On a sunny afternoon in Edinburgh, I was a bundle of nerves. I was about to do my first ever in-person interview. I was heading to the gorgeous Balmoral Hotel to interview author and poet Ron Butlin.
I need not have been nervous it was a marvellous afternoon and I had a delightful time.
Here is my interview with Ron Butlin, I do hope you enjoy.
An Interview with Ron Butlin
Was it a natural progression from the poetry to novels?
Yes, I did a book of poetry and then a collection of short stories, I then went on to write what I assumed was another short story, however, it kept getting longer and then eventually I thought oh my goodness this is a novel. For me, poetry is text argued through image, where as a novel is argued through character, plot etc and that really is the difference.
Moving from adult stories to children’s fiction, how did that happen?
That was a complete surprise, my wife has been suggesting for a long time to write a kids book. Then one day I was writing a poem and I realised that kids would like it. So I brought out a picture book Here Come the Trolls. and that’s how it started.
Your children book Steve & FranDan which has been a huge success is superb, as an adult, I really enjoyed it has great potential to be a long running series, will there be a next adventure for the trio?
There will indeed, I sat down to write another adult book but the kids elbowed their way in and took over. I sent it to the publishers and they read it, made a few suggestions. I will be going up to Perth for a few days to work on the suggestions.
How do you find the editing process?
Oh, I love it, because you are getting closer and closer to the real book. I enjoy the first part of the process too, often waking in the night wondering how the kids will get out of trouble, what can Nessie do to save them? But that first rush of the adventure is superb. But I also enjoy the editing process, you are stripping away all that is not needed and bringing out into focus what is pure. It’s never boring, I never feel the pressure of having to get it done.
Do you have much say in the final cover?
Yes, I do. I love the cover it’s the same illustrator Here Come the Trolls, James Hutcheson. We work together very well. We will be at the Edinburgh Book Festival with Here Come Trolls and also I will have a spot with Billionaires Banquet too.
It must be a new experience reading to children and having their feedback?
Oh yes, I mean it’s so heartwarming because the kids are so real and it’s all over in the first five seconds whether they are with you or against you. I remember the very first Trolls event I did was at a primary school and we got to the end and I was signing the books. One wee boy aged six threw his arms around my legs and said “I love you” and my heart soared. It was so straight from the heart, genuine. I love that have that immediacy with the kids. Kids ask the most perceptive questions.
Who is your favourite author?
They change, depending on whom I am reading at the time. I read the classics, the Russians, Kings etc I love all that kind of thing. An Author I only discovered a couple of years ago was Stephen King, I wrongly assumed all his books would be a gore fest but if you pick your way through there are some crackers, one of my favourites being The Green Mile, I think it’s one of the most compassionate novels about the human condition.
What events do you have coming up at the Edinburgh International Book Festival?
You can find and book tickets for all Ron Butlins, Edinburgh International Book Festival events here ~ EdBookFest Website
Thank you so much to Ron Butlin for being on my blog today, I had such a wonderful experience interviewing in person. The gorgeous shortbread from The Balmoral Hotel was an added delight.
Ron Butlins Books
Steve has had enough – enough of cyber-bullies, enough of adults messing up the world. Sharp-witted Fran and her brother worry-wart Dan feel exactly the same. And so, along with his dog Nessie, Steve and the FranDan twins leave town in the dead of night to start on the biggest adventure of their lives …
But if things were bad before, they soon get worse. Much, much worse. Some seriously bad men show up. Why have Steve and Dan been overpowered and led away as prisoners? Why are they kept tied up in the barn of a disused farm?
Having managed to escape, and with no way to call for help, Fran knows it’s up to her to mount a one-woman rescue.
To order ~ Amazon UK
1985, Edinburgh. Thatcher’s policies are biting deep – fat cats and street-kids, lovers, losers and the rest struggle to survive. Hume sets up a business catering for the rich and their ever-growing appetites. But by the new millennium, these appetites have become too demanding . . .
Powerful, challenging and very funny, Billionaires’ Banquet is an immorality tale for the 21st century.
To order ~ Amazon UK
Through gaps in the roof we didn’t repair
through cracks in the walls we pretended weren’t there…
…the trolls have come creeping
while we were all sleeping.
Trolls on your chair, trolls in your bed –
is anything worse than a troll on your head?
What happens when your house is invaded by trolls – mischievous creatures who do nothing but cause havoc and mayhem? Find out in this zany and charming book which tells you how to get rid of them for good and make your house a troll-free zone!
To order ~ Amazon UK
Before you go, why not check out our review of the audio book The Other Twin By Lucy V Hay ~ Click to read.