Kevin Butterfield

Biography

Once upon a time, on a cold winter's night in 1972, there was a young lad coerced by his parents to participate in a weekly ritual known to many as grocery-shopping. This mundane act was intolerable for the boy, so on this night he wandered away and stumbled upon such a magical place that its influence would joyfully or woefully redefine his life forever.
He had found a bookstore.
Fantasy, Science fiction, Nature, and Science were the categories that thrilled him. Voracious was his appetite, and not having a penny to his name his hunger consumed him. Until one day he realized that a foldaway grocery bag, his bicycle and a library card would be the answer. It wasn't long before he would take a five mile bike trip to the library expending every free moment that he had. This caused quite a rift with his parents since there was a garden to be weeded, lawns to be mowed, roofs that needed shingling, and houses that needed painting, not to mention homework to be tended. Kevin would have none of this. And his parents started to worry over the boy's well being.
Kevin was certain of his future. He would become a fiction book jacket artist like his many heroes, yet as a difference he would be writing the books that he jacketed. Yes, this would be his course.
Forty-some odd years later, life has hewn out Kevin's fate quite differently. And yet, poor misguided Kevin would have none of it. He is still penniless. And his voracious hunger for his dream consumes him.
Kevin currently lives in central New York. He is the Senior Creative Partner and co-owner of ZUZZY Miniatures. These days he can be found spending his time, working at ZUZZY, sculpting, painting, writing novels, seeking freelance illustration and graphic design work and finishing the many projects accumulated over a lifetime

Smashwords Interview

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Well, I have to think in terms of series and not individual books in order to answer correctly. I like to read fat lengthy tomes when it comes to my favorite genre: High Fantasy. That's where I go to heal and reconnect to self after the daily grind. My requirement is that it has to be a place that doesn't disappear after a few hundred pages like an ice cube on a sun-heated sidewalk. It must also challenge my own precepts about life and present arguments about why I might be wrong. There are two in this genre that spoke to me: Stephen R. Donaldson's Covenant series which I started reading as a boy of fifteen, and Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth. The first spoke to me about failure, perseverance, and what constitutes redemption. The second illustrates the price of living a virtuous life through reason and how not to buckle from outside pressures born out of ignorance. Heady stuff, with so much mind-food to come away with. “The only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason." - Faith of the Fallen. Words to live by. Those are books I can return to over and over again.

The third deals with inspiration for my art studies. It was the catalyst that started a fire within me at the age of fourteen. The book was gifted on my birthday by a close friend at the time. He had very little money and had to make a financial sacrifice to give me the book. He made a statement of inspiration to me, underpinned by the fact it cost him so much to get it for me. The book was "The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta". My friend said to me, “You have his talent. Study this and you'll be just like him one day.” Didn't happen, but I did study the hell out of those prints. That book literally altered my life choices for decades to come.

The fourth is Constructive Anatomy by George B. Bridgman. I came across this book at my university when I was nineteen. A very well thought out, step by step, introduction to the human form and how it works. At the time I was so worried that I would never have access to it again that I transcribed the entire book into a series of sketch pads. I found it again later in my late twenties and of course snatched it up. Interestingly enough, a few years ago, I read a bio on Frazetta and apparently he did the same thing when he was young. Bridgman was a staple for many burgeoning painters.

The last is a cheat, because they are three of my favorite books. Again they are art books—coffee table versions truly. Again, I found them at university and later collected them for my own. I'm not sure of the names because they are packed away right now, but I can say who they are about and why I chose them: Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and Alphonse Mucha. Each book has an in depth description of their techniques and also their experiences with the print industry. Very informative and also life changing for me.

Unfortunately I can not add any indie books to this list, but check in with me again in a few years and that might have changed, just as the world is changing.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Central New York, in a farming district located just outside of a couple relatively small villages. From its veneer it seemed a nice middle income, near idyllic, community, but its underbelly told the real tale. My area seemed to be the hub for drug crime and much more. There were multitudes of broken people with lifestyles best left to the imagination. My friends were mostly abused sexually, physically, or mentally by their neighbors or family members. And growing up there was like crawling through a mine field. It became an art-form avoiding the abusers and not becoming embroiled in the hundreds of scandals, or mindlessly becoming one of the abusers myself. This is where I began, at a very early age, questioning my value as an individual and the value of the human race as a whole. This was also ground zero for the inception of my need to sort it all out on paper, either by writing or reading about it from the 'so called' experts. What made the human animal tick? What pressures caused a human being to define right and wrong? What created the abuser, or created the champion for those abused? My answer came in the form of expression through the fantastic, by both art and literature. From this I came to understand why humans created the epic myth. It comes through a need to subdue the beast from within.

I watched as nearly all my friends crashed and burned. None I knew truly made it to adulthood unscathed. Many didn't make it out at all. Could it be this way everywhere? And if so, how sad. All of this inspired me to write, to paint, and to seek out my answers within the written word.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Kevin Butterfield online


Where to buy in print


Books

Stormwalkers
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 145,350. Language: English. Published: February 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Curse-born Konal Darmah, purportedly executed in infancy, yet lives. He is a Stormwalker, and it is said nothing but destruction will follow in his wake. Jorgan Darmah, Konal's uncle, doesn't believe this, placing his hope and the future of their clan in Konal's preternatural hands. Jorgan's act of defiance to the law is a gamble. One which carries the fate of the world in the balance.

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