Today I am happy to be interviewing Carrie Butler, founder of New Adult Alley and author of Strength (Mark of Nexus #1). I reviewed Strength when it first released earlier this year (you can read the review here) but unfortunately for Carrie one of the biggest nightmares an author can have happened to her. The publishers of her book closed to further submissions - including her sequel. Carrie has now re-released the book as self-published and it is doing just as well as before! Read on for an interview with Carrie as well as the synopsis for Strength.
Strength by Carrie Butler
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.
Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…
Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.
They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK
Interview with Carrie Butler
Why did you decide to become an author?
It was actually brought on by the crappy job market. I found myself out of work and in desperate need of escape, so I decided to write a novel. I’d already spent years writing stories. Why not give the professional thing a try?
Best. Decision. Ever.
How do you balance writing with other things in your life?
I sacrifice sleep. Seriously. I blink at people all zombie-like when they’re talking. Haha! :)
What is your favourite thing about being an author?
Definitely interacting with readers and seeing the story through their eyes.
What is it like now being self-published when you previously had a publisher?
It’s liberating. I’m in total control. But I must admit, it’s the slightest bit terrifying...
Do you plan to self-publish all your books in the future or go back to traditional publishing?
I think I’ll self-publish most of my paranormal and fantasy titles, but I might go back to traditional with the contemporaries. You know, provided I actually finish them...
What are your favourite books?
That is a terrible question to ask someone, Laura! *grins* Here are a few that come to mind: Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson, The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter, Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Divergent by Veronica Roth.
Are there any books/authors that inspired you to write?
Mix Gena Showalter’s knack for creating complex, paranormal worlds with Janet Evanovich’s talent for first-person narration. That’s what I wanted to write.
Describe your book in one sentence.
When Rena falls for the campus outcast, she provokes supernatural warfare that puts a lot more than her heart at risk.
Where did you get the idea for Strength, did anything inspire you to write it?
Strength—and ultimately, the whole Mark of Nexus series—started as a "what if" scenario. What if a unique, supernatural race lived among us? What if there was more than one? How would the world stay in balance?
I listened to music while I plotted out a few points, and the 2005 Five for Five cover of "All I Know" came on. Wow. The lyrics—the first few lines about bruising each other—really struck me.
As I considered them, the figurative meaning morphed into a more literal scenario. How tortured a man with uncontrollable strength must be... falling in love for the first time... unable to touch the girl he loves without hurting her...
That's how the romance element fell into place. ;)
Honestly, that’s just how it played out in my mind. When I wrote the manuscript, NA hadn’t yet resurged from St. Martin’s attempt in 2009—meaning, most agents and editors wouldn’t consider it.
Fortunately, I was stubborn. I wasn’t going to compromise the integrity of Rena and Wallace’s story just to bend to some industry standard, so I kept at it. And I’m so glad I did.
What would you say makes your book unique and worth reading?
What makes it unique? Well, it’s not about a reformed manwhore and the girl who tamed him—that’s for sure. ;) Here are three reasons to read Strength:
1. It contains original mythology.
2. There is no insta-love.
3. It’s not afraid to be funny, at times. ;)
Is there any specific message you wanted to convey in the book?
I try not to get too preachy with my fiction, because I don’t want readers chasing me with pitchforks, but I’d say it really enforces the idea that we shouldn’t judge one another. People we deem outcasts typically have a lot to offer, if only we’d give them a chance.
What are your plans for future books?
Right now, I’m working on the third—and probably last—book in the Mark of Nexus series. I’m also playing around with two contemporaries and a fantasy. Lots ahead!
Do you have any hobbies and Interests unrelated to books?
Going to the range, drawing, having bonfires, etc. Anything low key and casual.
Would you ever consider putting these (answer to above) into any of your books?
Funny you should mention that! I’ve been toying around with a fantasy/fairytale mash-up, and the main character uses a crossbow. It’s given me a great excuse to play around with mine. ;)
If you could meet any one author (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Gena Showalter. I adore her writing, and she has a great personality online.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
I played the trombone for ten years. Shh...
What is your favourite food?
Tacos with Italian salad dressing on them. Don’t laugh. It’s awesome.
What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
When I was in college, I let some guy sneak me into a famous (closed) theatre. Did I mention that I had just met him? *facepalm* Let’s call that equal parts adventurous and stupid.
If you could be any supernatural creature which would you choose?
I would totally be a Dynari!
About the Author
Carrie Butler daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.
Her passion for New Adult fiction led her to co-found NA Alley—one of the first websites dedicated to the category. She is the author of Strength (Mark of Nexus #1) and Courage (Mark of Nexus #2).