrong. Three months later, I finished Singleish.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a story of a person who had everything figured out in her life, but then life threw her a curve ball. How she handles it, who she becomes, and the steps she takes to get there (as well as the amount of red wine she drinks) all figures in to finding out what makes her who she is.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly? It would be killer if some huge publishing house found me and said they wanted to publish my book like crazy and make me the next big thing. But reality is that I'm 37 years old and an unknown. This is a way that I can easily get my book out there and be able to say that I published a book. I can say that I am an author. That's pretty darned cool :)
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By giving me (and other authors) a platform to get their work out there without having to figure out fifty different ebook formats!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The a-ha moment. That moment where you are probably doing something other than write, and the next story line comes to you. It's an incredible feeling! It's even better when that story line gets you emotionally - whether it be happiness, sadness, laughter, what have you. That's the best part.
What do your fans mean to you?
Do I have fans? I don't really have fans yet. I can't imagine having fans. Can we just call them friends? Having people who enjoy reading what I created is a shocking thing to me. When someone (other than my mom or husband) tells me that it's a great book... Oh my God! So awesome!
What are you working on next?
I'm working on two books at the same time. Scandalous, right?! Well, when I completed Singleish, I figured I'd do spin-off books focusing on the other characters in the book. The problem was, two of them apparently wanted to be heard. So Alex and Leah's stories are being written. When one of them is being a little more pushy than the other, that one gets worked on.
Who are your favorite authors?
A. E. Murphy, Janet Evanovich, Susan Mallory, Nora Roberts, Nina Bangs...so many authors that I love! It's hard to answer this one! I also love love love discovering my new favorites :)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My husband and I are huge animal lovers, so a good portion of the day is spent with the twelve (yes, that's twelve as in 12) rescued animals that we are the parents of. We have 2 dogs, 4 cats, 2 rabbits, an umbrella cockatoo, 2 parakeets and a horse. I work full time as a Payroll and Benefits Manager. I volunteer at a small animal shelter in town named Champs. I love spending time with my husband and my parents. I work out at an awesome gym (which is impressive because I actually HATE working out)!!! I dream of my retirement career as a baker.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a children's book when I was 12 or 13. I think it was called Bloopie's First Day. It was all cats (surprise, surprise) and was trying to take the fear out of the first day of school. My mom still thinks I should have it published. Yes, she still has a copy.
What is your writing process?
This should be where I tell you I create timelines and outlines and all that awesome stuff. But the truth is, I type. When the story pops in my head, I type. If there is a scene that I think would work but not till later, I maintain a separate document "thoughts for book". I type them there. Then after those blessed words "the end" are typed, I print, read, cringe, correct, repeat :)
Describe your desk
Piles upon piles! I'd love to tell you that I am the world's most organized person, but that would be a lie. My dad used to have a plaque on his desk that read "If a cluttered desk is evidence of a cluttered mind, one can only surmise what an empty desk means". I like that plaque! I have a flip photo album from my childhood, a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang music box thing and a hand sculpture I made when I was 16 and living in Denmark.
Published 2015-04-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.