Wednesday, September 2, 2015

INTERVIEW: Anna Butler plus #Giveaway! #Gayfiction #Scifi

Hello Anna and welcome to The Hat Party <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

What important thing would you give up in order to continue writing?

When it comes to things that take up my time and pull me away from writing… then it would have to be taking care of my garden. I spent a couple of hours out there yesterday tidying up the rampant summer growth rather than editing the draft of the fourth Shield book. My husband says he will only do the gardening if he can have a ride-on mowing machine, those things like tiny tractors, and he isn’t interested in anything else. Problem is, we don’t have a lawn.

Ergo, if push comes to shove, I’d either let the bindweed conquer the earth or hire a gardener.

What is your favorite literary quote?

This was quite a hard question! There are probably dozens of lines from books I’ve read that either live in my heart or I reread with a sense of delighted recognition each time. I mean, whose heart doesn’t beat a little faster at Darcy’s passionate proposal, for instance? But I think what sums it all up best is a quote not from an author, but from a US President, Theodore Roosevelt: “I am part of everything that I have read.”

I love the idea that what you read sinks into you, and you into it. But what I really like about Roosevelt’s thought is the implication this is something active, that the reader chooses to immerse themselves into new worlds, the reader has agency. And it’s the writer’s job to entice them in.

Describe your perfect lazy day.

No alarm going off at 6.30; breakfast in bed (my husband is very good about doing this most days, to be honest); stroll around the park with the dog; morning in the garden; lunch with something nice, crisp and cold to wash it down (London is so warm at the moment… a cold Chablis, or something); a snooze in the hottest part of the day; put my feet up on the chaise in the bay window and lounge with a good book, a can of something cold nearby and possibly some of the naughtier refreshments, like salted caramels; another walk with the dog and husband in the late evening as it gets cooler, dinner, bed.

No work, no effort!

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

A shade over 200 – a small sample of Bennet and Flynn from Gyrfalcon, the first in the series:

Bennet wanted this to be measured and deliberate. He used hands and lips, his whole body; rubbing slowly against Flynn while he touched and teased, smoothing first his palms and then just fingertips over the skin he was sensitizing, brushing close to nipples or Flynn's hard dick without actually touching them. His tongue followed, tasting Flynn, flickering over skin, lips mouthing over it. He kept everything unhurried and leisurely, aiming for the slow build up of a heat that he hoped would become unbearable, cherishing the long body writhing beside him or under him or on top of him, depending how the slow horizontal dance took them.
He worked his way down Flynn's flat stomach to take that lovely long dick in his mouth again, long fingers rolling Flynn's balls between them, the other hand stroking down between his legs. Flynn fisted his hands in Bennet's hair, holding him in place as he thrust into Bennet's mouth. After a minute or two, Bennet shook his head free of Flynn's hands and let Flynn's dick slide from between his lips, licking along the length as it went.
“I'm not letting you come yet,” Bennet said, lapping at Flynn's taut balls. “You've done that once tonight.”
“Oh go on! I don’t mind being selfish.”

If someone challenged you to a water-gun fight *to the death* how would you fare?

I’d probably end up drowned. I have none of the physical co-ordination needed for mad Ninja offensive or defensive skills. I’d be the one running around flapping, asking “Should I shoot now? Now? You’re sure? I’ll miss. I’m sure I’ll… “ SPLASH. Aaaand, I’m gone.

Do you know any cool party tricks and are you brave enough to do them at parties?

Hangs head in shame. I really don’t. I am a terribly boring person. My idea at parties is to get into a corner with like minded people and talk, rather than do anything loud and energetic. Party pooper, here.

Give a shout-out to another author who may, or may not, know how much you appreciate them.

I recently finished KC Charles’ Magpie Lord series, and was blown away by her world building and characterisation skills. Her protagonists leap from the page. I really should leave her some feedback on Amazon that goes beyond the “How on earth has it taken me so long to find this!” sort.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Not to edit as I go along. I have a terrible habit of tinkering with what I’ve written so far, trying to perfect it, rather than ploughing on to the end and then editing in its entirety. It is a bad habit, because I can spend hours dithering over word choices and syntax when I should be forging on with the plot.

Do you dance in the rain?

No. But I have been known to go running out into storms. I don’t mind getting wet, and I love thunder and lightning. As for dancing… well, that lack of physical co-ordination I mentioned earlier extends to the feet. The good lord appears to have gifted me with two left feet, which makes dancing something to be yearned after from a distance.

And finally, what kinds of dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds?

The kind that are really cockapoos. This is Molly, aka the Deputy Editor. Her favourite sleeping spot is the chair in my study, from where she oversees all my writing. I couldn’t persuade her into a hat, but will a glittery pompom do?

 ~ ~ ~

Author Name: Anna Butler
Book Name: Heart Scarab (Taking Shield Series bk 2)
(Series should be read in order)
Pages or Words: 97,900 words
Categories: Gay Fiction, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Release Date: July 22, 2015

Telnos is an unpleasant little planet, inhabited by religious fanatics in the festering marshlands and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines up in the hills. But the Maess want Telnos, and Shield Captain Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can—a task that leaves him lying on Telnos while the last cutter of evacuees escapes in the teeth of the Maess invasion.

Bennet is listed missing in action, believed dead on a planet now overrun by Maess drones. His family is grieving. His long-term partner, Joss, is both mourning and guilt-ridden.

And Fleet Lieutenant Flynn? Flynn is desolate. Flynn is heart-broken… no. Flynn is just broken

Flynn liked kissing. In fact, Flynn considered himself something of an expert in the art. He'd tried it in all its forms, from the first tentative pressing together of juvenile lips that had you wondering what all the fuss was about, to the discovery that if you just opened your mouth and, you know, kind of moved everything, your tongue suddenly had a lot more positive uses than just allowing you to articulate clearly and swallow things without choking. Flynn got the hang of it, ran with it, and never looked back.

Soft kisses and hard kisses; kisses that were wet and slobbery with people who didn't know exactly how to hold their lips to get the best and sexiest effect, and wet and sexy kisses with people who did. Kisses that turned the blood to molten lava and kisses that cooled you as you came down. Kisses that inflamed and kisses that soothed; feverish kisses and languid after-sex kisses. Kisses that meant only good fellowship and casual affection, and kisses that were desire incarnate.

Flynn had not only tried them all, he'd made them his own. He was considered by all the relevant authorities to be rather a specialist in the area.

Flynn really liked kissing. He had been gratified by the discovery that Bennet liked it too. Because now he could add slow kisses to the repertoire. Kisses so leisured and intense the world came to a stop while a hot tongue moved over his lips, explored each and every tooth down to the last molar, while teeth pulled at his bottom lip, biting it gently until it was swollen and hot and heavy, and he had to lick his lip to cool it and met Bennet's tongue with his. Only then, would Bennet's mouth close over his and start a real in-earnest kiss that lasted several more centuries. Those were kisses Bennet seemed to specialise in.

Flynn was always willing to take tips from another expert. A man should always try to extend his technique.


*What inspired you to write Heart Scarab?
Directly? I suppose wanting to explore the themes around loss and recovery, what it’s like for those left behind when someone you love dies, or as here, with a soldier, is missing in action and believed dead. It was also important that Bennet and Joss finally call it a day. Because there is so much Egyptian imagery running through the whole of the Shield series—I’m a history nerd, with Ancient Egypt in particular a great love of mine—then what a heart scarab symbolised fitted in perfectly: judgement, intelligence, emotion, self-protection, and beyond that regeneration and rebirth. “I have brought thee thy heart and set it in the throne of thy body. Rejoice thou in it.” It fits perfectly for the end of Bennet and Joss’s relationship.

*Is there anything special you’d like us to know about it?
It’s the second of a series of six books telling both a sweeping sci-fi story (old school sci-fi with spaceships and lasers and handsome heroes) and an equally sweeping love story. It isn’t a romance, though, in the sense that most m/m romance readers would expect. This second phase of the love story between Bennet and Flynn takes us to the point where Bennet can finally leave his partner of many years because they’ve outgrown each other, and although he doesn’t think he has a future with Flynn, he has a future he can determine for himself. Heart Scarab was a hard story to write, since Bennet has to make some huge decisions about his life. It also leads directly back into the main thrust of the sci-fi story, which picks up in a rather gruesome way in the following book.

*What are your hopes for this title?
That readers will be delighted to have a little more Bennet and Flynn, and that it whets their appetites for the next book in the series. And even simpler: that readers like it.

Sales Links:

From Wilde City Press as an ebook or paperback.
From an Amazon near you ( and links)

About the author:

Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to running an internal TV service. She now spends her time indulging her love of old-school science fiction. She lives in the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo.

Where to find the author:

Tour Dates & Stops: Wednesdays July 22 – November 4, 2015


Rafflecopter Prize:
-  a copy of my novella, FlashWired (epub, mobi or pdf) on every stop to one random commentator

-  Chance to enter a rafflecopter for
                      (i)   top prize of an Amazon gift voucher (is $50 overdoing it? It makes for a decent prize!)
                      (ii)  second prize, winner's choice of a Heart Scarab ipad cover or kindle cover
                      (ii)  third prize, a Gyrfalcon iPad cover

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love this series so much! I'm a huge sci-fi fan, and I love sweeping military space opera like David Webber's Honor Harrington series. I've said all along, one day people will point to this series and say, 'This was the first time I read a story with gay protagonists in which the fact they were gay was just a part of their character.'

    And I LOVE the hat. :-)

    1. Thank you, Sarah. Your support means a great deal to me!

    2. I'd offer you FlashWired, Sarah, but you already have it... so anything else you'd like?